“Put on the professional shit when faced with a question you’re afraid to answer.”
“I’m not afraid to answer,” I bite.
“So, answer truthfully then.” He challenges me with his tone and his eyes. “What you said about Kat—was that said as my therapist or my friend?”
I chew my lip, delaying my answer. Then, through gritted teeth, I mutter, “As your friend…I guess.”
I try to ignore the smile of satisfaction on his face, but it bugs me, which is why I can’t stop myself from saying, “And what about what you said about Dan not being good enough for me? Were you saying that as my friend?”
He stares at me for a long moment. “No, India, I definitely wasn’t saying that as your friend.”
“NO, INDIA, I DEFINITELY WASN’T SAYING THAT AS YOUR FRIEND.”
Smart move, Silva. Why didn’t I just tell her that I want to strip her naked and fuck her until neither of us can walk?
God, I am a total fucking idiot.
She didn’t say much after that, and I was relieved when Jett and Carter reappeared a few minutes later.
India is all about professionalism. If me telling her that I didn’t think her boyfriend was good enough for her didn’t spell out that I wanted her, then my awesome line did.
Even though I’m fairly sure that India wants me, too, she’s gun-shy. She’s afraid to cross that arbitrary line.
I need to be careful how I approach this. I don’t want to push her away by being too forward because I could end up losing her if I do.
And I really don’t want to lose her from my life.
The race is over. I’ve presented the trophy to the winner. Both Jett and India seem like they’ve had a good day. Well, I know Jett has. The kid is full of enthusiasm. Can’t stop talking about the karting as we walk back to the car.
“And Carter said I could come down anytime, Mum. Isn’t that awesome?”
“It’s great, sweetheart.”
“So, when can I come?”
“Well, we can sort something out between your Uncle Kit and me and arrange a day to come down.”
“Cool. I’m hungry. Can we grab something to eat?”
“You’re always hungry,” India teases him.
“I’m a growing man.”
“Boy…you’re still a boy. And you’ll always be a baby to me.” She wraps her arms around him, planting a kiss on his cheek.
“Mum! You’re ruining my street cred.”
“Sorry.” She grins, ruffling his hair.
“We can grab dinner on the way back, if you would like?” I’m expecting a look of horror from India, knowing that I am crossing that line of hers again, considering how much I have pushed things already today.
So, I’m totally taken by surprise when she says, “Sure. That’d be great.”
“Cool. I know this nice place I can take us.”
We climb back into the car.
Taking the front seat, Jett immediately takes control of the stereo.
I’ve never really spent time around kids, but I like Jett. He’s a cool kid.
And he likes racing, which makes conversations easy with him.
I’ve just clipped my seat belt in when India leans close and says, “You looked surprised when I said yes to dinner.”
She’s so close that I can smell the intoxicating scent of her perfume.
“I was surprised. I thought I might have been crossing your ethical line.” Lips pressed together, I lift my shoulder in a half shrug.
A light smile on her lips, she shifts back to her side of the car. “I’ve already crossed the line today. What’s a little further going to hurt?”
I’ll cross any line she wants me to. Cross it so far that the fucking line she adheres to will be invisible to her.
“It won’t hurt at all.” I smile to myself, looking out the window.
We end up stopping to eat at a country pub on the way back to London.
“Should we invite your driver to eat with us?” India asks.
The question makes me grin.
“He’s not my driver, India. I pay the company he works for to drive me when I need it. He hasn’t driven me before.”
“Thanks for the thorough explanation. But I still feel bad about us going to eat and leaving him out here.”
“So, ask him.” I chuckle.
I watch her round the car and go talk to the driver as I walk toward the pub with Jett.
“She has a thing for strays,” Jett says to me. “Something to do with her job I think.”
“The driver’s a stray?” I laugh.
“Nah, but she just can’t bear the thought of anyone ever feeling bad or being left out.”
“Not a bad trait to have,” I say to him.
He stares up at me. “Do you like my mum?”
“Do I like her?”
“Do you want to date her? Because if you do, I’d be totally cool with it—obviously.”
Chuckling, I shake my head. “It’s…complicated.”
“Because of Dan? They’re not serious, so no problem there.”
Yeah, there is Dan. But he’s just more of a minor irritant than a complication.
No, the complication is, she’s my therapist. And it’s not a problem for me, but it will be for India.
Stopping by the pub door, I look over at India, watching as she makes her way back to us.
“But you do like her?”