“Nice.” Trey tried to keep his astonishment from showing on his face. Maybe Adam was actually finding his niche. Though, if Trey made a big deal out of it, Adam would probably deny this sudden interest in the placement of their bodyguards and detach again. So Trey gestured to the plans stacked under his arm. “John said he’d handle the renovation on my place.”

When Adam grinned, his dark three-day-old beard scruff deepened the brackets around his mouth. “What? You don’t dig your yellow flowered wall paper and orange shag carpet?”

“Not so much.” Trey shook his head. “I wanted the demo started yesterday.”

“How long will it take?”

“John’s estimate is six weeks.”

“In construction terms, you’re looking at twelve weeks.”

Adam was probably right. “Most likely. It’s an older place. There’s no telling what they’ll find when they start taking down walls.”

Adam plucked his mirrored shades from his vest and slid them onto his face. “You need a place to crash, just give me a heads up.”

“Will do. Thanks, Adam.”

“Yup.” His cousin straddled the Harley, revved the v-twin engine and kicked up a few stones as he veered toward the highway.

Trey couldn’t be happier about Adam’s show of investment in their bodyguard business. Maybe Adam would buy a home, too. Put down roots. Instead of squatting in a rental downtown, in a less than stellar neighborhood. But Trey appreciated the small sign of progress Adam showed today.

He knocked on the door of John Paxton’s construction trailer. When John invited him in, they went over the blueprints and Trey wrote out a check for half the cost of the job. He told himself this was a good investment, because a newly renovated house on his incredible property doubled its value. Even though he could afford it, writing all those zeroes for a non-business-related expense made his hand clench briefly.

After spending years scraping by on bare bones for years to funnel ninety percent of their bounty hunter income into savings, Trey now enjoyed financial freedom. While he’d endured yellow flowered wallpaper and the country ‘70s vibe in his place long enough, the frugal side of him balked at the ghastly amount for the renovations. Even as the billionaire inside reminded him that money was no longer a problem.

As he handed John the check, he wondered what Devon’s opinion would be on the new vision for his home. Would she think he was extravagant? Maybe she wouldn’t like his taste in décor.

With a parting handshake, and Devon on his mind, he left John’s trailer and slid his phone from his pocket. He searched the Internet for the restaurant he had in mind and dialed the number. “Yeah, I’d like to make reservations for two, at eight o’clock.”

Devon deserved to be wined and dined. No matter how much the thought tempted him, he refused to just show up at her house and carry her off to bed. If he didn’t respect and admire Devon so much—and if he didn’t care if what they had shared between them lasted—he might’ve done that.

But Devon wasn’t a cheap thrill or a quick fling to him. He wanted a whole lot more than that. So, like he’d told himself from the start, he’d take this slow. That included taking her out to dinner, treating her like the prize she was, draping her in jewels. Making it clear she was the center of his world. A thought occurred to him, and he made an unplanned stop at the jewelry store, where he’d gotten his grandfather’s watch fixed a few months ago.

Once having conducted the transaction with the jeweler, he went home, and spread his copy of the blueprints out on his dining room table. He spent a half-hour reviewing the renovation plans. Hours slipped past, and when he realized the time he went to clean up for his date.

Freshly showered, his gut coiling with anticipation, with the need to be near her, he rang Devon’s doorbell.

While Peanut went crazy, Trey felt compassion for the animal. For two straight days it had been uprooted from its routine. He liked routine, too, unless the diversion included Devon.

From behind the door, he heard her subduing her dog. At least this time, the screen wasn’t open to any nut-job who attempted to approach her house.

“I’ll be right there.”

“It’s me,” he assured. “Take your time.”

When she unlocked her door, he stepped inside. He took one look at her and nearly lost his self-control. She wore a form-fitting, little black dress that hugged her tight curves. He’d rather see that dress on the floor as he spread her out across his bed.

He stiffened everywhere as appreciation warred with his territorial streak. “You look phenomenal.”

“Thanks,” she said with a bright red-lipped smile. An image flashed in his mind of those red lips traveling down his stomach, feeling her hair glide across his waist as she reached down to grab his—

Shit. Keep it together, Trey.

He gave his head a quick shake. He’d promised himself he would act like a gentleman, even if his thoughts kept veering into the sexual gutter. “I made reservations for eight.”

“Reservations? I was under the impression we’d stay in tonight.” The inviting sensual look on her face battered his self-composure.

“We have all night. I want to make the most of my time with you, and Luca D’Italia’s pasta is calling my name.”

“Italian sounds great.” Her voice softened. “I haven’t been out to dinner in ages.”

He noted that she wore no jewelry except silver pendant earrings. He smiled privately. “Close your eyes and turn around.”

She sent him a curious glance. “Okay…” Her eyes slid shut and she turned a half-circle in her sexy red high heels, which would also look good on the floor next to her dress. His erection throbbed.

Instead of sweeping her into his arms and carrying her upstairs, he reached into his suit coat pocket and removed the necklace he’d purchased. Gliding her hair to the side, he draped the piece over her collarbones. Unable to help himself, he pressed a kiss to her exposed neck, then fastened the clasp and slid her hair back into place.

“Turn around,” he murmured against her ear.

Her hand went to her throat. “What’s this for?”

“For being you.”

She moved to the mirror over a small table beside the front door. Her eyes flew wide. “Holy crap. Are these real diamonds?”

He crossed his arms. “Do you even have to ask?”

“It’s gorgeous.” Lips slightly parted, she traced the obsidian stones encrusted with diamonds. Her eyes sparkled with appreciation then dimmed. “I can’t accept this, Trey.”


Tags: Vanessa Waltz Billionaire Bodyguard Suspense
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