Page 11 of Alpha's Castle

“It’s all over town,” one of the other women adds in. I take a drink of my lemonade.

“I think him and Connie have a thing,” I point out. Okay, maybe I’m not pointing it out, but digging for information. As much as Dane drives me crazy, I can’t stop thinking about him. I want to smack him and kiss him at the same time. See, he’s driving me crazy.

They all roll their eyes. “Connie has a boyfriend. They break up and get back together. If anything, she tries to make him jealous. Dane is the biggest catch in town.”

I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. Those are the types that get around. You couldn’t go two feet without running into someone he slept with. There would be no avoiding it. I didn’t think I was the jealous type, but the thought of Dane being with someone else makes my stomach turn.

Everyone turns around when the bell over the door rings. In walks Dane. I try not to let my eyes drift over to him, but it’s too hard not to. No wonder he’s the catch around here. You could throw him into a giant city and he’d still be the hottest out of everyone.

I think it has something to do with how rugged he is. There are no pretty boy qualities to him at all. He is all man. He doesn’t give a crap what people think of him either. I find that hot too. My ex and mom obsessed over what other people thought of them.

“I came to steal my Khloe.” He lets the door fall closed behind him.

“Sure. We’re all heading out.” One takes the cookies from me and the other snatches the lemonade out of my hand to rush me out. It’s clear whose side they are on. “You two have fun.” They usher me over to Dane. He puts an arm over my shoulder. I don’t duck out of it until we’re out of the store and on the sidewalk.

“Your Khloe?” I turn to face him, putting my hands on my hips.

“Your tires are looking rough. When was the last time you got new ones?” He asks his own question.

“You’re supposed to get new ones?” I thought you wait for them to go flat or something. He says something under his breath I can’t hear. Probably for the best.

“I had Mick take it in. You need new tires. He’s going to do a full check for me.” He walks over toward me, putting his arm around me again.

“But—”

“Thought we’d go to the store. You can’t live off cake, pies and cookies. I’ll show you around.” He opens the passenger side door for me.

“I can manage a store.” I might not know you need new tires, but I can rock grocery shopping. It might all be frozen food, but it’s food nonetheless.

“Store’s on that end of town.” He points the opposite way of my house. “You’re not carrying all that crap back to your house. Not when I can drive you.” He has a point. I should have a car, but I leave that alone. It was sweet that he was concerned enough to take a look at my car and then worry about my safety. I can’t be mad about that. Not when no one has ever done that before.

Before I can tell him thanks, he’s picking me up by my hips and putting me into his car. He grabs the seat belt, clipping it into place. My eyes lock with his as he leans over me.

“That was rude.” And hot as hell. Not that I would ever tell him that. He smiles.

“I plan to do all kinds of rude things to you, sugar.” And maybe I plan to let him. But he doesn’t need to know that yet.

9

Dane

“This isn’t the way to my place.” Khloe cranes her neck as if she is going to spot something familiar.

“Nope.” I swing a left down a long, wooded drive. “It’s my place. My grandad built this for my mom. She was his only kid and after my old man ran off, she needed a place to lick her wounds away from all the prying eyes of the town. They’re great people, but most of them don’t really understand the concept of space.”

“You don’t say,” Khloe says dryly.

A sharp bark of laughter escapes me. Yeah, I’ve been up in her business since the moment she moved to town, and I don’t plan to let up on that, even after we’re married. I’m guessing Khloe would appreciate that, though. She won’t have to worry about me cheating on her because she’ll be with me all the time. She can check up on me whenever she wants. She can text me at any time and I’ll be happy to get that alert.

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