“Meh. Each to their own.” She wiped down the countertops and began putting equipment away. “It’s important for me to know my customers and what they want. My gramps always said that people like to be remembered. These people pay my bills and keep a roof over my head. Without my customers, I’d have nothing. I always try to have their drinks ready when they get to the counter. Sometimes they change up their orders, but not often.” She packed up the leftover muffins in a box and taped the lid shut. “Noah, for instance, changes his mind like a kid in a candy store.”
“That’s Noah for you.”
With one last inspection around the space, she took off her apron and stretched her arms above her head, her tits rising up as she did. I was seconds away from dragging her to the floor.
She waved a finger in my direction. “Don’t even think about it, mister.”
“Think about what?”
“I can see exactly what in your eyes.”
I curled my hands around her waist and dragged her close. “I can’t help it if you’re the sexiest woman alive. I want you all the time.”
“Later,” she said, extracting herself from my grip.
“I’m rock hard.”
She reached down and pressed her hand against my crotch. “This is going to feel so good sliding into my hot, wet pussy.”
I groaned. “You’re killing me.”
“I hope you don’t die before I get the chance to ride you until you can’t see straight.”
“Stop teasing me.” I slapped my hand against her ass. “You ready for the ball?” I asked, changing the subject.
“I think so. I picked up my dress from the store yesterday. It cost more than what my truck earns in a week, but it was worth it.”
“Is it sexy and slinky?”
“You’ll have to wait and see.” She pulled down the shutter and bolted it in place. “Who are your brothers bringing?”
“I have no clue about Cade, but Noah is bringing Aubrey. He’s trying to behave like they’re just friends, which is bullshit. I hope he doesn’t fuck this one up. He has a habit of doing that.”
“And what about you? Do you have a habit of fucking things up?”
“We all have our histories.”
“Isn’t that the truth.” Willow’s eyes clouded over for a second.
“We screw up, we learn, we move on. You’re the one thing I won’t screw up. You mean far too much to me.” I stepped towards her again and placed my hands on the wall either side of her head, boxing her in. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone in my life.”
She blinked a few times, then laughed, breaking the sizzling tension filling the small space. “Don’t say that. Don’t go getting all serious on me. We’re having fun, right?”
I waited a few beats before answering. “Yeah, we’re having fun. But what if I want more than that?”
She ducked beneath my arm, picked up a cloth, and wiped the already spotless counters. “Evan, I like you. You make me feel good about myself, and you make me laugh. With you, I have the confidence to do the craziest things in bed. But I can’t give you more than that. I can’t fall in love with you.”
I could tell from the way her voice shook she was lying. Over the past two weeks, we’d grown closer than close and had spent every spare moment we could together. She might be lying to me, but she couldn’t lie to herself.
“You know what I think, Willow? I think you’re full of shit. You should know me by now, I never give up, and I never back down.”
The dress had been worth every single penny. Like I’d told Evan, the black, silky off the shoulder masterpiece had cost more than the food truck earned in a week, but it was something I would have for a lifetime. The cut was classic enough that it would never go out of style. The design resembled the pink dress Marilyn Monroe wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. As a tribute to her, I’d dyed my hair platinum blonde. The plainest color I’d been in years.
I couldn’t wait for Evan to see what I wore beneath the dress. Later, I planned to peel everything off and give him his very own striptease.
All-day, my mind kept wandering back to the conversation we’d had last night at my truck. Evan was right, I was full of shit, but I couldn’t let him know that I was madly, deeply, insanely in love with him. Falling in love meant depending on someone, and after all the crap I’d gone through as a kid, I swore I’d never rely on another person again as long as I lived. Being in love made me do stupid things that I ended up regretting for the rest of my life—like holding a gun to someone’s head.