Tangled Page 67

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And then I smile.

“It’s optional. Clothing too.”

She rolls her eyes. “Is that it?”

“Nope.”

“What else do you want?”

Oh, baby. If she only knew. Though it’s probably better that she doesn’t. Don’t want to scare her away.

“I want four hours. At least. Uninterrupted. I want conversation, dinner—appetizers, entrée, dessert—wine, dancing…”

She holds up her hand. “No dancing.”

“One dance. That’s non-negotiable.”

She looks at the ceiling, weighing her options. “Fine. One dance.” She points her finger at me. “But if your hands go anywhere near my ass, I’m out of there.”

Now it’s my turn to think it over. “Well…okay. But if you renege on any of my stipulations, I reserve the right to call do-over.”

She waits a moment. Her eyes narrow distrustfully. “And you’ll leave me alone—completely—until Saturday? No priests popping in to say hello? No ice sculptures melting outside my door?”

I smirk. “It’ll be like we never met. Like I don’t even work here.”

Chances are I won’t be here. I’m going to be a very busy boy.

Kate nods. “Okay.”

I hold out my hand. She shakes it and says, “It’s a deal.”

I turn her hand over gently and kiss the back—like I did the first night we met. “It’s a date.”

Have you ever walked into a room to get something, but once you’re there, you have no idea what you came for? Good. Then you’ll understand why I turn and start to walk out of the room.

Until Kate’s voice stops me. “Drew?”

I look back at her. “Yeah?”

Her face is downcast. “I don’t…I don’t enjoy hurting people. So…don’t get your hopes up about Saturday.”

Before I can open my mouth, movement out the window catches my eye. And I can’t believe I almost forgot. Wordlessly, I walk forward and take Kate’s hand. I bring her to the window and stand behind her, resting my hands on her shoulders.

I bring my mouth to her ear. My breath gives her goose bumps. The good kind.

“Too late.”

I wanted it to be simple. Something I would have carved on a tree or spray-painted on a wall if we were kids. But I needed it to be clear. A proclamation. Telling Kate and every other woman out there that I, Drew Evans, am off the field.

Kate gasps when she sees it.

Up there in the sky, in huge white letters, for the whole city to see:

Always go out on top. Have I told you this yet?

No? Well I’m telling you now.

I don’t care if you’re a businessman, a singer, or a top-rated television show—leave them wanting more. Never overplay your hand. You can always go back later for an encore, but once they’re sick of you, there’s no taking it back.

I kiss the top of her head. “I’ll see you Saturday, Kate.”

And she’s still staring out the window as I walk out.

Don’t worry—the show’s not over yet. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve, and I always save the best for last. You’re really not going to want to miss this.

I head straight for Erin’s desk. “I need you to get the florist on the phone. And the caterer. And set up an appointment for me—tonight—with that interior designer we talked about yesterday.”

She picks up her phone and dials. “I’m on it.”

Yes, I said interior designer. You don’t know what that’s for, do you?

It’s the grand finale. My winning move.

You’ll see.

On Saturday night.

Chapter 26

SEE THAT RAKISHLY HANDSOME GUY in the charcoal slacks and black shirt with the sleeves half rolled up? The one arranging the china plates on that table?

That’s me. Drew Evans.

Well, not really. Not the old me. I’m new and improved. This is DAK. Can you guess what that stands for? Half the women in this city would give their left tit to have me where I am right now. Pussy whipped. Obsessed.

In love.

But there’s only one woman who was able to put me here. Now I just need to show her I’m here to stay. I haven’t seen her for two days. Two long, excruciating days. It wasn’t as bad as the seven, but it was close.

Anyway, take a look around. What do you think? Am I missing anything?

Fresh flowers cover every available surface. White daisies. Before, I thought seeing them would remind her of Warren, but I’m not worried about that now. They’re Kate’s favorite, so they’re the only kind here. Bocelli plays softly on the sound system. Candles light the room. Hundreds of them—glass-enclosed.

You can’t go wrong with candles. They make everyone look better. They make everything smell better.

Knock-knock.

That would be Kate. Right on time. I scan the room once more. This is it. My Super Bowl. Game Seven. And everything’s ready. I’m ready. As I’ll ever be. I blow out a deep breath. And open the door.

And then I can’t move. I can’t think. Breathing? That’s not a frigging option either.

Kate’s dark hair is piled high on her head. Elegant tendrils kiss her neck, caressing the very spot that I spent hours nibbling on not so long ago. Her dress is dark red—shiny—maybe satin. It hangs from delicate straps that bridge her shoulders and fall low in back. The bottom rests above her knee, exposing her smooth legs inch by delectable inch.

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