Home > On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1)(14)

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1)(14)
Author: Samantha Young

As I lay the dishes out, Braden’s smile reminded me of his laughter, and that laughter kept echoing in my ears as it had done for the past four days since I’d seen him at the bar. All I could think about was him shirtless with me wrapped around him like a tortilla. Just because I had written off sexual encounters, it didn’t mean I wasn’t a full-blooded woman who got horny just like everyone else. I had a shoebox of vibrating goodies that took care of me when I was in the mood. But since meeting Braden, I was constantly in the mood and every now and then the thought of going out and finding a one night stand would cross my mind.

Of course I’d remember what it felt like to wake up in a strange bed with two strange guys on either side of me and not know what the hell had happened, and that notion instantly evaporated.

I just… I couldn’t understand how I could be this attracted to someone. Someone, I barely even knew.

The front door slammed, shaking me out of those thoughts, and I began pouring water for me and tea for Ellie.

“Hullooo,” she cooed happily as she entered the kitchen, the smell of the Chinese food triggering a series of grumbles from my stomach. “How was your day?” she dumped the food on the table and I immediately began helping her put it out.

“It was fine,” I mumbled, chewing on a prawn cracker.

When we finally sat down across from each other she threw me a look of concern. “Are you okay?”

No, I’m not okay. I went to the gym and had a panic attack in front of a bunch of strangers. Oh and your flirtatious son-of-a-bitch brother won’t get out of my head or my sexual fantasies. I’m horny, I’m pissed off, and I don’t like it. “Writer’s block.”

“Oh, that’s rubbish. I only know what that’s like when I’m writing my research. I can’t imagine how bad it gets writing a novel.”

“Beyond frustrating.”

We ate in silence for a moment or two, and I noted with curiosity how tense Ellie seemed. “Did you have a good day?”

She gave me a wan smile just before she took a bite of curry rice. When she finished chewing she nodded. “I’m starting to feel the pressure of being a post-grad student.”

“Ah the joys of student life.”

Ellie murmured her agreement, and then after staring at the table in silence for a full minute, asked, “So… what did you think of Adam the other night?”

The question seemed to come out of nowhere and there was a definite coyness to it. Huh. I knew there something going on there. “I don’t know. I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him. He’s cute. Seems friendly.”

A dreamy look passed over Ellie’s face. No joke. Dreamy. I’d only ever seen a look like that in the movies. The girl had it bad.

“Adam’s great. He and Braden have been friends forever. If it wasn’t Braden intimidating my boyfriends in high school, it was Adam.” She blushed, shaking her head. “I followed him around everywhere when I was a kid.”

I didn’t know what compelled me to… “Are you two seeing each other?”

Ellie jerked her gaze up to mine, her eyes wide. “No. Why? Did it seem that way?”

Okay. Wrong question to ask. “A little.”

“No.” She shook her head vehemently. “We’re just friends. Anyway, Braden’s always telling me what a manwhore Adam is. He’d never settle down. And he’s too much like a brother to me for there to be anything… you know… more…” she trailed off unconvincingly.

I knew one thing anyway. I would never have to worry about Ellie lying to me. She couldn’t lie for shit. “Okay.”

“So are you seeing anyone?”

Damn. It was my fault. I’d asked a question. “No. Are you?”

“No.” Ellie sighed. “When was your last relationship?”

Does sex count as a relationship? I shrugged. “When was yours?”

Ellie pursed her lips, her eyelashes dipping to cover the instantly hardened look in her eyes. A fierce wave of protectiveness rushed over me out of nowhere, surprising the hell out of me. “Ellie?”

“Nine months ago.”

And what did the bastard do to you? “What happened?”

“We dated for five months. He told me he worked in Glasgow for a recruitment agency. In actuality he works for a rival property development company here in Edinburgh. They were bidding against Braden for this amazing plot in Commercial Quay. Turns out he was just using me to get to Braden, to find out what Braden’s bid would be so his company could outbid him. Suffice to say the relationship did not end well. He ended up with a broken nose and Braden ended up with the plot.”

I raised an eyebrow, silently congratulating Braden on teaching the a-hole a lesson. “Braden beat him up?”

“No.” Ellie shook her head. “Braden doesn’t fight. He hasn’t in a long time.” She smiled widely now. “It was Adam that beat the tar out of him.”

I grinned back at her. “I shouldn’t condone violence, but… yay, Adam.”

Ellie laughed and then sobered. “I’m just glad my naivety didn’t cause Braden any difficulties at work.”

I’m sure that wasn’t what Braden was worried about. I didn’t know how I knew that, but I did. Anyone with eyes and ears could tell Ellie was important to him. “I can’t believe someone would go to that much trouble, do something so heinous, for a plot of land.”

“Commercial Quay is really up and coming. Michelin Star restaurants, cosmetic surgeries, stylish cocktail bars… Braden is building luxury flats there and they’ll fetch anything from half a million to a million for the penthouse apartments. Quite the profit margin.”

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