Home > On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1)(8)

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1)(8)
Author: Samantha Young

Time to try out that gorgeous bath tub.

Pouring in some bubble bath and running the hot water, I immediately began to relax at the rich smell of lotus blossoms. Back in my bedroom, I peeled out of my sweaty shirt and shorts and felt a smug liberation as I walked down the hall, naked in my new apartment.

I smiled, gazing around at it, still not quite believing all ‘the pretty’ was mine for at least the next six months.

With music blasting from my smartphone, I sank deep into the tub and began to doze. It was only the growing chill of the water that nudged me to wakefulness. Feeling soothed and as content as I could be, I clambered inelegantly out of the tub and reached for my phone. As soon as silence reigned around me, I glanced over at the towel rail and froze.

Crap.

There were no towels. I scowled at the towel rail as if it was its fault. I could have sworn Ellie had towels on there last week. Now I was going to have to drip water all down the hall.

Grumbling under my breath, I wrenched the bathroom door open and stepped out into the airy hallway.

“Uh… hullo,” a deep voice choked out, snapping my eyes up off the puddle I was making on the hardwood flooring.

A squeal of shock got crushed in my windpipe as I gazed into the eyes of the Suit.

What was he doing here? In my house? STALKER!

My mouth hung open as I tried to work out what the hell was going on; it took me a moment to realize his eyes weren’t on my face. They were running all over my very naked body.

With a garbled noise of distress I clamped an arm over my br**sts and a hand in front of my vajajay. Pale blue eyes met my horrified grey gaze. “What are you doing in my apartment?” I glanced hurriedly around for a weapon. Umbrella? It had a metal point… that might work.

Another choking noise snapped my eyes back to his, and a flush of unwanted and totally inappropriate heat hit me between the legs. He had ‘that look’ again. That dark, sexually avarice look. I hated that my body responded so instantly to ‘that look’ considering the guy might be a serial killer.

“Turn around!” I yelled, trying to cover up how vulnerable I felt.

Immediately, the Suit held up his hands in surrender and he spun slowly around, his back to me. My eyes narrowed at the sight of his shaking shoulders. The bastard was laughing at me.

Heart racing, I moved to rush towards my room to grab some clothes – and possibly a baseball bat – when my eyes snagged on a photo on Ellie’s memo board. It was a picture of Ellie… and the Suit.

What the hell?

Why had I not noticed this? Oh yeah. Because I didn’t like to ask questions. Disgruntled at my own crap observational skills, I threw a quick look over my shoulder. I was gratified to find the Suit wasn’t peeking. Skittering off to my room, his deep voice followed me, rumbling down the hall to my ears. “I’m Braden Carmichael. Ellie’s brother.”

Of course he was, I thought grumpily, patting myself dry with a towel before shoving my angry limbs through a pair of shorts and a tank top.

With my dark blonde, brownish hair piled in a wet mess atop my head, I stormed back out into the hall to face him.

Braden had turned around, his lips quirked up at the corner now as he ran his eyes over me. The fact that I was dressed didn’t matter. He was still seeing me naked. I could tell.

My hands flew to my hips in belligerent humiliation. “And you just walk in here without knocking?”

A dark eyebrow rose at my tone. “It is my flat.”

“It’s common courtesy to freaking knock,” I argued.

His reply consisted of him shrugging and then jamming his hands casually into his suit pants. He’d taken his jacket off somewhere and his white shirt sleeves were rolled up to the elbow, revealing tan, masculine forearms.

A knot of need tightened in my gut at the sight of those sexy forearms.

Shit.

Fuckity, shit, f**k.

I flushed inwardly. “Aren’t you going to apologize?”

Braden gifted me a roguish smile. “I never apologize unless I mean it. And I’m not apologizing for this. It’s been the highlight of my week. Possibly my year.” His grin was so easy-going–coaxing me to smile back at him. I wouldn’t.

Braden was Ellie’s brother. He had a girlfriend.

And I was way too attracted to this stranger for it to be healthy.

“Wow, what a boring life you must lead,” I replied haughtily and weakly as I walked by him. You try being witty after flashing your girl pieces to some guy you barely know. I couldn’t really give him much of a wide berth and had to ignore the flutter of butterflies in my stomach as I caught a whiff of the delicious cologne he was wearing.

Grunting at my observation, Braden followed me. I could feel the heat of him at my back as I entered the sitting room.

His jacket was tossed across an armchair and a near empty mug of coffee was sitting beside an open newspaper on the coffee table. He’d just made himself at home while I was soaking in the tub, completely oblivious.

Annoyed, I shot him a dirty look over my shoulder.

His boyish grin hit me in the chest and I looked away quickly, perching on the arm of the couch as Braden sank casually into the armchair. The grin was gone now. He stared up at me with just a small smile playing on his lips, like he was thinking of a private joke. Or me naked.

Despite my resistance to him, I didn’t want him to think that my nakedness was funny.

“So, you’re Jocelyn Butler.”

“Joss,” I corrected automatically.

He nodded and relaxed into his seat, his arm sliding along the back of the chair. He had gorgeous hands. Elegant, but masculine. Large. Strong. An image of that hand sliding up my inner thigh crossed my mind before I could stop it.

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