Read The Dating List Online

Authors: Jean C. Joachim

Tags: #love story, #contemporary romance, #romantic story, #sexy romance, #sexy love story, #spicy romance, #story about love, #contemporary love story, #spicy love story

The Dating List (10 page)

BOOK: The Dating List
2.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

"You might want to get that lip looked at, lady. Do
you intend to press charges?"

"Damn right I do," Leah said in a shaky voice.

"Good, gets that guy off the streets. We'll need you
to come down to the station house."

"Can I do it in the morning?"

"Okay, I guess. Bring him." The officer indicated
Colin then handed Leah his card.

"I'll be there," Colin said.

The taller officer joined his partner in the squad
car. They drove away.




Leah's legs shook like quivering jelly as she leaned
against Colin on the short walk back to the apartment. The place
was quiet when they entered, now that all the guests and catering
staff were gone. Colin led Leah right into the kitchen. He took
some ice from the freezer, folded a cloth napkin around it and
placed it on her lip, picking up her hand to hold it there. He drew
up a chair and sat her down before he poured a glass of wine for
her from the bottle of cabernet on the counter.

Leah's hand shook too much to hold the glass. Colin
held it up to her lips and she took a sip, then hissed at the pain
of the alcohol on her cut lip flew through her dizzy brain.

"I'm sorry. Forgot about your cut. Do you have

Leah indicated a drawer and Colin retrieved a straw.
She sipped a few long sips of wine and began to feel a little
calmer as the alcohol warmed her insides. Colin picked her up off
the chair and carried her into the living room. He sat down on the
sofa, placing her in his lap. As she cuddled into his shoulder, he
held her close and stroked her hair. Leah closed her eyes. Colin
hunted up some ibuprofen then presented it to her with a glass of
water and a straw.

"This will make you feel better in the morning."

"Please don't leave." Leah asked, closing her fingers
around his forearm.

"I have no intention of leaving."

She glanced at him with a questioning look.

"Not like that. I don't want you to be alone. We can
spend the night…as friends," he said.

She tried to smile but the pain in her lip made her

"Do we have to take you to the emergency room?"

"Let me see." She fumbled in her purse, still unable
to get her fingers to stop shaking. Finally, she found a compact,
opened it to examine the damage to her face in the small mirror.
The lip was swollen to twice its normal size, the cut made by her
teeth was mostly on the inside and didn't appear big enough to
require stitches.

"I think it will heal on its own," she said to

"Let me snap a couple more pix of you." He whipped
out his phone and took a few close-up shots before she could

"I must look horrible." Leah tried to get off his
lap, but he pulled her back.

"Stay. I think you'll be okay." He placed the ice
pack back on her lip.

She nestled into his shoulder, emitted a big sigh and
began to relax. Colin stroked her back. Her eyes closed as
exhaustion set in.

"Sleep would be the best thing for you," he

He stood up with her in his arms as if she weighed
nothing then headed for the bedroom, placing her gently on the bed.
She stretched out her arms and legs.

"Thank you for saving me."

"I should have realized that guy was up to no good
when we passed him and that it wasn't safe for you to walk even two
blocks back to the apartment at that hour. I'm sorry. It's my

She slapped his arm and knitted her brows.

"It's not your fault! It's that jerk's fault."

She tried to reach around to unzip her dress but her
fingers wouldn't cooperate. Colin turned her around and unzipped
the dress. He retrieved her bathrobe before peeling the dress down
her arms. It was obvious she wasn't wearing a bra, maybe no
underwear at all, so he draped her terry robe over her shoulders as
he slid her dress down. She knew his hands on her shoulders could
feel her tremble. When he pushed the dress down, his fingers came
into contact with her breasts for a second or two. A tingle shot
down to her core.
God, I want you!
She slipped her arms into
the sleeves of her robe and drew it around her naked body.

Colin removed the pieces of his tuxedo, placed them
on the dresser and a nearby chair. He laid them out neatly. Wearing
only his boxers, he returned to the bed. Leah had her robe wound
around her, her hand held it closed at her chest. His grace and
perfect body as he moved across the room aroused her despite her
jangled nerves. She eyed his chest, longing to touch him.

He's so gorgeous.
Her gaze raked his body,
producing a small smile on her bruised lips. Colin pulled the
covers down in one motion and gestured for her to get in. She
slipped underneath then scooted over.

"Sleeping only. I promise. Even if it kills me," he

Colin sat down on the bed and swung his long legs on
top, then pulled up the covers.

"Come here," he said, motioning for Leah to join

She cuddled up to him, putting her head on his chest.
Her fingertips brushed through his chest hair and a small smile
stretched her swollen lips.

"Ouch! Hurts too much to smile…or talk." She gestured
toward her mouth.

"That's okay. We don't need to talk in bed. Oops.
That didn't come out right."

They laughed as Colin put one arm around her and
inched the covers up over her shoulder with the other.

"My robe…I almost forgot," Leah said, sitting up and
sloughing one side off her shoulder, exposing her breast to his

Colin pulled the robe back onto her shoulder.

"No way. I'm not sleeping here with you if you take
that off. I'm only human, Leah. If you're sleeping naked with me,
then we're making love."

She fisted the robe and held it to her chest.
only I was feeling better…

"I want to make love to you but not tonight. Tonight
you need to be…to be held."

He opened his arms again and she fell into them with
a long sigh. The ibuprofen began to kick in. The warmth from his
body thawed her frozen fingers and nerves, peace flowed through her
veins. He leaned over and switched off the lamp on the bedside
table. Cuddled together, the would-be lovers fell asleep.

At four o'clock, Leah sat up in bed screaming. Colin
woke up and touched her shoulder. She shrank back from him.

"It's me, Colin," he said.

'You're still here." She placed her hand on his

"Did you think I'd run out on you?"

"Didn't know what to think," she murmured.

Shivering, Leah reached out to touch his face. He
kissed her fingers.

"Come to me, sweetheart," he whispered.

He folded her in his arms and pulled up the covers.
She sighed as she rested her arm around his waist. The next time
she opened her eyes, she was staring at the clock, reading ten
o'clock on the dial.




Leah opened her eyes when the bright, cold winter sun
flooded in her window. She rolled over expecting to find Colin, but
the bed was empty.
A dream?
She touched her lip gingerly but
it was still sore and swollen, though less than the night before. A
sniff of the air detected a new smell…a distinct smell.

As she sat up in bed, the door burst open and a
grinning Colin entered carrying a tray laden with bacon and eggs.
There were two plates but only one mug of coffee. He placed the
tray down on the bed. His gaze sought hers.

"Half a sugar and milk, right?"

"Breakfast in bed?" She raised her eyebrows.

"Yup. The way you like your coffee?"

She nodded.

"I already had a cup so this is yours. Careful, it's
hot." He handed her the mug then removed a plate with one hand
while he gathered up the utensils with the other.

Leah took a tiny sip, cringed, then took another.

"Coffee's good. Bacon may be hard to eat but it's
damned tempting. Thank you."

She accepted the plate from him as a rumble in her
stomach reminded her how hungry she was.
Even Hank never brought
me breakfast in bed.
Colin took his plate and climbed on the
bed next to her. He wore his tuxedo pants from the night before and
the shirt, unbuttoned. His hair was mussed and hanging over his
forehead. He had the beginning of scruff on his cheeks and above
his mouth.
Oh my God. I'd like to have him for

With both hands occupied, her robe gaped open.
Colin's gaze on her exposed chest created warmth on her skin, like
the caress of a hand. Her gaze followed his. She turned away, put
her plate down and secured her covering.

"Nice view…" Colin murmured before putting a forkful
of eggs in his mouth.

She laughed in spite of her injury.

Once they finished, he put the plates back on the

"We have to get down to the police station."

Leah made a face.

"We have to…"

"I know. But I don't have to like it. You're coming,

"Gotta make sure that asswipe doesn't get me on an
assault charge. Besides, I'd never let you go alone." He tipped her
chin up and placed a delicate kiss on her injured lips.

Leah threw herself in his arms, tears streaming down
her face. Colin held her to him, stroking her hair.

"What's this? It's all over. You're safe. I'm

She cried for a few more seconds before reining in
her emotions.

"I haven't heard those words in a long time," she
said, casting her gaze away from his, wiping her eyes with her

"What words,
I'm here

She nodded.

"You've been very alone for a long time, haven't
you?" His voice was quiet.

Words caught in her throat, choking her. She gave one
nod, blinking to keep more tears at bay.

"Leah, honey…you're not alone now." He brushed his
fingers through her hair then cupped her cheek.

She rested her head against his shoulder, closing her
eyes, drinking in the male scent of him with a whiff of his piney
after shave from yesterday. Her finger touched his cheek, running
against his one day growth.
He's all man.

"But you'll go back to Pine Grove and I'll go to

"I'm staying until tomorrow. I'll be back next month
for winter break. In time for Valentine's Day."

"And then?"

"I'll return for spring break in April. Then it's
summer and I'm off."


"Stop thinking so far ahead. Can't we enjoy today and

She tried to smile. Colin wiped away a stray tear
with his thumb.

"Get dressed. We have to go to the police station,
then football. Pick your team, Nebraska, Ohio State or Georgia




While they were walking to the police station, Colin
called his brother. He'd spoken to Grey the night before, woken him
up, in fact. Grey was still fuzzy about why Colin wasn't home and
what had transpired.

"I'll be sleeping at your place tonight," Colin

Leah shot a questioning glance at Colin.

He covered the speaker on his phone.

"One night of brother-sister in your bed is about all
I can take. Will you be all right on your own?"

She nodded, feeling her lip with her fingertips.

"The swelling is down."

Colin placed a quick kiss on the corner of her mouth
then turned back to the phone.

"Late. Yeah. Happy New Year to you, too." He put his
phone away then took Leah's hand.

They returned home an hour and a half later.

"Get comfortable. I'll heat up leftovers," Colin said
as he disappeared into the kitchen.

When he came out with two piping hot plates piled
high with ham, escalloped potatoes and green beans, Leah was
lounging on the sofa. She had changed into a long, rose-colored
velour robe. The zipper was lowered enough to allow a peek of
cleavage. Colin's gaze zeroed in on the bit of exposed flesh as he
set the plates on the coffee table.

"You look lovely…good enough to eat," he said, eyeing
her cleavage.

"This looks delicious. You're spoiling me." She
reached for her fork.

"This is it. Eggs, bacon and reheating leftovers are
my whole repertoire."

She smiled at him without wincing. Colin touched her
lower lip with his fingertip.

"You're healing."

"Inside and out. I'm starved."

When they finished, she cuddled into his shoulder,
and he wrapped his arm around her while they watched the game.
Colin tried to concentrate on the television but he kept getting
distracted by the subtle scent of Leah's perfume. His fingertips
caressed her forearm.
If we were lovers…then I could rip that
robe off and make love to her during halftime.

"You're not wearing anything under there are you?" He
tried to keep his eyes on the large screen.

"Bare-ass nekked."

"Do you have to say that with such…such

She chuckled. "You asked!"

Hunger grew in his loins until the game got intense,
providing Colin with a shift in focus. Leah got into watching the
closely matched college teams struggle for the lead seesawing
between both universities. When it was over and their team had
squeaked out a victory, Colin checked the clock on the mantle. Ten
If we were lovers, I'd carry her into the bedroom and
make mad, passionate love to her. But we're not.

"Time for me to go and you to get some sleep."

Leah yawned as if on cue. They both laughed.

Colin slung his coat over his shoulders then fastened
it closed. Leah took the lapels and pulled him to her. She tried to
kiss him but it hurt too much. He stroked her head then headed
toward the door.




Sunday afternoon, Leah and Carrie stood in the
vestibule of the Grey's townhouse, waiting to say goodbye to Colin.
Grey pulled up in front of the house to drive him to the bus. Colin
kissed Carrie on the cheek and hugged her.

BOOK: The Dating List
2.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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