Some lines are meant to be crossed.
That hair. That fucking hair. It was everywhere, always, and I wanted to tangle my fingers in those dark curls and pull. And that would be fine if she wasn’t my apprentice.
Andy Asani was nothing like I expected. She was exotic and scary-brilliant, and the slightest murmur from those lips sent hot, hungry lust swirling through my veins. Outside my siblings, she was the only person I could name who shared my obsession with preserving Boston’s crumbling buildings.
My wants were few: good eats, tall boots, hot yoga, interesting work. One incredibly hot architect with the most expressive hazel eyes I ever encountered and entirely too much talent in and out of the bedroom wasn’t part of the original plan. Apparently he was part of the package.
Wine was my rabbi and vodka was my therapist, and I needed plenty of both to survive my apprenticeship. Especially with Patrick Walsh leaving love notes in the form of bite marks all over my body.
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If I had known I’d have a hot architect balls deep inside of me before the end of the weekend, I’d have made time for a pedicure.
It’s all the little things—the action plans, the long-kept promises—that started falling apart when my life slipped into controlled chaos.
After I met Matthew Walsh.
I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to run screaming or rip his pants off, and most days I wanted a little of both. If I was being honest with myself, it was rip his pants off, ride him like a workhorse, and then run screaming.
A rebellious streak ran through Lauren Halsted. It was fierce and unrelentingly beautiful, and woven through too many good girl layers to count, and she wasn’t letting anyone tell her what to do.
Unless, of course, she was naked.
She wasn’t looking for me and I sure as shit wasn’t looking for her, but we found each other anyway and now we were locked in a battle of wills, waiting for the other to blink.
Sometimes the universe conspires to bring people together. Other times, it throws people down a flight of stairs and leaves them in a bruised and bloodied heap.
Shifting to face her, he asked, “How’d it go this week, Andy?”
She offered Matt a warm smile, and I scowled. She never smiled at me like that. I considered any reaction from her a victory. What would it take for her to look at me that way?
“Really good. I learned more in five days than the past few years. I think we figured out some interesting things.” Our eyes met over Matt’s head, and she lifted her shoulders, asking for my confirmation.
“Lots of interesting things, Asani.”
Though I was certain she was referring to the projects on deck, I started to catalog everything I learned about her this week.
She loved talking about food and it was one of my new missions in life to keep those conversations going. Eating with her daily was another mission.
Her water always had stuff in it. Mint leaves, cucumber slices, dried hibiscus flowers. I assumed it wasn’t simply decorative.
She could produce measuring tape, Sharpies, and flashlights in the blink of an eye. I don’t know where she hid them, but she whipped them out before I could ask.
She made nerve-wrenchingly sexy sounds when eating anything particularly delicious. I spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon at half-mast because she enjoyed the hell out of some pho and kimchi.
She wore a lot of black but it suited her. It was the ideal contrast to her rich olive skin and dark hair. She seemed altogether too serious for pink or yellow.
She was addicted to lip balm. She stored a quarter-sized pot of balm that smelled like cherries in her pocket, and retrieved it throughout the day. It was her most hypnotic ritual by far. The tip of her finger would swirl over the pot before swiping her lips, and tasting the balm on her lips became another one of my life missions. Every time she did it, I spent at least five minutes reminding myself that sucking her lip into my mouth would probably result in a knee to my balls.
She always kept small glass jars filled with the most random shit in her Timbuk2 bag. Some days she’d have walnuts or figs. Other days it would be grape tomatoes or dried mushrooms.
I didn’t even know dried mushrooms were a thing, or that anyone would choose to eat them.
“We need to take you out for a drink. Anyone who survives a week with this guy deserves a drink on me,” Matt said. “Not tonight, but you need an official welcome to this madhouse, and to Boston. Next week for sure.”
“I look forward to it.” She gifted him with another smile. My teeth ground together as I stared at Matt in irritation. He needed to stop bothering Andy and get back to his own office.
About the Author
Kate doesn’t have it all figured out, but this is what she knows for sure: spicy-ass salsa and tequila solve most problems, living on the ocean–Pacific or Atlantic–is the closest place to perfection, and writing smart, smutty stories is a better than any amount of chocolate. She started out reporting for an indie arts and entertainment newspaper back when people still read newspapers, and she has been writing and surreptitiously interviewing people—be careful sitting down next to her on an airplane—ever since. Kate lives on the water in Rhode Island with Mr. Canterbary and the Little Baby Canterbary, and when she isn’t writing sexy architects, she’s scheduling her days around the region’s best food trucks.