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Home > Raid (Unfinished Hero #3)(12)

Raid (Unfinished Hero #3)(12)
Author: Kristen Ashley

I watched his smile get bigger. Being there with him in his Jeep, going to dinner, knowing he thought I was cute and he was into me, living a dream I never thought I’d have, my nerves smoothed out and I looked forward.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Chilton’s,” Raiden answered.

My nerves came back.

Even though Chilton’s opened a town over ten years ago, I’d only been there once, the year before when my brother came from San Diego for a visit and brought his new fiancée with him.

The menu was a la carte. The cheapest steak was fifty dollars.

I didn’t know what Raiden did for a living, but I did know that even with twenty new boutiques I was shipping my afghans to, Chilton’s once every ten years was about as much as many people could afford. Including me.

So I wondered what he did for a living, and therefore wondered if he could afford Chilton’s. I also wondered what I should order since there was no way I was ordering a la carte, building on the foundation of a fifty dollar steak if I didn’t know how deep that would cut into his wallet.

“Mood in the Jeep suddenly veered south,” he remarked.

I looked at him. “Sorry?”

“You don’t seem fired up about Chilton’s,” he noted.

“Um, I am, of course. I’ve been there once before. It’s really nice but it’s…” What did I say? “Not exactly cheap.”

“You bought me a sexy dress, least I can do.”

I stared, my mouth dropping open.

Then I snapped it shut to ask, “How did you know this is a new dress?”

He glanced at me, back at the road, then his lips turned up. “Didn’t. Guessed. Now I do.”

I was totally an idiot.

I proved this more when I looked forward again, mumbling stupidly (but he probably figured it out already), “I also bought new shoes.”

My entire body went hot when he briefly touched the skin below my skirt at my knee and rumbled, “Appreciated, honey.”

Okay, maybe I wasn’t an idiot, and at that moment I knew without a doubt that regardless of how expensive they were the dress and shoes were worth every penny.

“Don’t worry about dinner,” he stated.

“Okay,” I replied.

“Order what you want,” he went on.

“Righty ho.”

Raiden chuckled.

At the rumbling, masculine sound, the area between my legs got wet.

We lapsed into silence, which was both uncomfortable and oddly a relief, seeing as I would have been more uncomfortable if I had further opportunities to make a fool of myself.

We hit Chilton’s and the valet helped me out of the car. Raiden rounded the Jeep, gave the valet his keys and then claimed me by grabbing my hand

Holding hands, I walked into Chilton’s with Raiden Miller.

The date was twenty minutes old, if that, and it already had crazily veering ups and downs for me emotionally, but we hit an extreme up when we walked into Chilton’s.

Or, for me, it was walking into Chilton’s hand in hand with Raiden Miller.

The place, no matter how expensive, was packed. I saw two people I knew at whom I smiled.

But best of all, they saw me. They saw me hand in hand with Raiden.

My other three boyfriends, obviously, I’d liked. I thought they were attractive. I enjoyed spending time with them.

But never was I overwhelmingly proud to be at their side anywhere like I was right then with Raiden.

We were seated at a two top with Raiden at my side rather than across from me. We also ordered drinks, got them and ordered our meals, all this without incident.

So my nerves were again smoothing out as I took a sip of red wine and felt Raiden’s eyes on me.

I looked at him and the instant my eyes hit his, he asked, “You know my name?”

That was such a strange question, I felt my head give a slight jerk and I asked back, “Do I know your name?”

“Yeah, honey. Been around you now a few times, you’ve not once said my name.”

“You’re Raiden Miller, Rachelle’s big brother,” I told him and, for some bizarre reason, that made him burst out laughing.

It was gorgeous, lush. It warmed me through and through, and I smiled while he did it, but I didn’t understand it.

When it started waning, I said, “I don’t get it. Why are you laughing?”

He trained his amazing eyes on me. “Rache would love that. She’s always been Raiden’s little sister.”

My smile died and I leaned toward him. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be offensive.”

He leaned toward me. “Me laughin’, baby, how could you mistake that for me takin’ offense?”

Again, I was an idiot.

“I can sometimes be an idiot,” I offered as an understatement.

“Don’t know about an idiot. Do know you can more than sometimes be all kinds of cute.”

I bit my lip.

I liked that.

His eyes dropped to my mouth and he rumbled, “Like now.”

I liked that, too.

I let my lip go.

“Girls prefer to be sexy and hot and, maybe, mysterious,” I informed him, and his eyes came back to mine.

“You got the first two down, Hanna. And I don’t know about other men, but I’ve played games, and in the end found out what I won wasn’t worth the trouble of winning. Prefer to be with a woman who’s cute and shy and obviously into me. Means I can save time and get straight to shit that matters.”

What he said was nice, way nice, especially the first part, but still, I felt heat hit my face. My head jerked down and I adjusted my napkin in my lap, murmuring, “This is kind of embarrassing.”

“What?” he asked, and I forced myself to look at him.

“You knowing I’m into you. That’s embarrassing. I suppose it’s obvious, but it’s still embarrassing.”

He reached toward my hand, engulfed it in his big one and brought them up to rest our clasped hands on the table.

“Honey, get me,” he said gently, his eyes moving over my face, my hair, my chest then back to mine when he finished, “I wouldn’t have said it if I thought you’d be embarrassed about it, but bottom line, you got not one thing to be embarrassed about.”

I hoped he was right.

“Okay,” I whispered.

“Afghans,” he stated and I blinked.

“Sorry?”

“Those things were gorgeous, I did not lie, but Hanna, how the f**k do you make a living outta knittin’ afghans?”

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