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Giving My All to You Sheryl Lister 2022/8/3 13:47:31

Brandon slid closer to Faith and draped an arm around her shoulder. “I’m sorry. I can’t imagine growing up without my father.”

“It’s okay. My mother married my stepfather when I was eight, so I didn’t grow up without a father. He’s a wonderful man and I love him. Enough about me,” she said, eager to change the subject. “Would you like something to drink? I have orange juice, tea and water. Sorry I don’t have anything in the way of dinner to offer you. Me and the arm aren’t quite ready for full-fledged cooking.”

He chuckled. “It’s no problem. We can go get something.”

“Can we get it to go?”

Faith shut down her laptop. “I don’t know what’s around here, so you can choose.”

“Whatever you want to do,” he said in that black velvet voice.

“I’m… I’m going to change.”

She stood and backed away, unable to tear her gaze away. “I won’t be long,” she mumbled and retreated to the safety of her bedroom. This man did not play fair. How in the world was she supposed to resist him? “It’s nothing serious, just some fun. All you have to do is keep your emotions out of it,” she reminded herself as she slipped into a clean blouse.

Brandon followed Faith with his eyes and asked himself for the hundredth time why he couldn’t stay away from her. It had only been two days since he’d seen her, but from the moment she opened the door and he saw her reddened eyes, he’d wanted to wrap her in his arms and make sure she never cried again. He thought about what she had told him. Even if his father had come back with the same issues, his mother would never have taken them away from their father. It had to be difficult for Faith, as well as her father, to know they’d missed out on so much time.

He rose to his feet. She had changed from the sweats to a sleeveless purple button-down top, black shorts and flat sandals. As they walked to his car, he said, “Oh, and this does not count as the dinner I promised you.” He unlocked the doors by remote and held it open for her.

“Speaking of that, since this isn’t really a date or anything, I’ll pay for my own food. You’ve done so much already.”

“I don’t think so.” He closed the door, got in on the other side and started the engine.

Brandon slanted her a sidelong glance. “Date or no date, you’re not paying.” He pulled out of the lot and onto the road. A few minutes into the ride, he looked over and saw her tightly set features. Was she mad because he wouldn’t allow her to pay? When he started dating, his father had drilled into his and his brother’s heads how they should treat a woman—always open doors, stand when she enters the room and never expect her to pay when you take her out. Brandon had taken those instructions to heart and didn’t see that changing anytime soon. But he didn’t want her angry with him, either. “Are you mad?”

Faith turned his way. “I haven’t decided.”

“What does that mean?”

“I’m not real fond of the whole bossy thing, but it’s kind of flattering to be with a man who seems to be a throwback to the era where men didn’t want women to pay for dates.”

“You think I’m a throwback?”

“Maybe, but you’re definitely bossy.”

Brandon laughed. “Yeah, well, I already acknowledged that part. And after almost thirty-four years, I don’t think it’ll change.”

She laughed. “Yep, you’re pretty much set in your ways.”

He started to ask her age, but gathered from what she had told him that she was thirty. “So, do you know what you want to eat?”

“No. What do you have a taste for?”

She’d asked the question so innocently, and what he wanted to answer was anything but. Yes, he had a taste for something, more like a craving, really. He wanted more of her sweet kisses, to trail his hands and lips over her smooth-as-silk skin and…

He cleared his throat and shifted in his seat. “Oh, nothing specific. There are several restaurants a few miles up the road, I’m sure we can find something.”