Authors: Delaney Diamond
Tags: #seattle, #billionaire, #friends to lovers, #family series
Trenton muttered something incoherent and
pumped his hips even harder. Alannah bit down on her lip and balled
her hands on the pillows, lowering her shoulders and readying for
the climax already winding its way through her loins. When her body
exploded, she cried out in a loud voice and arched her back at a
very sharp angle. Seconds later, using long, powerful strokes,
Trenton ejaculated with a guttural groan and swore into her
Collapsing beside her, Trenton dragged
Alannah into his arms. His shallow breaths disturbed her tangled
hair, and his arm rested loosely around her waist.
“Trent,” she whispered, reaching back for
him. She curled her arm around his neck.
“I’m right here, Lana.” He shifted a muscular
thigh over hers and pressed his lips to her shoulder. “I’m right
Alannah curled up
against Trenton, fitting to his body like a soft, malleable
“Those jeans you had on tonight.” He sighed.
“You’re gonna have me getting in all kinds of fights dressing the
way you do.”
“That would not be wise. You’ll be hit with a
bunch of lawsuits.”
“Stop dressing that way, then.”
“Behave. They’re just clothes.”
“To you, they’re just clothes. To a man,
they’re the gateway to a vivid imagination.” He idly ran his
fingers up and down the arm she had thrown across his torso.
“Definitely can’t let Gavin ever see you in those jeans or anything
else remotely tight-fitting.” His older brother was off in South
America, living the daredevil life he loved so much.
“He said something about you at Ivy and
Lucas’s engagement party.”
“What did he say?”
“He paid you a compliment. I can’t really
remember what he said.”
She tweaked his nipple and he flinched,
pretending that it hurt. “Tell me what he said, or next time I’ll
do it harder.”
“He said he always thought you were kind of
“Gavin thinks I’m cute?” She rose up on an
elbow. “Even with the way I used to dress?”
“Don’t sound so happy.”
“Why’re you smiling, then?”
“Am I?” She bit down on her lip.
“Yes,” Trenton said, scowling.
“That’s not a surprised face, that’s a happy
“Okay, fine, I’m flattered.”
“I’m definitely keeping you two apart,” he
She settled against his shoulder again.
“Hee-hee, Gavin thinks I’m hot.”
“Nobody said anything about you being hot.
Just because you have a luscious ass, tasty nipples, and you’re
beautiful inside and out, doesn’t make you hot.”
Alannah shifted her gaze up so she could see
his face, and he looked down at her. A sweet smile came across her
face. “Thank you,” she said.
Trenton squeezed her tighter and brushed his
thumb across her bottom lip. “It’s true. You’re beautiful, Alannah.
I can’t believe you ever doubted that.” He briefly pressed his
mouth to hers and then settled back against the pillows.
Alannah laced her fingers between his. “You
weren’t very nice to Connor. I can’t believe you made him
“Trent, I have to face him at work.”
“So what? You have nothing to be embarrassed
about. He’s the one who should be embarrassed. He let another man
intimidate him into leaving a woman he’s interested in.”
“You really believe he was wrong for letting
that happen, don’t you?”
“Your point is…?”
She huffed. “Never mind.”
“What?” Trenton watched her pluck a loose
thread in the sheet.
“I don’t have anything else to say.”
“Not true. You want to say something
She ran a fingertip along the circumference
of the sun on his chest. “Why do you dislike Connor so much? He’s a
really nice guy, and he never did anything to you.”
“Wrong. He did do something to me. Or he
“When?” She lifted her head off his shoulder.
“You don’t even know him.”
Trenton swung his head in her direction and
his gaze held hers. “Connor did the worst thing possible. He almost
came between us. He and I will never be friends.” He spoke in an
austere, succinct manner, to make sure she understood he meant
Alannah rested her head back on his shoulder.
“So you don’t want me to see Connor. Is it just him?”
“I don’t want you seeing anybody else but
She didn’t respond for a full minute, but he
felt the stillness in her body. “And what are you going to do?” she
“I’m not seeing anybody else either.”
“Not even Beth?”
Trenton tipped her chin up with his finger,
forcing her to look him in the eye. “Beth who?”
They went to a late dinner at The Best Thai
Restaurant, and after they arrived back at Alannah’s townhouse,
Trenton walked in with her. Reluctant to leave, he held her in the
middle of the living room, one hand on each butt cheek, their
“I need to go,” he said.
Alannah groaned. “No.” She tightened her arms
around the trunk of his body and pressed her cheek against his
“Yes.” He patted her bottom. “I’m going to
Mother’s tomorrow for dinner. You coming?”
“I can,” she said into his shirt, still
sounding unhappy and holding him just as tightly.
“You want me to pick you up?”
He brushed his lips across her brow and then
walked to the door, pulling her behind him. He turned at the door.
“You’re good, right?”
“Yes.” She nodded.
“I took care of your needs tonight? You’re
straight? You no longer need to get the edge off?”
She blushed. “No, I’m fine now.”
“Cause if you want, we could do a quickie
before I leave.”
Alannah’s eyes widened. “Trent.”
“I’m serious. You want me to go down on you
right now?” He stepped closer.
“No!” She laughed shakily. “It’s not
“You sure? Because I’ll do it. I’ll do it
right now.” He dropped his gaze to her hips and licked his lips
before lifting his eyes to her face again. She blushed harder. So
, I’m fine. Thanks for the offer,
but I’m good. You handled your business earlier.”
“Okay, I just want to make sure you’re
straight. I’ll see you tomorrow, then, okay?”
She nodded and he left after stealing one
Alannah closed the door on Trenton and
couldn’t help the broad smile that spread across her lips. She
leaned against the wood, listening for his departure. Two firm
knocks made her jump back.
“Hit the deadbolt.”
She slid the bolt into place. “Happy now?”
she called out, pretending to be annoyed. She rested her forehead
against the cool surface of the pine.
He didn’t answer right away. Four, maybe five
“Very happy,” he said, voice thick and
coarse. The same way hers would sound if she dared speak right now.
She waited and sensed when he’d moved. Then she heard the truck
start and he drove away.
Grinning, Alannah went into the kitchen and
put the flowers he brought into a vase she found in a downstairs
closet. They looked beautiful sitting on the counter, and in the
morning they’d be a nice sight as she ate breakfast.
She couldn’t believe Trenton had actually set
foot inside a flower shop and picked out flowers. Carnations, no
less. Her favorite. She shook her head in disbelief.
Then she went upstairs to change her moist
Alannah was fixing a bowl of cereal when the phone rang. Angel
popped her head up from the water bowl.
“Who could that be?” she asked the dog, who
in turn barked an answer.
She set the milk and cereal on the counter,
picked up the phone, and let out a little squeal when she saw the
name on the screen. “Hey, Jill!”
Jill was a friend from college and they
hadn’t spoken in a long time. They’d both been science majors, and
while Alannah had remained in Seattle, Jill had accepted a position
at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
“Hi, Alannah! How are you?” They engaged in a
bit of small talk, catching up on the latest with jobs and family
before Jill explained the reason for the call. “A couple of months
ago, my supervisor mentioned that Emory University Hospital and
Georgia Tech are forming a research coalition. At the time, he
didn’t mention what it was, but I recently found out the coalition
is a done deal. They’re going to combine the knowledge of the
hospital’s biomedical research students and engineering students
from Georgia Tech. The goal is to—get this—look into making
affordable, artificial organs and limbs that are accepted into the
Jill’s voice heightened with excitement the
more she talked. “The students do all the work, but they need
program managers to supervise them—people with actual practical
experience to provide guidance. I immediately thought of you and
the work you’re doing. Alannah, this is an amazing opportunity.
Without an advanced degree, you’ve probably gone as far as you can
go at DymoGenesis. But here, you’d be a supervisor, and the
starting pay for a new program manager is in the high six figures.
The project has already received funding for five years.”
Alannah dropped onto one of the chairs at the
bar. “Wow, this does sound like an amazing opportunity.” By getting
in on the ground floor, she’d have the opportunity to move up as
the program grew.
. What do you think?”
“I um…I guess I could look into it.”
“You don’t sound excited. Aren’t you
“But…? I thought you’d be
“I don’t have the job yet.” Alannah laughed,
though her friend was right. She should express more enthusiasm
about the potential position. “I don’t want to get my hopes
“I understand, but I think you’d be perfect
for it. You have expertise in the exact same field.”
“True.” Alannah gnawed on her lip.
She thought about her relationship with
Trenton. They’d been seeing each other exclusively over the past
two months. Trenton continued to be extremely attentive, making a
point of coming up to her job once a week to eat lunch. Depending
on how much time he could spare, they ate in the cafeteria or
walked to one of the neighboring eateries for sandwiches.
If she applied for and got the job, she’d
have to leave Seattle…and him.
“Tell you what,” Jill went on, “in a few
minutes I’ll text the link to where you can look at the details and
the requirements for the program manager position. I’ll also
include the name of my supervisor. If you’re interested and apply,
use her name as a reference. Okay?”
They chatted for a few minutes more. After
they hung up, Alannah sat and stared at the phone until her friend
texted the details. When she did, she went right to the link and
reviewed the education and work experience requirements.
Jill was right. With her background, she was
a perfect fit for the position. It was as if the job description
had been written with her in mind.
She rushed upstairs to get her laptop and
then sat down at the kitchen counter to fill out the application.
Once she’d answered all the questions and uploaded her résumé, she
hesitated for a few seconds, the icon hovering over SUBMIT. Then,
taking a deep breath, she clicked the button.
“Just to see what happens,” she told
The front door opened and Alannah looked up
to see Trenton appear in the doorway wearing a pair of distressed
jeans and a burnt-orange shirt. He had the sleeves rolled up to
right below his elbow, exposing the tats that circled his muscular
She tapped off the job website and closed the
laptop. “What are you doing here? Miss me already?”
Last night she’d had dinner at Canlis fine
dining restaurant with him, Ivy and her fiancé, Cyrus and his wife
Daniella, and Constance Johnson, their mother. They’d enjoyed a
delicious five-course meal in one of the private rooms, with views
of Lake Union and the Cascade Mountains in the distance.
He marched over and dropped a kiss on her
mouth. “Get dressed. We need to catch a flight in one hour.”
“Whoa. Where are we going?”
“New York.” He wore an excited grin, which
only heightened her curiosity about the out-of-the-blue trip.
“I can’t go to New York. I have to work in
the morning, and you’re supposed to be on your way to Colorado for
the beer festival.” They’d already said their goodbyes when he left
her townhouse this morning. He’d be gone for an entire week.
“I’ll have the pilot drop me off in Colorado
on the way back from New York, and you’ll make it back in time for
work in the morning.”
Alannah laughed. He’d thought of everything.
Holding up her hands, she said, “Slow down. What is this
His features bright and animated, Trenton
shook his head. “Can’t tell you. It’s a surprise.”
“Okay, but…” Her eyes dropped to her dog.
Angel hadn’t barked or even growled once when Trenton showed up. In
fact, she hadn’t in weeks. Odd. “What about Angel? The kennel’s not
open on Sunday.”
He shrugged. “Can your friend Terri watch
her? Or I can get Ivy or Cyrus to take her overnight.”
She jabbed a fist onto one hip. “What is this
“I told you, it’s a surprise.”
“And I told you, no more gifts.”
He’d been spoiling her so much that she’d had
to demand he stop giving her gifts—jewelry, clothes, flowers. While
flattering, she’d been overwhelmed by the flood of presents. In
some ways, she thought he was trying to buy her love and
forgiveness, and the truth was, it wasn’t necessary.