Read Just Friends Online

Authors: Delaney Diamond

Tags: #seattle, #billionaire, #friends to lovers, #family series

Just Friends (21 page)

BOOK: Just Friends
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“This is different. You’re going to really,
really want it. I promise.” He was grinning so hard, some of the
excitement started to rub off on her.

“You’re spoiling me,” she said.

His happy grin turned affectionate and his
eyes softened on her. “Is that such a bad thing?”

“No, I guess not.”

“Do you trust me?” he asked.

She looked into his eyes. “Yes, I trust
you.”

“Good. The plane is gassed and waiting for
us. Now you need to get ready.” He grabbed her by the hand and
hauled her from the kitchen.

****

“I can’t believe I had dinner with Simon
Yam.” Alannah squeezed Trenton’s hand and released a low-volume
squeal.

A lace wrap protected her bare shoulders from
the cool September air. She wore a strapless Donna Karan dress in
navy blue and an understated gold and diamond necklace with
matching earrings, and had twisted her hair into a loose topknot.
Trenton looked delicious in a jacket, white shirt, and no tie.

Their seafood dinner had probably been tasty,
but Alannah couldn’t remember much about it because she’d been so
enthralled by the popular actor. He’d appeared in dozens of films,
including one of her favorite thrillers,
The Thieves
.
Despite all his complaints about having to read the subtitles of
the foreign films, Trenton had been paying attention.

“Simon Sweet Potato is all right,” he
said.

Alannah punched his arm. “Simon
Yam
.
And he’s wonderful,” she said. The actor had been very gracious and
immediately put her at ease with his laid-back, funny
conversation.

“I swear you have a crush on this guy. You
were giving him googly eyes, and I was sitting right there.”

Alannah giggled, blushing. “I was not.”

“Yeah, you were.” Instead of being angry or
jealous, he grinned down at her, clearly pleased with the execution
of the surprise.

She leaned into his side, tilting her head to
gaze up at him. “How did you arrange this?”

“One of my frat brothers works at the hotel
where he’s staying, and I’d mentioned in passing how much you liked
him and his movies. He was able to get in touch with him and
mentioned what a big fan you were.” Trenton shrugged.

Alannah gazed up at his profile. “I don’t
think it was that simple. No doubt you name-dropped who you were
and your family, etc.”

“I might have mentioned that to his handler.”
His eyes found hers and he hooked an arm around her neck, pulling
her closer and tweaking her freckled nose. She wrinkled it at him
and he pressed his lips to her temple, causing her to melt against
his muscled frame, relishing the easy affection of the kiss.

A black SUV with tinted windows pulled up,
but instead of waiting for the driver to come around, Trenton
opened the back door. Alannah slid onto the seat and he followed
behind. As they pulled away from the curb, she sidled up beside him
and rested her head on his shoulder.

“Can a brother get some room?” he said.

Alannah lifted her head. “Oh, a brother wants
some room?” She made a big show of moving away, but Trenton wasn’t
having it. He dragged her back across the seat and pulled her onto
his lap.

“This is dangerous,” she said, even though
she settled her head on his shoulder. “I should be wearing a
seatbelt.”

“I’ll keep you safe.” He closed his arms
around her and began to gently rub her back.

“I’m on cloud nine right now,” Alannah
murmured. She played with a button on his shirt. “You’re always
doing such nice things for me.”

“You deserve it,” he said quietly. His hand
continued to rub a soothing path up and down her spine.

They remained in the same position, not
speaking again until they arrived at the airfield and had to board
the private jet. Once they were seated beside each other in the
plush leather seats, Alannah reached for his hand.

“Thank you,” she said softly.

She saw how much pleasure expressing her
appreciation brought him by the way his smile brightened.

“I love you,” he said, those three words
summing up why he’d gone to all the trouble to arrange this
spur-of-the-moment trip.

She ached to say the words back to him, but
instead settled for simply resting her head on his shoulder—strong
and comfortable, and her favorite spot in the world.

She’d told him she loved him so many times in
the past, but now that they were a couple, she was afraid to say
the words. Because she wouldn’t just be telling him that she loved
him. She’d be telling him that she was
in
love with him, and
expressing those feelings—at least while sober—scared her.

“Tired?” Trenton asked. She nodded. “Me too.
Let’s go lie down.”

They walked back to the small bedroom, which
included a minibar, a TV screen built into a recessed square of the
wall, and two chairs on either side of a foldable table that was
bolted to the wall.

Trenton sat on the bed and slid his hands
under her dress and up her thighs.

“I thought you were tired,” she said, as heat
circled her core.

“I was, and then you started rubbing all on
me.”

“I was not.” She giggled and pushed him, but
he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her close enough to kiss
her belly through the dress.

“You wearing the lingerie I bought you?” he
whispered.

“Yes.”

“You too tired to…?” He raised a brow, and
let the question dangle in the middle of the room.

“No.”

“Then let me see.”

Alannah reached behind her and unzipped the
back of the dress. Once undone, it slid into a puddle at her feet.
She stood in a bronze strapless bra and panties, both made of
satin. He’d chosen them for her, along with a slew of others.

Closing her eyes, she preened under the
caress of his hands as they moved slowly up and down the curve of
her waist, warming her skin with his gentle touch. Then he kissed
her belly button, and in response, her stomach tightened like a
coiled spring. She took in a deep breath by mouth and ran her
fingers over his head.

His tongue traced a circle around her navel
and along the line of the panties. “Love you so much,” he
whispered. The words seemed torn from him, as he gripped her bottom
and squeezed.

Trenton dragged her down on top of him and
they enjoyed a hungry, moist kiss. She felt him harden against her
thigh and reached down to massage the stiff length of him through
his slacks. He moaned, grasping the back of her neck and pushing
his tongue past her lips to deepen the kiss.

Alannah unbuttoned his shirt and kissed his
throat and chest. Everything about him thrilled and excited her—the
golden hue of his skin, the smooth hardness of his body, the way he
tasted, even the way he smelled. She could never, ever get enough
of Trenton.

She lifted her head and looked down into his
handsome face. “I want to be on top.”

The green of his eyes darkened and he smiled
at her. She smiled back and lowered her head so she could enjoy his
luscious mouth again.

****

Before the descent into Colorado, they’d be
able to take a few hours’ nap.

Lying facing each other, Trenton had his arm
thrown across Alannah’s waist. She stared at his closed eyes. Even
though the festival in Colorado only lasted four days, he’d be gone
for an entire week because of the parties and other events taking
place around the event. JBC had a big day of grilling and giveaways
planned, and the rest of the week he and the reps would be busy,
which meant he couldn’t talk to her much while there.

Once again, she thought about the job in
Atlanta. If offered, could she accept a position across the
country, away from Trenton? She didn’t think she could. They hadn’t
even separated for the week yet, and she already missed him.

The truth was, she didn’t want a job in
Atlanta or anywhere else, for that matter. Not when it meant she’d
have to be apart from him.

She touched his face, where tiny bristles had
already emerged to roughen his cheek. “I love you,” she said
quietly.

Although relieved to finally admit her
feelings, Alannah experienced the fear and worry of laying bare
herself to the one person who could tear her heart in two. A tear
slid from the corner of her eye, rolled over her nose, and dripped
onto the pillow.

Trenton opened his eyes. Seeing her tear, he
lifted a finger and swiped the remnants of it from the bridge of
her nose. “Thank you,” he said, his voice as quiet as hers.

She smiled and he smiled back. But there was
something else underlying the bass in his voice. Something she
couldn’t quite define at that moment.

Only later, hauled into oblivion by the ropes
of sleep, did her subconscious comprehend what she hadn’t been able
to grasp. It wasn’t that he’d said the words thank you, but how
he’d said them. The realization tugged at her heart.

He’d sounded so deeply…
grateful
.

 

Chapter Twenty-six

Alannah sat at Terri’s
station at the spa, fingers spread out on the table. Terri shook
the bottle of nail polish, a color somewhere between pink and
lavender. Alannah had already had a facial, all in preparation for
Trenton’s return.

“I thought the two of you were close before,
but now that you’re a couple, you’re practically inseparable.”
Terri spread the polish over the first nail. “I can’t believe you
survived a week without him.”

“I can’t either,” Alannah said. She giggled
when Terri shook her head. “I don’t think I’ve ever been
happier.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you happier.”
Terri was quiet as she finished the first coat. “So when will you
see Mr. Loverman?”

“He flies in this afternoon, but he has to
stop at his mother’s first. He’s going to check on his brother,
Gavin.”

Terri looked up. “He’s the one who had the
accident rock climbing in the Andes?”

“That’s the one.”

Terri shook her head and resumed painting
Alannah’s nails. “It’s like he has a death wish.”

Alannah didn’t comment. She knew better than
to share any information about the Johnsons with anyone, even her
good friend. If she could speak about it, she’d tell Terri that
Gavin’s family didn’t approve of his thrill-seeking exploits at
all. After her conversation with Trenton, she had a feeling things
were about to change for Gavin.

“Okay, all done.” Terri closed the
bottle.

Alannah spread her fingers and observed her
friend’s handiwork. “Perfect.”

Terri tilted her head. “Your skin is glowing
and you’re smiling all the time. This relationship agrees with
you.”

“I think finally getting what I want agrees
with me. But sometimes…” She sighed. “I know I’m being ridiculous,
but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

Terri frowned. “What do you mean?”

“Some crazy ex-girlfriend, a baby mama, or
he’ll do something. I dunno.” She examined her hands. “It’s too
perfect. I’m waiting for something to happen to screw it up.”

“Nothing’s going to happen. That’s crazy
talk.”

Alannah gave her friend a wry smile. “You’re
right. What am I thinking? We’re in a good place. What could
possibly happen now?”

****

Trenton walked through his mother’s house and
into the living room, right on time to hear Cyrus tear into Gavin,
who sat in a wheelchair with his right leg stretched out in a cast.
There was a brace below his knee on the other leg because of a
minor injury he’d sustained to his ankle in his fall in the
Andes.

Xavier, the second oldest, who’d recently
moved back to Seattle to train under Cyrus, sat on the arm of the
sofa with his arms crossed, brows drawn down over his eyes. He
looked more polished than Trenton had seen him in years, wearing a
charcoal suit and with his long dreadlocks pulled back into a
ponytail. He’d begun working directly with Cyrus to take over the
day-to-day of the entire Johnson Enterprises conglomerate, and he
certainly looked the part of a chief operations officer in
training.

“Maybe you get a kick out of risking your
life and getting busted up, but none of us want to see that.” Cyrus
stood over Gavin in a Brioni tuxedo, face tight and voice loud and
booming, more reminiscent of their father than Trenton had ever
seen him. Cyrus normally remained calm no matter the situation, so
seeing him overwrought was unusual. “Mother wants you in Seattle,
and you’re going to stay here, and that’s final.”

Cyrus’s pregnant wife, Daniella, stood beside
him in a dark blue designer evening gown, hair swept up in an
elegant style and diamonds around her neck. She placed a calming
hand on her husband’s shoulder and he stepped back, his mouth tight
with frustration.

Ivy stood on the other side of Cyrus. “Gavin,
why do you want to leave? You’re in no condition to travel. Mother
wants you to stay, and while you’re here, you have servants and
Adelina at your disposal.”

“I don’t want to be here. Can’t you people
understand that?” Irritation vibrated in Gavin’s voice.

“While you’re here, you can recuperate under
a good doctor’s care—the best money can buy,” Ivy pointed out.

“The United States is not the only country
with good doctors. I can get excellent medical care in other parts
of the world.” Gavin’s gaze rested on all of them in turn. “I know
you guys mean well, but what am I supposed to do for the next
couple of months if I stay here?”

“Get a hobby,” Cyrus said.

“Without two functional legs?” Gavin looked
up at Xavier. “Come on, Xavier. Tell them. They’re being
ridiculous.”

Xavier shook his head. “I’m with Ivy and
Cyrus on this one. And anyway, what can you do without two
functional legs in another country?”

Gavin sent a silent plea to Trenton with his
eyes, but Trenton went to stand with the others. “I agree with
them. Besides, it’s what Mother wants.” Constance Johnson always
got her way.

BOOK: Just Friends
5.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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