Read Offside Online

Authors: Juliana Stone

Tags: #contemporary romance, #sports romance, #small town romance, #adult contemporary romance

Offside (20 page)

BOOK: Offside
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Logan smiled, but it was a cool, frosty one.
“Good guess.”

She shrugged. “It’s where you take all your
girls, isn’t it?”

Billie’s face flushed as red as the scarlet
runner along the hardwood floors. That was a barbed reminder that
she was only one of many women Logan had dated. And this wasn’t
even a date. It was a…she wasn’t even sure what the hell it was but
Billie was starting to think the entire night was nothing but a
big, fat, mistake.

“I’ve never taken you there,” Logan answered

“And you never will,” Bobbi quipped. She
pursed her lips for a moment and then surprised them all. “How’s

Logan arched a brow. “Why don’t you ask him
yourself?” He didn’t wait for a reply but turned to Billie. “Are
you ready?”


“Yes,” she said quietly.

Logan opened the front door and waited for
her to join him. “Let’s go.”



The ride into the city took just under half
an hour—a half an hour of stilted conversation and awkward silence
that was only broken when Logan flipped a CD into the player. The
smooth sounds of “Matchbox Twenty” filled the dead space and he
relaxed a little.

His night had barely begun and already things
were unraveling. First off, Billie looked too damn good. Holy.
Hell. It was enough to make him forget about his plans. His need to
get her out of his system for good. His need to make her pay.

On what planet should a guy like him be stuck
in such close confines with a woman whose hair was so long and
silky, he was dying to sink his hands into it? And her sweater,
shit. He had to wonder just how in hell it stayed in place, what
with her shoulders bare. Paired with slinky jeans that cupped her
ass in a way that made his mouth water, she was something else. And
then she’d pulled out the big guns by wearing a pair of shiny,
black, come-fuck-me heels.

What. The. Hell.

But it was the sadness in her eyes that got
to him. She tried to hide it but it was there.

The tense atmosphere in her house and the
animosity between Billie and her sister was palpable and Christ,
her father couldn’t be the easiest person to deal with either. His
mouth tightened when he thought of Trent’s derogatory comments to
his daughter. His insinuations.

He glanced over to her and felt something
twist inside him. Her hands were balled in her lap, little fists of
tension, and her shoulders were rigid. Her long hair covered her
face and though he couldn’t be sure, was that a sniffle he

When Logan pulled into the parking lot of the
Twisted Lemon, he’d already come to the conclusion that there was
no way in hell he could go through with his original plan—the one
where he bedded and discarded Billie.

He wasn’t that that guy. He could never be
that guy.

He put his truck into park, though he didn’t
cut the engine. For a moment he said nothing. He stared out into
the night, at the shadows cast from his headlights against brick.
At the couple walking into the Twisted Lemon holding hands. At the
small cat scrounging for food at the edge of the parking lot.

And then he spoke.

“We don’t have to do this if you don’t want

For a moment there was silence, broken only
by Rob Thomas’s mournful lyrics, a sad lament for something

And I don’t know how, to get it back,
to good

“I don’t want to go home,” she said

Logan glanced over to her and damn if he
didn’t feel like he was punched in the gut at the look in her eyes.
His physical response to this woman was insane.

“Okay,” he said softly and then he cut the

Chapter Nineteen



The Twisted Lemon was one of those treasures
that you find by accident. A few years back, he’d been in the city
with his parents and they were to meet friends at another
restaurant down the way, but it had been full. By chance they’d
ended up a new place that had just opened—The Twisted Lemon.

It was a wonderful eatery with a great
location near the water, and more importantly, great ambiance.
Located in an old factory that had been renovated into a new life,
with a market, bakery and sweets shop, the Twisted Lemon had become
an instant hit. The décor was very European, subtle and beautiful,
with bold strokes of color on the walls, to compliment the simple
tables and rich flooring.

The owner, a small Frenchman by the name of
Andrew, greeted him at the door.

“Ah, Logan. It’s been a while. Why you not
visiting us these last few months?” his accent was heavy, even
though the owner had moved to the US from Canada, nearly two
decades ago.

Logan grinned and shook Andrew’s hand.
“Sorry, I’ve been busy.”

Andrew nodded and grinned at Billie. “A good
busy, my friend.”

Billie blushed, a gentle flush of color he
was beginning to adore.

“And you are?” Andrew bowed and took her

“Billie,” she answered.

Andrew kissed her hand in a grand gesture
that caused many heads to turn. “Charmed.”

Andrew indicated they follow him and Logan
put his hand to Billie’s back as she wove around various tables. It
was a possessive move, one a man used on a woman who belonged to

And it felt totally right. In fact several
men turned as they walked by, their eyes appreciative, and he
fought the urge to go all caveman and tell them to back the hell
off. She was his.

They were seated in a small alcove that
looked out over the water, though with no moon to light the
immediate area, it was dark outside.

Logan ordered a bottle of wine and Andrew
went in search of their waitress. He settled into his chair, loving
how the candlelight did amazing things to her face. It made her
eyes look huge and mysterious, and man, her lips looked like they
needed to be kissed.


Billie looked everywhere except at him, her
fingers twisting around her water glass nervously. “This place is
beautiful,” she said hesitantly.

He nodded. “It is.”

She cleared her throat and took a sip of

“Contrary to what your sister said earlier, I
don’t bring many women here.”

That got her attention. Billie’s eyes
shimmered in the candlelight as she gazed across the table at

“It’s really none of my business,” she

“No, it’s not. But I wanted you to know
that.” He leaned closer. If she kept biting her bottom lip in that
way that she did, it would take a fucking army platoon to get him
off her because he’d jump across the table in an instant and take
what he’d been dreaming about for…forever it seemed.

“In fact, the only woman I’ve ever brought
here has been my mother.”

It was a realization that only dawned on him
as the words fell out of his mouth.

The waitress appeared just then and Logan sat
back, his mind a whirl of thoughts as he politely tried the wine
and agreed with their waitress, Lisa, that the Argentinean
cabernet/sauvignon was indeed, perfect.

After Lisa left them to peruse the menu, he
held his glass aloft and gazed into the eyes that belonged to a
woman who really was the most interesting female he’d ever met. The
fact that he couldn’t figure her out?- It didn’t matter. What did
matter was that he had her all to himself tonight and he was going
to make the most of it.

“To a great night,” he said.

For a moment, Billie was silent, and then she
picked up her glass and nodded, a small smile claiming her lips.
“I’m going to hold you to that, Logan.”

“I’m good with that, but if I don’t deliver,
just so you know, I will be more than happy to try again.”

She laughed—and not a polite I-don’t-want-to-
draw-attention- to-myself, kind of laugh—but a full bodied, reach
down to your toes kind of laugh.

He was entranced. Most women he knew—or at
least the ones he’d dated—spent every minute evaluating their
performance, tilting their head just so, eating like birds,
thinking way too much before answering a simple question. All of it
aimed to present themselves in a better light when, really, if they
were just themselves it would have been so much better. By the time
he got to know the real person behind these women, he was already
bored or just couldn’t be bothered anymore.

Billie took a sip of her wine, and Logan
thought that maybe her laughter was the sweetest sound ever.

“So,” he asked carefully watching her.
“What’s up with you and Connor?”

“Connor?” A slow grin touched her mouth and
she shrugged. “Connor’s a great guy but…”


“He’s not my type.”

“What’s your type?”

“I’ll let you know when I find it.”

Logan sat back, strangely relieved.

More than two hours later, after finishing
their second bottle of wine—most of which Billie drank because he
was driving—she reached across the table and gently touched the
corner of his mouth. Her finger grazed a drizzle of chocolate and
he was mesmerized.

They’d just finished the most decadent
dessert he’d ever eaten—and he wasn’t a sweets kind of guy but
hell, when she practically begged for the triple chocolate
brownie/sundae concoction, how could he say no?

For a second neither one of them said
anything. His heart began a slow, steady beat—one that immediately
went south and woke up his cock. Damn, he shifted in his chair
trying to alleviate the stress between his legs. He was suddenly
hornier than he could ever remember feeling, and well aware that
the female across from him felt the same.

Her mouth was open slightly and he could just
see the tip of her pink tongue. Her chest heaved as the pulse at
the base of her neck told him exactly how hot and bothered she
was—though the luscious nipples that strained against her sweater
wasn’t something she could hide either. They begged for his mouth.
For his hands and tongue and whatever else he could use on

For a second his eyes moved down to what was
left of their dessert. There was still a generous amount of sweet,
chocolate syrup oozing across the plate.

An image of her engorged nipple, encased in
the decadent, sweet chocolate, had him cursing under his breath as
he reached for his wallet.

“We should go,” he said, not sounding at all
in control.

“Hell, yes,” she breathed, not missing a
beat. She grabbed her wine glass and downed the last bit of it
before grabbing her purse.

The sexual tension between them was palpable.
He felt it as if it were a living, breathing thing and for a moment
he had to remind himself that he was in a fine dining
establishment. He couldn’t grab a fist full of her hair—that mane
of silk that had been teasing him all night—and throw her across
the table.

Even if that visual did a whole lot more than
calm him down. Holy hell.

Logan signaled the waitress and handed over
his credit card. While he waited for her to return, he noticed a
couple men at the bar who were staring at Billie as if she was on
the menu. He stood and moved toward her—again where the hell was
this caveman thing coming from?—and was glad when he spied their
waitress with his receipt.

He wasn’t in the mood to bust anyone’s chops,
but he sure as hell didn’t like the way the men were staring at his

Logan guided Billie out the door, his body
hot and tight. He didn’t know what exactly the next few hours held
because he knew his original plan—the one that called for him to
bed Billie and then hopefully exorcise her from his head—wasn’t
going to work.

No way did he want that to work.

He wanted her in his bed all right, but he
was kind of seeing it as more of a permanent thing. And that was
crazy. This was Billie. Billie-Jo Barker.

Betty’s sister.

He’d warned Shane not to get involved with
any of the Barker women and here he was, panting at Billie’s heels
like a dog in heat.

His eyes fell to her ass as she wove through
the tables and said goodbye to Andrew. She kissed the small
Frenchman—on both cheeks—and he shook the man’s hand on his way

Billie was a little unsteady on her feet and
he grabbed her elbow as they walked out into the crisp, October
air. Her coat was on her arm and those gorgeous breasts were still
begging for his mouth, causing another twitch between his legs.

Keep it together Forest, he thought.


They were at his truck.

She clung to his chest and glanced up at
him—every gorgeous inch of her pressed against his body. There was
no way in hell he could hide how he felt and by the look in her
eyes, she knew it.

“I don’t want to go home,” she said

Again, he found himself staring into eyes
that he could lose himself in if he wasn’t careful. Eyes filled
with secrets and desire and—she licked her lips—plain old lust.

“Are you sure?” He watched her closely.

She nodded slowly, though she didn’t say a


Logan opened the door for her and took his
time helping her into the truck—how could he not? Her ass was to
die for.

Once she was safely ensconced in the
passenger seat, he reversed out of the parking lot, kept his gaze
on the road ahead and made it back to New Waterford in record

The light was on in Shane’s loft, but other
than that his place was quiet and dark. He parked in the garage and
held the door open for Billie as she slid from his truck.

He grabbed her hand and tugged her along
after him as they made their way through the dark, up his walkway
and onto the front porch. His breaths were falling fast and hard,
and it was all he could do to get his damn keys out of his pocket
and open the front door.

He knew what was going to happen next and his
entire body was hot and rank with the need to bury himself inside
her. That’s all he could think about. Right or wrong, there you had

BOOK: Offside
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