Rule's ObsessionBy: Lynda Chance
Damian shut his eyes for a moment in temporary defeat. The life insurance she spoke of had only been enough to pay off the loans that had been called in the day after his father's death. It hadn't put a dent in the rest of the debt. They'd barely had enough to pay for the funeral, and the amount of business debt that had been left after the insurance had dried up had been staggering to him and his brothers. It would have been so much easier for them to walk away from it all, to start a new business from scratch. But they'd manned up, and together had decided to take on the debt and to rebuild the family business from the ground up.
But his mother would never understand. She continued to believe that they'd been left a fortune, and she probably would until the day she died. And it was their fault. They'd worked their asses off, and in the beginning, put everything they had into making sure their mother and the girls never had any hardships.
It was time to try a new approach with her. If telling her that he wasn't interested in Courtney in a romantic way wasn't enough to convince her, then he'd have to bring out the big guns and prove it to her another way.
He'd have to show her.
Putting a long and stressful day behind her, Angie walked out of the salon and made her way across the parking lot toward her car. There was one thing she craved more than anything: a hot bubble bath. Her muscles were sore and her feet were screaming at her to sit.
Digging her keys from her purse, she hooked the strap across her chest and was almost to her car when she glanced back up. Her steps immediately faltered as she recognized the tall man lounging against a vehicle parked next to hers, directly next to her driver's side door. Over six feet of muscle-packed male leaned against the gleaming black Mercedes as if he owned the world and everything in it.
She recognized him immediately, of course. The air became lodged in her throat at the same moment she realized butterflies were going crazy in her stomach.
When she refused to come any closer, the Devil Incarnate stood to his full height and raised an arrogant eyebrow as he challenged her, "Now what are you going to do?"
Biting the inside of her cheek, Angie crossed her arms over her chest defensively. "What do you mean by that?"
"Look around you, sweetheart. It's pitch-black and there's no one around. What if I were a stranger who meant you harm?" His eyes blazed, shooting arrows of flame. "What the fuck would you do? Those ridiculous little razor-blade earrings wouldn't help you."
Angie took a moment to calm her racing heartbeat as she studied him. It was evening, but it was far from pitch-black; the parking lot was well lit and although his purpose for being here was dubious, she didn't think he meant her any bodily harm. "Maybe I have a gun," she dared him caustically.
He lifted his eyes heavenward as if she didn't have a working brain cell in her head and then glared at her again. "Do you have a gun?"
Of course she didn't have a gun. "Are you a stranger who means to do me harm?" She shot back, repeating his words to him, wanting only to get to the bottom of why he was accosting her like this.
"If I were, honey, you'd be in the trunk of my car by now."
Angie saw his hand swing out as he indicated the sleek black vehicle he'd been leaning against.
She let out a controlled breath and tightened her arms over her chest. "What do you want, exactly?"
For mere seconds, the look he gave her was raw; it held a sexual sizzle that produced a masculine scowl and then his features went blank and his eyes became hooded. "You screwed up my hair."
And he waited so long to complain about it? She stood up straighter and took immediate offense. "I damn sure didn't."
"You always cuss for no reason?" he questioned hotly, as if grilling her were his supreme right.
"Only when I fucking feel like it," she slammed back, trying to piss him off but not really sure of the reason why.
His nostrils flared and his gaze dropped to her breasts and then to the vee between her legs. The moment began to feel surreal to Angie as he watched her as if he wanted to find the closest horizontal surface and shove her down onto it. All she could do was try to control the trembling in her legs and moderate the oxygen she pushed in and out of her lungs. After an abbreviated silence, he asked, "You always wear black?"
Angie sucked in a breath at the blatantly sexual look on his face and retaliated quickly, "You always hit up on women you barely know?"
"Only when I want to fuck them, and I'm not hitting up on you," he answered succinctly, animosity dripping from his voice.
Her eyes flared at the intended insult and then she narrowed her gaze on him. "You're crude. Get away from my car and go the fuck away."
He seemed to ignore the observation about his character and went back to the subject of the cut she'd given him. "Look what you did to my hair." He turned until his profile was in her direct line of vision.
She couldn't see anything wrong with his hair from where she stood. It was damn perfect, just like the rest of him. He had broad shoulders sitting atop a lean body, a chiseled face with a bone structure so masculine that she had to swallow before she could form an answer. "What's wrong with it?"