Rule's Obsession

By: Lynda Chance


"You screwed it up. It looks like shit."

"That's bullshit. Is that your lame excuse for coming here to see me?"

He raised a single eyebrow. "What if it was?"

"I'd say you're stalking me then."

He studied her as if trying to delve inside her thoughts. "That's not the reason I'm here. But you do need to fix my hair."

"Whatever."

"I'm serious, sweetheart."

"I'm not your sweetheart. Don't call me sweet--"

He spit out a laugh that contained no humor. "Who the hell would want you for a sweetheart? I'm sure nobody could ever trust you enough to fall asleep around you. You'd probably drive a stake through their damn heart."

Angie couldn't decide if he was just plain rude or over-the-top, obnoxiously rude. She could definitely see a gleam of sexual heat in his eyes, no matter what he said. She opted for the response that wouldn't give him an opening into what she figured he really wanted from her. "Fuck you."

A deadly stillness came over his form and his mouth flattened while his eyes lit up. "Bring it on, baby."

A wave of heat rolled down her spine, but she immediately ignored it. If this was a come-on, it was one unlike any she'd ever come up against. "In your dreams, Mister. Go away."

"I'm not going anywhere until you agree to fix my goddamn hair."

She sighed in resignation. "Okay, fine. Come in on Friday and I'll fix it."

"I need it fixed by tomorrow morning."

"Well, that's a problem because I don't work again until Friday."

"You can fix it tonight. Right now. We can go back to my condo."

Her stomach clenched tightly and her fragile control almost snapped but she held it together. "You've got to be kidding me. After you just threatened me?"

He took immediate exception to that and stood to his full height, the aura of casualness leaving his stance. "How the hell did I threaten you?"

"What was all that bullshit about strangers and harm and it being dark outside?"

"They weren't threats for God's sake, it was concern," the words were ripped impatiently from his throat.

"Concern?"

He raised a single, arrogant eyebrow. "You think you're bullet-proof, darling? Has it occurred to you that you might attract unwanted attention in that get-up?"

He glanced away and looked around the parking lot before leveling his gaze on her once again. Who was this guy who thought he could give his opinion on how she lived her life? She tried to temper her response. "We're in a safe neighborhood. Nothing's going to happen."

He shook his head with a pained expression but changed the subject. "I need to talk to you."

Finally. Now they were getting somewhere. She knew this wasn't about his damn hair. "About?"

"I don't want to discuss it here. You want to go somewhere else?"

She'd give him a minute of her time because he'd been coming to the salon for a long time, but go somewhere with him? "Um, not really."

"Look, I don't mean you any harm, but I need a favor."

Okay, now that sounded a bit too intriguing to ignore, even for Angie. "A favor?"

"Yeah," he answered curtly.

Angie studied him a moment, trying to take his measure. When she answered him, she opted for a touch of humor. "Something to do with the fact that I give an outstanding haircut?"

A look hardened his features. "No. Something to do with the fact that even though you're wearing skull-themed bling and purple lipstick, you still look completely fuckable."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"I said you look fuckable--"

"I heard you the first time, dude. You're not making any sense and causing offense isn't going to get you anywhere."

His eyes hardened, a darkly sexual look coming to the fore. "I don't mean any offense, but it's the truth. You look like the spawn of Satan."

She lifted her chin and gave him a glare. "Thanks for noticing, but that doesn't explain anything."

His gaze slid down her body before lifting to her face again. "You're appropriate for what I need because you're the epitome of inappropriate."

Angie couldn't keep her confusion from coming through. "Huh?"

"You look like the devil's daughter and yet you're sexy as fuck. Absolutely inappropriate for a man like me."

"Right." Angie drew out the word on a breath, a tiny curl of both excitement and disappointment coiling in her belly. "I admit I'm a little out of my element here." She sucked in a breath. "I don't know what the hell you want, I don't even know your last name, but I'm pretty damn sure you're insulting me."

"I don't mean to be insulting." He paused a moment, contemplating her. "We're from two different worlds--"

"Yeah, and I think we need to keep it that way," Angie answered shortly.

He continued as if he'd never been interrupted, "It would be totally believable that I'd be unable to resist you." His eyes ran over her once again and when they rose to hers, she saw a warning reflected there. "Totally false, but nonetheless, believable." He pushed away from where he stood and took the five steps that separated them, holding out his hand.