Home > Waiting for Snow (Sparks in Texas)(5)

Waiting for Snow (Sparks in Texas)(5)
Author: Mari Carr

“You know what I mean,” she attempted to clarify.

Not that it helped.

Porter’s tone was deeper and too knowing when he said, “Yeah. I think I do.”

She decided to take a big step away, unable to talk to Porter about anything even remotely sexual, lest she be tempted to climb over the counter, crawl onto his lap, and beg him for one of his infamous one-night stands. Common sense be damned.

“I don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate your help. Honestly. I’m done in tonight, and the idea of rehashing all the reasons why Nick and I weren’t working out was too exhausting to consider. I’m glad for the reprieve, though I suspect it will be brief when he realizes I’m still very single.”

Porter’s grin faded, replaced by a scowl she couldn’t understand. “You’re not single.”

Adele frowned. “I’m pretty sure I am.”

“Nope. I meant what I said, Addie. You’re my girlfriend.”

She laughed, enjoying the joke. Porter loved to tease her, and he was really milking this one for all it was worth. “Oh yeah?” she said, playing along. “Since when?”

He didn’t even crack a smile, his tone way too serious to be teasing. “Since that first dance last spring.”

Adele gasped, shocked, waiting for him to get to the punch line.

He simply held her gaze, daring her to contradict him again.

“Porter,” she said.

“Take a second, darlin’, and let it sink in.”

Adele was pretty sure she looked like a deer in the highlights, but his low baritone voice and the conviction behind his words had her doing exactly what he told her to despite her better judgment.

She was letting it sink in.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Porter didn’t bother to hide his grin as Adele stared at him. Though her face was expressionless, he could practically imagine the wheels spinning like crazy in her brain.

It hadn’t been his intention to stake his claim tonight—or so assertively—but he didn’t like the change he’d seen in her the last few weeks.

Adele, like her sister, was rarely without a smile, easy to laugh, and always armed with a joke or a funny story. However, while Macie tended to tell everyone every thought she was having as she had it, Adele was more reserved when it came to the personal stuff.

“I’m still waiting for the punch line,” she said.

“I wasn’t telling a joke.” Porter stood up and walked over to the table the Powells just vacated, picking up the plates and glasses and trash. Adele followed him over with a clean dishcloth, wiping down the table while he carried the dirty dishes to the sink. The rest of the restaurant had already been cleaned up, and like Adele, he’d been waiting for the Powells to leave so he could call it a night.

He knew she’d be working the late shift due to Macie coming down with the flu, and he hadn’t liked the idea of her being alone at the restaurant so late even though crime in Maris was practically nonexistent.

She’d called him a vampire earlier and he figured she wasn’t too far from the truth with that. God knew he was starting to feel like one. More and more, he found himself at Sparks Barbeque on the nights Adele was scheduled, staying until close even though he knew he’d pay for it the next day at work.

“Thanks,” she said softly, dropping the dishcloth in the sink. She rinsed the dishes but left them. “Sydney will wash those in the morning. I appreciate you sticking around to help out. You keep this up, we’re going to have to put you on the payroll.”

She laughed, and Porter could tell she was trying to avoid talking about his declaration. He’d told her to let it sink in, but obviously she wasn’t having much luck with that yet.

She’d get there.

Eventually.

He’d make sure of that.

Adele grabbed her coat, smiling almost shyly when he took it from her, helping her put it on before spinning her around to face him and fastening the buttons for her.

“Come on. I’ll walk you home.”

Adele shook her head as she hit the light switch. “It’s only a couple of blocks.”

“I know.” He grasped her hand after she’d locked the door, holding it tightly when it was obvious she intended to pull it back.

“But your truck is parked here.”

“Know that too,” he said.

“Porter, listen—”

“No. I’m gonna need you to listen. We’re going on a date this weekend. You’re off on Saturdays, right?”

She nodded slowly.

“Fine. I’ll pick you up at six, take you to that Italian place over in Douglas for dinner. After that, we can go to Cruisers for a drink.”

“And after that?” she asked, her tone challenging.

He chuckled. “What do you want to happen after that, darlin’? Spell it out for me nice and specific. Just in case I need to do a little research.”

She flushed for the second time tonight. Porter wasn’t sure he’d ever seen Adele blush, but damn if he didn’t like it. Then he considered how much he’d like seeing that pretty pink hue on the nice, round cheeks showcased so perfectly by her tight jeans tonight as well. He’d overheard Adele bitch about what she called her “fat ass” a few times to her sister, but as far as he was concerned, hers was perfect just the way it was, plenty down there to grab hold of.

Adele turned her face away from him, looking ahead as she said, “Feels like a loaded question, so I’m pleading the fifth. I’m not about to feed your twisted fantasies.”

“How do you know they’re twisted?”

“We live in Maris, which means no one has a secret. No one.”

Porter frowned. He had a couple things he thought were probably a secret to most people around town. What he wasn’t sure of was if Adele knew them.

“So what are these so-called twisted fantasies of mine?” he pressed.

She lifted one shoulder, a casual shrug that made him think she wasn’t going to answer for a second. He was surprised when not only did she respond, but she stopped walking and turned to face him as she did so.

“Apparently you don’t just use rope with those horses on the ranch.”

Porter let a wide grin cover his face, grateful he could see Adele’s eyes as she spoke. Unbeknownst to her, he was doing his “research” right now, studying her to be sure he got every bit of information he needed before he took her to his bed.

“You want me to tie you up, Addie?”

“I’m only sharing the gossip I’ve heard,” she said noncommittally.

“Coward,” he teased. “What else you got?”

“You seem to be very good at finding alternate uses for everyday items.”

“Like?”

Her eyes darted lower. “Your belt, for one,” she said, her voice growing softer. There was no mistaking what he was seeing in her eyes. Adele wasn’t just rattling off rumors. She was doing some research of her own as well. She wanted to know if the stories were true. And not just because she was curious. No, Adele didn’t realize it, but she was revealing her own secret desires.

He’d bet his entire life savings that if he unbuttoned that thick coat of hers, he’d discover her nipples were budded, tight.

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