Resisting Her Rival

By: Sonya Weiss



Abby followed his gaze to her car and took a deep breath, the action causing the thin fabric of her shirt to pull against her breasts.

Nick swallowed hard and forced his eyes upward from the sight. She had an eyebrow lifted, and he knew he’d been caught thinking with a part south of his belt buckle. “Don’t expect me to apologize for looking—or remembering,” he said. Boy, did he ever remember. Often at the most inopportune times he recalled the silkiness of her skin, how soft she’d felt under his hands.

To distract the direction his thoughts were going, and keep southern things from going north, he moved around the car and leaned his back against the driver’s side door. “I’m surprised to see you here. You usually run the other direction any time you see me coming.”

She looked like she’d taken a mouthful of bitter lemonade and needed to spew it out.

He held out a hand when she opened her mouth, his pride still feeling the sting of her prior rejections. “Let me guess. You realized how good we were together, and you want to give it another shot. I might be agreeable, but just so you know, after cold shouldering me as long as you have, it’s going to take more than an apology.”

She looked even madder now. He could practically see the anger simmering off her. Maybe she’d gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. He knew what would relax her, hell, relax the both of them, but he had a feeling it wasn’t the time to mention that.

“I always knew you were arrogant,” she said, curling her fingers into fists.

“Really? You seemed to like me well enough when we were together.”

“Nick, you are so full of—”

“Confidence? Yeah, I know.”

“I’m not here to tell you I want another shot at whatever it was we had.”

No way could he let that go. “Whatever? Let me spell it out for you. We had mind-blowing sex. Best you ever had, you said.”

Abby took a breath, let go of it slowly, and then said sharply, “I believe what I said was the steak dinner we shared was the best I ever had.”

“Ah, come on. If you’re going to keep giving me the cold shoulder the way you have, the least you can do is admit the truth. Denial is an ugly place to live.” He caught the flush on her face and grinned. “I believe you said you felt like you’d found the fountain of ecstasy.”

“I was referring to the wine. It was delicious,” she said.

Nick frowned. A warning bell started chiming in his head. He hadn’t done or said anything to make her this mad. He hadn’t even talked to her much since that night. Yet, she looked ready to do bodily harm, and his was the only body in the vicinity.

Abby said, with a dismissive wave of her hand, “I’m not here to talk about sex, especially not with you.”

“Pity,” Nick said. He waited for her to go on, and when she didn’t, he prompted, “Then why are you here?”

“You’ve really got some nerve. You can’t even stand there and be a man about this. You cheat, lie, and steal from me, and then you play innocent?”

Nick felt his own temper start to rise. He wasn’t a liar or a cheat, and he’d never wronged Abby. “Hang on a damn minute. I sure as hell didn’t cheat or lie to you. And there’s no way for me to steal what you so freely and willingly gave, darling.”

“Willing? I didn’t even know you’d done it!”

Nick blinked. “Abby, what the hell are you talking about? You were conscious and very active as I recall, all three times.”

Her flush darkened. “That building is mine.”

How the hell women thought men were the ones that were incapable of making sense was… Understanding hit him. “This is not about Florida.”

“Can you please pay attention?” Abby shook her head. “Of course it’s not about Florida. It’s about right here in Sweet Creek, South Carolina. You stole my building.”

Crossing his arms, Nick said, “The one next to your diner? How can I steal something that’s not yours?”

“You talked to Oscar about selling it to you.”

“That’s not a crime.”

“You knew I wanted it.”

“How could I know you wanted that building?”

“I mentioned it when we were at dinner.”

Nick couldn’t help the smile that slid across his face as he remembered that dinner. “I had other things on my mind then. I wasn’t paying any attention to—” He tried to shut up before the words slipped out but couldn’t.

“You weren’t listening to me. Figures. What, I wasn’t worth listening to?”

“Abby, I was so damned focused on being with you nothing else mattered.”

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