Royal’s eyes darkened with desire as soon as he spotted Delia being shown to a table across the room. Heat shot through his body at the way that skirt hugged her shapely thighs, hips, and bottom.
And those calves.
Royal’s meal and his present company were completely forgotten at the memory of what he’d done to Delia’s calves that night in his bedroom. At the things he wanted to do to them tonight.
I may just break code and call her up anyway, Royal mused, starting to care less about being deemed a stalker.
Delia was becoming too special to him not to spend every available hour pursuing. Sadly, Royal hadn’t had much free time to pursue anyone this week. But he was free tonight. All night.
I love her new hair color, Royal mused. His fingers tingled to run through those long tresses. His eyes yearned to see those tresses wild and untamed on his bedcovers again.
“Do you know that woman?” asked Gwynne Langley, the blind date Royal had been set up with tonight. She’d couldn’t help but notice where his attention had gone.
Incidentally, Royal hadn’t known he was being set up tonight when he arrived ten minutes ago. He thought he was having a relaxing dinner with a colleague and that colleague’s wife after a hectic week at work. He didn’t know that Donnell and Nikki Cruise had invited one of their female neighbors to dine with them.
Tearing his eyes away from Delia’s fantastic frame, Royal cleared his throat before speaking to the mahogany-skinned woman sitting next to him. “Yes, I know her. She’s a former patient of mine.”
“Oh,” Gwynne replied, looking only slightly relieved. Something about the way Royal had stared at the woman suggested that they were more than professional acquaintances.
“So, Gwynne, are you enjoying your filet mignon?” Royal asked, smoothly changing the subject. He wasn’t about to encourage any more talk about Delia. Not with Gwynne, not with anyone, especially in these delicate stages of their developing relationship.
As the conversation at the table returned to a more neutral topic, Royal kept a close eye on Delia. His nostrils flared when man after man approached her table with open interest. It did his heart good to see her reject them all.
That’s right. Save yourself for me, baby, Royal mused, desiring to be the only man in Delia’s life.
Inwardly, Royal hoped Delia would not notice him in return. At least not while he was at a table with another woman. A woman that he did not want.
Royal’s hopes were dashed when Delia suddenly spotted him across the room while motioning for the waiter to bring her the check. He was too far away to see what her eyes held, but he did see her cheeks grow red.
Was she angry? Jealous? Both?
Why did I have to be stuck with such slow eaters? Royal raged inside. He’d been finished with his meal fifteen minutes ago. It was the other people in his party that lingered over their desserts. Gwynne seemed the most reluctant to conclude the meal, despite the fact that Royal had been constantly looking at his watch for the majority of the evening.
Not wanting Delia to think he’d lied about desiring a relationship with her, Royal quickly tried to think of some way to defuse the situation. An idea popped into his head so fast that it almost startled him. The idea was so brilliant that even he was amazed by it. Wondered if it had somehow come from on high.
But then again, why would God be helping him out in his love life? They hadn’t really talked in years. Even so, if it was God bestowing mercy, Royal was going to take full advantage of this opportunity…and then some.
Waiting until Delia had paid her bill and was headed out the door, Royal excused himself to the restroom. Instead of stopping at the men’s room, he proceeded out of the restaurant and into the main lobby of the hotel.
“Delia, wait up,” Royal said, drawing her attention to him as he followed a few feet away.
Glancing behind her, Delia fought the urge to show her natural behind and start cursing like a sailor. Mindful of where they were and of her new lease on life, she paused to let him catch up with her and to take several deep calming breaths. Each breath was pulled in slowly and released just as slowly to thoroughly ventilate her hot temper.
“What can I help you with, Dr. Seeger?” Delia asked, addressing him formally when he came to a stop in front of her.
“You can help me figure a way out of the current mess that I’m in,” Royal replied, meeting her gaze head-on.
“What mess?” Delia frowned, looking wary. She wasn’t trying to get entangled in any more messy situations. Ever.
“The mess I’m in is with you thinking that I’m on a date with another woman, which I’m not,” Royal replied, catching her totally off guard with his honesty. “Though my colleague’s wife would like for me to be, I didn’t come here tonight to be set up on a date. I came here to have dinner with two friends. Two married friends.”
“Why do you need my help with that?” Delia asked, not looking so wary now. Nor so uptight.
“I need for you to tell me how to make this moment right with you. How do I prove to you that it’s you and only you that I want tonight and any other night?”
Again, Royal caught Delia off guard with his honesty. Her mouth opened and closed without a word spoken in between. It had been too long since she’d met a man this honest. It turned her on. A lot.
“You can drop that woman in the restaurant and reserve a room for us for the next three hours that I have free,” Delia said, stating what she thought was an impossible condition as she put his desire for her to the test.
Surely Royal didn’t want her enough to drop that classy lady waiting for him back in the restaurant. What man in his right mind would turn down a beautiful refined woman for a cute semi-reformed hoodrat?
Instead of verbally replying to Delia, Royal reached into his wallet, pulled out a credit card, and went over to the front desk clerk. While his room request was being processed, he got on his cell phone and called Donnell’s cellular.
Royal didn’t lie and say that he’d been called away at the last minute. No, he told his friend the truth.
“Look, man, if it’s all the same to you, I’m going to bow out gracefully now. Save us all that awkward goodbye that is sure to occur when I don’t give Gwynne my phone number or ask for hers at the end of the night,” Royal said, looking Delia straight in the eye as he talked. He paused to listen to Donnell for a few seconds before adding, “No, my mind is made up on the issue. And for future reference, please tell your wife to let me handle the task of finding my own woman, okay? All right. See you at work tomorrow.” Then he hung up the phone.
Delia stood there the whole time watching Royal in shock. She’d never had a man drop everything for her before. E-Blade had never been so sacrificial, not even in the beginning of their relationship.
When Royal got the room key, Delia willingly allowed him to escort her towards the elevator. Desire cascaded up and down her spine. If they hadn’t been in so public a place, she would have attacked him for actually choosing her tonight.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier