Tessa's Temptation(4)

By: Ella Jade

“I don’t like you being there without me,” he said. “The neighborhood isn’t good. She takes two buses to get here and refuses to leave me until visiting hours are over. I worry about her going home in the dark. She’s still five blocks walking from the bus stop.”

“Dad, I’m okay.” The late night bus rides and walks through the neighborhood weren’t her favorite but what choice did she have?

“We’re not fine and Chase can help us.” He stared at the man who probably wished he’d never shown up there. “Please say that you’ll help my daughter.”

“What do you want me to do, Pat?” Chase asked gently.

“I think it would be best if she moved in with you. I know it’s a lot to ask, but if she’s with you I can focus on getting better. I’ll know she’s safe and she’ll have everything she needs.”

Her poor dad was delusional. It had to be the pain meds. When Mr. Hot, Rich, and Sexy turned him down, she could get him settled in and maybe catch a little nap herself. She had a long day ahead of her tomorrow. Not only did she have to find a job but she had to figure out where she was going to store all of their stuff and find a place to crash.

“Tessa can stay with me for as long as she needs to,” Chase said. “It would be my pleasure.”

Ahh, fuck!


Once Chase got up from the bench and headed toward the porch, Tess plopped down on the fluffy white comforter. Everything was crisp and clean in his house. The pillows were soft. The oversized towels absorbed the water unlike the ratty beach towels she and her dad used at their old place. Her bathroom was triple the size of the one in their apartment. The closet was bigger than her old bedroom. Not that she had anything much to put in there, but it was cool to walk into the rich cedar smell of the space. He had an adorable housekeeper named Miss May who catered to her every whim. Not that Tess asked her for anything, but she was a sweet and thoughtful lady. Tess had gotten used to their afternoon talks.

She’d been in his home for a month. Some nights she lay awake trying to figure out how she ended up there. Maybe she was too tired to fight that night at the hospital. Or too hungry to focus. She’d been defeated, losing her job and their apartment in less than a few hours. It could have been a combination of all those things. Perhaps the only reason she’d agreed to live with a stranger was the look of desperation and worry in her father’s eyes. Hearing him say he had failed her had broken her heart. If living with Chase would help her dad concentrate on getting better, she would do it.

Being here wasn’t that bad.

Chapter Two

Chase came in through the kitchen and paused to pour himself a cup of steaming coffee that he’d programmed to finish about the time he got back from his run. Over the past month, his morning runs had gotten longer. The pot used to be just finished dripping and gurgling when he got back; but jogging along the stream helped calm him. His nights had been restless ever since his new house guest had come to stay with him. It wasn’t that she was an intrusion. He’d been living alone for so long that her company was pleasant. He’d gotten used to her moving around upstairs while he worked late into the night. It was when he tried to find sleep that her presence was a nuisance. She stayed out of his way but when they did cross paths he was always left with a disconcerted longing. One that was dangerous.

He avoided her as much as possible. At first he hadn’t realized that was what he was doing, going into the office earlier and staying past dinner. When he came home at night he’d often take his plate into the study and work well into the evening. He’d quietly walk past her door always tempted to look in, but he didn’t dare.

The stunning beauty had consumed his every thought since he’d met her that night at the hospital. Her long red hair, crystal blue eyes and full pink lips had invaded his mind and now he couldn’t get her out of his head.

“Hey.” Tessa strolled into the kitchen wearing nothing but a tight white tank and very short red cotton shorts.

Her sleeping attire was part of the reason his nights were so restless. She was barely twenty and flawless. He hadn’t realized she would parade around the house like that.

“Did you have a good run?”

“Yes, it was very peaceful.” He held her gaze because if he looked down he’d focus on her breasts and those pert nipples that insisted on poking through her shirt. He tried hard to be respectful of Pat. He owed the man a great deal and the last thing he wanted to do was take advantage of his daughter. Why did she have to be so fucking hot?