Your Inescapable Love (The Bennett Family Book 4)(5)

By: Layla Hagen

“I never took you for the skydiving type,” I continue.

“I’m not. Just made a bet with Blake. I was flying with a trainer and still managed to crash land.”

At the mention of his younger brother, I can’t help grinning.

“Damn, I have so many questions for you, I don’t know how to get them out fast enough,” he says.

“Pretty much describing my current dilemma.” I hold up a finger. “But, we need to start with the session. Kurt warned me that I should keep the relationship professional during our sessions.”

Max cocks an eyebrow. “What did he think I’d do? Jump your bones the moment I saw you?”

Heat rushes to my cheeks at his words, and I lower my gaze, suddenly flustered. Thank heavens we’re far enough from the others that they can’t hear us.

“I see you still put your foot in your mouth every chance you get,” I inform him.

“I do, but that came out wrong. I didn’t mean there’s anything wrong with jumping your bones. In fact, you filled out beautifully, Jonesie.” He grins at the use of the nickname his brother Blake gave me years ago. He found Campbell to be quite a mouthful, and said I looked like someone who should be called Jones, which was completely random. Max turned that into Jonesie, and it became my nickname in the Bennett household. “As your oldest friend, I’m allowed to say that without sounding like a pervert, or like I’m hitting on you. You are beautiful.” He utters those last few words in a lower tone and damn, it makes all my lady parts tingle.

“You haven’t aged too bad either, Bennett. You wear a suit well,” I volley back, though my skin is simmering. Teasing each other was one of the backbones of our friendship, but now it feels different. Max wears a gray suit, and he wears it as if he’s been born into it, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I saw him running around in jeans or shorts and simple shirts our entire childhood, but there is something about him in a suit that is absolutely irresistible.

“Now, go change into your workout gear so we can start training. The changing room is over there.” I point to the door at the far back of the room.

“Be right back,” he says. “Pity we can’t get away with changing in front of each other like we used to, isn’t it?”

I shouldn’t blush at his words, I really shouldn’t. But I do anyway.

“No, we can’t.”

I let out a slow breath when Max disappears into the locker room. As kids, Max and I often went swimming at a nearby pond. We discarded our clothes in front of each other and remained in our undies, and there was zero awkwardness. Except that memorable summer day when he hid my clothes while I was in the water, then he accidentally dropped said clothes in the water. I threw a fit and pushed him fully clothed into the pond. We made up as we walked home later, both looking like wet rats.

It was all so easy between us back then. Now… well, we aren’t kids anymore. Seeing each other after all this time is bound to lead to some awkwardness… and apparently tingling in places I have no business tingling.

I’m so immersed in my thoughts that I don’t realize Max is back until he calls, “Ready whenever you are, Jonesie.”

Holy chocolate cake with whipped cream on top. Right. Max in a suit was irresistible, but Max in shorts and a formfitting shirt is sinful.

“We’ll do a combination of mattress and machine exercises, and also aquatic ones. Obviously, no aquatic ones today, we’d have to be near a pool for that.” Oh God, I’m rambling. I blame his impossibly dark eyes and tongue-in-cheek smile for it.

“For how long will the therapy last?”

“I’d say four weeks, twice a week.”

He groans, dragging his palms down his face. “Lucky one of my oldest friends is my therapist. Will give us lots of time to catch up.”

The words “oldest friends” snap my mind out of the gutter. Friends don’t ogle each other.

“Serves me right, I suppose.”

“How did Blake convince you?” I inquire. “The boy I knew didn’t take such risks.”

“I’ve become dumber with age.” He does one full turn of the room. “So, with which of these torture instruments are we starting?”

“They’re not so bad,” I assure him. “They look like regular gym machines.”

“Except creepier. Well, I’m all yours. Tell me what to do.”

“Why, Max Bennett, I never thought the day would come when I get to boss you around. That was your role.”

He shrugs, but the mischievous smile on his face tells me he hasn’t given up his ways. “Your gym. Your rules.”