Simon Hudson stood silently in the shadows of the opulent lobby, his hands in the pockets of his jeans and one shoulder propped against the frame of a large window that faced the street. His whole body was tense, his dark brown eyes scanning the sidewalk with the intense and total focus of a madman.
Where in the hell is she? It’s ten forty-five.
He knew Kara was working tonight. She had called in sick for the last two evenings, but was back to work at Helen’s Place, waiting tables on the swing shift. He had checked. His mother owned the bistro where Kara worked and was generally pretty forthcoming with information when Simon wanted it, but he was careful. If he wasn’t, his only parent would be hounding him to find out why he wanted information on Kara. His wonderful but inquisitive mom would be like a bloodhound after a scent if she thought that Simon’s interest was anything but casual. He would be nagged to death, his mother wanting to know exactly what his intentions were with Kara.
Simon frowned. Like he had any intentions? He had fantasies and all of them involved Kara spread out on his bed, screaming his name as he made her come, over and over.
Simon took a deep breath and slowly blew it back out, trying to get his body to relax and telling himself that he must be insane to take exactly the same position, night after night, for some woman who he had never officially met. But here he was…again, his back to the curious doorman, leering out the window like an unbalanced stalker, waiting to get a glimpse of Kara Foster. Something about the woman brought out strange, territorial, and protective instincts that kept him here, keeping watch, waiting for her to walk by his condo building on her way home from work.
He wouldn’t talk to her, or even get close to her. He never did. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to, but Kara was going to nursing school and working full-time at his mother’s restaurant. According to his mom, Kara adamantly refused to date because she didn’t have the time or energy to put into a relationship. She was probably right about that. The insane woman didn’t sleep enough, eat enough. She had no one who even worried about her except for his mother…and Simon. Hell, in the last year, Simon had probably cared more about Kara’s well-being than a dozen family members would have, and he couldn’t even call her a friend. Problem was…he wasn’t a family member, and his feelings were far from brotherly.
God, she was sweet!
Simon had to bite back a groan of frustration as he thought about the first time he had seen Kara, her blue eyes flashing with humor, black tendrils of silky hair escaping from her ever-present ponytail and her lithe body moving gracefully from table to table at his mom’s restaurant. At the age of twenty-eight, she still retained a look of innocence and vulnerability that had Simon caught in her unintentional web. He’d been a prisoner there ever since.
His mother spoke about Kara as if she were her daughter, and Simon knew that Kara and his mother had a special bond: one not formed by blood, but by a special friendship. Shit…if Kara were younger, Simon was pretty sure his mother would adopt her. Lips twitching slightly, Simon hoped his mother never expected him to be like a brother to Kara. It wasn’t happening. His cock stood at attention, rock-hard and ready, every time he saw her. What in the hell was it about this particular woman that made him so edgy and restless?
Simon had fucked women who were more attractive or more sophisticated, and not a single one of them had ever touched any of his emotions. He was a loner, preferring to spend his time with his computer rather than attending social functions, but there were times when he needed a woman’s company for physical relief. Occasionally taking himself in hand just wasn’t getting it done. Simon had certain female acquaintances for those occasions, women who gave him the control he needed and had to have in the bedroom, without a lot of demands or questions. Damn it! That had been enough for him…until he had seen Kara.
Grimacing, his eyes never leaving the street, Simon shoved his hands deeper into his pockets and adjusted his position, giving his shoulder a break by resting his hip against the wall. God, he was getting pathetic.
How long would he moon over a woman who had never even acknowledged him? Until she finished nursing school and moved away? Until she got married?
He nearly growled at the thought of another man putting his hands on Kara’s delectable body. Simon fought a purely feral instinct that rose up at the thought of another man touching his woman.
She’s not your woman, asshole. Get a grip.
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