“Tomorrow baby, we’re meeting Leslie at the clubhouse, I was gonna explain, but we got distracted. Got a proposition for you and Leslie to look at, once we done that, Tati is gonna take you shopping, don’t worry about the cost of anything,” Chance said.
“I don’t want you to buy my clothes,” I denied shaking my head. “I don’t want you to believe that being with you means you buy me everything. Chance, I have some money in the bank, I know a good thrift store, and I can visit that tomorrow.” As I spoke Chance’s face grew blacker and blacker, I felt an uh oh coming on and wasn’t prepared when Chance exploded.
“You mine Clio? ‘Cause if you are, you hear me, I look after you, watch over you, protect you and fuckin’ make sure you don’t go without. The fuck my old lady shops in a thrift store, she shops in any store she wants, even fuckin’ designer. Don’t give a fuck if you have money or not, I give a fuck that you’re happy and loved and protected, that’s my role, get me, baby?” I nodded quickly like a parrot and thought my head would fall off from the vigorous bouncing I was giving it.
“Got you!” I blurted to cool his anger. Chance gave me a searching look and then calmed down and tucked me back under his chin, it seemed his favourite position. He let out a snort of disgust, and I wisely shut my mouth, I was rapidly working out Chance could be volatile, instead of scaring me, it excited me. Chance would keep me on my toes, and we’d never bore each other, that to me, was a good thing. Nothing worse than six months into a relationship and you’re wearing carpet slippers and a hair net!
The first part of what Chance said finally sunk in, he’d said it twice, but I’d been too self-centred to understand what he was saying. Chance had twice mentioned meeting Leslie but not said why. I lifted a hand and cupped Chance’s cheek, and to my pleasure, he turned into it and let me hold him.
“Why are we meeting Leslie tomorrow?” I asked as my other hand played with his goatee, which was softer than I expected.
“Got a proposition for her,” Chance mumbled as one hand stroked my hair, he seemed to be distracted, so I thought about what he’d said. Leslie was a little older than Chance by my guess, in her fifties and had two grown children. Leslie’s eldest was a son aged thirty, and a daughter aged twenty-eight, she also had three grandchildren bless her. That explained why Leslie became the mother hen of the waitresses and Kris.
I didn’t think Chance was interested in Leslie, and Leslie had sworn off men after the “asshole from hell” had done a bunk. The asshole from hell, actual name Barry had been a con man to end all con men, and poor Leslie had fallen hook line and sinker. Unusual for Leslie, because she was incredibly canny when it came to people on the take. But Brazen Barry had taken us all in, it was only when Brazen Barry tried to scam Leslie from her savings, she’d clocked on and kicked him to the curb. Leslie spent the next two weeks cussing his ass out before moving on.
I wondered what business did Chance have with Leslie and was Leslie aware of it? I didn’t want Chance to get Leslie’s hopes up and dash them. Chewing on that thought for a few minutes while Chance sat content to hold me and play with my hair, I realised I was being unfair. Chance wasn’t that type of person. Maybe, I’d only known him a few days, but I already knew Chance was a good person, one who protected and avenged, not one who harmed people for no reason.
Honestly, I was stunned at how quick this was moving, three days, that’s all I’d really known Chance for, and yet here I was, safely ensconced in his home. Curled in Chance’s broad muscled arms and being cared for, that hadn’t happened since Staffey. Okay, I’d spied on Chance and Hellfire for months, but Chance was the one who’d always drawn my attention when he appeared. I’d noticed an intenseness around him, a brooding darkness that had always attracted me. Because despite that darkness, there was a light in his stunning green eyes that couldn’t be dimmed.
“Why do you need to speak to Leslie?” I finally asked, I curled my hand around his cheek to show I wasn’t judging or distrusting him. Chance turned his mouth into my palm and kissed it.
“A business proposition, will talk to you both tomorrow about it,” he repeated and then holding me in his arms heaved himself to his feet.
“Let’s take a walk,” he said and put me on my feet. Chance led me from the cabin, locking it behind him, and we walked down a trail towards the blue water I’d spied from the window.
“Do you own all this land?” I asked as Chance snagged me to his side and slung an arm around my waist.
“As far as the eye can see, about thirty acres, Dad bought the land so it couldn’t be developed. Been a lot of offers through the years, rebuffed them all, stupid money they’ve offered to develop this land. Ain’t gonna happen, this is my piece of paradise, my escape, I usually bed down at the clubhouse for a few nights a week. Then return home when I need peace and quiet. Been thinking I’ll be home a heck of a lot more now I got somethin’ to come home to Clio, you’ve given me hope,” Chance murmured and stopped walking. He turned me towards him and gazed into my eyes before dropping his head and giving me a toe-curling kiss. This one had action, plenty of it and I was a panting mess by the time Chance finished his extremely skilled kiss. Wow.
“Um,” I said stupidly, and Chance’s eyes crinkled in amusement. “Again?” I asked, hopefully. Chance didn’t deny me and swooped a second time, his tongue duelled with mine, commanding my compliance and I leant into Chance, allowing him to lead the kiss. Hands went in two different directions, one cupped my ass and pulled me close to him, the second grasped my neck firmly and held my head in place. Chance broke the kiss and trailed tiny teasing kisses down my throat as I clung to his shoulders weak-kneed. Chance was a prime example of how a woman should be thoroughly kissed.
“Fuck, lovin’ the look on your face baby,” Chance finally murmured and squeezed me tightly.
“Yeah,” I breathed, sinking into the emerald of his eyes.
“Clio, how innocent are you?” Chance asked and broke the spell he held over me. Hot blood rushed to my cheeks, and I ducked my head. “Got ya, baby, innocent, slow and easy and at your pace,” Chance mused before tucking me back into his side and leading me to the lake.
At my pace? Was Chance for real? I couldn’t believe that Chance wouldn’t push himself on me, it seemed Chance thought my virginity was something to be cherished. Not a challenge for him to take like the others before him thought, each action Chance made or did said volumes about his character. He was a decent man, and he wanted me, with my poverty, my baggage and lack of family and social graces. Yeah, I wasn’t a catch, one that men would challenge one another over but Chance didn’t care. Chance knew what he wanted, and that was me, end of story. By now, I was beyond flattered. I was falling for this man, with his lack of deceit, his high-handed ways and his innate kindness, which showed even though Chance sought to hide it.
Chance and I spent a wonderful few hours strolling slowly around the land, as he pointed out things he thought would interest me. He showed me a tiny log cabin where his father used to bird watch or just escape to, at the edge of his land. And we took a stroll down the small dock where Chance had a boat tied up, he enjoyed fishing he explained. We wandered through a small orchard he and his father had planted in a clearing, and I smiled at the apple, cherry and plum trees. Chance showed me behind the cabin where his father had built a self-sustaining vegetable patch which Chance had sadly let go.
Chagrined Chance explained he wasn’t green-fingered, and it was Shee who kept the orchard healthy. There were the remains of a flower garden laid out in a wild, crazy design but overgrown and choked with weeds. I loved gardening, it was the only other thing I was very good at, Staffey had given me a garden and some seeds, and I thought Christmas had come early. It turned out I had green fingers, before I could tell Chance this, we strolled to the area that he entertained Hellfire in.
The glass doors in the cabin folded back and opened on one side onto nature and the piece of land Chance entertained on. There were two large barrel grills and a keg stand to one side, several picnic tables and benches were scattered around. On further investigation, I found some strategically placed speakers. There were several swinging chairs shaped like eggs, and Chance showed me how we could snuggle up in one. My giggles echoed around the trees and rebounded back at us. Chance chuckled as he struggled to get us both out, and we ended up roaring with laughter as we fell to a heap on the ground.
Although it was spring, Chance set a fire roaring, and I sat curled up in one of the enormous armchairs as Chance cooked dinner. I was yawning before we’d even finished and after eating, Chance scooped me up and carried me to his room. Chance hesitated on the threshold, and I peeked curiously at him.
“Wanna sleep with you Clio, but ain’t gonna push, not after sex, just wanna hold you in my arms and know you’re safe,” he muttered, and my heart melted. I kissed his jawline and Chance took that as acceptance. He threw me one of his tees, and I took it into the bathroom and briefly washed up and cleaned my teeth. Shucking my clothes, I began giggling when I put on Chance’s tee, it was that big it hit me mid-thigh and yet it would have been tight on Chance.
Chance knocked and peeked in at my giggles and his lips creased into a grin. Amused, I shrugged as I scrambled out and eyed the enormous bed. Bemused I was wondering how to get on it, when Chance picked me up and threw me on it, causing laughter. Without an ounce of embarrassment, Chance ripped his top off and with a quick glance at me pulled his jeans off. I glimpsed muscled tanned skin, and then he turned the lights off and crawled into bed with me. Before I could say boo, Chance had wrapped himself around me and pulled me close. And that’s how I fell to sleep.
“Baby, get on the bike,” Chance coaxed as he swung a leg over the powerful machine and straddled it looking very masculine.
“How?” I asked, looking at the monster.
“See here,” Chance pointed to a foot bar, “step on that and swing your leg over, hold on to me as you do so.” Dubiously I eyed the Harley and hesitantly put my foot where Chance directed and swung my other leg over while clutching his arm tightly. With a puff of air, I seated myself on the bike and looked down at the ground. Okay, it didn’t appear it, but it felt I was a long way off the road. Chance wrapped my arms firmly around his waist and started the bike.