Nate by Tijan



I’d never felt this with another man before. I never even knew a man could emanate sex like he was. It was always something I thought was silly and never existed. Hell. It existed. It was existing and in waves from Monson.

This wasn’t fair.

Then again, Valerie had been no slouch. She only had one fuck-buddy relationship, and when she talked about him, I could tell she actually liked him. She respected him. Why she never pushed for more, I hadn’t a clue. But she didn’t, and that was on her.

I never understood my sister, except in one thing. Now two things.

My stomach was a mess. I felt like throwing up.

Miss Carina would’ve been all over me if she saw how flustered I was. My hair was a mess. I’d only used three pins to secure my flyaways. It would’ve been disgraceful on the floor.

Get yourself together, Quince.

I closed my eyes. Nate—gah, his name was Nate. The file said Nathaniel Monson, and I read all the details. His famous friends and family. That he did investments for a living, and judging by the portfolio that Carl included, he was doing quite well on top of already being rich. Valerie loved him. I knew she did, but she ended up with Nico instead.

I wanted to growl. Nico. I hated Nico more than I hated having to have this conversation.

Okay. My nerves were better now. My hate for Nico wiped everything out after that. Nate and Nico. My sister had a thing for N names. Who would’ve been next? A Neil? Noah? Nolan?

Why was I going through N names for males right now?

He’d stopped talking.

I looked up. He was watching me. My God. There was sexual desire there. He didn’t blink it away. He only made it more pronounced, not shy, not hiding it. Confident. He wanted me. He had a little smirk that would’ve been a turn-off on anyone else, but it worked on him. It only made him hotter, and then he was seeing me seeing him, and he was seeing me right back.

He wasn’t done.

He looked me over, lingering on the bit of leg I had resting out from just under the table before raising his gaze and pausing on my mouth.

He wanted to fuck me.

Heat bloomed in my chest, and an ache was forming south of that. I was being reminded by his stare how long it’d been since I’d gotten laid. That was all this was. When I opened my mouth, all that would be gone, and he’d hate me.

I was adult enough to admit that I’d like to fuck him, but the vast majority hated him first and foremost. Though I shouldn’t hate him. My rational side reminded me of this, but the irrational side loathed him because he could take away my life. And I was the one here, about to start these preparations because I had to.

If he found out later in life…

No.

I couldn’t go there either. That was another bank vault of emotions I couldn’t deal with. Well, I wouldn’t because I was here to hopefully snuff this fire out before it got any hotter.

Valerie wanted me to find him, to tell him, and I would do that.

But seriously, Val, why didn’t you ever tell him? It would’ve saved so much heartache for so many.

The waiter came over, sliding two drinks on the table between us.

He’d ordered a drink for me.

“I need a shot.”

The waiter had started to leave, but he looked back. “Of course, miss.”

“Two!” I barked out. “Two shots.” I tried to soften the demand. “Please.”

The waiter’s eyes flickered before he nodded. “Two shots, miss. Of course.”

I was going to wait for the shots before I said anything.

I wasn’t going to notice how Nate was so much more in person than he was in any photograph or social media feed.

So very much more.

I really wasn’t noticing how he had a little scruff on his jaw because he hadn’t shaved yet, or how I knew he’d feel like sandpaper in all the right places.

I was looking away, but I could feel him watching me not watching him.

I was hot and bothered, and in my profession, you didn’t get ruffled. You were smooth. You glided. You were sensual and tender, but strong and fierce. You hid the strong and fierce. I wasn’t hiding today. I was feeling all of my emotions, all at once and in full force, and that was making me feel even more.

I needed to calm down.

I needed to be like ice, so I went where I was always pristine and put together in my mind.

I was on the stage with the crowd sitting behind the spotlights.

It was me, the music, and my body.

Everything and everyone was pushed out.

I was bending. I was soaring, dipping, twisting, and I was rounding out on a perfect arabesque. And all the while, it was only the music and me.

It was working.

I went through an entire dance routine in my head before the waiter came back with our drinks.

Two shots were placed in front of me.

I immediately took both.

His eyes lit up, and he leaned back in his booth.

Waiting me out.

My eyes met his. It was the first time I was looking at him straight on since we slid into the booth. Well, it was the first time I was looking right at him since I walked into the bar, and simply put, he took my breath away.

Now he was seeing me better, and some of the amusement faltered.

He frowned, just a slight bit.

He was cluing in. This wasn’t a social call where he was going to get laid. That was what he’d been thinking. I wasn’t another of those girls who were still here. They hadn’t moved on. They were at his vacated table, and they were whispering, watching us. They were holding on, still waiting for him.