Hammer's Fall (The Breakers’ Bad Boys, 1)(9)

By: Laurie Roma

Kalista nibbled on her lower lip, making him want to groan as blood surged to his groin again. He was glad the table hid his erection from view or else he had a feeling she would think twice about asking him to teach her anything.

God, the things he wanted to teach her…

He cleared his throat, then leaned back to take a drink of his beer to ease his dry throat. Imagining all the things he wanted to do to her was not helping him gain control of his stubborn cock.

“I just…” She sat up straight and a look of determination settled across her face. “I’ll admit that I want to look good when I go to my cousin’s wedding, but I really do want to do this for myself.”

“Good,” Hammer said as he set his glass of beer back on the table. “So, you going solo to this thing, or are you gonna let me be your date?”

Kalista choked on her drink and he gently rubbed her back as she gasped for air. “You… what?”

Shit, that had just slipped out. He was going to have to be careful. Everything in him wanted to push, to stake his claim on Kali now that she was available, but he didn’t want to scare her off.

Patience, asshole. Get some…

“I was just thinking since you said you and Donald were done now, I could be your date for the wedding. That is, if you don’t already have one.”

“Ah…no, I don’t have a date yet, but I don’t think you really want to do that.” Kalista frowned at him. “And his name is David, not Donald.”

Hammer shrugged that off. “Whatever. Why wouldn’t I want to go with you? I would get to see you in a pretty dress, eat some good food, and have a few drinks. Maybe dance a little, although I don’t really do that sort of thing. You aren’t embarrassed to go with me, are you?”

Pure shock had her mouth falling open. “What? No! It’s just…my family isn’t very nice.”

He’d gotten that from what she had said about her mother earlier, but he wanted to know more. Hell, he wanted to know everything about his little fairy. “You can’t pick the family you are born with,” he said softly.

She looked startled for a second, then smiled at him. “That is something I tell myself all the time. My parents don’t like me very much. I’m sort of a disappointment to them.”

There wasn’t a nicer way to say it, Kalista realized. Her parents never hid the fact they resented putting their lives on hold to raise her. Her mother didn’t hesitate to tell her that she wasn’t as pretty or as smart as her cousin Bethany, who was tall and slim as a reed, and her father was pretty much disinterested in having anything to do with her. She flushed at how that had sounded. This really wasn’t first date conversation material.

“How the hell can they be disappointed with you? You own a successful business and you are one of the nicest people I have ever met!”

Kalista held back the urge to wince when he called her nice. Yeah, nice wasn’t exactly how she wanted this attractive man to see her. She knew she wasn’t anything special, but nice was so…boring. “I was a surprise baby,” she explained. “My parents enjoyed their lifestyle, but my grandmother made it clear that she wanted a grandchild so they were kind of stuck having me. My father’s mother was very wealthy, and so they had me to please her.”

“Man, that sucks. It’s a wonder how you turned out so normal coming from that.”

Kalista laughed. “I spent a lot of time with my grandmother while I grew up. My parents traveled a great deal, and I loved staying with my nana whenever they left. In fact, I preferred it.”

“I don’t blame you. I can deal with your family if you don’t mind me tagging along.” Hammer knew he was pushing, but he wanted to show her family that Kali now had someone that would protect her…even from them.

“I would like that,” she said, smiling shyly at him.

He couldn’t help it. He reached out and took her small hand in his, linking their fingers together. “How about you come over to the gym tomorrow after you get off work and we can see what kind of training you are interested in?”

“That sounds great. I’m opening tomorrow, so I can take off in the afternoon anytime after three.”

“Let’s shoot for four. I have a meeting before that, but should be done by then. You work pretty long hours, huh?”

She nodded. “Yes, but it has been so much better since I hired on both Becca and Anna full-time. We now take turns opening the shop. I can’t tell you just how much I enjoy being able to sleep in.”

“I bet,” he said with a chuckle. “How come you were working so late tonight?”

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