Chapter 31

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"Gavin... no. I'm sorry but going out to dinner with you, even as friends, would be wrong."

"And yet" he grinned "here you are having lunch with me."

"As colleagues Gavin. A friendly lunch between two people who work together. Nothing more."

Gavin's face flickered with an emotion she didn't see as she looked down to her plate and stabbed a piece of lettuce with her fork.

"You know Cori, when we danced that night I could have sworn we made a connection. You weren't oblivious to what was happening either. You wanted me just as much as I wanted you."

Cori swallowed the food in her mouth and placed her fork back down on her plate before looking at him.

"You're right. I did want you. I was attracted to you..." she held up a hand to stop Gavin from butting in "but what I have with Jax is something special. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be unkind but I don't feel the same way about you."

"You know" Gavin rested his elbows on the table and entwined his fingers "until you came along there was talk about two guyss who ran the local garage..."

"Talk?" she asked with astonishment.

Gavin nodded "Yep. Talk that Jax and Russell weren't exactly the father and son in the typical kind of way."

"What do you mean?"

Gavin grinned, thinking he had her right where he wanted her.

"Well that they're gay of course. Lots od people talk about the garage run by the gay dad and his son."

"Step-son Gavin. Russell isn't Jax's actual father. He just married his mother."

"Yeah but still..." he paused "don't you think the idea of being the lover of someone you helped raise is kinda creepy? Perverted even? I mean, how long was it happening? Was it happening when Jax's mother was alive?"

"Woah there. Hold on right there Gavin!" Cori stood "I can't believe that you're listening and talking about this gossip when I'm standing in front of you and you know that I'm with Jax."

She reached for the strap of her bag that she's draped over the back of her chair and when she went to get her purse out to pay Gavin's hand closed over hers.

"I've got it Cori. I'll pay."

She shook her head "No thanks Gavin. I'll pay for myself."

"Please Cori. I'm sorry. I..."

Cori inhaled a deep breath and looked him in the eyes.

"You were what? Hoping that malicious gossip would destroy what I feel for Jax? For Russell?"

"For Russell?!" Gavin exclaimed.

"Yes Gavin. For Russell. He's a wonderful man. He helped take care of me when I was sick. He always offers to help me with anything I need. Yes Gavin. For Russell too. I care about that man. He made a promise to my father to look after me and he's doing just that. He's a man of integrity Gavin. Maybe you should take a good look at the man you're spreading gossip about. You might just learn something... like being a gentleman."

Cori threw the money she'd retrieved from her purse onto the table before looking at Gavin again. His mouth was opened wide. He didn't know what to say.

"I'll see you back at the school. From now on we're just teachers who happen to work together."

She turned and walked towards the door. Footsteps behind her allowed her to brace herself for whatever was to come.

Gavin had thrown his own money on the table and quickly followed Cori. He reached out and grabbed her shoulder. Seconds later his arm was twisted in a way that shouldn't have been humanly possible.

"Never touch me again!" Cori hissed at him.

Gavin grimaced at the shot of pain up his arm and nodded in agreement. He just wanted her to let him go.

Cori released Gavin and left the restaurant. Adrenaline pumpimg through her veins she was grateful that she'd insisted on meeting Gavin rather than driving with him and confusing any children who may have seen them together.

She drove quickly, certainly pushing the local speed limits to their max, and with a slam of the door she stomped towards the building in front of her.

She pushed the chair back and sat down with clear detetmination.

Russell and Jax were both surprised to see Cori walk, no... stomp... her way through the door. Their shock was coupled with silence as she pushed Russell's office chair back and mere moments later she was sitting on Russell's lap with her mouth on his.

Russell's surprise was soon taken over by the need to delve as far as he could into her mouth. His arms wrapped around her and he held her close.

Jax moved towards them and placing a hand on Russell's arm his other stroked Cori's back as he placed kisses gently on the nape of her neck.

Gasping they finally pulled away. Lust. Passion. Longing. Each flicker of emotion was met by a mirrored one.

"I have no idea what brought on this reaction but... wow sweetheart." Russell's light banter teased her.

She grinned.

"It doesn't matter" she pulled herself away from him and turned to quickly kiss Jax "I have to get back to work. I'll see you guys later."

The men followed her to her car still feeling the lasting effects of a cyclone called Cori.

She stood for one brief moment as if thinking about something. Her hand on the door handle she was half in the car when she looked at them.

"I know it hasn't been that long but... well.. I'm ready."

"Ready?" Jax asked quickly hoping that she meant what he thought she did.

She nodded "Tonight. I want... I want to make love. All the way. With both of you."

She got into the car without waiting for a reply and left two very stunned men staring as the red brake lights dimmed and she turned the corner driving away from them.

"Did... Russ... Did she..."

Russell was finding it difficult to string words together himself and simply nodded.

Jax grinned widely.

"Well Russ. If you ever doubted her sincerity I think that just flew out the window."

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