Chapter 12

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A soft knock on the door drew my attention.

"Come in," I said, pulling my hair into a ponytail.

The door swung open. A petite, tanned woman strode into the room. Her jet black hair was pulled back into a severe bun, and her dark eyes were full of amusement. She wore a traditional maid's outfit with a crisp white apron on top of it.

"I'm here to clean the bathroom," she said, tugging a cart full of cleaning products into the room with her.

My face turned red. I pointed to the door behind me.

"That way."

The woman smiled and nodded. "Yes, I know."

Embarrassment caused my face to grow warmer. "I'm so sorry about this."

"Pffft," she said. "It's no problem. I've done this lots of times. It happens." She set the cart beside the bathroom door. "Why don't you go have fun? Keep that nice young man out there company. I'll have this nice and clean soon."

I nodded and sprayed on a little of my favorite perfume. "Okay," I replied, and set the bottle down on the dresser.

Leaving her to it, I walked out of the room and made my way into the lounge.

Dillon lay on the large sofa, clutching an Ipad Pro between his hands. He glanced at me before tapping the screen and hitting the HOME button.

"You look a little better," he said, pushing himself into a sitting position.

"I feel a little better, in all honesty," I admitted.

He patted the cushion to the right of where he sat. "Have a seat."

I obliged and sat down, careful to keep a considerable distance between us. "I'm so sorry, you know. I've never eaten so late. The richness of the food didn't agree with me, it seems."

Dillon chuckled and reached up to ruffle my hair. "LIke I said, it happens. Besides, you're not looking peaky anymore, so that's a good thing. You've any plans today?"

I glanced at my watch. "It's late."

He raised an eyebrow at me. A knowing smirk darted across his lips.

"It's not that late."

"It was seven-thirty when I woke. Took me an hour and a half to make myself presentable again. Around this time, I usually sit down to write or binge-watch a show on Netflix."

His smirk broadened. "Now's a good time to catch a move," he said, and winked.

Heat spread across every inch of my face. "You want to catch a movie with me?"

He nodded. "Of course."

I tilted my head, assessing him from head to toe. "We'd be treading on shaky waters, Dillon. You've a girlfriend. Surely, she means more to you than I do?"

"She . . ."

"Yes?"

"We mesh, I suppose."

I snorted and sighed. "That's not the answer I expected."

"When Petra and I got together, she filled a necessary void. I'm not gonna lie. I have fun with her. Then again, I've had fun with all the women I've been with."

The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. I didn't like where this conversation seemed to be going.

"Why do I have the feeling you're about to drop a bomb?"

He grinned and shrugged. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Sure, you don't. Seriously, though, I'm not stepping on Petra's toes. I know you've only been dating her for a few months, but that doesn't change the way things are. You're together. Truth be told, I don't want to be a second fiddle."

Dillon's grin disappeared. "You're not."

"Yes, I am. You might not see things the way I do, but it's true. If you love her, you'd stay true to her."

The corners of his mouth tightened. "I never said anything about loving her."

"I know. The fact that you're trying to play footsie's with me says everything."

"Says what?"

"You're not in love with her. She's a passing fancy while you look for something better. Right now, you're focused on me. Maybe you think it'll be easy to get into my pants. That I'll let you do whatever you want to do. In all honesty, you'll never get what you want from me."

Dillon swallowed, his Adam's apple bobbing up and down. "Chance . . ."

I held up a hand to silence him. "Don't. I know what you're going to say. That I'm different. In your mind, you probably think there's something about me that's different from all the women you've ever been with."

"You are different. It's just . . ."

"No, Dillon. Whatever you're going to say, don't. You're not giving things with Petra the chances they deserve."

I pushed myself to my feet. "If you don't mind, I'm going to collect my things and head back to my suite."

He stood and towered over me. "You love making things difficult, don't you?"

I squared my shoulders and held my ground. "No. I prefer to keep it real. I'm not going to be your side chick. Not now. Not ever," I said, walking past him and heading in the direction of the room I'd slept in.

Part of me wanted to turn around. To tell him I was joking about what I'd said. The reasonable part of me, however, refused to head back to the safe haven Dillon seemed to project.

He stirred the woman in me. Made me want to sample the forbidden. No matter how much I wanted to taste that delicious apple, I couldn't do it. The man was way out of my league. If I didn't set the needed boundaries between us, he'd walk right over me. Hell, he was slowly doing just that in the hopes of getting exactly what he wanted from me.

Shaking my head to clear it, I walked into the bedroom and set about in gathering my belongings.

Sounds of the maid cleaning echoed nearby.

I tossed everything into my bag and took a moment to make the bed. Once I was sure I'd gathered everything I'd brought with me, I walked out of the room .

Dillon sat on the sofa. A slight frown marred his forehead.

"Are you sure this is what you want?" he asked.

I nodded. "This is how it has to be."

A muscle twitched along his lower jaw.

For several minutes, we engaged in a battle of wills. Neither of us wanted to concede.

I took the matter into my own hands. Without uttering another word, I turned and headed for the door. With a shaking hand, I grabbed the doorknob, turned it, and flung the door open. I stepped into the corridor, pulling the door closed behind me. Releasing a pent-up breath, I strode down the corridor, heading in my suite's direction.

No matter what happened between us, nothing could change the way things were. Dillon and I were from two different sides of the tracks. Deep inside, I knew he refused to acknowledge that. I couldn't deny the way I felt about him, though. I'd fallen in love with him from the moment he'd first spoken to me.

He was taken, however. There was no way I'd come between him and Petra Asiminova. Someday, he'd thank me for doing the right thing.

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