Home > The Will (Magdalene #1)(12)

The Will (Magdalene #1)(12)
Author: Kristen Ashley

Mostly, however, I took care of myself. I found this more efficient and, in most cases, more enjoyable.

This was because intimacy wasn’t easy for me and although the act of copulation was often quite pleasant, it was rare a man was very good at it and when he was, by the time I would return to where he was, he’d be taken.

This man, I could tell by just looking at him, wasn’t very good at it. Although he was confident enough to make an approach, there was something about his manner that reminded me of Terry Baginski. An arrogance, which meant he’d undoubtedly be selfish in bed and that was never enjoyable.

The problem with this was, his arrogance was such that I’d learned a man like him was not easily put off, certain he could talk me around to his way of thinking.

And after the last several days, I simply didn’t have it in me to talk him out of what he was certain he was going to get.

This was why I lied.

“I wouldn’t mind you joining me, however, I’ve a man in my life who would.”

“Ah,” he replied on an easy smile. “And would this man be averse to me buying you another liqueur?”

I studied him through the dim, romantic lights strung around the edges of the veranda, wondering how he could ask such a question since I’d already told him the answer.

“Indeed, I believe he would,” I shared, pretending to sound like I was disappointed and doing a poor job of it on purpose.

It wasn’t poor enough for whatever he heard in my voice made him pull up an Adirondack chair next to me and sit in it.

“If I were that man, I probably would be the same,” he told me after he was seated.

I decided to say nothing.

He didn’t return the favor and his voice lowered when he went on.

“Then again, if I were that man, I would be more averse to allowing you to dine alone.”

He’d seen me in the restaurant. This did not surprise me since I’d seen him there as well.

“He’s busy this evening and I had a taste for lobster bisque,” I replied.

This was a mistake and I knew it when I said the word “taste” and his eyes dropped to my lips. His gaze returned to mine and he declared, “If I were that man, if you had any taste, I would see to you getting it.”

I fought rolling my eyes or curling my lip and edged away from him in my seat.

“Actually, Jake knows I’m quite capable of seeing to getting what I want on my own.”


“Jake Spear.”

This was another mistake and I knew it even before he sat back in his own chair and his eyes got wide right before his lips curved into a sneer.

I knew it because we might be one town over from Magdalene but Magdalene was tiny and anyone would need to go further afield for a variety of things. Therefore, anyone who had lived in that area for very long could be known further afield.

However, I’d had an unusual day that wasn’t entirely pleasant. This encounter was most definitely not pleasant. The day before was the most unpleasant of my life, save the day two days before that when I’d learned Gran had passed away. I wasn’t my normal self.

But his reaction was strange.

“You’re seeing Jake Spear?” he asked.

I didn’t answer. Instead, I took that opportunity to mentally kick myself for being foolish.

“You?” he pressed.

I continued to be silent.

He stared at me before he asked, “Did you used to dance for him?”

What an odd thing to ask.

Odd and disturbing.

Also offensive.

Therefore, I snapped, “Of course not.”

He continued to stare at me as he crassly remarked, “Class piece, Jake’s finally learned to trade up.”

That wasn’t odd even if it was disturbing and highly offensive.

Therefore, when I spoke, it was again in a snap. “I beg your pardon?”

“Sweetheart, you’re aiming to be the fourth Mrs. Jake Spear, let me just tell you, he might make a fortune from that strip club so that’ll keep you in lobster bisque for a while. But in case no one else has warned you, I will. He goes through women like water and you’ll be out before it’s time for him to trade up his truck, something he does every other year.”

The fourth Mrs. Jake Spear?

Good God.

And strip club?

My goodness!

Regardless of how shocking I found this information, this man was loathsome and therefore I retorted, “You seem to know a good deal about Jake.”

“Lived in this county all my life and doing that, it’s hard not to know pretty much everything about the truck.”

He said his last two very confusing words with not a small amount of derision then he stood.

“Do me a favor and don’t let Jake know I tried to buy you a drink. Seeing as you’re how you are, he might actually like you and want to keep you and I don’t want to know how the truck would react if he knew I’d offered.”


Most loathsome.

“Please, then, before you leave, share your name so we can see,” I returned.

He continued to stare at me for a moment before he shook his head and sauntered back into the restaurant.

I watched him go, not pleased in the slightest that that encounter made me feel even more uneasy.

However, just in case he remained at the restaurant to hit on another woman, instead of doing what I wished to do, get up and go straight to Lavender House, in order to communicate how little I thought of our disagreeable encounter, I simply looked back to the view and sipped my Chambord like it didn’t happen.

Unfortunately, it did happen.

Therefore, my eyes were to the view and my lips often tasted the deep headiness of the liqueur.

But my mind was on three previous Mrs. Jake Spears, a strip club and wondering what on earth was “the truck.”

* * * * *

I became aware of the sunlight hitting my eyelids moments before I opened them and rolled in the big iron bed with its high comfortable mattresses, flowery sheets, vast array of downy pillows and fluffy duvet.

My eyes went to the view of sparkling sea and bright sky out the big diamond-paned window across the room.

Then they went to the alarm clock by the bed.

Seven thirty.

Early for me but then again, I was still on LA time.

As ever, no matter what time it was when I woke up, I needed coffee.

I threw back the covers and then threw my legs over the side of the bed, gaining my feet.

When I did, my dusty pink nightie fell over my bottom.

The nightie had a hem that covered my lower h*ps and upper thighs that was a four-inch swathe of dusty pink pleats edged top and bottom in a trim of cream lace. The straps were thin and the bodice ran straight, exposing very little cle**age, but it had another one-inch wide section of trimmed pleats.

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