Della had eaten her sandwich in silence. She’d been rather focused on her food since it arrived at the table. I’d had a hard time eating because watching her was more entertaining. She patted her mouth with a napkin and her eyes lifted to meet mine. A blush tinted her cheeks and her eyes twinkled.
“I was starving. Golf exhausted me and I’m not sure why because I was terrible at it,” she explained as she lowered the napkin to her lap.
“Was today your first time playing golf?” I asked, trying to push back my immediate jealous reaction to the fact Tripp had taken her golfing today.
“Yes. I had wanted to learn to play and Tripp wanted me to go with him today so I went. But I think I lost so many of his golf balls he regrets it.”
This time I laughed. I knew Tripp didn’t regret a single minute of it. I just hoped he had enough memories to hold him for the rest of his damn life because that was his only chance to get her alone like that. “You just need a good instructor,” I replied.
Della pinched her lips in a thoughtful frown. Then she shook her head. “No, I’m hopeless. I wouldn’t plan on wasting your time.”
The chance to get to wrap my arms around her and teach her to swing a club then stand back and watch her ass while she did it was not a waste of time. I kept that thought to myself though.
“We’ll see,” was all I said.
The waitress brought us our ticket and I slipped enough cash to cover the meal and a decent tip before standing up and holding my hand out to Della. I was tired of being in public with her. I wanted to get her alone. There was a lot I wanted to say but first I needed to hold her. It had been too long.
“Where are we going now?” she asked as she stood up beside me.
“My place. I want you to see it. Especially the view. Is that okay?”
Della nodded and I tried to be good. It was hard though. The image of her naked against my sheets wouldn’t go away. I wanted her there.
“I’d love to see your place.”
We walked back outside to my truck. Della climbed up in the passenger seat and I didn’t even pretend like I wasn’t checking out her ass in the little white shorts she was wearing. There wasn’t a panty line and the idea of her not having on anything underneath made me break out into a sweat. I needed to think about something else. Anything else or I was going to be hard as a rock and incredibly uncomfortable.
“How long is Tripp in town?” There that should do it. Remind myself she was sharing a condo with another man. One who no doubt wanted her too.
“He didn’t say exactly. I think he was just ready to move on from Dallas and came back here before his next adventure.” The way she talked about Tripp’s life like it made complete sense reminded me that she led a life much like his. One I didn’t understand. But then if my dad fired me I would be just as lost as he was. Leaving town with Della didn’t sound like such a bad idea.
My phone rang in my pocket and I knew without answering it was my father. It had taken Angelina longer than I expected to get the word to him that the engagement was over. His grand plan was ruined.
I reached into my pocket and turned the phone off. I would deal with him later. Right now I wanted to focus on Della. Facing my father was going to put a major damper on my mood. I didn’t want that today.
“Do you work tonight?” I asked. Because if she did I was going to call in and change the schedule.
“This is my day off,” she replied, grinning. “Don’t you do the scheduling?”I did but this past week had been hell. I couldn’t remember what day I’d given her off. “Just checking,” I replied before pulling into the split brick drive that led up to my house. It had been my parents’ first home. My grandfather had let them live here until my father had earned enough to buy them the house my mother really wanted. When my grandfather passed away he’d left the house to me. Even something that small had pissed my father off. He’d wanted complete control over me. What I’d really needed my grandfather to leave me had been a part of the club. He hadn’t.“Woods! It’s beautiful,” Della said in awe as I pulled underneath the raised house. It wasn’t really. Not compared to my parents’ or most of the newer homes along Rosemary. But it had character.“Thank you.”Della opened the truck door and hopped out before I could help her.“It’s like one of those seaside houses you see in the movies. The big hurricane shutters and the wrap around porch. This is just perfect.”Hearing her gush about my house made me want to haul her upstairs to my room even more. I loved this place. It was the only thing that was mine.“I can’t wait to see the inside. I could just live on your porch. The view must be perfect.”She could live on my porch if she wanted. I’d even let her come inside and sleep in my bed. I didn’t say that though. Too much, too soon. Right now we had a few shared moments and some hot sex. I had to build on that. I wanted to build on that.“Come on up. I’ll show you just how perfect the view is.”Della followed me up the stairs and I unlocked the door then stood back and let her walk inside first. I hadn’t given much thought to my decorating before but knowing Della was here and checking everything out I hated the fact that I’d not changed much since my grandparents left me the house.My grandmother had decorated it and they’d lived here the last few years of my grandmother’s life. When she’d been diagnosed with terminal cancer they had sold their sprawling mansion in Seaside and moved back here. After she’d passed away my grandfather had moved into my parents’ house and lived there for three months before he died of a heart attack.I liked the warmth of the place. I hadn’t spent much time thinking of changing things. It wasn’t like I entertained here. I worked too much for that lifestyle.Della ran her hand along the worn pale leather couch and spun around slowly looking at the details my grandmother had taken great care to leave behind. She had loved to paint. Seeing the canvases she’d painted out on that porch while she enjoyed the last years she had on earth always gave me a sense of peace.“The paintings are beautiful. So bright and cheerful,” Della said as she stood in front of one that was my grandfather’s favorite. When I’d tried to give it to him he’d refused to take it. He’d said she wanted it here in this place.“That’s a hole at the golf course,” she said. I was impressed that she’d recognized it.“My grandfather’s favorite. His only hole in one was at that hole. It’s the fifteenth.”Della smiled. “And you have it here on your wall.”“My grandmother painted it. She painted all of these.”Della’s eyes went wide and she started looking around at the other paintings on the wall. “She was very talented.”I had to agree. She was. Yet she’d given up her dreams for my grandfather’s. I’d always heard my mother’s bitter comments about her not being the doormat that my grandmother was. But I never saw my grandmother as a doormat. She was quiet and reserved but she’d controlled so much more than anyone understood. She had owned my grandfather’s heart. As cold and unfeeling as many assumed it was, she had owned it. And she’d cherished it.“It’s not what I expected… not from a single guy,” she said in almost a whisper. “I love it.”“Come see the view,” I said, opening the doors leading out onto the porch. Della walked out and went straight to the railing. The ocean breeze caught her hair and it danced around her shoulders. I liked seeing her out here. I stepped back inside and went to grab a bottle of wine and two glasses.