Book: Tough and Tender (Bad Boy Romance Box Set)

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Next: Chapter Four

Chapter Three

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Alexandra was awoken the next morning to the smell of bacon. She stumbled out of bed, her eyes squinting in the brightness coming through her windows. She made her way out of her room, following the sounds of crackling as well as the delicious smells coming from the kitchen.

Seriously? He’s making breakfast? Alexandra wondered as she came to a stop inside the kitchen. Catching sight of Cane in front of the stove, she felt a mighty snag grab at her chest.

Cane. In blue jeans and a dark muscle shirt. Sweet heavens above.

This morning he seemed a whole lot different from the mean machine in a suit he’d looked like yesterday. The dash of sunlight that hit right on him from the nearby window gave her a detailed view of his casually dressed body which looked ripped as hell in his casual, snug-fitting clothes. He hadn’t noticed her yet so she could unabashedly drink in the utterly sexy image of him standing there looking like a young stud with his broad shoulders and pecs, washboard abs evident beneath the thin shirt and his narrow hips encased jealously in those sinful jeans. There was not an ounce of spare flesh beneath his clothes and to top it off he was barefoot which was sexiness personified since he happened to have the most gorgeous feet. Alexandra blinked as she realized it had been a hell of a long time since she’d woken up to a hot, virile man standing making breakfast in her kitchen.

Whew. Either the delicious scents from the food or the equally delicious sight of Cane was making her mouth water and her head swim. Whichever it was, Alexandra was torn between dashing away from the kitchen in confusion or advancing and giving in to the urge to run her fingers along every inch of his awesomely fit body.

Realizing what she was thinking and asking herself what the hell she thought she was doing, Alexandra was however precluded from bolting when he suddenly looked up and found her frozen just inside the doorway. He broke into a grin that almost knocked her off her feet. He looked years younger when he smiled like that and his amazing green eyes caught her in a trance she had to shake off as she berated herself for being so silly. So he was sexy as sin. She was well over that. Or she should be since he could also be an infuriating male specimen who never seemed fazed no matter what she said or did.

His gaze flickered over her for a moment and she only just noted she was dressed in nothing but a pair of cotton shorts and a loose sleeveless crop top. Hardly seductive but she couldn’t help feeling somewhat self-conscious being so scantily clad, with her hair in a mass of curls around her face. Not that he seemed to notice with the way he nodded amiably, wiped his hand on a kitchen towel and held it out to her.

“Good morning. I can’t help but think we got off on the wrong foot yesterday. Truce?’

Thrown off by his pleasant demeanor, so different from his aloof persona of the day before, she slipped her hand in his and felt his warm, firm grasp. Moments later he let her go and Alexandra couldn’t help but expel an inaudible breath.

He swiftly returned his attention to the frying pan which was filled with sizzling goodness. Alexandra normally couldn’t work up an appetite so early in the morning but today her taste buds were itching to savor whatever had led her nose from the bedroom to the kitchen.

“Um...it all smells really nice,” she ventured, and he gave her a quick smile that sent tingles coursing through her. Damn! Alexandra told herself she had to stop acting like a schoolgirl with a crush and view Cane as exactly what he was, an employee paid by her father. Nothing more. It didn’t matter how freaking fine he was or that he seemed to know his way around a kitchen which was normally a plus in her books when it came to men.

“I wasn’t sure what you liked so I made a bit of everything. Bacon, toast, eggs, pancakes. I’ve plated yours already, by the way,” Cane added, gesturing his head in direction of the dining bar where a plate was set along with a glass of orange juice.

“Thanks – but you really shouldn’t have,” Alexandra said, even as she gravitated irresistibly to the laid table. “I could have made my own breakfast.”

“Like I said, it’s a peace offering,” Cane told her with a sideways grin. “And hopefully you’ll decide I’m not a total ogre when you try my fantastic cooking.”

“Fantastic? Maybe I should be the one to judge,” Alexandra said drily with a raised brow, her lips curving reluctantly in a smile. She saw his look of triumph at her banter, and sighed inwardly. Okay, so she couldn’t fault him for buttering her up, so to speak. They didn’t really need the acrimony and as much as she wanted her life back, she wasn’t really the kind to be difficult or snotty. In fact, she was known for her easygoing nature but around Cane, she couldn’t understand why she was always so on edge.

One thing was for sure, the man was right about his cooking. She wasn’t sure what, but he had to have put some kind of extra touch to the bacon and eggs which happened to taste insanely good. Far better than what she could hustle up which was saying a lot. No doubt Cane was full of surprises but what other tricks did he have up his sleeve in his bid to win her over? Whatever it could be, Alexandra swore she wasn’t falling for it. Letting down her guard around a man like Cane would be lethal. She’d sworn a long time ago never to give in to her baser instincts when it came to men. She’d tried it once before and it had ended really, really badly. No freaking way she was going to make the same mistake twice – not even when the man had all the ingredients of a sweet temptation the way Cane did.

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Next: Chapter Four
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