Home > Craft (The Gibson Boys #2)(13)

Craft (The Gibson Boys #2)(13)
Author: Adriana Locke

He shrugs like he hadn’t thought about it.

“Were you trying to convince her of your heterosexuality?” I tease.

“No. Clearly Nana loves me for whomever I choose to be.”

“Lucky for you.”

His lips part into a slow smile. “This night didn’t go as planned, did it?”

“Ha.” Taking a deep breath, I blow it out into the night. “It didn’t go as planned, but is it weird that I’m happy about how it turned out?”

“You are, are you?”

“I don’t think Jonah was for me,” I wince, making him laugh. “It makes me wonder what Whitney was thinking. I mean, he ordered a veggie burger.”

Lance cracks up, his hand dropping to his thigh. My eyes follow it as his fingers press lightly into his leg. The muscles in his forearm flex and I want to ask him if he lifts weights or plays basketball a lot or is just one of those people that wakes up sexy. But I don’t. It’s too dangerous. For me.

“So that was a blind date?” he asks. “You didn’t pick him out of a line-up or something?”

“Um, no. My friend hooked us up. He was cute and I think he’s probably smart if I could have gotten him to open up or something,” I shrug. “But he’s really not what I go for in a man.”

“Now we’re getting somewhere …”

“Really?” I giggle. “Where’s that?”

“What does Ms. Mariah Malarkey look for in a man?”

My mouth hangs open, but no words come out. My first reaction is to babble off hair color or nice teeth, but is that what I look for in a man?

“Cat got your tongue?” he asks.

“You know, I’m not sure what my type is.”

“How can you not know that?” He takes his eyes off the road to look at me. “Don’t women sit around and analyze it?”

“Not this woman. I haven’t ever thought about it. It’s harder to answer than you think.”

He gives me a look that says I’m crazy, so I turn the tables.

“What’s your type, Mr. Gibson?”

His response is instantaneous. “Big ass. Tight pussy. Nice lips.”

My scoff isn’t supposed to be heard. It’s supposed to stay tucked inside the judgmental sector of my brain while I play it off like his response is expected. Because it is. This is verbatim what I expected him to say.

What I didn’t expect is how my heart kind of tugged when he said it.

“What?” he pushes when I don’t say anything. “I’m being honest.”

“I’m sure you are.”

“When you’re fucking someone, nothing else really matters. Sure, I appreciate good breath and no gag reflex but I’m not picky.”

The song switches to something a little faster temp. I turn it off. He lifts a brow, but doesn’t comment.

My eyes drift closed. Fighting my brain to keep from overanalyzing every word I’ve said tonight, I try to just breathe in Lance’s cologne and enjoy the little bubble I’m in. It’s like the world isn’t here. It’s similar to how I feel when I read an amazing book, only this is real. At least for a little while it is.

How long I sit like that and ponder, I don’t know, but Lance’s hand brushing my cheek is what pulls me back to the car.

My lashes open to see him watching me with a concerned look etched on his features.

“I didn’t offend you somehow, did I?” he asks quietly. He clenches the steering wheel, his forearm flexing.

“No, of course not.” Shifting in my seat, wishing the warmth of his hand was back on my cheek again, I smile. “Why would I be offended?”

“I don’t know. You just got all quiet on me.”

“I was just relaxing,” I shrug. “And thinking. I figured out my type.”


“He’s loyal. That’s the most important thing. And smart, someone who likes to read and wouldn’t give me crap about reading in bed.” The further I go into this, the easier it gets. “He’d want to be a father, have at least two kids, and not be mad if I let them pile up in bed with us. He’d love cake and baked stuff and wouldn’t be adverse to stopping the car and getting out to dance because a certain song had come on.”

Lance balks. “Dancing in the middle of the road?”

“Yes,” I sigh happily. “It’s so romantic.”

“Which is precisely why I stay away from romance,” he laughs. “That sounds ridiculous to me.”

“You’re better off focused on the ass, I guess.”


Twisting so I’m actually sitting sideways in my seat and facing him, I watch his jaw flex. It’s an unconscious quirk. He does it when he’s mulling something, when he doesn’t have quite the comeback he wants.

I study him for a while. He lets me. He keeps his attention on the road and doesn’t chastise me for watching.

Lance could easily be my type. He’s intelligent and funny and he works hard. His heart is good, even if his mouth is filthy, and I know he likes to eat what I bake. I’d even put money on him being a good father. I’d put even more on the table that he doesn’t want any part of that.

“Don’t you ever want to stop chasing women and just breathe?”

“That would be a no,” he cringes. “That sounds terrible.”


“Why?” he repeats. “There’s too much responsibility in relationships. You’re suddenly on the hook for someone else’s happiness.”

“I wholeheartedly disagree,” I shoot back. “The only person responsible for your happiness is you.”

He takes the exit into Linton, shaking his head. “Not true, sweetheart. If you are in a monogamous relationship, it’s your job, even if only in part, to bring happiness to the other person.”

“Maybe joy,” I argue. “But not happiness. Two completely different things. Think about it. Joy is something that can be spread. You can bring someone joy, just like the old saying goes. But happiness? That’s an entirely personal thing. Someone else can’t make me become happy if I’m not.”

The lights from Goodman’s Gas Station light up the car as we go by. His lips press together as he considers my stance. “Let’s say we’re dating,” he says finally. “And you really wanted to move to Oregon, right? Maybe it’s the fulfillment of your life’s desire to live in Portland. The job of your dreams is there or something, I don’t know. And for whatever reason I can’t go and it’s the only thing in the world that you really, truly want. I can’t give you that. If you stay with me, you’ll never really be fulfilled. You’ll never be happy. Doesn’t that make me a dick?”

“There are so many problems with that analogy,” I laugh. “First of all, relationships are compromises.”

“What if I can’t compromise?”

“Then you shouldn’t be in a relationship.”

“Which is what I said from the start.”

“But love is compromise,” I insist. “You can’t have everything you want. You have to meet in the middle.”

“Love isn’t compromise. It’s conditions,” he says, looking at me out of the corner of his eye. “You love someone if. They love you if. If you don’t fulfill that condition, they leave. Ever wonder why the divorce rate is so high in this country? Because we’re a bunch of hedonistic fuckers.”

“So you’re discussing monogamy, obviously.”

Rolling my eyes, I turn to face the windshield. The car pilots onto my street. Lance turns the music back on, leaving the subject alone.

As much as I want to say he’s wrong about all of that, he’s not. I hate that he’s not, but he’s not. There are conditions to relationships and if you don’t meet them, it’s kaput. That’s exactly what happened with Eric. I didn’t meet whatever conditions he had. Probably the one about anal.

“I guess you aren’t the one-night stand kind of girl?” he asks on a half-laugh.


“So you’re a straight relationship girl?”

“I’m not anything right now,” I say, wondering if that will ever change.

“What about Jonah?”

“I hope Jonah has a nana like yours,” I laugh, making Lance laugh. “I think I should date more. I haven’t dated anyone seriously since Eric.”

He wrinkles his nose. “Do I want to ask about Eric?”

“You don’t.”

The car pulls in front of my house. Whitney’s car is in my driveway and a light is on in the living room. I realize I haven’t checked my phone all night and I laugh when I consider how many texts are probably on there from her.

“I guess this is it,” I say, grabbing my purse off the floor.

“I’m at least going to walk you to the door.”

“You totally don’t have to do that.” I laugh as he gets out of the car and jogs around to the front. His body moves so gracefully and with such ease that I wish I would’ve been taping it to watch again later. “Thank you.” I climb out of the car as Lance holds the door open and step into the cool evening air.

His hand finds the small of my back again as we walk up the sidewalk. I love how it nestles right in the curve. There’s no fumbling like with so many men. It’s almost a natural gesture and I know I’ll be remembering it later.

We get to the top step and he pulls his palm away and instantly I wish it were back where it was. I wish there were a mile of sidewalk left to my doorstep.

“In a weird way,” he says, “I’m glad I didn’t eat the pizza in the fridge tonight.”

“In a weird way, I’m glad I agreed to a date with Jonah.” The softness in his features makes me blush. “Thank you for saving the day. For giving me a ride home. For taking me to Nana’s. You didn’t have to do any of that.”

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