Love Redesigned: Chapter 31

Julian

I wanted to kiss Dahlia since I saw her sitting by herself, sipping on a cup of coffee while scrolling through her phone, doing God knows what at six a.m.

Dahlia isn’t a morning person, which should have been my first clue that something was wrong.

Her prank was great—master level even—but I can barely appreciate it when all I can think about is kissing her stupid.

So I do just that.

At first, she is surprised, but it only takes her a few seconds to match my tempo. Her nails dig into my skin from her tight grip around my neck, and I pay back the bite of pain by sliding my hands through her hair and tugging at the roots until she gasps.

Kissing Dahlia feels like a battle of teeth and tongues as I fight the temptation to hike up her skirt and fuck her against my newly decorated desk.

You need to take things slow, I tell myself while dragging my tongue across hers.

You’re supposed to wait until her arm is cleared. I groan as she slides a hand over the material covering my cock.

Stop before you can’t anymore. I rip my mouth away from hers, earning the sweetest frustrated sigh.

Only a few more seconds, I promise as I tug on her hair and expose her neck.

She teases my cock, brushing the tips of her fingers across it while I kiss, nip, and suck on the column of her throat.

She latches on to my hair and yanks hard enough to have my head snap.

“Hey.” I rub at the sore spot.

“My mom would freak out if she saw a hickey.”

“Perfect time of year for a scarf.” I lean in, only for her to hold me back with a single finger to the middle of my forehead.

“Who knew you were so desperate to mark me?”

“Your neck might be off the table, but your ass is still fair game.”

Her eyes widen.

I brush my index finger across the red blotchy skin of her neck. “Would you like that?”

“Not sure, but I’m up for finding out.”

“I’ll hold you to that after you get your cast off.”

“Fine.” Her deep sigh of resignation can probably be heard a mile away. “I better get to work anyway. I’m on a tight deadline for my décor launch, and I don’t want to miss it.”

“See you at the Founder’s house later?” I ask before she disappears out the door.

“Why?”

“I want to check on a few things and make sure we’re still on schedule.”

“Still itching to get me out of here?” Her eyes glimmer.

“You knew about that?”

“There was only one reasonable explanation for why you wanted to get the project finished in half the time.”

“Perhaps I should slow things down, then.” Now that I admittedly want to spend time with Dahlia, there is no reason to rush things.

What happened to keeping things casual? The small, paranoid voice in my head asks.

“Why—” Her question is cut off by the rattling of keys. “I need to see Sam’s reaction! Bye!” She darts around the corner, leaving me alone with the silliest smile on my face.


I’m not sure if Ryder hired another male carpenter to spite me, but he’s lucky I need him, or else I’d fire him.

Hell, I’m tempted to do so to prove a point.

The attractive carpenter leans into Dahlia’s side under the guise of getting a better peek at her drawing.

My blood pressure spikes. “You there. With the goatee.” I keep my voice neutral, although my stiff posture seems to draw Dahlia’s attention.

The carpenter beside her looks up. “Me?”

“Well, I’m certainly not talking about Ms. Muñoz.”

“Of course not, Mr. Lopez.”

“What’s your name?”

“Patrick.”

“Congratulations, Patrick. You’ve been promoted.”

His brows jump. “What?”

“Go find Ryder outside and tell him I want you working on the Lake Aurora project.”

“Really?”

“Yup.” I wave him away.

Patrick takes off running for the door, leaving Dahlia and me behind.

Dahlia’s brows furrow. “Is everything okay?”

“It is now.”

Her eyes light up. “What did Patrick do to earn a promotion after only a day of working here?”

“I needed his skills elsewhere.”

“And what about the house?”

“I’m going to take over Patrick’s job.”

Dahlia blinks a few times. “You can’t be serious.”

Deadly so.

Jealousy might be one hell of a motivator, but it doesn’t change the facts. I’m tired of avoiding what I love because of the pain associated with it. Just like I’m tired of pretending I would rather be in meetings when I would prefer to be out here, getting my hands dirty with every project Dahlia throws my way.

My plan to work on the Founder’s house goes beyond jealousy or my need to impress Dahlia.

It has everything to do with me.

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