The Pucking Wrong Number: Chapter 19

MONROE

I was sitting behind the reception desk at the doctor’s office, trying to focus on my work, but my mind kept wandering back to the bouquet of two dozen black roses on the counter in front of me. They were from Lincoln, delivered thirty minutes after I started for the day, and I couldn’t help but feel a little giddy at the sight of them. Black was an interesting choice, but somehow, it fit. This thing between us. It felt far darker and more intense than a plain red rose.

Also, I really wanted a look at the background check he had on me, because he seemed to know everything about me at this point. I definitely had not given him the name and address of the office I worked at.

My thoughts were interrupted when Dr. Kevin walked in. He took one glance at the flowers and then at me, a knowing smirk on his face. I could practically feel the heat rising in my cheeks.

“Those are pretty,” he said, his eyes lingering on me for a beat too long.

“Yeah, they are,” I responded, trying to keep my voice steady. “They’re from a friend.”

“A friend, huh?” He leaned against the counter, his gaze still fixed on me. “Seems like more than a friend to me.”

I tried to ignore the knot in my stomach as I shifted in my seat, desperate for some space between us. “Hmm,” I finally said, hoping to put an end to the conversation.

But of course he wasn’t deterred. “You know, Monroe, I didn’t take you for a flower kind of girl, but I’ll try anything once.”

My skin crawled at the implication behind his words. What was it about him that made me feel so gross?

“Not going to happen,” I finally said, my voice barely above a whisper.

He snorted, like I’d told a funny joke, and then he lingered for a moment longer before finally turning to head back down the hall, leaving me slightly shaken and out of sorts.

The flowers from Lincoln suddenly didn’t seem quite as magical as they did before. I picked up the heavy vase they’d been delivered in and put them around the corner, so no one would associate them with me if they walked in.


Darkness was creeping over campus, the light of day slowly fading. We’d just been given a new assignment that was due by next class period, and I was trying to plot out how I would fit it in when I realized someone was walking way too close.

The last thing I needed was Connor sidling up like he was trying to glue himself to me. But there he was, invading my personal space without a care in the world.

‘Hey Monroe,’ he chirped, as if I hadn’t shut him down countless times since our disastrous “study session.”

I let out a weary sigh. ‘What do you want, Connor?’

His grin faltered for a moment, but then he rallied. ‘I was thinking we could try that place again. Actually eat the steak together this time.’

‘I’m busy,’ I said flatly, trying to edge away from him.

But he wasn’t deterred. He caught up to me in a few quick strides, his hand landing on my lower back. I flinched away from the unwanted touch, my nerves on edge.

“Connor—” I began, until a familiar form appeared out of the shadows.

Lincoln.

He stood tall, his broad shoulders taking up space, and his jaw clenched as he stared the guy down.

‘Hey, dream girl,’ he rasped, a faint growl in his voice that sent shivers down my spine.

I quickly pulled away from Connor, wondering how this golden boy in front of me felt more like home every time I saw him.

“Ready to go?” Lincoln asked, eating up the remaining distance between us and gathering me into his arms.

We didn’t have plans. I’d shot him a thank you text during my lunch break for the roses and he hadn’t said anything about picking me up.

But here we were, and I had no desire to say no.

“Yep,” I said in a too bright voice, and his gaze heated.

“Good girl,” he muttered, instantly drenching my panties. What was it about those words that universally ruined panties?

His gaze lifted, and he stared at something behind me—or should I say–someone. “Why don’t you introduce me to your friend before we leave?”

The comment seemed innocent enough, but there was an underlying tendril of madness that told me maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.

But hell, if having a superstar NHL hockey player as my date wouldn’t finally clue Connor in that I wasn’t interested, I wasn’t sure that anything else would.

“This is Connor,” I said as Lincoln released me, turning me around to face Connor and wrapping his arm tightly around my waist so I was pulled in close to his side.

Connor stood a few feet away from Lincoln and me, his eyes dark and angry as he stared at us. I felt Lincoln’s breath on my neck as he planted a soft kiss there, my insides sparking at the touch like the Fourth of July.

Connor’s jaw was tight, and his hands were balled into fists at his sides.

Lincoln, seemingly oblivious to Connor’s discomfort, continued to kiss my neck, his hold on me tightening.

‘Nice to meet you, Connor,’ Lincoln finally grinned, a clear taunt in his voice. “I remember you from my…presentation the other day.”

Connor didn’t respond, but I could see the tension in his body, his jealousy and anger radiating off him in waves. He opened his mouth, but then snapped it closed and shook his head. Without another word, Connor turned and stormed away, leaving us alone on the sidewalk.

Lincoln stared after him, something in his gaze that I couldn’t read. After a long moment, he finally glanced down at me and smiled, scattering away any thoughts that weren’t about him.

As I looked up at him, my breath hitched in my throat. He was dressed casually in a simple light blue t-shirt and black jeans, but somehow, he made them look better than any designer suit. His golden locks were artfully tousled, and his honey-colored eyes were glowing under the light. Even his tan skin looked like it was lit from within, as if the sun couldn’t resist kissing him.

I couldn’t shake off the feeling of being overwhelmed by his beauty. It was almost unfair how effortlessly attractive he was. His tattooed hand came up and brushed some hair out of my face, and I softened against him.

“Thanks,” I said finally, scrunching my nose at him and wishing I was dressed better, or at least had bothered to wear my hair down today.

Lincoln’s voice was low and smooth as he asked, ‘Does he bother you often?’

I shook my head in response. ‘Not really. He’s just persistent, and he gets a little too close for comfort sometimes.’

Lincoln’s grip on me tightened at my words, like he was tempted to steal me away at that admission. His hand slid into my hair and grasped my head possessively. ‘Tell me if he does it again. I don’t want anyone bothering my girl,” he growled, his fingers massaging my scalp as I relaxed into his touch. It was hard to remember that I barely knew him as his words skittered across my insides.

“Let me feed you,” he murmured, brushing his lips against my skin.

“I really need to do some homework,” I objected half-heartedly as his fingers continued to persuade me.

The thought of dinner that wasn’t packaged ramen sounded so good, though.

“You can work on your homework after dinner. I’ve got to review some tape before the game tomorrow anyway,” he cajoled. My eyes flew open, and I bit my lip. His gaze tracked the movement, his tongue licking along his bottom lip seductively.

I thought for a second, before hesitantly nodding.

That golden grin of his lit up the air as his lips pressed against mine in response, soft and warm as he angled my head right where he wanted it. His kiss was gentle, but with a hint of something more, something that licked at my insides. I melted into him, my fingers tangling in his hair, as I kissed him back with everything I had. The world around us faded away, leaving the two of us lost in the moment, lost in the feeling of our lips moving together.

“Is that Lincoln Daniels?” a girl suddenly squealed in disbelief nearby. Lincoln’s kiss hardened before he reluctantly moved away. My chest was heaving as I stared up at him.

“Let’s get going before more people notice us. I don’t want to share you with anyone,” he said, leading me down the sidewalk to the parking lot.

I scoffed. “They’d be part of your fan club,” I reminded him. “It would be more like me sharing you.”

“Mmmh, you haven’t realized quite yet just how perfect you are, dream girl.”

My cheeks flushed, and I didn’t respond, spotting his car up ahead. Of course he would find a prime parking spot on the crowded campus. He was clearly gold touched in more ways than one.

My thoughts drifted to his brother then, though, remembering the defeat etched across his features when he’d talked about him. The things he’d said about his father beating him.

Maybe his gold touch had been well-earned.

Lincoln opened my door, helping me in and then actually buckling my seat belt for me.

I giggled and grinned at him, until he realized what he’d done. His cheeks flushed adorably.

“Love the sound of that, sweetheart.”

I stared up at him. “When’s the part where you turn into a monster?” I quipped. “Because you seem too perfect to be real at the moment.”

Something flashed in his gaze, but he just winked and closed my door.

I thought about the fact that he hadn’t answered me for the entire drive.


It didn’t occur to me until we were pulling into one of the fancy new skyscrapers downtown…that we’d be having dinner at Lincoln’s place.

As we descended into the underground garage, my eyes widened at the sight of the gleaming, expensive vehicles parked in the stalls. There were sleek sports cars, luxurious sedans, and even a few motorcycles lined up along the walls. Lincoln expertly maneuvered his own car into a spot, the engine purring softly as he turned it off.

“That’s a lot of pretty things,” I commented, my eyes scanning the rows of vehicles.

“I have a problem when it comes to cars,” Lincoln responded sheepishly.

My gaze widened as realization dawned on me. “Those are all yours?” I choked. For a second I’d forgotten he wasn’t only a superstar athlete…there was also the whole hedge fund billionaire father thing going on.

“Let me know if you ever want to drive one,’ he offered, flashing a charming grin.

I gulped. “You can’t offer to lend me your fancy car. We’ve talked about stranger danger before, I believe,” I teased.

He leaned forward, an intense gleam in his gaze. “I’ve tasted your cum, baby,” he said, his voice low and rough. “I’ve covered my face in your sweet pussy. We’re way past the stranger phase.”

With that, he got out of the car and came around to get me, seemingly unaware he’d left me drowning in a pool of lust, my thoughts tracing the way his tongue had pushed inside me and set my world on fire.

We stepped into the elevator, and Lincoln pressed the button for the penthouse. As we ascended, my heart suddenly raced with nerves. Was this real life? Any moment now, I would wake up, and I’d realize that all of this had been a dream, a romance novel my overactive brain had created just to torture me.

What did it say about me that I never wanted to wake up?

The doors opened, and I followed him into a stunning foyer–is that what the rich people called this type of room? The walls were a soft cream color, and the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked the city. A plush gray couch sat against the wall in front of us, and there was a crystal chandelier hanging from the high ceiling.

I fidgeted with my worn Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt. I’d been exhausted after work and thrown it on, thinking I’d be comfortable for class, but obviously I would’ve tried a bit harder if I’d known Lincoln was in the plans for the night. This was the kind of place you were supposed to wear a ballgown in every day.

“Want a tour?” he asked, smirking at my wide-eyed gaze.

“Yes, please,” I quipped, not even bothering to hide my enthusiasm.

Grabbing my hand, we walked to our left. The kitchen of Lincoln’s penthouse was a chef’s dream. Its counters were made of gleaming marble, and the cabinets were sleek and modern, all in shades of white and gray. All of his appliances were top-of-the-line, including a six-burner gas stove, a massive fridge, and a built-in espresso machine. Hanging above the island was a trio of pendant lights, casting a warm glow over the space. The island itself was large enough to seat four people comfortably, with plush bar stools upholstered in soft leather.

“I think even I could learn to cook in a kitchen like this,” I said, my tone a bit dreamy as my hand slid along the cool marble.

“I wish that was the case. I don’t think I’ve used anything in here but the oven,” he mused, his hand fiddling with my hair as he stared around the room absentmindedly.

“You have a fancy private chef, don’t you?” I teased.

He stuck his tongue out at me. “I have a fancy housekeeper who happens to be the best chef in the world. So you’ll never have to learn to cook if you don’t want to.”

He’d thrown that out so casually. Like we weren’t on date number two of this whole thing, and just now getting to know each other.

I wasn’t going to think about the future like that. Not happening.

Although, staring around the room, I knew my little apartment would look even more sorry tonight.

My mother’s face flashed in my head for a moment, the happiness she’d had when she thought she’d found a man who wanted to take care of her.

That memory was followed by her lying in a pool of her own vomit.

“Hey.” Lincoln’s voice broke through my thoughts. He tilted my chin up, and his honey gaze searched mine. “What were you thinking about?”

“Nothing important,” I sighed, forcing a smile.

He stared at me persistently, as if the weight of his gaze could cause me to spill my dark thoughts.

And evidently, it could.

“Just the past sneaking in,’ I found myself admitting.

He nodded, as if once again he completely understood me, and then he grabbed my hand and led me out of the kitchen, down another hallway, and into the living room.

If I thought the kitchen was nice, Lincoln’s living room was a masterpiece of sleek modern design, with polished marble floors. The furniture was all low-slung and contemporary, with plush cream-colored sofas and chairs arranged in intimate clusters around low glass coffee tables. Large, abstract paintings hung on the walls, splashes of color against the stark white backdrop.

In the center of the room stood a massive glass fireplace. Lincoln pressed a button in the wall and immediately there were flames dancing within. The room was a mecca for natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline. There were fancy art objects and sculptures here and there, each one obviously carefully curated to fit the room’s aesthetic. The room even smelled good, like those high end stores where you walked in and immediately believed they’d bottled the scent of wealth.

A space that made you feel both small and insignificant at the same time. It was a living room fit for a king. And clearly, Lincoln fit right in.

I mouthed a breathless ‘Wow’ at him, and he chuckled, sweeping his hand through his hair, the movement causing his inked muscles to ripple seductively.

“It’s a lot. I know. But I just let the designer do her thing.”

“Rich people,” I huffed, winking, so he knew I was kidding.

He led me through a maze of rooms, each more impressive than the last. The weight room was a sight to behold, with gleaming metal dumbbells and machines lining the walls, and a sauna nestled in one corner, steam rising from its wooden walls misting the glass door. His office was pristine, with not a single paper out of place, and the desk made of a rich, dark wood. The dining room was stunning, with a long, polished table and elegant chairs. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, he ushered me into a full-equipped theater room. The walls were painted a deep navy blue, and plush leather seats were arranged in rows, facing a massive screen that took up almost the entire wall.

I was imagining myself watching “Wedding Crashers” in there when my stomach suddenly gave an embarrassingly loud grumble. Lincoln’s eyebrows shot up in amusement, and I felt my face flush with embarrassment.

“Let’s finish the tour after I feed you,” he said, lacing his fingers through mine and tugging me out of the room. I stared longingly behind me at the darkened screen. I was a big sucker for movies, and right now, I didn’t even have a T.V.

“My theater room is your theater room,” he teased as we made it into the kitchen. He let me go and wandered to one of the drawers, opening it and rummaging through piles of takeout menus.

“What are you in the mood for, dream girl? Or should we order from a bunch of different places so you can figure out what you’re craving?”

I gaped at him, my mouth actually salivating. I hadn’t thought it possible, but him talking about ordering me lots of food had just upped his hotness factor even more. My mouth was watering as I stared at him.

He sauntered over to the counter nearest me, casually tossing at least six different menus on the marble surface. ‘Okay, multiple places it is,’ he drawled, his voice low and gravelly. ‘Do you want to look through the menus, or should I order some of my favorites for you to try?’

I watched as he sifted through the colorful menus, his eyes scanning each one with a practiced ease. ‘Your favorites sound good. I’m not picky,’ I said with a shrug. ‘When you live off ramen, anything pretty much tastes great.’

His face darkened slightly, the shadows playing across his chiseled features. ‘Don’t worry, baby,’ he murmured, his voice deep and rumbling. ‘We’re going to fix that.’

A shiver ran down my spine at the intensity in his gaze. I licked my lips nervously, suddenly aware of how close he was standing to me. ‘And I don’t have any allergies,’ I added, trying to break the spell.

‘I know,’ he replied, giving me a sly wink.

I was still on the fence about whether it was creepy that he knew so fucking much about me.

Lincoln ordered a bunch of items from various food delivery places, and then we walked out onto the balcony to wait. His view of the city was stunning, even better than the one I had seen at his teammate’s party. The city lights twinkled like a constellation of glittering lights across the Texas sky, like stars that had descended to Earth.

This view could never get old.

“So how long have you known Ari?” I asked, hoping to find out more about him. There was only so much you could learn from a Google search, after all.

He beamed, the topic obviously a good choice. “We were roommates in prep school during our freshman year, and we fucking hated each other. I thought he was a stupid fuckboy, and he thought I had a stick up my ass. We basically took turns torturing each other.” His body shook with laughter, the mere memory of it evidently hilarious. “I once replaced his condoms with spicy joke ones I’d found on Amazon. He was balls deep in a girl when his dick started burning. He ran out of the room into the main hallway butt naked, screaming that his cock was about to fall off.”

My laughter bubbled up, tears streaming down my cheeks as I wiped them away. Especially when he pulled out his phone and showed a picture of Ari from that day, standing in the hallway, his face scrunched up, a hand towel covering his bits. It was too damn funny.

“What made you guys change your mind about each other?” I finally asked, when I’d gained control of myself.

All signs of laughter were wiped away, the broken man I’d glimpsed briefly at the party standing there once again.

“My brother died, and the only one in my life who stepped up to make sure I didn’t follow him…was Ari.”

With that pronouncement, he left the balcony to get the food that had just arrived.

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