words were growled lowâa deadly warning that made Dominic hesitate.
Tamia glanced around the restaurant, meeting the blatantly curious stares of several other diners. She had an unpleasant flashback to the day sheâd gotten into a fistfight with Dominicâs wife at a coffee shop. Now that she was trying to rehabilitate her image, getting banned from another establishment was the last thing she wanted or needed.
âItâs okay,â she mumbled to Dominic.
He frowned. âTamiaââ
âNo, really. I donât want to cause a scene.â
Glaring at Brandon, Dominic reluctantly sat back down.
Tamia had barely wiped her mouth on her napkin before Brandon grasped her upper arm and helped her from her chair. Her face burned with embarrassment as he steered her through the crowded restaurant. Once they were outside, he wordlessly handed his ticket to the parking attendant.
Tamia swallowed hard. âBrandonââ
He rounded furiously on her. âWhat the hell are you doing?â
She stared at him. âExcuse me?â
âWhat the hell are you doing here with that muthafucka?â
She lifted a defiant chin. âNot that itâs any of your businessââ
âWhat? WHAT? â
Tamia darted a nervous glance at the parking attendant, who was pretending not to watch them.
She shook her head at Brandon. âThis really isnât the time or placeââ
Grabbing her hand, he dragged her to the farthest end of the canopied entrance.
As they turned to face each other, Tamia couldnât help admiring the delicious perfection of his dark skin . . . the succulent fullness of his lips caressed by a manicured goatee . . . the broad expanse of his shoulders and strong chest. He looked absolutely amazing in his bespoke charcoal suit, one of five heâd had custom-tailored during their trip to Italy.
God, how she wished they could go back there and never leave.
âFor the last time,â Brandon growled, cold fury lacing his tone, âwhat are you doing here with Dominic?â
âWeâre having lunch,â Tamia said evenly.
âI donât owe you an explanaââ
â Goddamn it, Tamia! â Brandon exploded, pushing his face into hers. âAfter everything that lowlife muthafucka did to you, do you honestly think you can trust him? Canât you see heâs just trying to come between us again?â
Tamia stared at him. âThere is no us.â
Brandon flinched, pain darkening his eyes. Blinking rapidly, he rubbed a shaky hand over his clenched jaw.
Tamia wanted to cry. Her throat ached from the effort of holding back the tears.
Shaking his head at her, Brandon whispered, âWhy are you doing this?â
âDoing what, Brandon? Moving on with my life? What else am I supposed to do? Huh? What else am I supposed to do?â
âNot with him, Tamia. Not with him .â
She sneered. âIs that all you care about? Not losing me to your hated rival? Is that all I am to youâa fucking pawn on some chessboard?â
â NO! â Brandon roared, urgently grabbing her face between his hands. âYou know good and damn well you mean more to me than that!â
âWhat I know , Brandon, is that youâre marrying another woman and having a child with her!â
âBut youâre the one I want, damn it!â
At that moment his shiny black Maybach rolled to the curb, rims gleaming. As the valet climbed out of the vehicle, Brandon marched over, yanked open the passenger door, and glared at Tamia.
âGet in the car,â he commanded.
âWhat?â she sputtered. âWhy?â
âWe need to go for a ride and talk.â
Tamia shook her head. âWe have nothing to talk about.â
âThe hell we donât,â Brandon growled. âGet in the car.â
â GET IN THE FUCKING CAR, TAMIA! â
She gaped at him.
Joshua Guess, Patrick Rooney, Courtney Hahn, Treesong, Aaron Moreland