Goddess Rising

Goddess Rising by Alexi Lawless

Book: Goddess Rising by Alexi Lawless Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alexi Lawless
Tags: Fiction
consider his offer.
    “It’s nothing,” Sam replied, flippant. Wes watched her rotate her glass in between her hands—round and round—a nervous gesture that belied her words.
    “Oh, it’s definitely something if you’re frowning like that,” he said, pointing at the crease between her brows.
    Sam laughed softly.
    “What?”
    “My little brother just told me that,” she admitted. “Not ten minutes ago.”
    “You two close?” Wes asked.
    Samantha nodded, still smiling. “He’s the biggest pain in my ass sometimes, but he’s my favorite person in the world, you know?”
    “Yeah, I get that.”
    “You got any brothers and sisters?”
    “No,” Wes shook his head regretfully. “Just me and my mom.”
    “Whereabouts?”
    “Austin.”
    Samantha nodded. “At least that’s fairly close by. You get down to see her often?”
    “I try to, but it’ll be harder this year.”
    “And why’s that?” she asked, interest piqued.
    Wes hadn’t told many people about his mom, but he figured a girl like Samantha would appreciate this particular tidbit. He leaned forward, like he was getting ready to tell her a secret. Sam moved in a little too, instinctively.
    “My mom had me young,” he explained. “Never got the chance to go to college. So I made a deal with her.”
    Samantha cocked her head. “What kind of deal?” she asked, leaning closer.
    “I go to college, she goes too,” Wes told her with a grin.
    Sam lifted her brows. “Seriously?”
    Wes nodded. “The first year, we couldn’t afford it, but last year I picked up some side gigs, and I paid the deposit for her first semester.”
    That’s what being good at photography and Photoshop bought you , Wes thought to himself. He’d never really planned on making fake IDs, but the minute he’d been able to pay for his mama to go back to school too, he never looked back. Granted, there were plenty of other perks too—like finally being able to get his father’s old motorcycle restored and then some.
    A warm smile spread across Samantha’s face, lighting her up, and Wes thought that made the risk worth it too—to see the surprised admiration in her eyes.
    “I’m tempted to take back every mean thing I said about you, Wes Elliott.”
    “Well hell,” he laughed. “We’ve only known each other a minute. How many things have you said?”
    Sam sipped her drink, a sparkle in her eyes. “So you and your mom: back in school, huh?”
    “Figured it was only fair, since I was the reason she didn’t get to go in the first place,” Wes admitted. A waitress brought his ribs out, and he thanked her before gesturing at his plate. “Want some?” he offered.
    She shook her head. “I polished off my brisket like I hadn’t eaten in months. Beats school cafeteria food every time.”
    “Yeah, it does,” he agreed, biting into one of his ribs before meeting her eyes again. “So I was wondering—”
    “No,” Sam stated immediately, not even letting him finish.
    Wes sat back. “But you haven’t even heard what I’m about to say.”
    Sam shot him a knowing look. “Yeah, well, whatever it is—the answer’s still gonna be ‘no.’”
    “Never had a girl turn me down before I asked her for anything,” he marveled.
    “Doubt you had a girl turn you down for anything, period,” she replied, fiddling with her straw.
    Wes didn’t say anything.
    “Admit it, Wesley Elliott,” Sam insisted. “Bet you a hundred bucks all you ever have to do is flash those dimples and girls drop everything, including their common sense.”
    Wes’s first instinct was to deny, deny, deny. But somehow he knew she wouldn’t believe it.
    “You might be right,” he conceded, a wry grin tugging his mouth. “Why do you always call me by full name?”
    Samantha shrugged lightly. “I guess to remind myself who you are.”
    “And who am I to you?”
    “Trouble,” she replied. “With a capital ‘T,’” she added with a half-smile.
    God, but he liked her.
    Wes leaned

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