Home > The Billionaire's Game ~ Kade (Billionaire's Obsession #4)(22)

The Billionaire's Game ~ Kade (Billionaire's Obsession #4)(22)
Author: J.S. Scott

Asha relished his teasing. It was something she’d never had or done before. “It depends on how good the dinner is,” she answered cheekily, trying out her bantering skills for the first time.

“Great. Now I’m really screwed. Two female siblings against me,” Max bemoaned, but his buoyant tone belied his words.

Asha grinned as they arrived in the dining room, the fragrant smell of grilled chicken and the sight of the table full of food making her stomach growl.

Meeting Kade’s pensive gaze, she smiled at him, trying to let him know silently that everything was okay.

He grinned back at her, his gorgeous blue eyes lighting up as he winked at her.

God, he was handsome. And she sat directly across from him at the table. She’d never had a better dinner with such a colorful and glorious view. He flirted with her outrageously, making her cheeks flush and causing the others to shoot her questioning looks. But the meal was boisterous and full of laughter, so unlike anything she’d ever experienced.

For Asha, it was her first real family dinner, and she tried to commit every detail to her memory for the future. She knew that moments like this, feeling this way, didn’t last forever, right?

Her eyes met and held with Kade’s, and he slowly nodded, as though he’d read her thoughts and was reassuring her that things could last for a lifetime. She sighed and lived for the moment, enjoyed the intimacy, and tried not to think about what the future might hold.

Because at the moment…everything was perfect.

Chapter 7

Several nights later, Kade lay in his enormous bed, sore, sleepless, and frustrated. Unfortunately, someone had leaked the news story that the long-lost sister of Max Hamilton and Maddie Hudson had been found. He and Asha had been hounded by reporters all day and he hadn’t left the house. Instead, he had watched Asha create her designs on the wall of his home gym, his c**k hard as granite, as he punished himself on the equipment. He’d tried like hell not to watch her, but he knew he’d been deluding himself, thinking he was only there to work out. Watching her had become a fascination he couldn’t stop, didn’t want to stop. Her whole body moved and swayed as she painted, every part of her involved in what she was creating. It was almost like watching her doing an exotic dance. The only thing hotter would have been if she’d taken her clothes off while she was doing it. But he had a vivid imagination, and damned if he couldn’t conjure up the images of her doing just that as he ogled her while pretending he was there to just do his daily workout, a workout that had taken all damn day. No wonder his whole body ached. Yeah, he was used to brutal workouts, but they usually didn’t last for eight damn hours.

Surprisingly, he was beginning to like the images she was creating on that wall. At first, he’d balked when she’d suggested painting a collection of his pictures from his football days in the gym. But Asha was passionate about her work, and she’d argued that he should celebrate his success as a football player and all he’d accomplished, remember all the things he’d done well when he was playing. She’d reminded him that football had been a big part of his life, and it was better to remember the pleasant things instead of dwelling on the negative. He’d relented, letting her have free rein to do whatever she wanted.

The images were copied from pictures of his glory days, and Asha brought them to life with her extraordinary talent. Rather than making him depressed about what he could no longer do, the paintings accented the camaraderie of the team, and the poignant moments he’d had with the guys from the Cougars. They were all happy, upbeat scenes that made him smile rather than making him feel depressed that he couldn’t play football anymore. Most of the men who were with him on the wall were retired now, and Kade suspected that Asha knew that; she had probably researched every photo. The design was an upbeat tribute to some great football players who had moved on to do other things with their life.

Smiling in the dark, Kade wondered if her project in that particular room was Asha’s way of telling him to celebrate, but move on. All of her designs meant something, and he was pretty sure she was trying to kick his ass into accepting reality and dealing with it via her artwork in the gym. Well, it was working, and he knew he needed to find a new purpose in his life. He just wished he knew exactly what it was.

Flipping onto his side, he punched his pillow, determined to get some sleep. He wouldn’t think about Asha lying in her bed, right across the hall from him. He wondered if she was still wearing the new nightgown he’d gotten her when she was sick, or if she’d graduated to what Maddie and Mia had bought her. He had to admit, his sister and Maddie had much better taste when it came to clothes. Even so, he loved seeing Asha in the clothing he’d bought her while she was sick, and he hadn’t yet seen her wear anything other than the shirts and jeans he’d bought her in Nashville—except for the day when Maddie, Max, and Mia had come visiting and he’d handed her one of the shirts his sister had bought.

His stomach growled, reverberating noisily under the covers.

“Shit! I’m hungry,” he said irritably, knowing he wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon. He’d burned so much energy in the gym today that his body was clamoring for more food.

He tossed the sheets and blankets from his body and rose to his feet, striding to his bedroom door and yanking it open. He stopped for a moment, staring at Asha’s door. Everything was dark, including her room. There was no light under her door, and he flipped on the hall light and made his way downstairs, stopping abruptly at the entrance to the kitchen.

Kade could see a sliver of light coming from the refrigerator, and it illuminated Asha’s face as she stared at the contents within, a look of longing on her face.

What the hell is she doing?

Staying silent, the minutes ticked away as she seemed to be agonizing over something, but she didn’t reach for anything. She just stayed immobile, her eyes roving over the inside of the fridge.

Unable to stay quiet any longer, Kade flipped on the light, causing Asha to let out a surprised squeak and slam the refrigerator closed. Holding a hand over her chest, she told him nervously, “You scared me.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. What the hell are you doing? And why didn’t you turn the light on? You could have hurt yourself skulking around in the dark,” he grumbled, unhappy with the thought of Asha tumbling down the stairs because she couldn’t see where the hell she was going.

“I guess I didn’t think about it,” she answered, agitated. “I’m sorry. I’ll go back to bed.”

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