Her Best Friend's Dad(5)

By: Penny Wylder


“That’s why I am going with a name referencing beauty being in the eye of the beholder. I thought I could fill the recorder’s storage space with affirmations about appearance as well as just existing.” I give the piece a once over, and deeming this stage done, I slide out.

“Do you need a hand up?” he asks.

I shake my head, roll off onto my knees and start to get up. The movement has my hair hiding my face at first, and I catch a glimpse of what looks like Beck peering down my gaping shirt. He turns his head away from me, cheeks flushing, and I let it slide. If he is going to play like that, sneak glimpses while hinting that I’m too young, I will make it into a game and see who wins.

I grab the nail gun and bend over to plug it into the power strip, wiggling my ass just a little in the process. A fast intake of breath from behind me gives the first point of the game to me.

“Where is your next business trip taking you?” I make my way back to the workspace and line up the nail gun tip with the dots I marked earlier. “Somewhere interesting?”

“Nowhere is that interesting when you’ll be surrounded by coworkers and strangers for several weeks. I’m making a few stops, but the bulk of my time is going to be spent with two larger clients and helping them straighten out some deals. It’s all boring stuff.”

Assuring him that I could never find what he says boring, least of all about a job he has so much heart in, I go back to my art. I want to finish it before going back home. The gun misfires on the fifth nail, the air compressor making a feeble puff before it goes dead.

“Fuck!” Instinct forces me to clap a hand over my mouth and apologize. “Sorry. I—”

He pulls my hand away, and I can almost taste his skin. “Fuck is most definitely an appropriate word choice. Is there any other way to do what you need without that? I can try to fix the compressor, but you’d be out a few hours of work most likely.”

The way he swore… I feel my panties getting damp at the sound of the word dropping from his lips. Warm, wet, and swollen from just his presence, it is an effort to not reach down and pull my jeans down a bit to avoid crushing my clit.

It takes me a minute, maybe two, to come up with a solution to the lack of a nail driver that doesn’t involve me using a hammer. “I managed to get all of one quadrant in before the compressor died. I can do something else for the other three. These are going to become flower petals. I’ll just use other things or be a bit more careful and use a hammer for the remaining ones. I have to hang this up on the base now, though. Do you mind if I use your ladder? I’m not quite tall enough to reach it and have the strength to manipulate it around from the ground.”

“Go ahead, Lia. I’ll get started on the compressor. I don’t know the last time I cleaned this off. It’s covered in grease.” He says it like I would mind watching him get all dirty.

I turn to reach for the step ladder and… Wow. The button-down has joined his jacket, and Beck is so muscular I cannot imagine the hours he must spend to keep that sort of physique. There is a faint scattering of hair across his pecs, and his nipples are rosy against his suntanned skin. My mouth waters, and I am an achy mess with the desire to lick and kiss my way down his body. There is a trail of slightly darker hair beneath his navel, disappearing behind his belt, and without the jacket I can see that he hangs to the left and is definitely not small.

“I thought you artist types were used to seeing shirtless men.” Beck sits down on the creeper board I had been on and tugs at the power plug for the air compressor.

“We are, but most of the male models we get in have a ‘dad bod,’ not umm… well, fashion magazine male model bodies.” I try not to stammer out the words, but I know I’m blushing. I think he’s earned at least two points in our game for this exchange.

To hide my embarrassment, I climb up on the ladder and finish readying the board to connect to the base of the sculpture. I will need to tweak the painting to fit the changed design, but that’s how art goes.

It’s hard to not stare at him. Grease from the compressor mar his hands and streak his forearms. I want him to cover me in it and the sweat on his chest. As if hearing my thoughts, he looks over at me. “Careful up there, Lia.” His eyes burn when they look at me, and I climb down to get my sculpture.

“Maybe you could spot me?” I offer. I bite my lip and widen my eyes, trying to look innocent when I feel anything but.

He is hesitant in getting up, visibly fighting the game we’ve been playing since Tasha went inside. I can’t see him acting like this if he weren’t into me.

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