Mechanic (Breeding #2)

Chapter 22

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It’s not too cool tonight, and lucky for me, the doors are open. I wait for a sound, and when I don’t hear one, I tiptoe inside. I don’t make it five steps before a bedside lamp clicks on. I stop mid-step, caught in the act.

“You must be the man my granddaughter is all twisted up about.”

I turn and face the bed, seeing what looks like a much-older Penelope. She and her grandmother are nearly identical, her grandmother just having a few soft lines. She’s in the bed, but wearing a robe, her long hair braided and falling down one elegant shoulder. She folds her hands across her lap, patiently waiting for me to speak.

“She told you about me?” I don’t know why these are the first words out of my mouth.

“No, but she and I share a close bond. I know when something is troubling her, and you, my dear, are trouble.”

I hold my hands up and start to plead my case, but she cocks her head to the side and smiles at me. She reaches out and pats the chair next to her bed, and I walk over, taking a seat.

“Do you love her?” My mouth falls open at her candid questions. “Listen, when you get to be my age, things become simpler. If you want to know something, you ask. So I’m asking you. What is it that’s got you sneaking in here in the middle of the night?”

I feel a half-smile dance across my face. This is my kind of lady.

“She’s something special to me, and some things got twisted up tonight. I’m here because she won’t answer the phone and let me explain myself. She’s upset, and it’s because of a lie. I’m here to tell her the truth. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to reserve the confession of my feelings so that I can give them directly to Penelope. I think it’s only fair that she hears it first.”

“Are you going to let her marry that idiot Scott?”

“No, ma’am.” My answer is fast and fierce. “She’s mine, and I swear to you that I’ll protect her and cherish her for the rest of our lives. I don’t know what happened tonight, but I will fix it, and then I’ll never let her leave my side. I may not be able to give her all this,” I wave my hand around to indicate the estate, “but I’ll treat her better than anyone ever could. There’s not a man alive who will take care of her better than I will.”

She gives me a soft smile and leans her head back against her pillow. After a second, she closes her eyes and then opens them again. She looks a little teary eyed as she reaches over to her bedside table and opens a drawer. She pulls out a small ring box and passes it to me.

“You remind me of my late husband, James. We started out with nothing but love, but damn if he didn’t love me enough that I never needed anything else.” She lets go of the box and wraps my hand around it. “She’s down the hall, fourth door on the right.”

I clutch the box and then slide it into my pocket. I know what it is, and I know what it means. As close as Penelope is to her grandmother, I’m relieved to have her blessing.

Standing up beside the bed, I look down at her, seeing how tired she looks. Leaning down, I lay a small kiss on her cheek, and her hand comes up to touch my beard. When I pull back, she’s smiling and then holds her cheek where I kissed her.

“I forgot how much I missed my James’s beard. Go get your girl.”

With that, I turn and leave the room, making my way quietly down the hall. I count off and when I get to the fourth one, I put my ear to it and listen. I hear slight snoring, and smile. That’s my Duchess.

Opening the door, I see her silhouette on the bed. I can make her out from the moonlight streaming in. I walk over to the bed, stripping down as I go. When I’m completely naked, I strip back the covers and climb in behind Penelope.

She’s wrapped up in a robe that’s wriggled its way up her hips, and I can see she’s naked underneath. I move on top of her, and she comes awake, her gray eyes growing big. I put my hand over her mouth as she starts to shout, and I hold my finger over my lips.

“Shh, Duchess. You’re going to listen to me. Don’t panic.”

She’s shouting at me from under my hand, but I lean in, kissing her neck to help calm myself. I can still feel her struggling against me and calling me a few names.

Leaning up, I look into her eyes, and I can see she’s mad as hell at me. “You can call me every name you want to, Duchess. I’m not going anywhere until you hear me out.”

She tries to move her legs and kick at me, but all it does is open them further. The action also pushes my cock against her naked core.

I hold her tightly and wait her out, kissing her neck and collarbone. “You’ve got yourself all worked up, and you haven’t even asked me if anything is true. You heard something from someone, and you assumed the worst. Why, baby? What have I done to you to make you think all my words aren’t true?”

Looking into her eyes, I can see she’s starting to hesitate, some of her anger falling away.

“Penelope, you said I had a pregnant girlfriend, which is impossible. I haven’t been with anyone but my hand in years. An embarrassing number of years, as a matter of fact. So I don’t know who told you what, but it’s all lies.”

I feel her deflate completely under me, and I slowly take my hand away. I don’t move my body off hers. Instead, I press against hers harder, letting her feel the ridge of my cock against her warm, open pussy.

“You think I’d lie to you about something like that?” She looks me in the eyes, and after a second, shakes her head. “That’s right, Duchess. I wouldn’t ever do anything to hurt you. I’ll always tell you the truth, and I would never keep something like that from you.”

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