28-year-old Ad executive Mandy Uffot has wanted her landlord, 48-year-old former Navy officer Joe Akang since she rented an apartment in his building.
Joe values his control. After eight years of celibacy, he doesn’t understand how his young, vivacious tenant has turned his calm existence upside down in a few months. It doesn’t make sense that he missed her bothersome presence when she travelled for over a month and that he went crazy jealous when he saw her in a photo with a man her age.
A near-tragic event has him re-evaluating his priorities. However, the once-determined mouthy bratty Mandy has become uninterested, and Joe has to fight for her love.
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Mandy loved movies, but she had often snorted at some of them that emphasized the sound of heartbeats in shocking situations. It made her laugh her head off imagining that someone’s heartbeat would be that loud and beat in exactly those deep, swift double thumps.
It had always seemed cartoonish to her and ridiculous. But right then, nothing about the crazy pounding of her heart was cartoonish or funny.
Hell, she struggled to breathe as Joe’s piercing gaze dragged over her half-naked body. She wore sexy garter lingerie she’d purchased from Lagos.
This wasn’t how she’d wanted him to see it. She’d had an elaborate plan in place, having always admired those women who showed up at a guy’s home wearing a trench coat while being half-naked underneath. She had wanted to catch him unawares not the other way round.
Yes, she had gotten a trench coat too. She’d invested in her effort to forcefully get Joe to see her. Mandy had wanted to do it the night she’d returned, but he’d chosen that night to sleep out.
Even unconsciously, the man seemed invested in thwarting her plans. And now here he stood, showing up when she wasn’t ready and daring to look devastatingly sexy with the silver tinted scruff covering his chin. God, she wanted to feel how rough that scruff was on her skin.
“What the hell are you wearing?” he snapped, effectively bringing her out of her daydream, his eyes narrowing to furious slits.
Her head reared back, what the hell was he angry about?
She should be the angry one. He’d entered her apartment without invitation.
But her one-track mind did a swift turn.
Joe is in my house!
She’d invited him into her apartment forever. In fact, she’d asked him every time she stood at her door the moment he drove in, returning from wherever.
He’d never accepted to. He would shake his head in exasperation and climb the stairs.
And Mandy would, quite juvenilely, follow behind, trying to get him to talk to her about his day or what he’d done.
Yet those moments with him were the best. Then, he’d get tired of the ramblings and throw her out of his house.
She enjoyed his company even though he gave it grudgingly. She would bask in his scent. She would love to find out which cologne he used—a masculine scent with a splash of spice emphasising his ornate maleness. The sexy aroma made her wet whenever he brushed past her.
Like right now.
It made her imagine a scientifically enhanced bar of chocolate filled with dopamine. Made her picture being ravished by him.
And now, he stood inside her apartment.
She hadn’t invited him.
He didn’t blink or look away from her near nakedness.
Dear God, this must mean something, right?
Joe was the kind of man mothers wanted for their daughters. He was honest and frank to a fault. And conservative—he would call-out a girl for dressing indecently.
Yet, here he was, his gaze smouldering on her exposed skin.