Fixed on You (Page 28)

Fixed on You (Fixed #1)(28)
Author: Laurelin Paige

I snuck my own glance at Hudson. He was still typing things into his cell phone, his brow furrowed and his mouth pulled in a tight line.

“The big dressing room please. Laynie, this is my assistant, Stacy.” Mira drew the blonde’s attention back to her. “Laynie is Hudson’s girlfriend so make sure she gets VIP treatment.”

“Certainly,” Stacy said with a bright fake smile, her eyes shooting daggers in my direction.

When Stacy had retreated out of earshot, I leaned into Mira. “Your assistant seems not to like me very much.” I paused. Should I say more? I decided yes. It was the real me that wanted to know about Stacy and Hudson, but girlfriend me would want to know too. “And she seems to like Hudson an awful lot. Is there something between them?”

Mira hesitated, not looking me in the eye. “Ignore her. Stacy’s totally been in love with Huds for forever, even though she’s completely not his type. Nothing to worry about. It’s actually comical.”

She seemed like she may have been holding back, but on the other hand, maybe she was just awkward about talking girl crushes with her brother’s girlfriend. I decided on the latter when Mira lowered her voice. “Did you notice how Hudson didn’t even give her the time of day?” She giggled.

“I did.” I giggled too. For real. I liked Mira.

Mira continued gathering clothing and accessories. “Hudson, what do you think about these?” She held up a pair of strappy heels.

Without looking up, Hudson grunted his response. “Uh huh.”

I bit my lip, wondering what had him preoccupied. He’d been determined to pick clothes for me, and I knew he wanted to play up the sham for his sister. Instead, he’d been on his phone since we’d arrived. A small part of me feared he was passively-aggressively dealing with my no sex declaration by avoiding our situation. But then again, Hudson wasn’t ever passive about anything.

Mira didn’t approve of his lack of attention either. “Huds, it’s the weekend. Put your Blackberry away.” She nudged him with her elbow. “You finally have a girlfriend. Are you trying to run her off?”

Hudson finished his typing and raised his head. “Hmm?”

I stepped in front of him and put my hands on his biceps—his perfectly sculpted biceps. “Listen to your sister and stop with the working.”

He pocketed his phone and wrapped his arms around me. “Are you feeling ignored?” His face had relaxed, but his eyes still showed signs of distress.

“You’re going to make me think you have another girl.” Maybe he did have another girl. I’d nixed the sex and maybe he was now going through his contact list.

I shoved the idea out of my mind and rubbed my nose against his. Then, because I couldn’t help myself, I lowered my voice and asked. “Is everything okay?”

“It’s work.” He nuzzled his face against mine, but not before he glanced at Mira to make sure she was watching. His phone buzzed in his pocket again. He pulled it out, leaving one arm wrapped loosely around me. His body stiffened under my hands as he read his text. “I’m sorry, baby, I have to make a phone call.”

Baby? In my head, I rolled my eyes.

Mira actually did roll her eyes. “Come with me, Laynie. He can make his boring call. Let’s go try some of these things on you.” She took my arm, ready to lead me to the dressing room.

Hudson paused his dialing. “Hold on a second, I’ll join you.”

Mira shook her head. “We’ll come out and show you her outfits. Don’t worry.”

“Mirabelle, I’m not leaving Alayna alone with my over-enthusiastic little sister.”

I vacillated between gratefulness for Hudson’s protection and suspicion that he didn’t want me alone with Mira for reasons of his own. I leaned toward suspicion, but that may have been because I’m suspicious by nature.

Mira glared at her brother. “You’re not coming in the fitting room. That’s just…wrong.”

Deciding that I could handle her fine on my own, if that was indeed the reason he meant to keep us apart, I pulled away from Mira’s grasp and leaned into Hudson. “I’ll be fine, H.” I shortened his name partly out of the need for something more familiar to call him and partly to irritate him. “Take care of whatever you need to.”

“H?” he questioned so only I could hear.

I whispered in return. “Go with it, baby.” I meant to only give him a peck, but when my lips brushed his, he pulled them in for a deeper kiss—a kiss that felt much more involved than necessary if it was only for Mira’s sake.

The afternoon went quickly as I tried on nearly every item in the boutique. Mira helped me dress, pairing each outfit with appropriate shoes and accessories. I had always loved trying on new clothes, but I’d never looked or felt as good as I did wearing Mira’s choices. I felt like a model.

At each outfit change, she’d parade me out for Hudson who smiled and nodded in between talking on the phone. Occasionally he’d shake his head in disapproval, usually when an outfit was slightly risqué. And a few times I saw the glint of desire in his eyes—the one that had claimed me on the night I met him. Those outfits were the ones I set aside as my favorites.

When we’d already selected a dress for the fashion show, plus a stack of additional outfits, Mira held up a long black evening gown with a corset bodice. “We’ve saved the best for last,” she said.

Though the idea of wearing a corset around Hudson had me slightly anxious because of my first encounter with him, I’d never seen anything so exquisite as the gown Mira held, and I knew before I’d even put it on that it would be gorgeous.

Mira helped me remove my bra then lifted the dress over my head, pulling it down over my bust. “So Hudson told me you met at some college thingy,” she said as she began to thread the laces.

I swallowed. I’d assumed that Hudson would have told people we met at the club, but this made more sense. It gave the fictional Alayna and Hudson time to fall in love. Still, it threw me off for a moment, and I paused before answering. “Yeah, it was a graduate symposium at Stern.”

Mira tightened another lace. “I have to know, was it love at first sight for you too, or just him?”

So he’d claimed love at first sight. Nice touch. “Definitely for me too.”

I saw Mira smile behind me in the mirror. “It’s all so romantic. How he wanted to hire you and you already had a job, so he bought the club you work at to get closer to you.”