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   Chapter 18 The Ravenwood Arms

The Ravenwood Arms By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 10846

Updated: 2018-03-14 10:33


Chapter 18

While Bradford may not have been the last person in the world I wanted to run into tonight. He wasn't high on my list either. From the look on Davis' face, he wasn't entirely thrilled by the unexpected arrival either.

"Ms. Appleton, " Bradford said with a slight, mocking incline to his head. His eyes hardened as they shifted to Davis. "Davis, " he said, fairly biting the name off.

"Addison, " Davis replied, his voice hard and flat.

"I expect you two are out celebrating the successful completion of your…little project together. I suppose congratulations are in order. I don't think I've seen you so clean since University, Davis. You must have soaked for hours."

"Surface dirt only takes moments to wipe away, Addison, " Davis replied calmly, his voice edged with ice. "Of course, I doubt you would know that as you are only accustomed to the ingrained, soul-deep kind of filth that never actually leaves you."

Bradford smiled, the look resembling more of a bearing of teeth than a sign of amusement. I looked from one man to the other, feeling as though I was irrelevant. Clearly there was some history I was missing.

"Yes, well enjoy your moment in the spotlight while it lasts, " Bradford said before turning around and walking off, nearly knocking over our waiter as he brought our meals.

"Well, wasn't that pleasant, " I said. Our dinner plates arrived safe and sound and I put my napkin on my lap. "I take it you two have a history?"

"Yes, " Davis said appearing to shake off his suddenly bad mood. "When you were…tested, you met others with your sort of …skills?" he asked, his words tempered for public ears.

"Yes, I did. One was tested with me and eight or nine others congratulated us after." I replied. "They were miffed that my young age made the celebration punch and cookies instead of one featuring adult beverages."

Davis smiled. "Well, Addison and I have the same category of skills and were tested together. He made a big deal about his bloodline and the reputations of his forbearers. And then I, the son of a mere builder, wiped the floor with him. He took it as a deliberate insult."

"Which it wasn't?" I asked taking a sip of my wine.

"Not then, " Davis said shaking his head. "Later, it was of course. He started doing little things to me, my brothers, my cousins; annoying and irritating at first, kind of like Jimmy Lucas, but swiftly building to dangerous and painful as he was much stronger than Jimmy. I retaliated. He retaliated for my retaliation, which caused me to retaliate against his retaliation. And so on. Both of us flew under the radar, not getting caught. Barely."

"I'm sensing a point of no return situation? Something along the lines of mutually assured destruction?" I asked.

Davis smiled and shook his head. "It was heading that way by the time graduation rolled around. We were attending the same University. Luckily, we no longer had to see each other on a regular basis and with distance I was able to see just how badly our little feud could have gone. I've managed to reign in my temper ever since. Admittedly, it is helpful if I don't spend any time around him."

"So Bradford was born to be an object lesson, " I said. "I always knew

Davis looked down at out plates. Both of us had managed to finish most of our meals. "How do you feel about desert to go?"

"I think that might be the smartest idea, " I replied. "God only knows who will show up next at this rate."

Davis managed to flag down our waiter and in a short while we were on our way out of the door, chocolate cake filled clamshell box in hand. We reached Davis' truck and at the edge of the parking lot we could see James and Bradford in conversation, their words puffing white around them like cartoon comic bubbles. Davis sighed.

"You know I'm tired of people thinking this is just a general celebration, " He told me. He set the cake down on the hood of his truck as James and Bradford noticed us near the vehicle. Davis slipped his arms around me and looked down at me as I tilted my face up to him. "This is a date." He bent down and kissed me. This was not the chaste kiss from the other night but log, passionate kiss that sizzled the blood. I was surprised I didn't burst into flames where we stood. When we broke apart, Davis pulled back slowly as though reluctant to let go.

He took a shaky breath that sounded like I felt. He took a step back and picked up the boxed desert. Davis opened the door for me and handed me the box before walking around to his side of the vehicle. I fastened my seat belt as he got in, settled himself and turned the key in the ignition.

"So was that just for show, " I asked noticing that Bradford and James were staring somewhat slack jawed at the truck as Davis pulled out of his parking space and headed towards the exit.

"The audience was just a side benefit, " He said with a smile. "Or an excuse to do what I wanted to do anyway."

"I see."

"I'm also glad I don't have a roommate, " he told me.

"Are you, and why is that?" I said in a half teasing tone.

"So we don't have to share the chocolate cake of course, " He said as he turned out of the lot and onto the street. "And because chocolate cake is best when eaten naked."

"Is it?" I said with a laugh.

"Of course, it's a proven scientific fact, " Davis replied. "You can't argue with science."

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