The rain was driving horizontally, making her umbrella pretty useless. This downpour had started last night and forgotten to stop. The sky was leaden, the boulevard deserted, save for the one lone figure up ahead; his shoulders hunched, his collar up against the rain.
Arya told herself she was only doing the decent thing as she splashed through one oily puddle after another, her feet soaked, her designer shoes probably ruined. Anyone would offer him a lift home in this weather. Wouldn’t they?
She shouted at his big, broad back again. This time he heard her. This time he stopped, turning half around, rain running in rivulets off the ends of his hair, his chin and his perfectly straight nose. His jacket wasn’t waterproof and he was probably soaked through already. More proof she’d done the right thing by running after him.
“I’m parked over there.” She nodded to the row of cars outside the police station. “If you want a lift.”
He started to turn away. “I’m fine . . . thanks.”
“Wait!” She hadn’t ruined her shoes chasing after him for nothing.
He turned back, looking pissed. Arya took a step closer and lifted the umbrella higher, so it was at least sheltering his face from the rain. He was tall and she had to fully extend her arm. He didn’t look very grateful.
“I know where you live . . . from the forms,” she muttered when he didn’t immediately respond. “Look, it’s a shitty day and you’re on my way.” He wasn’t really. He lived in the east end, she lived in the west, but it wasn’t as if she had anything to do today other than sleep off her hangover.
“I can’t drive past you standing around in this,” She looked at the unsheltered bus stop a couple of paces ahead and noticed his eyes flicking to the car park. The tendons in his jaw flexed. He seemed to be debating whether to take her up on her offer or not.
“I need to get back to my van. It’s parked up, but the police . . . well you know what happened.”
“Yeah. I’ll take you to your van then. Whatever you want.”
He seemed about to agree when a gust of wind caught her umbrella. Her grip wasn’t great as she was holding it up so high up. One of the spokes poked his temple before she could stop it.
“Fuck!” One of his big, wet hands was over and around hers, roughly extracting the handle of the umbrella from her fist. “Gimme that before you take my eye out.”
She glared at him. Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea after all. Ungrateful bastard. She should have just let him find is own way back to his bloody van.
He kind of smiled then, probably suspecting he was pissing her off when she was only doing him a favour. “I’ll hold it and thanks.”
Shifting position, he held the umbrella over her head, which meant he had to stoop to get under it too. They weren’t touching, but he was so close she was acutely aware of his big male body and the heat radiating off him. Arya shivered and it wasn’t from cold.
“Christ, you’re soaked through. Which car is yours?”
“The black one.”
He snorted sarcastically as they walked back toward the Police Station. “That narrows it down.”
The sky was so dark and the rain so heavy that most of the cars looked black. He had a point. “Second from the left. The Mercedes.”
He swore softly under his breath. “The SLK?”
His pace picked up on hearing that and Arya had to hurry along to keep up. His big boots splashed even more filthy water up her legs, but he seemed oblivious.
“Fuck, AMG too.”
“Yeah.” It was a car. Big deal. Her father had bought it for her when she’d graduated. Said it was the kind of car a lawyer should have. It went. It didn’t break down. Every other lawyer at Lannister Law had a flashier one. Still, Gendry Waters seemed impressed.
Arya cast a sideways look at him. The serious scowl was gone, replaced by an inane grin. It made him look about fifteen and that made her smile. Cars were obviously his thing. She stopped at the driver’s door to fumble in her bag for the key. He kept walking, eyes fixed on the car.
“Hey, my umbrella!” Not that it really mattered. Neither of them could get much wetter.
“Uh, sorry.” He was back beside her in a couple of his long strides. “I’m impressed. 350, top of the range.”
Arya wasn’t sure if he was asking her or telling her. “Is it?”
He looked down at her, his expression incredulous, as if he couldn’t believe she didn’t know every bloody spec on the bloody car. “This beauty is wasted on you, you know that?”
The edges of his mouth were kicked up in a grin and he looked fucking adorable like that; all wet and unshaven and smiley, like some aftershave model in a glossy magazine.
What would he do if she threaded her fingers through the sleek black hair at the nape of his neck, pulled his face down to hers and just kissed him? Would he care that they’d known each other for less than an hour? Would he press her against the car with those thick thighs of his and fuck her mouth with his tongue? Or would he stiffen and push her away and remind her she was his lawyer? Maybe he’d even complain to Jaime and Tywin that she’d assaulted him. Maybe Jaime would be jealous. Buggering hell. She must still be drunk if she thought Jaime Lannister gave a flying fuck who she kissed.
Thinking about Jaime and what had happened last night snapped her out of her erotic daydream pretty quickly. Fuck. No matter how hot Mr Gendry Waters was, he was still a client. She was probably still drunk if she was even contemplating kissing him. Maybe she should let him drive?
“Yeah, this car is wasted on me,” she muttered, trying to banish the image of him fucking her up against the car which kept sneaking back into her mind. She pressed the key fob. The car chirruped and lit up like a Christmas tree.
He held the umbrella for her as she slid into the driver’s seat. As she started the car he sprinted around to the passenger side. She wondered if he was just eager to get out of the rain. Wouldn’t it be fanbloodytastic if he was dying to get in beside her and join her in a car-sex fantasy?
She turned the heater and the wipers on full as he opened the door. But he didn’t get in. Instead he stood there, umbrella dripping in his hand as the rain poured over him.
“You gotta be kidding me.”
It took Arya a moment to realise what he meant. The passenger seat had a few empty cans and chocolate wrappers on it. She leaned across and swept them onto the floor with the other rubbish. But instead of getting in, he was looking at her as if she’d just crapped in his cornflakes.
“Get in. It’s fucking pouring, in case you haven’t noticed.”
“Not until I get rid of this shit.”
To Arya’s dismay, he bent into the passenger foot-well and started gathering up all the stuff down there. What the fuck? What was he - some kind of neat freak?
“What’s your problem? Just get in!”
“What’s my problem?” He stopped picking up rubbish to glower at her, bent nearly double, his face was only inches away from hers. His thick black brows were drawn together, the blue eyes under them blazing. Until then, her panties had been the last bit of her clothing that wasn’t wet. He only had to look at her like that and they were fucking soaked.
“If I had a car like this, I’d treat it with respect; not like a fucking bin.”
He went back to shovelling her crap.
“If you’re so Goddamn fussy. You drive and I’ll sit there. I don’t mind a bit of mess.”
He snorted and curled his lip and didn’t stop. Arya flung her door open, got out and stomped, or rather sloshed, around to the passenger side. By then he was halfway to the nearest bin.
She got into the car and slammed the door. Only for it to be yanked open again.
“I’m not finished!”
She shrieked as he pushed her legs up with one strong, wet arm on the back of her thighs. Keeping them suspended in the air with his shoulder, he grabbed at the last cans and wrappers.
“You are fucking mad!” she yelled at him.
“And you’re . . .”
Whatever he was going to say was lost when he turned his head to finish his sharp retort, only to find himself looking straight up her skirt. He froze, his eyes snapping up from her inner thighs, stockings, soaked silk panties and all, to her face, which was rapidly turning the same scarlet shade as her underwear. His nostrils flared, his eyes darkened but he didn’t move.
Despite the shock and shame of it, Arya found it so hot to have him there, so close she could feel his breath feathering the sensitive skin under her damp stockings. Keeping her eyes locked on his, she flexed her hips a little, just enough to part her thighs, just enough to let him see the bright red silk and where it was darkened to deep, wet crimson by her desire for him.
He looked for a long moment. His breath dragged raggedly across her heated skin before he turned away, dropping his shoulder, letting her legs fall back to the floor, gathering up the final bits and pieces and striding off through the rain. Arya watched him go, her heart thumping, between her legs throbbing, wondering if he would come back or just keep walking.
A few moments later he tucked himself into the driver’s seat, his big hands gripping the steering wheel so tightly his knuckles were white, except the ones that were still red raw from the beating he’d given his sister’s pimp. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, keeping his eyes fixed straight ahead. “You sure about this?”
Arya cast a sultry sideways look his way. Fuck, but he was gorgeous, all big and wound up and dripping wet. She let her eyes drop to the unmistakeable bulge in the wet denim of his jeans. She might even have licked her lips. “Are you?”
He gave her a slow, confident, sexy as hell grin in reply. “Let’s do this.”
Arya kicked off her heels and settled down in her seat as Mr Waters eased her Mercedes out into the street. His driving was like the rest of him, self-assured and skilled. He made her feel safe. A man who was prepared to risk jail to protect his sister had to be a good one, didn’t he? Arya decided there and then that, no matter what it took, Gendry Waters wasn’t going to jail. Even if it meant asking her father for help.
The wipers pulsed smoothly, the heater hummed softly and the tyres of her car seemed to be whispering a long forgotten lullaby through the rain. Arya closed her eyes and dreamed of brighter days ahead.