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Trust (Temptation #3)
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TRUST – verb: to believe in the reliability, truth, or strength of another.
Up until now, Logan Mitchell has never had much of a reason to trust anyone.
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The belief in one’s own instincts, choices, and opinions.
The bright city lights of downtown Chicago reflected in Logan’s rearview mirror as he checked the lane behind him and merged to the left. With his window down and the breeze ruffling his hair, he floored it up an empty street, thankful it wasn’t yet the coldest time of the year.
It was, however, four fifteen a.m.
Fuck. Tate was not going to be happy when he banged on his front door. But that was too damn bad. He’d made a deal with Mr. Morrison not so long ago, and if he recalled correctly—and I know I fucking do—he’d stipulated no dead silences.
Granted, at the time, he’d meant more of the days and weeks variety, but after the night they’d had—and the fact that he’d missed the opportunity to peel Tate out of his tux—the past three hours and fifteen minutes had felt like an eternity.
Earlier in the evening, it had made sense to drop Tate at home, especially since they both had separate places to be today. But when Logan had walked into his condo and crawled between his sheets, he’d discovered that his bed minus Tate no longer offered a comfortable place to rest. Instead, it had made him antsy and hyperaware of how much he desired the company of the sexy, pigheaded man.
God, I miss him.
In only months, he had gone from a man who ran from commitments to one who was in his car, speeding headfirst toward a bigger one. He’d thought of that and nothing else while he’d tried to exhaust himself on the treadmill, and while his feet had pounded out a steady pace, he’d had time to think about exactly what he wanted—and now, he knew.
His motto of “try, take, and top” had changed.
Oh, he’d tried Tate all right, and they’d both done a helluva lot of taking, but for once in his life, Logan didn’t feel the desire to win. He didn’t need to come out on top.
What he wanted was Tate’s trust—his absolute trust.
* * *
Tate lay in bed and willed himself to go to sleep. Tonight had not gone according to plan—lying there alone was proof enough of that, but it was also damn depressing.
He’d had high hopes for the night. Ones that involved being introduced as Logan’s partner, and he’d been looking forward to that. What he hadn’t anticipated was Christopher Walker being as much of a problem as he’d turned out to be.
Tate had been almost positive that Chris wouldn’t have the balls to walk up to Logan and confront him. So he’d figured they wouldn’t really have to deal with him at all. How wrong was I? No, Chris hadn’t confronted Logan exactly, but he sure as hell had found an effective way to get his attention…
“Mr. Walker, you’re new to Mitchell & Madison and a guest here tonight, so maybe you didn’t know, but please allow me to introduce myself. I’m Logan Mitchell, and this is Tate Morrison, and he is my partner.”
Tate noticed the way Logan kept his eyes focused solely on the man in front of them.
“Mr. Mitchell, you say. Aren’t you one of the owners?” Chris asked, very much aware of that particular answer.
“Enough with the bullshit, Walker,” Logan said, while Tate continued to silently observe the other man.
Chris’s eyebrows rose as he ran his eyes over Logan in a way that made Tate want to punch him in the face—hard. “There he is. The mouthy Logan I know.”
The tension rolling off Logan’s body was palpable as he grit out in a low voice, “You don’t know me at all.”
“Actually, I know you very well.”
That was the moment when Tate’s patience snapped. As the taunt lingered in the air, he muscled forward, snarling the words, “Shut your damn mouth.”
Chris chuckled, and his eyes shifted to where Tate had stepped in between him and Logan. “Sexy and protective. Down, boy. I’m not after your man. I’ve already had him.”
Tate pulled his fingers free of Logan’s and balled them into fists. “Listen to me, you piece of shit. I’m not the least bit concerned about what you want.”
A couple of people by the bar turned to face them, and Logan walked up alongside him and once again took his hand. Tate caught Chris observing the gesture before his eyes reconnected with Logan’s.
“Please,” Logan managed to say in a calm voice Tate barely recognized. “Enjoy your dinner and tonight’s entertainment, Mr. Walker.”
Tate’s head snapped around, and he was glaring so hard that he practically drilled a hole in the side of Logan’s. But it was clear that Logan was done talking and telling him, in no uncertain terms, to shut it also.
“Oh, it’s been very entertaining so far,” Chris replied, his tone slithering down Tate’s spine. “I imagine it will only improve from here…”
What a nightmare. Chris’s appearance at the function had been exactly that—a damn nightmare. Not only because of who he was, but also because he seemed to like stirring shit up.
Tate knew full well that Chris wasn’t one to advertise his sexual preferences, yet he’d shown absolutely no compunction while hitting on him and wearing his wedding band. That meant that, even with Mrs. Walker milling about somewhere, he’d been determined to get Logan’s attention—at any cost. Arrogant or stupid? Tate had no idea, but he didn’t like it one little bit. Add in the smug expression that had crossed Chris’s face at Logan’s interference and, yeah, it was clear that Chris had known full well what he was doing.
Tate had to give Logan credit though. He’d blown him away by how easily he’d recovered. Pity the same couldn’t be said for his own reaction.
“Logan?” Tate asked as he was ushered away from Chris and directed toward their table.
“What?” Logan didn’t spare him a glance as they continued through the throng of patrons, but when Tate yanked his arm free from his grasp, he soon came to a standstill.
“Would you hang on a minute?” he asked.