Seducing Kaden (The Kennedy Boys Book 6)

By: Siobhan Davis

Past – Freshman Year of College


I join the line in the coffee place, stifling a groan as I count the numerous heads in front of me.

Note to self: Get here earlier in future.

But even the lengthy line can’t dampen my mood. I’m finally starting college, finally free of the stifling atmosphere in the house. Ever since Mom and James broke the news to me on my eighteenth birthday, I’ve been drowning, suffocating, and I desperately need to start a new chapter in my life. Harvard has always been Mom’s dream for us—she attended, along with her father and his father before and so on—and God help any of my brothers if they don’t want to follow tradition, but I’ve never minded.

Not until they dropped the bomb, and now I’m so freaking angry at my mother that all thoughts of joining her in the family business have flown out the window.

But I’m not sorry I’m here. This is the fresh start I so badly need.

The line moves, and I take a few steps forward, still mulling it all over in my head. I can’t believe Mom’s lied to me my entire life. And now she expects me to do the same to Keven. I was this close to telling him last week before I left Wellesley to settle into my dorm. I think I would have too, only all that shit went down with Cheryl and he’s devastated. I won’t deliver another gut punch, so I’m keeping my parents’ secret.

For now.

A guy brushes past me, in a huge hurry, holding a paper cup in each hand.

“Aaggh!” A woman cries out behind me, and I spin around, watching the guy scowling at her in annoyance before he pushes through the door out onto the sidewalk. A cup is on the ground, hot liquid seeping all over the floor. “Oh no!” The woman has her head bent, her long dark hair shielding her face, as she frantically plucks at her jacket and blouse, both covered with coffee stains.

I run to the front of the counter, swiping a few paper towels and return to her side. “Here.” I hold them out to her. “These might help.”

She lifts her head, and I stop breathing. Warm, brown eyes the color of rich whiskey meet mine. Framed by thick, long lashes, her eyes are the kind that suck you in and leave you spellbound. As I stare at her, definitely for longer than is socially acceptable, I see the moment a fresh layer of panic sets in, and I desperately want to remove it. “Are you hurt?” I ask, concerned the coffee may have scalded her skin, but she shakes her head. She barely reaches my chest, but as I quickly scan her body, there’s no doubting she’s all woman. She may be a tiny little thing, but she has curves in all the right places.

“My jacket absorbed most of it.” Her voice is unintentionally sultry and every bit as hypnotic as her face. With her voluptuous mouth, golden skin, and sexy body, she reminds me of a younger Sophia Vergara. Only sexier.

Way sexier.

She sighs. “But it’s ruined, along with my blouse. I look a hot mess.” She drags slender fingers through her thick hair, sighing again.

“Can I do anything else to help?”

“I think I’m beyond help at this point.” Her lower lips wobbles and her smile is shaky. She looks down again, and her chest visibly heaves as a shuddering breath escapes her tempting lips. “Hell. Could this day be off to a worse start,” she murmurs, looking crestfallen. She starts dabbing at her clothing, scrubbing at the stains, but she’s right—they are ruined.

“That guy is a jerk. The least he could’ve done is offer to pay for dry cleaning.”

“I agree.” She continues trying to blot the excess liquid from her blouse. “But that wouldn’t help my current predicament.”

She looks on the verge of tears, and I want to eradicate that strained expression from her face—I’ve always been a sucker for a damsel in distress. “I’ll hold your place in line if you want to go to the restroom and wash out the stains.”

She nods. “That’s a great suggestion and thank you.” She starts rummaging in her bag. “In case you make it to the front before I return, I’ll have a latte.” She thrusts a five-dollar bill in my hand. “And a pack of valium too,” she jokingly adds.

“I’ll see what I can do,” I say, curling the bill back in her fist. “And I don’t need that. It’s on me.”

She looks flustered. “I can’t ask you to do that.”

“You didn’t ask.” I grin. “I’m offering, and you’ll offend my masculine pride if you turn me down.”

She laughs, a light, tinkling sound that reverberates through my bones. “Okay, if you insist. I don’t want to be held responsible for any damage to your male pride.” She sends me a shy smile before she backs away, clutching her bag to her chest. Nudging her way through the crowd, she makes a beeline for the bathroom.

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