The Wrong Type of Seduction

39 A Truth For Val


39: A Truth For Val

At the gala, Val didn’t get to see much of Matt as she tried to keep away from him and the reporter interviewing him. But she did grab a hint of the interview when they were walking backstage.

“So reports are saying you and Alyssa Swan are an item. Yet neither one of you have been seen out in public. Can you confirm?” The reporter asked.

Matt sighed. “Alyssa and I talk, but no dating. We both have busy schedules and as many people can tell you I’m a music nerd. Music will always be my primary love.”

“Really? But you are often seen at your brother’s football games. You seem to make time for that?”

Someone was trying to cause problems for him, but Matt just chuckled and nodded. “Have you ever been put into a head lock by a two hundred and twenty-five pound quarterback packing nothing but muscle? I don’t recommend it. I go to his games out of self-preservation.”

The woman laughed. “So he threatens you because he knows you would stay inside and play music all day otherwise.”

“His way of making me more well-rounded. It won’t work, but he tries.”

“So no romantic relationships?”

“Unfortunately, nothing to speak of. And would it be fair to anyone to date knowing they will never be number one in my life?” He replied even as he walked past her, a hand brushing over her ass.

Pretending she didn’t notice, Val was directing the flow of traffic, helping the acts on and off stage when she turned and nearly ran smack dab into Cody Delarosa — Walthour’s mistress, girlfriend of NFL quarterback Bailey Delarosa, and best friend to Matt. Val held Cody to keep her from falling, but the girl was solid and going nowhere.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t see you. Maybe you shouldn’t stand in the way.” Val ushered the tall young woman to the side.

“I was in the way on purpose. You were so busy you wouldn’t have noticed me unless I wanted to get your attention.”

Val smiled. “I should have guessed. As soon as Matt is on stage, we’ll talk. First, I have to make sure his groupies aren’t in the way.”

Cody nodded, chocolate curls swaying. Those emerald green eyes watched her intently.

Val had a feeling the family encounters were coming. The Delarosa family seemed to be a tight knit bunch. But what she didn’t quite understand was why the beauty was sleeping with Walthour, but dating the eldest brother and having his child. Did Bailey know? Was it an open relationship? She tried not to dwell on it because it was none of her business. Plus, Cody seemed happy.

As soon as Matt approached her, grinning, dressed in a beautifully tailors suit, Val forgot all about Cody and held back a smile.

“How do I look?” He asked.

“Like you’re about to perform in front of hundreds.”

He nodded. “No kiss for good luck?” He leaned toward her.

She shook her head. “Reporter’s still around. And they just announced you. Go.” She pushed him on stage and then ran her hands through her hair to keep from fanning her face. Just being near him made her so…

When she turned again, she saw Cody staring curiously.

Val waved for her to follow. They went into Matt’s dressing room at the same time a roar went up welcoming Matt on stage. She clicked the door shut. She turned around, faced the other woman, and leaned back against the door. “Ok.” Val waited.

“Why are you playing hard to get?” Cody asked right off the bat rocking back on her heels. No preliminaries, no introductions, just ripped the bandage right off.

Val arched her brow surprised by the woman’s directness.

“He won’t tell me everything. That’s not my Matty. We tell each other everything. So he’s really into you. But I think you already know that. And you’re into him, I can see it. But you hold back…why?”

Val blew out a breath. “I’ve warned him I wasn’t interested in dating. I don’t want to hurt him. But it’s bound to happen. Maybe you can talk some sense into him.”

Cody screwed up her gorgeous face in a snort. “Clearly, you don’t know Matt yet. You don’t talk him out of shit. He talks you into shit.” The woman chuckled and Val realized she was right. Matt didn’t back down. And his charm was so infectious anyone dealing with him ended up in a back alley being fucked. “So why not just give in?”

“Walthour didn’t warn you to stay away from me?” Val asked instead.

Cody’s smile faded her expression turning curious. “He did. I’m hard headed. Even Matt wants me to keep my distance for awhile, but neither say why.”

“You should listen to them, Cody, if not for your own sake, for the sake of the child you carry.”

Cody nodded, taking a seat in a folding chair. “So you’re dangerous or you come with hazards. I get it. And you want Matt safe. Cool. I like that. But you should know that…if anything should happen to Matt, I won’t be the one you need to worry about. His brothers are fiercely protective. I mean I am too, but they are…scarier.”

Scary…this woman wouldn’t be saying that if she knew that Val could kill with a bobby pin. “I’ll keep that in mind,” she said walking to a side table to straighten Matt’s stuff up. “But I can’t control Matt. And he’s already threatened to hunt me down if I leave him.” She frowned as the words left her lips. It sounded more sinister the more she thought about it. And yet it thrilled her that he wanted her so badly. Or was it the idea of the chase?

“He what? Oh no…that damn dude!” She snapped. “Ah shit…” Cody blew out a breath. Then chuckled. “Hell, good luck. You’re not escaping. Should I call you sis-in-law? Or-“

“Just Val. And he’ll get tired of me eventually.” Val looked back at Cody.

“Let me try to explain this again. Matt doesn’t do half-ass. And once he’s claimed something.” Cody pointed to herself. “There is no going back. Since the moment I met him, I was his. It was done. Best friends since. The people around him? Hell, they’ve been with him since high school. Some probably before that. Why? Matt has a profound since of loyalty, but an odd since of protectiveness. He protects and rewards his people and they love him for it. I’ve never seen anyone turn against him. No one. I’ve only seen him lash out at one person. One. His brother. Tyler got away with scars. But Tyler’s family. I don’t know if anyone else would be so damn lucky.”

“Should I be worried he’d hurt me?”

Cody shook her head no. “Matt’s cool with his people. Your worry should be for the person who tries to fuck with you.”

Val sighed. “I can take care of myself.”

Cody snorted that unladylike​ sound. “So can I. But Matt doesn’t give a damn about that.”

“I guess I should go ahead and break his heart”

Cody laughed going to the door. “Shit, if you wanted to push Matt away and not have a relationship you should’ve never let him talk. His words are in your head now seducing you. Only a matter of time.”

Didn’t that sound insidious? Was Matt that compelling that no one could resist him? She could honestly say, she hadn’t resisted him yet when it came to sex. And everything seemed to be falling into his gravity. What Cody said started to worry Val. Yeah, Val had been leaning toward a relationship, but she knew not to get further involved.

When Cody left Val sat watching the clock on the wall wondering what other option she had. She couldn’t kill him without orders or she would have killed Domenic long ago. No, she wasn’t that type of killer. She never wanted to be the type of murderer who let emotion end lives. Life was precious. She closed her eyes and put her hand on her abdomen…remembering… There was no coming back from death.

“Val?” Matt’s voice woke her from those dark days. She smiled dropping her hand as he clicked the door shut behind him.

“How was the performance?” She asked brightening just from seeing his handsome face.

“You didn’t watch?” He pouted slumping toward her.

“No, I was talking to Cody. Sorry.”

Matt stiffened. “Why was Cody here?”

“Worried about your best friend?”

“No, more like worried about what she said to you. What did she say?”

“Nothing you need to be concerned about. Girl talk.”

Matt scrunched up his face. “That sounded a lot like, mind your business.”

“Pretty much.”

He leaned in to kiss her. “Can I take you to dinner or bed or both?”

Their foreheads touched. She closed her eyes not sure she could run away from him anymore. “You’re making this a habit, Matt.”

“I hope so.” His voice tickled her lips.

“What’s Cody’s relationship to Walthour?”

Matt stiffened. “What?” He stood up and began to move to remove his suit.

Was he running? Had Val found the guy’s kryptonite? “I know she’s his mistress. Anyone who works in the criminal world knows to stay away from Cody Delarosa. And it doesn’t take a genius to know why, rumors being what they are. But what I don’t get is why she would date your oldest brother but still sleep with Walthour. Is that even his baby?”

Matt didn’t say anything as he dropped his suit pants. Then he grabbed some jeans. “What else do you know?” he asked in a voice that sounded less friendly than the Matt she was used to. Was this the real man? The Matt Cody warned her about?

“I know she was the Rosa’s heir, before De La Rosa was dismantled by Walthour. Not quite sure how he got his hands on a Rosa though. Those details are…”

Matt only nodded.

Val watched at he took off his shirt displaying the scratch marks from that morning across the golden skin of his broad back. He quickly put on a t-shirt. He never spoke again as he packed his bags.

Well at least he wasn’t lying to her.

“I gotta got help clean up and get ready for tomorrow. See you later,” she said holding her head high, pretending that his silence didn’t hurt. But what could she complain about? Her life wasn’t an open book. And she hadn’t told him everything. But he knew so much… so much… And yet she was starting to feel like she didn’t know Matt as well as she thought. Especially after that talk with Cody. Why did it hurt?


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