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Abel (5th Street #4)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

nd were incredibly generous about it, they had the green light to go all out. Nellie would be working even closer with Logan now, making sure all the monies were properly handled and well accounted for. She didn't want anything to mess this up, and that included any awkwardness if things didn't work out.

She hated to admit it even to herself, and she certainly wouldn't to Roni, but as long as Abel was in the picture, she didn't see how anything with Logan or anyone else could work. She just wasn't willing to give up the best sex she'd ever experienced so soon. Her ex-husband, Rick, should be hanged now that she knew how inadequate their sexual life had really been.

This only confirmed that she was so over him. After sex with Abel, it'd be like indulging in a rich strawberry cheesecake dessert with loads of whip cream and the promise of no weight gain then giving it up for a rice cake with a dab of peanut butter. She'd never go back to that again. Abel had even taught her that asking for what she wanted wasn't wrong. It was actually a turn-on to him, and if it was for him, it probably would be for other men as well, unless you were someone like Rick, who would most likely be annoyed because he wouldn't be able to just roll over and snore once he was done.

There were definitely things she'd be keeping to herself and not sharing with Roni because she wasn't about to ruin the best thing that had happened to her in years for the sake of protecting her heart. If anything, this was an eye opener and a learning experience. Unlike what Roni was worried about, once this was over, she wouldn't be sad or hurt. She'd be eternally grateful to Abel for helping awaken a side of her she never even knew she had in her. She even felt years younger and more energetic now.

On her way home, she did as promised and called Roni back. Roni answered on the third ring. "What are you doing tonight?"

"Uh, hello to you too." Nellie laughed. "Nothing, well, working. I got the Palos Verdes cocktail mixer fully funded, more than funded since the Ceja Winery took all the booths left. I have a huge budget to work with now, so I'll have my work cut out for me."

"That's great, Nellie! I'll let Noah know as soon as I'm off the phone." Roni knew how hard Nellie had been working on this, but, still, Nellie felt something was off about Roni's usual very genuine enthusiasm for Nellie and her work.

"Why did you wanna know what I was doing tonight?"

"Because I was hoping you'd say that you had a date with Abel."

"Why? I thought you didn't like me being involved with him?"

"Well, I do if it's going to be an actual relationship. So when Noah mentioned that Abel had a date tonight, I thought either you two had decided to make things a little more serious or it's exactly what I'm worried about. He's going on a date while you go straight home alone."

Nellie pressed her lips together, glad that she was on the phone with Roni and that she wasn't hearing this in person. She didn't think she could pull off acting as if it didn't matter as she'd been insisting to Roni all along. The thought of Abel rocking another woman's world as he'd done to hers only a few nights ago, slammed through her violently. She knew from the very moment she decided to give into her desires-desires that had been mounting for months-that this reaction was a possibility. Since Abel hadn't made a move prior to the cruise, even though he was obviously unable to hide his attraction to her, Nellie figured it was the age difference or that he simply wasn't looking for anything serious.

Her decision hadn't been on a whim either. Abel had confirmed on that deck as she stared at his lips what she'd been thinking all along. He'd made it perfectly clear that he was very attracted to her but that he didn't want to piss Noah off by messing with his wife's best friend. With his career and this fight looming, he didn't really have time for a social life at all, much less anything serious. Nellie had offered what she'd been considering for months: guilt-free sex with no strings attached. She'd made up her mind long before the cruise that if she ever had the opportunity to put it out there that way she would. So when she had it, she took it. Apparently, Abel had more time than he'd insinuated if he was making time for more than just her.

"If I didn't have so much work, I might not be going straight home tonight."

That wasn't entirely a lie. If she didn't have so much work to get to, she might've stopped to buy more wine to drink at home alone. She was getting low, down to less than half a bottle, but she'd let Roni think otherwise.

"Nellie, I'm just going to go on the record and say I hate this. When Noah told me about Abel's date, I was seriously pissed for you." Roni hushed her words to a whisper. "Wasn't he just over at your place a few days ago?"

Nellie clenched her teeth for a second, not wanting to think about it. "Yes, he was, but I told you, Roni, that I'm okay with this." She tightened her grip on the wheel then remembered. "And hey, guess who has a date in a couple of weeks and not with Abel?"

"You do?" Roni wasn't whispering anymore. Nellie wasn't even sure why she had in the first place. It wasn't as if Noah didn't know about her and Abel. "With whom?"

"I told you about Logan, right?"

"The new guy you said was kind of pushy?"

Nellie rolled her eyes. "I'm pretty sure I used the word persistent, but, yeah, him. Emily says she thinks he's hot." She hoped that throwing that in would excite Roni, because Nellie in all honesty didn't exactly agree with Emily. Her idea of hot was now synonymous with only one guy. And Logan didn't even come close in her opinion. "We're gonna go see Slightly Stoopid at the House of Blues."

"You are? I thought you said it was sold out."

Nellie knew Roni would be a bit disappointed. They had talked about going together. Everybody kn