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Edible by Ella Frank Book

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Edible by Ella Frank Book Read Online And Epub File Download


dible, delicious, delectable.

Rachel Langley is more than familiar with those three words in her line of work. After all, she spends her afternoons and evenings creating desserts so divine that your mouth will water and your taste buds will tingle.

They aren’t, however, the words she would have ever expected to think of when she locks eyes with a certain lawyer she knows only as Cole.

With each encounter, the infuriatingly persistent man becomes more impossible to resist, and edible is the exact word that comes to mind.

Crave, demand, covet.

Cole Madison knows exactly what he wants, and Rachel Langley is it. From the moment he spotted her at Whipped, he knew he wanted to grab hold and take a bite.

However, the woman has enigmatic moves, avoiding him at every turn.

But not for much longer.

Rachel’s time is up, and as far as Cole is concerned, he’s waited too long for a taste of what he desires. Nothing, including the woman herself, will stop him from consuming what he hungers for.

The only question left is: Who will take the first bite?


Edible by Ella Frank Book Read Online And Epub File Download More Ebooks Every Category For Go Ebooks Libaray Online Website.



Edible by Ella Frank Book Read Online Chapter One



Past

“LET GO,” RACHEL demanded, trying to free herself from Ben’s punishing grip around her upper arm.

“I told you to stop,” he shouted as his fingers dug tight into her tender flesh.

That’s going to leave a mark, she thought with a grimace.

Spinning around to face him, Rachel glared up into her boyfriend’s irate eyes. “And I told you not to touch me when you’re angry.”

Ben hauled her in close, and Rachel knew whatever was about to happen wouldn’t be good.

Twenty minutes earlier, he’d come home in a foul mood. That usually equaled a painful evening in the bedroom for her but not tonight. Tonight, she was done.

“I’ll touch you whenever I want to touch you. You got that?” he sneered down at her.

Rachel narrowed her eyes and yanked on her arm again. Instead of letting go, he reached up, gripped the other one, and pushed her back against the living room wall. She hit it so hard that her teeth clattered, and she could have sworn the bookcase beside her shook.

“You’re mine, remember? You do what I say.”

Staring up at him, Rachel knew she was risking his wrath, but she could no longer stay silent.

“Not anymore. You’re leaving. Pack up your shit, Ben, and get out of my place. I’m sick of being your punching bag.”

What happened after that blurred into slow motion.

Rachel saw him raise his hand, and before she could move her face, his large palm connected with her cheek, the brutal force of it resounding in a loud crack. Her face felt like someone had lit it up with a blowtorch.

As she reached up to grip her cheek, a throbbing ache ricocheted in her skull. When she heard the front door crash open, Rachel turned her head against the wall, squinting because of the light shining in from behind the person now standing in the doorway.

“Take your hands off of her.”

Rachel recognized her father’s voice, but it was filled with a cold anger that she had never heard before. Ben took one step away from her, and her father was instantly on him.

Sliding back against the wall, she crumpled to the floor. Through a rapidly swelling eye, she watched while her father punched Ben in the face before he repeatedly landed blows to his gut. When her father finally let up, Ben pulled himself up to his feet and ran from the house, yelling about what a bitch she was and how she had to have “her daddy” save her.

Crouching down in front of her, her father reached out to gently cup her cheek. “What are you doing, baby girl? This is not love.”

Looking up at him, Rachel saw the grim line of his mouth and noticed his hair falling forward. She absentmindedly thought about how Mason had inherited their father’s dark looks. “No man should ever hit you, Rach. Ever.”

He reached down and helped her to her feet. Wrapping a solid arm around her waist, he guided her as she staggered to the sink. He wet a paper towel and then dabbed at the cut on her cheek.

With a quivering lip, Rachel blinked up at him as tears pooled in her eyes. “Please don’t tell Mase or Mom.”

Her father held her in his arms and softly spoke into her ear. “I won’t as long as you don’t tell them I beat the shit out of him.”

Chuckling a little, she kissed his cheek. “I promise,” she whispered.





Present


January

RACHEL STOOD IN the far corner of Precious Petals, leaning on the handle of the broom she’d been using only minutes before.

Sighing, she reached up to run a hand through her thick black hair—hair that had been tipped electric blue for the moment.

Lately, memories of her father had become harder and more difficult to bear. She knew it had a lot to do with the fact that she and Mason had recently lost their mother, but the pain of losing both parents before she’d even accomplished…well, anything was almost too much to take.

Rachel knew that Mason would have killed her if he ever heard her talk that way. He would’ve been the first to point out the acclaim she now had as a pastry chef, largely due to her famous and good-looking brother and his restaurant. Oh, sorry, our restaurant.

Not to mention, she had also taken over the flower shop.

During those first few months after their mother had passed, every time Mason had tried to come into Precious Petals, he hadn’t been able to do it. Because of her connection with their mom, Lena had been the next person they had all thought of to take over the shop, but that had been impossible since she was a pediatrician down at University Hospital.

So, the task had fallen to Rachel. While she loved the store, she couldn’t help but feel the loss of her parents more and more every day.

Glancing up at the clock, she noticed she was running late. Shit, she thought, moving over to the bench where Tulip was stretched out on her side. With her paw hanging down lazily like a panther in a tree, the lethargic kitty opened her eyes at the sudden movement.

“Oh, don’t you move a single piece of fur, okay? I’ve got this.”

Untying the apron strings from around her waist, she smiled as the cat sat up, dramatically yawning as though she had been working all day. Placing the apron down on the bench, Rachel reached out to scratch the watchful feline’s furry head.

After her mother had passed, Rachel would arrive at the shop to find Tulip waiting at the back door. The furball would sit behind the store and meow, almost like a mournful cry, until one day, Rachel had relented and opened the door. From that day on, Rachel had owned a white cat with mottled brown ears—or maybe she should say that they owned each other.

Rushing around the counter, Rachel grabbed the burlap bag she’d thrown under there earlier this morning, and then she made her way to the front door, the bells jingling overhead as she passed through.

Turning to lock up, she reminded herself of how much her mother had loved this place. Lately, it had felt like the memory was becoming too much to handle, and she wasn’t sure she could continue burning both ends of the candle—spending days at the shop and nights at Exquisite. She was tired and starting to feel burned-out.

Recently, she’d been running the scenario through her head to hire some help, but she’d yet to mention it to her brother. He was busy enough these days with the restaurant and his recent marriage. He didn’t need her whining in his ear.

No, this is something I can work out on my own, she thought as she turned and started a brisk walk to the station to catch the L downtown.




Looking out his large office window, Cole leaned back in his leather chair with the phone to his ear.

“No, I don’t care about that, Becky. All I asked was for her to have the best. Is that such a difficult thing to deliver? Because if it is, I can go elsewhere.”

Raising his left arm, he glanced at his watch. Shit, I’m running late, he thought as he stood up from the chair.

Leaning down, he signed the documents he’d read through earlier. He dropped the pen on the desk, straightened, and shook his head.

“You know what? If things don’t improve this month, I’m coming up there to get her myself. Now, I have to go. Fix the issue.”

He ended the call and stuffed the phone into his pants pocket. He placed both palms on the desk, his head drooping forward. Damn, I don’t need this bullshit in my life right now.

He took a moment to reflect on everything he needed to do, and then he grabbed the envelopes for Jane to send out and headed toward the door. Taking his long wool coat from the rack, he draped it over his arm and walked out of his office.

Stopping by Jane’s desk, he noticed his paralegal was nowhere in sight, so he placed the documents in her tray and made his way to the elevators.

Glancing at his watch again, he took a deep breath and reminded himself that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he were a few minutes late. But as an elevator dinged and metal doors opened, he knew he was lying to himself.

Punctuality was everything, especially in his line of work. After all, the man who turned up first always held the power, and that meant everything to a man like him.




Standing in the center aisle of the train, Rachel gripped the metal pole that was secured to the roof and floor of the car.

With her earbuds securely placed, she swayed and rocked to the click-clack rhythm she could feel but not hear over her music. Unlike most people, Rachel loved commuting. There was something so peaceful about being on a train. She could zone out and just relax for however long it took to get to a destination. She was also inclined to people watch, and there was always a buffet of the unusual, ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary, on the L.

Tapping her foot, Rachel glanced up at the Red Line on the map displayed on the side of the train. As the night started to engulf the city, she knew she had one more stop to go.

It was Wednesday, and she was happy that it would be a relatively slow night. Well, for Exquisite’s standards anyway. For some reason, she just wasn’t in the mood tonight. If anything, she’d probably be better off going to the club and spending some time with the bartender, Riley.

As the train heaved to a slow stop, Rachel waited for the heavy metal doors to slide open, and then she, along with around thirty other commuters, piled out of the narrow doorway.

Making her way onto the platform, she stuffed her hands into her blue wool coat, her arm clutching her bag to her side. With her earbuds still firmly in, the hustle and bustle were currently being drowned out by P!nk’s latest release.

Eyes down, she watched the pavement as she began exiting the station’s tunnel, moving farther away from the train. She was almost free from the main crush of people when her shoulder hit something solid—something in the form of another person.

Stopping, she looked up to apologize, and froze.

Right there in the middle of the chaotic station, she found herself staring up into the eyes of the man she knew only as Cole.




Cole couldn’t believe his luck. It seemed as though choosing the subway over the rush hour traffic had paid off.

As he stood there, gazing down at the raven-haired mystery who had a penchant for bright colors, he decided it was almost worth running late. Of all the people he could have run into in the city, running into her seemed somehow fitting, especially since he’d thought about her just the other day.

She was intriguing to him on so many levels.

He’d seen her only a handful of times—twice at Whipped and once again at her brother’s Halloween party, which Joshua had invited him to.

Oh, she didn’t know this would be their fourth crossing, but he did, and this time, she was not getting away so easily.

The first night he had seen her was when she had walked into the club in a short leather miniskirt. Cole had been convinced that if she were to cough, he would have caught a glimpse of everything she had to offer. She’d paired the skirt with a black leather bra and stiletto heels that could maim. And that had been it.

He remembered it perfectly as though it had happened last night and not months before.

He was sitting in one of the side booths, watching her as she stood there, fidgeting. He was contemplating the best way to approach her and persuade her to be his—well, for the night anyway.

However, as he sat there in quiet consideration, sizing up the woman who somehow caught everyone’s attention, he was shocked as hell when she walked over to the bar, sat down, and greeted Riley—a man everyone knew was a complete slut. In other words, he would do anything he was told, and he was not picky about who told him to do it.

That was not the shocking part though. What perplexed Cole was how he had misread her. Usually, he was much more astute than that, much more accurate in the people he was drawn to, but it was not that way with her.

He had pegged her as softer and more subdued in nature. She had presented herself that way with her nervousness, which was apparent by her fidgeting. Yet, the minute Riley was in front of her, those bare shoulders straightened as that wickedly tattooed spine stiffened, and Cole was officially intrigued.

“Excuse me,” she mumbled, brushing past him.

She was pretending she had no clue who he was. Shaking his head, Cole rounded on his feet to follow her, forgetting all about catching the train.

Hmm, the woman certainly has a love of leather. From under her bright blue coat, he could see tight black leather pants molded to her thighs and calves before they stopped just above her anklebone. Her dark hair was shifting against the blue wool as she walked, and he found himself staring at the tips of her hair that were currently the same shade as her coat.

She seemed to feel his eyes on her—Hell, that’s not surprising since I can’t tear them away—because she stopped when she reached a small clearing. She quickly moved to the side, spinning on her black flats to face him.

Bracing himself, Cole stuffed his hands into his own wool coat and waited. Oh yeah, here we go. Bring it on.




Rachel hit pause on her music, removed the earbuds and turned to tell Cole yet again, Thanks, but no thanks. That was the plan anyway until she looked up and locked eyes with his hazel ones, and then all her thoughts left her brain. What is it about this guy?

She’d only seen him a couple of times, and in each of those moments, she had felt such a pull to him that she had tucked tail and run, much like she wanted to do right now.

Maybe it was because he was always so put together, and now was certainly no exception. Dressed in a long black, perfectly tailored wool coat with what she could only assume was an equally expensive suit of some kind underneath, he projected cool, calm sophistication. He exuded confidence.

“Are you stalking me now?” Rachel flippantly asked with a forced smile.

She watched as he lifted his hands and pushed them into his coat pockets, drawing her eyes down his tall body. Damn, even his shoes are shiny.

“Not at all,” he replied, his voice deep and his words clipped. He was a man who said exactly what he thought. “Stalking would imply premeditation. This was more a spur-of-the-moment decision.”

“To follow me?” she clarified.

He nodded once in assent as she noticed his serious mouth tilt at the corner.

“Yes, to follow you.”

Rachel finally allowed her eyes to move over him.

Yes, okay, he really is incredibly hot. Most would call him handsome or attractive, but as she stood there, looking up into his eyes, the blazing heat she saw staring back at her screamed one thing: Hot. Sizzling, scorching, set-you-on-fire hot.

Determined to end this and forget about the dirty-blond hair, the hot hazel eyes, and the perfectly tailored suit, Rachel ordered herself to relax and move on.

“That’s just ridiculous.”

“Not really,” he pointed out. “Trust me. I’ve met stalkers, and this is not stalking.”

Rolling her eyes at the absurdity of the conversation, Rachel internally slapped herself. She knew he wasn’t stalking her, but she couldn’t make her stupid brain think anything else. He had rendered her mute, which was currently annoying the shit out of her.

When he stepped closer, Rachel also found that he had the superpower to freeze her where she stood because she was suddenly incapable of moving. She stood still, entranced as he removed a hand from his pocket, reached out, and touched a blue strand of hair that was blowing by her cheek.

“You look different outside of work,” he observed.

Rachel frowned as she tilted her head to the side. “I’ve never seen you at Exquisite while I’ve been working.”

He moved, taking one more step toward her, so they were almost touching. As he leaned down slightly, he replied, “No, not there.”

Blinking up at him, Rachel shook her head. “Well, you must have me mistaken for someone else because I know I have never seen you in the flower shop.”

Right there in the middle of the damn train station, she could feel her breathing accelerate, and she was starting to think this guy was weaving spells.

He lowered his face another inch closer to hers. “No, not there either.”

For one insane and anticipatory moment, Rachel thought he was going to kiss her. God help me, I want him to.

However, at the last moment, he moved his head to the side so when he turned, his mouth intimately brushed her ear, causing a shiver to run straight up Rachel’s spine.

“I mean, at the place where you put on a uniform and play a part. I mean, at Whipped.”

Rachel slowly turned her head, narrowing her eyes at the man who was now an inch from her face. How is he making the crowded tunnel feel as though it has emptied out and we are the only two standing here?

“Excuse me?” were the only words Rachel could seem to find and project.

“You see, Rachel—”

Oh god, the way my name sounds rolling off his tongue and slipping past those seriously lickable lips…

“The coat is a nice touch, but I’m sure if you took it off and threw a few stern words around, then maybe, just maybe, Riley would recognize you.”

Now that coming from his mouth reminded her of exactly who he was and how he knew her. Rachel got her ass in gear and took a step back, squaring her shoulders. “Well, as lovely as this has been, I’m already running late.”

She turned, ready to walk away with her dignity still somewhat intact, when his parting line reached her ears and made her blood boil.

“Yes, tardiness is really not something to be proud of. It shows such a lack of dedication to your destination.”

Twirling on the ball of her foot, Rachel took a step back toward the arrogant, infuriating wall of a man and tilted up her chin to him in a way that told him she was not running or backing down. “As far as I’m aware, I didn’t ask you to give an opinion.”

Those calculating eyes focused on her as he dipped his head, acknowledging her response. “You’re right.”

Rachel waited for a moment, sensing another annoying comment was about to come out of his mouth. Instead though, he stuck his hand in his coat pocket and pulled out something wrapped in white wax paper.

Is that candy? she thought as he methodically unwrapped it.

Keeping her eyes on his hands that were so dexterous she felt hypnotized, Rachel felt dazed when he pulled the candy from the wrapper and brought it up to his mouth, pushing it in between those fantasy-inspiring lips. Without a word, he refolded the wrapper. He didn’t ball it up or crinkle it; he folded it perfectly before pushing it back into his pocket.

Locking eyes with her, his mouth shifted in a way that let Rachel know he was sucking on the little square he had put in there, and she found she couldn’t move or remember what they had been discussing. Rather, all her concentration had zeroed in on his hard jaw that was flexing with each suck of—What did he put in his mouth?

“What was that?” she blurted out before she could stop herself.

When he tilted his head to the side, Rachel couldn’t help but notice his left cheek bulge slightly as he pushed the candy into it. That was when he began to move, like a wolf on the hunt. As he took two steady steps forward, Rachel found herself retreating faster than she cared to admit. Standing against the side of the tunnel wall, she watched a smooth smile appear on his face, mocking her. He should have looked ridiculous, standing there in the subway walkway with candy shoved in his mouth, but no, he appeared to be the furthest thing from ridiculous that she could think of.

Sinful was what popped into her head—as if she needed the adjective to describe what her body was already screaming. The other thing her body and brain were in agreement on was run.

Run far, far away.

“Would you like a taste, Rachel?”

Gripping her bag tightly, she refused to cower. She took a deep breath and lifted up her chin to look him directly in the eye. There was no way she would let him intimidate her, and that was exactly what he was trying to do.

Catch me off-guard? Get me to lower my defenses? I don’t think so.

“And if I said yes?”




If you say yes, I’m going to have a hard time not pushing my tongue between those brazen fucking lips, was what Cole wanted to say as he looked down at the feisty woman in the tight leather pants.

Cole rolled the sugary confection across his tongue, moving it to the other side of his mouth, as he watched her eyes zero in on his lips. It was hard to believe it was rush hour downtown right now because, as far as he was concerned, the only other person in existence was the enigma who was Rachel.

So, let’s test a theory. Cole took the final step he needed. His coat was now brushing hers, and his shiny black Ferragamos were toe-to-toe with her black flats. Will she be brave? Or will she run?

He wasn’t usually a betting man unless poker counted, and he was pretty fucking good at that now. But if he were to place a bet, he’d bet that she would run.

Bending down just enough so their faces were back on the same level, he wasn’t surprised when she kept her blue eyes locked with his.

Let’s see if I can rattle that composure.

“If you say yes, I’ll give you my tongue to suck on, and you can take a guess at what it is.”

Cole had to admit that with the way her eyes automatically moved to his mouth, she provoked the devil in him. So, of course, he moistened his bottom lip with the tip of his tongue, and he took immense delight in seeing the shiver that she couldn’t seem control.

“So, Rachel, would you like that taste?”




Is he serious? Rachel thought as she stood with her back pressed to the tiled tunnel wall.

This was why she had been deliberately avoiding one-on-one time with him. She knew he was potent, and God help her, as she stood there in the crowded tunnel, she wanted his tongue in her mouth.

“As romantic as that proposition is—” she started before being cut off.

“It wasn’t supposed to be romantic.”

Swallowing once, Rachel tried to compose herself before continuing. “Then, what was it supposed to be?”

Standing up to his full height, which had to be around six foot four, he placed his hands behind his back. Once again, his cheeks moved, and his damn lips pursed as he sucked on the candy. He then seemed to push it to the right side of his mouth.

Rachel felt like she was being seduced by a piece of candy and a set of smart-ass lips. She needed to escape—Oh, at least three minutes ago.

“It was an overtly sexual offer, designed to provide you with the answer to your question.”

Shutting her eyes, Rachel tried not to let his voice slide inside her. She tried not to let it tingle all over her body, and she tried not to let that stuffy, I-am-better-than-you attitude stroke her sensitive spots.

I am trying and failing epically.

Knowing she needed to somehow regain the upper hand, Rachel let her eyes roam over his far-too-attractive face to his black wool coat, which was tailored to perfection, and she felt her pulse jump.

Watching his sharp, serious chin tilt down, Rachel inspected the blond stubble shadowing it, and she had to stop herself from reaching out and scraping it lightly with her blue nails.

“Like I was saying before you rudely interrupted me, as romantic as that proposition is, when I want to suck on your tongue or anything else, I’ll ask. Until then, no need to offer. It’s just embarrassing when I turn you down.”

Feeling rather pleased with herself, she lifted her hand and patted the lapel of his coat. It wasn’t until she remembered who she was dealing with that she realized, Bad idea.

Quicker than she could blink, his large hand was on top of hers, circling her wrist before she could think twice about it. He tugged her forward gently, and Rachel had no choice but to go. Suddenly, she found herself close enough to him that her breasts were pressed firmly against the wool covering his chest.

To anyone passing by, they must have looked like two people—Oh hell, who am I kidding? With the tension sizzling and cracking around us, we must look like two lovers about to attack each other against the wall.

But the two involved knew it was a completely different story.

“I don’t remember inviting you to touch me,” Cole stated in a voice that invited no argument.

But like a fool, she argued. “Well, you actually invited me to suck your tongue. Or have you already forgotten?”

Holding her firmly against him, his hazel eyes heated at the reminder. “An invitation you refused as far as I am aware. So, until I reissue the invite, maybe you should keep your hands to yourself.”

Feeling her cheeks flush in the face of the admonishment, Rachel nodded because he was right.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized begrudgingly. “Now, can I have my arm back?”




I knew it, Cole thought as he released her wrist and took a step back. His instincts hadn’t let him down.

“Is this over? I was running late before, and now, I am running very late. So, if you are done with…whatever this is, I would like to be on my way,” she pointed out in a frustrated and pissy tone.

Stepping aside, Cole removed one hand from his pocket and gestured for her to be on her way. As she tried to move by him, he whispered in a soft and dark tone, “This is so far from over, Rachel. It’s barely even begun.”

Her spine stiffened, but other than that, she did not look at him, and she did not stop as she marched away.

Oh yes, Cole thought with a tight-lipped grin, my instincts were spot-on.

Finally chewing on the sweet treat, he swallowed the sugary remainder and ran a hand up through his hair. Somehow and someway, Rachel was going to be his. It was all just a matter of time.

Time and patience were two things he had an abundance of. 



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