If there was one thing Siri was sure of, it was that she could never love a man who had the bad taste to wear plaid boxer shorts.
Not that she’d had any problem sleeping with one. The very fact that some guy in tartan undies named Nick was lounging at her breakfast table was living, breathing proof of her hypocrisy. But love him? That she couldn’t do. Not again. She did, however, need to get his tartan’d butt out of her apartment, and pronto.
“You need to go.” Siri added a, “Please,” to be polite. It just seemed the right thing to do after getting naked with the man.
“Really?” Nick cocked an eyebrow and smiled lazily at her. A dimple sunk into his scruff-covered cheek. “You seemed to like having me around earlier.”
Siri choked over a response. This Nick had no right to look so self-satisfied. It had just been sex, after all. So what if it had been spectacular? It wasn’t like he’d brokered world peace.
Though. It had been pretty hot, the previous evening.
“I’m serious,” she said. Though, to be honest, her voice quivered and sounded pretty uncertain to even herself. Damn, him.
“I don’t believe you.”
She spied a fresh hickey on the curve of his neck, the very same curve she vaguely remembered running her tongue along only hours ago. The memory sent her blushing, which only annoyed her further, and tiny, hot bubbles of irritation swirled through her veins.
Before she could think, Siri grabbed the first thing she could reach and whipped an English muffin at him. It struck his bare chest and bounced onto the table.
Nick looked up at her, his eyes widened in surprised. “I might have gone peacefully, you know. You don’t have to throw things at me.”
Siri closed her own eyes briefly and sighed. A long and embarrassed sigh.
“Sorry. I’m not usually a violent person.” And she wasn’t. It was unseemly. Though, it had felt good to momentarily disconcert him.
“This was a mistake. A horrible mistake. I just don’t do stuff like this. Ever.” Siri’s head swam. That was one hell of an understatement she’d just made. “Anyway, I was thinking, um, as soon as you’re done eating, you should, well, you know, go.” She gulped. “That’s all I meant.”
Nick swiped the muffin and began to butter it.
“Actually,” he said, “I was considering staying a bit longer. It’s still early.” He winked. Another dimple sank deep into his other cheek. “My meeting isn’t until nine.”
Siri stared at him in disbelief. “Stay? For what? To chat?”
The very idea was insane. She hadn’t let him stay the night because of the stimulating conversation they’d had. And she definitely hadn’t stayed up all night with him because of it, either. But now the fun was over, it had to be, and Siri she had her own critical meeting to attend. What didn’t he understand? There could be no more staying.
“I thought we could do a little reminiscing about last night. Maybe even a little reenacting,” he added.
He bit into the muffin and chewed, contemplating her. She grew warm under his gaze, watching those full lips of his curve into a smile again, and squirmed. Siri didn’t like him having an effect on her; but then she didn’t like any man having an effect on her–particularly one in such hideous boxer shorts. And especially not on such an important morning.
“Look. I’m sorry. Clearly I’ve given you the wrong impression.” She absently rubbed the back of her hand along the curve of her jaw and flinched at its soreness. Like some pathetic lovesick teenage, she had razor burn, and now she’d have to cover it somehow.
“No.” Nick chewed some more and considered her words. “The impression you gave seemed pretty right to me.”
The bubbles of irritation which had been whirling around inside her transformed into a boiling stream of anger.
“Why are you not listening to me? For the last time, you should go now.” She waved to him across the table. “Bye-bye. Ciao. Have a nice life.”
Nick put down the muffin and stared at her for several too-long seconds. Those intense, and more importantly unrepentant, bedroom eyes of his made her want to heave something bigger than an English muffin at the man. Something with the heft of a Mack truck, actually.
“Are you really kicking me out?” he finally asked.
She sighed, a sigh of exasperation that went from the top of her brunette head all the way down to the tip of her cherry red painted toes. “Yes. I am. Last night was great and everything, but I’m just not looking for more than that right now.” She paused. “Or ever.”
He cocked his head and studied her. “I don’t believe you. And you know damn well it was better than great.”
Nick pushed his chair back and stood. Long and lean, tan even at the end of December, his body was beautiful. Worse, she suspected he knew it, that she felt that way.
“I feel so used. I’m not a piece of meat, you know. I have feelings.” He winked at her again. “Are you really sure you want to do this?”
No, she wasn’t. Not as long as he was standing so temptingly in front of her like that. Siri wasn’t positive at all. But if there was one thing she was sure of, it was that he needed to stop with that damn winking.
“This is your last call,” Nick said.
Before she could answer, to tell him what exactly he could do with that last call, there was a pounding on the front door. With a loud crack, it shook loose and flew open. The very last person in the world Siri wanted to see, or be seen by, burst into her kitchen and skidded to a stop. Oh Lord, no. It was Camille, and all hell was about to break loose.
Stay tuned for this novel's release in 2012!
Stay tuned for this novel's release in 2012!