I haven’t seen Mia in almost a month, since the last time she was in town staying with Max. I didn’t realize she’d be back a full week before her other brother Chase’s wedding, and am I ever glad to see her again.
She makes all parts of me quite happy indeed.
By happy, I mean hard as a rock.
Okay, fine. It’s not like I’m operating at full power this second. I’m thirty-three, not fifteen. I have plenty of self-control in the “when and where to pitch a tent” arena. All I’m saying is this woman gets me going, and I feel that zip down my body when I see her.
She’s on the phone, her eyebrows pinched, her expression harried. She drags her hand through her caramel-blond hair. As I walk closer, I hear her say, “I understand. Yes, I understand. Things happen.”
And that’s the sound of someone being disappointed.
Which is a terrible thing for this sexy-as-a-fiery-sunset woman to experience.
When she stops and ends her call, she spots me. She tilts her head, her eyes piercing, her brow furrowed, and her dimples killing me with cuteness. Her eyes roam from me to Zeus, and then she points at my boy. “I don’t know if anyone has told you this . . .”
I raise my eyebrows. “Tell me. What could it possibly be?”
Her eyes drift to the ground then back up. In a deadpan tone, she says, “But there’s a cat in your hat? Well, on your back, actually.”
“There is?” I crane my neck to peer over my shoulder. “You’re right. How did he get there?”
She parks her hands on her hips. “You’re in big trouble.”
“I’ve been bad, have I?”
She pushes my shoulder then wags her finger at me. “How did you keep this from me?”
I quirk an eyebrow. “The fact that there’s an awesome new Italian place down the street? It opened last month, and I planned to tell you.”
She huffs, rolling her eyes. “I’ve known you for months and you didn’t tell me you had a cat. Friends don’t hide pets from friends.”
She’s not in town that often. She hasn’t ever been to my apartment. And I don’t take Zeus upstairs to Max’s. But I’m not going to state the obvious. I’m going to have a little fun with her. Flirt with her. Because . . . that’s what we do.
“There’s a reason for that.”
Her eyes go wide, and she taps her toe, waiting. I drag a hand through my hair. Evie says my light brown hair is floppy, and she tells me this is a good thing. The ladies love floppy hair, she says. She’s been right so far. My hair’s been a big hit with the ladies, and other parts have, too.
“It’s a good reason,” I add.
“I’m waiting, Patrick. This really isn’t the type of intel you should hold back.”
I heave a sigh as if I’m going to make a huge admission, then I park a hand on her shoulder. Because, well, I’m a sneaky bastard and I’ll look for any opening to touch her. “Look, I’m going to be blunt. If I told you I had a hiking cat who rides shotgun in a backpack and can purr like he’s a jazz superstar, you’d have had no choice but to fall in love with me.”
About the Author
Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and she has had eight books on the New York Times Bestseller list and fifteen on the USA Today Bestseller list. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire. She recently released SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS, the first novel in her new sexy romance series Sinful Nights that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. Her new adult forbidden romance, 21 Stolen Kisses, hit e-readers in May and landed on the USA Today Bestseller list. In January, she’ll release BIG ROCK, a standalone contemporary romance sure to make you swoon. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.
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