The bell over the door dings loudly, and my head involuntarily swivels toward it, then immediately swivels back. I hunch over, hoping my hair will shield my face from view of the newcomers.
The newcomers being Logan and four of his friends.
Maybe he won’t notice me. Maybe I can sneak out before he does.
I don’t want to draw any attention to myself, so I don’t get up right away. Logan and his buddies approach the order counter, and every gaze in the coffee house hangs on their every move. Something about these guys changed the air in the room on a molecular level. They’re larger than life, and not just because they’re all tall, strapping hockey players. It’s the confidence with which they walk, the good-matired insults they toss back and forth, the easy grins they flash to people.
I know I should be skulking off, but I can’t look away. It’s almost criminal how attractive he is. Granted, I`m only looking at the back of his head, but it’s a very sexy back of the head. And it’s so easy to pick him out as an athlete. The long limbs and toned muscles beneath his cargo pants and snug shirt create a drool-worthy package that my fingers itch to unwrap.
Argh. I need to drag my head out of the gutter. Lusting over him is too close to liking him, and I`m not ready to open that door yet. If ever.
But common sense comes too late, because Logan is now moving away from the counter and marching in my direction.
“Hey, gorgeous.” He slides in the seat across from me and places a chocolate chip muffin on the table. “I got you a muffin.”
Damn it, I guess he’d noticed me right when he’d walked in.
“Why?”? I ask in suspicion, and without saying hi.
“‘Cause I wanted to get you something, and you already have coffee. Ergo, muffin.”
I raise one eyebrow. “Are you trying to buy your way into my good graces?”
“Yup. And excellent pun, by the way.”
“I wasn’t punning. My name just happens to be a homonym.”
His blue eyes gleam as he downright smolders at me. “I love it when you talk homonyms to me.”
“Uh-huh.” I choke back a laugh. “I appreciate the gesture, but do you really think a muffin is going to wow me?”
“Don’t worry, I`ll buy you an entire meal when we’re out on our date.” He winks. “Anything you want off the menu”.
Damn him and his seductive winking powers.
“Speaking of that, when should we do it?”
I eye him warily. “Do what?”
“Go out.” His head tilts in a thoughtful pose. “I`m free tonight. Or any night, really. My schedule is wide open.”
God, this guy is incorrigible. And too damn gorgeous for his own good. His chiseled jaw is covered with scruff, as if he hasn’t shaved in a few days, and my tongue tingles with the urge to lick a path along the strong line of his chin. This is the first time I`ve ever wanted to lick a guy’s stubble. What is the matter with me?
“Congrats on your wide open schedule,” I grumble. “But I`m not going out with you.”
Logan grins. “Tonight, or in general?”
We’re interrupted by the arrival of one of his friends. “Ready?” the guy asks Logan as he flips the top of his coffee cup.
“Go away, G. I`m wooing.”
His friend snickers, then turns to me. “Hey, I`m Garrett.”
Right. As if I don’t know who he is. Garrrett Graham is a legend at this school. He’s also incredibly good looking, the kind of good looking that brings a blush to my cheeks despite the fact I`m not even interested in the guy.
“I`m Grace,” I answer politely.
“I didn’t mean to interrupt.” He edges away, a barely restrained smile on his lips. “I`ll wait outside so my boy can keep, ah, wooing.”
“No need, We’re all done here,” I scrape my chair back and hop to my feet.
“We most certainly are not.” Logan mutters.
Amused, Garret glances from me to Logan. “I took a mandatory conflict resolution seminar back in high school. Do you guys need a mediator?”
I pick up my coffee. “Well, the stenographer who follows me around is a on a lunch break, but I can catch you up no problem. Logan asked me out, I solved the conflict by respectfully declining. There. I did all the work for you.”
Garrett laughs loud enough to attract the attention of everyone around us, including the three hockey players who wander over from the counter.
“What’s so funny?” Dean asks curiously. He notices me and offers a delighted smile. “Grace. Long time. I`m loving the hair.”
I`m surprised he even remembers my name. “Thanks.” I inch closer to the door. “I`ve gotta go. See you around, Logan. And, uh, you too, Logan’s friends.”
I`m halfway out the door when I hear him call, “You forgot your muffin.”
“No, I didn’t,” I answer without turning around.
Male laughter tickles my spine as the door closes behind me.
– page 148,Chapter 20