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  • Home > Katie Ashley > Runaway Train > Beat of the Heart (Page 8)     
    Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley
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    I rose up off the floor. “That’s not it.”

    With a skeptical look, Dee took the paperwork and tossed it onto the desk. “Well, something sure has you riled, Mimi.”

    “Okay, fine. You want it, so here it is. I’m totally mortified because I knocked a drink onto one of Mr. Patterson’s visitors.”

    Dee shrugged. “What’s so embarrassing about that?”

    “Well, I panicked and started cleaning him up—”

    “Once again, not a crime considering our profession is to help people.”

    I rolled my eyes. “Would you let me finish?”

    “Fine, fine.”

    “Anyway, of all places, the drink fell in the guy’s lap and—”

    Dee gave me a contemptuous snort. “Mia Martinelli, how many times have I told you not to molest the guests of hospital patients?”

    “Wait, what?” I questioned, trying to process his response.

    “You know your little drink spill routine is just a ploy to get to rub up on some hot dude.”

    My eyes widened. “Dee, what the hell is wrong with you? I just told you I was mortified, and now you’re acting like I’m some crotch grabbing pervert?”

    A throat cleared behind me, and I whirled around. “Oh shit,” I muttered, before I could stop myself. With an ‘I can melt your panties at twenty paces’ smirk, AJ stood at the door with his hands shoved in the pockets of his holey jeans. While the front was still damp, they were no longer tented like when I left him. From his expression, I could tell my little tirade hadn’t had a lasting effect on him at all.

    Pointing at Dee, I said, “Just for the record, he is being a total ass right now.”

    AJ chuckled. “Yeah, I know.” He took a tentative step forward. “I wondered if I could talk to you for a minute?”

    Grabbing a chart, Dee batted his eyelashes at AJ. “I’ll just duck in the medicine room real quick, Mimi, and let you and sweet cheeks have some privacy.”

    As he sashayed away from us, AJ’s brows furrowed, and he blinked a few times in disbelief. “Is it just me or does he remind you of—”

    “Lafayette on True Blood?”

    AJ’s dark eyes widened. “Holy shit, yes!”

    “Yeah, he gets it all the time.” With a laugh, I added, “Most of the time, he uses it to scam free drinks or get closer to a guy he’s scoping out. People never seem to be disappointed that it’s not really the actor—I mean, that guy doesn’t act like LaFayette in real life anyway.” When I realized I was rambling, I pinched my lips shut. It had been a long time since any guy had gotten me rattled enough to run my mouth like an idiot.

    “You a fan of the show?” AJ asked.

    “Oh, yeah, I adored it—well, until the whole sixth season and Billith.”

    AJ snickered. “I couldn’t agree more. I used to be pretty much obsessed with it, but yeah, I couldn’t get it up for the last two seasons. Now I’m more a Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy fan myself.”

    “Oh my God, those are awesome shows, too.” I stared at AJ in disbelief for a moment. Was I actually making small talk with the guy I’d just accidentally molested? I hadn’t talked to any guy—or I guess I should say straight guy—since Dev had left me shattered. Shaking my head, I snapped out of my daze. “So what is it exactly that you wanted to talk to me about?”

    “Oh yeah, that. I wanted to see if you’d like to have dinner with me sometime?”

    My brows shot into my hairline. “After I just verbally berated you like that? Not to mention the physical thing.” When AJ nodded, I snorted. “I must’ve made one hell of an impression cleaning you up.”

    He grinned. “Your talents are quite impressive, but I’d like to experience the full range of your…napkin abilities.”

    “I think you’re getting a little presumptuous, don’t you think? You only asked me to dinner.”

    “That’s true.” AJ scratched the stubble on his chin. “But to prove my intentions are honorable, I’m still offering dinner—just dinner.” With a pointed look, he added, “And maybe some third base action if the mood strikes us.”

    I laughed in spite of myself. “Tempting, very tempting. But, no thanks.”

    “You drive a hard bargain, Ms. Martinelli, but I’m willing to take the third base action off the table for dinner and maybe a good night kiss—with or without tongue.”

    “No.”

    Crossing his arms over his broad chest, he tilted his head to one side, surmising me quizzically. “Fine then. No dinner with its somewhat provocative undertones. How about just a drink after you get off?”

    “Sorry, but I’m not interested in dating at the moment.”

    AJ’s dark brows furrowed in confusion, and I could tell he wasn’t used to getting rejection from a female. Undaunted, he pursed his lips in a smirk. “I get it. You’re a little gun-shy about dating a musician, or you’re career minded, or some other shit is telling you to say no. But I can work with that.” He snapped his fingers. “Coffee it is!”

    “AJ, really—”

    He held up a hand. “Yeah, I get it. I now can see where coffee might be a little loaded for an outing. You know, with caffeine being an illicit, addictive substance, so maybe I should switch gears. Ice cream’s pretty innocent. How about that?” His gaze honed in on my mouth as he closed the distance between us. “After all, who can say no to some sugary sweetness? Maybe add some smooth whipped cream topped off with a ripe cherry?”

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