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|Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley|
Dee’s shoulders sagged a bit. “That was six months ago. Dev’s moved on, and it’s time for you to move on, too.”
“It all makes sense up here,” I said, tapping my head. “But it just doesn’t seem to get here.” I then covered my heart, which ached beneath my fingertips.
“Hell, I’m not saying you need to marry the dude and pop out ten children. I’m just saying he could be a good distraction—a way to help you see you’re a beautiful, amazing woman that any man would be thrilled to get to bang.”
Although I tried fighting it, the corners of my lips curved up at Dee’s final words. “Thanks for the compliment that was in there…somewhere.”
“We should probably get back to work now, don’t you think?”
“Oh, I think you’ve definitely got some work cut out for you.”
“What are you talking about?”
Dee stared past me with a curious expression. “He’s baaaack,” he said, mimicking the little girl from Poltergeist.
I whirled around to see AJ striding down the hall with a giant bouquet of colorful wild flowers and roses in his arms—a determined expression etched across his handsome features. When he ambled up to me, I shook my head in disbelief. “You seriously never get turned down, do you?”
“No, I don’t.” He grinned and shifted the flowers in his arms. “But there’s another reason why I came back.”
He bobbed his head. “Listen, I figured that we got off on the wrong foot with you drying my junk, and I thought maybe for you to truly consider going out with me, we needed a do-over.”
“Wow,” I murmured. Holy shit, was this guy for real? I fought the urge to glance around to see if there were some hidden cameras, and I was totally being Punked. He wanted me to go out with him enough that he’d not only come back, but he’d brought me flowers. I had a weakness for men bearing flowers.
A beaming smile lit up his face. “So, Mia Martinelli, I’m Alejandro Joaquin Resendiz aka AJ, and it’s a pleasure meeting you.” He then handed me the bouquet.
“Thank you.” I brought the flowers to my nose and inhaled the sweet fragrance. “These are beautiful.” My eye caught the card poking out, so I reached for it.
“Um, wait!” AJ cried, but I had already jerked it out.
“Get Well Soon,” I read aloud. When I glanced from the card with its smiley face beaming loud and proud over to AJ, I couldn’t help laughing. “Nice.”
For the first time ever, AJ’s swagger receded a bit. He ducked his head and rubbed the back of his neck furiously. Finally, he peered up at me with a sheepish expression, which made him even hotter than before. “Okay, I’m busted. I bought them downstairs in the gift shop.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but Dee beat me to the punch. “I don’t know what Mimi’s problem is if she doesn’t appreciate the fact you went all the way downstairs to get her some flowers.”
“I didn’t say I’m not appreciative,” I countered.
“Then maybe don’t bust my balls so hard by giving me shit about some gift shop flowers?” AJ suggested with a small smile.
“Okay, I won’t.”
“And I did mean it when I said they were beautiful. I haven’t had a man bring me flowers in a very long time.”
“It was a nice gesture, huh?”
I smiled. “A very nice one.”
Dee’s neck had been bobbing back and forth between AJ and me like he was watching a tennis match. “I think it’s time I leave you two to talk.” As he started off, he glanced at me over his shoulder. “Don’t worry about your patients. I’ll cover for you.”
“Yeah, make sure the boss lady doesn’t find out.”
Dee snickered and gave me a wink before heading down the hallway. I glanced at AJ, trying desperately not to let the anxiety bubbling within me show through. I knew he was the type of guy who could smell fear and use it to his advantage. I shifted uncomfortably on my feet in the awkward silence. “So, how old are you?”
His brows shot up in surprise. “Wow, that came out of nowhere.”
With a shrug, I replied, “I thought we should get to know each other a little. Age is pretty basic.”
“Fine then. I’m twenty-five. How old are you?”
My nose wrinkled a little. “I’m twenty-eight. I don’t usually date younger men.”
AJ rubbed his palms together. “Then let me take your cougar virginity.”
I laughed. “You’re not letting this go, are you?”
“Nope. I’m going to keep on and on until I wear you down, and you finally go out with me.”
“Mia, Mia, Mia, what am I going to do with you?”
“I’m sure you have several NC-17 rated scenarios running through your mind at this moment.”
Throwing his head back, AJ laughed heartily. “Yep, I do actually. But all joking aside, do I really need to continue pleading my case? I just brought you gift shop flowers for Christ sake!”
“Can I shoot straight with you?”
Tilting my head thoughtfully, I replied, “I think after I gave your junk a rubdown, we can be pretty honest with each other.”