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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(66) by Samantha Young|
I didn’t want this situation with Logan to be another example of my weakness. The man had hurt me more than I thought it was possible to be hurt. Just because he suddenly showed interest in me didn’t mean I should run right back into his arms. As much as he claimed to want me now, I had to wonder if I was just a balm for his own fear. I had been there to help him through a tough time in his life. I feared he was confusing gratitude for something more, and that when he finally realized I really wasn’t his type after all, my heart would be crushed into dust.
But was that my insecurities talking? Perhaps Logan really did have genuine feelings for me.
The fact of the matter was that I couldn’t really know for certain.
“Ask the history teacher out,” Aidan had suggested upon my relating the new development in the Logan and Grace Saga.
“Are you nuts? Say yes! Let that gorgeous man throw you on his bed and have his wicked way with you a million times over.” Chloe had fervently fought in Logan’s corner when I told her.
“Do what makes you happy,” Juno had said sweetly but ever so unhelpfully.
Since my friends’ conflicting advice did nothing to help me, I sought to avoid the matter altogether by joining Shannon, Jo, and Joss for coffee the next afternoon. Shannon turned up covered in paint splatter. She was an art student at Edinburgh College of Art. It was Jo’s day off from working with her uncle Mick in his painting and decorating company, and Joss, as a full-time author, had the flexibility to use her time however she pleased. Elodie was babysitting little Ellie for her.
I met them at Black Medicine, this cool coffee shop in Old Town, and as soon as I saw their concerned faces I wished that I could back up and leave the coffeehouse. It was apparent immediately that they would be no help in my attempt to ignore the Logan situation.
“We just wanted to check in with you,” Shannon said as I took my seat with them. “Joss said you rushed out of her party without saying good-bye, and Logan looked upset. And, of course, he called me.” Her look was pointed.
Taking in their expressions, I just knew it.
Logan had enlisted them.
“Oh dear God.” I let my head fall back as if in supplication to an unmerciful deity. “Why me?”
Joss snorted. “Yeah, doesn’t it suck when gorgeous, funny, loyal Scotsmen fall in love with us?”
I shot her an evil look. “Your sarcasm is unwanted at the moment.”
She grinned. “Maybe I wasn’t being sarcastic. There was a time when I wished Braden would back off.”
Jo shot her a look. “But like Grace, you were in denial. Secretly you wanted him. Obviously.” She pointed to Joss’s wedding rings.
My next glower was directed at Jo. “I’m not in denial. I’m perfectly aware of my feelings for Logan because said feelings were crushed under his big stomping feet not too long ago. Perhaps I just don’t want to repeat the experience.”
Shannon placed a hand on my arm. “Grace, I know my brother. He doesn’t make the same mistake twice. He wouldn’t hurt you again.”
I stared pleadingly at her. “I just wanted a coffee.”
“Well, you’re getting a coffee with a side of lecture,” Joss said.
“You are very lucky I have a fear of confrontation and alienating people I care about.”
Joss considered this and then cocked her head at Jo. “That sounded vaguely confrontational to me – don’t you think?”
Jo nodded solemnly. “There was definite aggression in her eyes.”
“According to Logan, you have no problem confronting him.” Shannon smirked.
I closed my eyes at their teasing. “There’s no place like home.”
“I think that incantation requires ruby slippers,” Joss said.
I snapped my eyes open. “I shouldn’t make friends with smart women. They’re obnoxious.”
“That was definitely confrontational,” Jo informed Joss.
I immediately got up out of my seat. “If I’m going to sit through an hour of this, I’ll need that bloody coffee.”
By the time I got home my head was ringing with their voices.
“Logan is loyal to a fault. He’ll always have your back.”
“Braden trusts Logan. That says a lot about him; I promise.”
“I’ve never seen Logan so happy as he has been with you. When you’re fighting I know because he’s a broody, snappy bastard. You affect his mood.”
“Oh, that’s when you know a man is in love with you.”
“Give him a chance. Just one more chance.”
“Maia adores you. Doesn’t that count for something too?”
“Just think about it, Grace. Really think about it.”
When I’d gotten up to leave, Joss had taken one look at my deer-in-the-headlights expression and announced ruefully, “I told you we should have gone subtle. She looks like she’s about to upchuck.”
“Ellie said this would work.” Shannon had stared at me nervously.
“And we listened to Ellie, why?” Jo had said, sharing a similar expression.
“Because she’s the best at this cheesy-love stuff,” Joss had replied. “But I’m thinking reverse psychology would have worked better in this case.”
“Okay.” I’d sighed, grabbing my purse. “I am not an experiment in matchmaking. I appreciate the thought and genuine concern behind whatever the hell this was, but my head hurts and I feel a little sick, so I’m going home.”