Unexpectedly Yours (Page 4)

I gasp for air, trying to stop my hysterics. He’s standing there in front of me, looking totally dumbfounded. I can understand why. A man like this has probably never been turned down in his life. Smoldering blue eyes, a chiseled jaw, and messy brown hair just begging to be touched. He’s wearing a pair of worn dark jeans that fit his ass like a glove, and with that ass…?

I’m guessing women throw their panties at his feet before he even opens his mouth. And if they didn’t, well, they certainly would be stripping once they get a hint of that smoky Southern drawl: low and sweet and sexy.

This guy is illegally hot. He’s also the same man who knocked me over at the airport, stole my cab, and has spent the past halfhour hitting on every girl in his phone book.

“Are you OK?” He recovers that charming grin. “Maybe you’re having some kind of fit?” He gestures to the bartender for a glass of water.

I take it, and thankfully take a gulp.

“OK,” I gasp. “I’m good, I promise…” I catch his eye again and can’t help but giggle. “I’m sorry!”

“No problem,” he looks puzzled. “Mind letting me in on the joke?”

“I’m afraid it’s you.”

He stares.

“I mean, the way you hit on me just now,” I add quickly. “I didn’t mean to offend you, I just… I’ve been sitting in the booth over there.” I point. “Right next to you. So, I’ve heard pretty much everything you’ve said for the past half hour. And all the girls you’ve been saying it to,” I add meaningfully.

Realization dawns. “Oh shit.” Then he laughs, a full, throaty laugh—full of warmth. He shakes his head. “That wasn’t exactly part of the plan.”

“I’d imagine not.” I smile, relieved he’s taking this so well. Other guys might have gotten angry or offended to have some girl laugh hysterically right in their face. “So what’s the big emergency?” I ask curiously. “It’s your last night on earth, and you don’t want to die alone?”

He gives me another devastating smile, casually stealing a sip of my drink. “Would it work if it was true?”

I take my drink back from him and ignore the flutter in my stomach. God, this guy is hot.

“I’m meeting my boyfriend,” I say firmly. My boyfriend who’s running two hours late now. I checked into the room and hung out for a while, but I got too impatient up there, so I came down for a drink to calm my nerves.

He’s probably just caught in traffic, I’ve been telling myself. Or off buying a last-minute surprise gift for me. That has to be it.

“A boyfriend, huh? I should have known. But he shouldn’t keep you waiting,” the hot stranger grins at me. “Some handsome stranger might come along and sweep you off your feet.”

“Why, have you seen any?” I shoot back.

He clutches his chest. “Struck down again. You wound me.”

“You’ll live,” I smile. “Something tells me, you have a very healthy ego. Like the number of girls you just called. They were really all busy?” I ask, frowning. Unless this guy has terrible personal hygiene or doubles as a serial killer, I can’t understand why he’s struck out.

I lean in and subtly inhale. He smells like winter: crisp and clean, with a hint of spicy cologne.

Must be the serial killer thing.

“What can I say? The universe is conspiring to bring us together.” He’s still leaning against the bar, watching me with those piercing blue eyes, and looking like he just stepped out of a magazine spread.

Or your dreams.

I shake off the traitorous thought. “You really believe in fate?” I ask him, dubious. Guys who have that many girls on speed-dial don’t tend to be the soulmate kind.

He shakes his head. “Not at all. Just make believe bullshit. We’re all random atoms spinning in the vastness of space.”

“That’s depressing,” I protest.

“Not at all,” he shrugs. “There’s something pretty beautiful, if you think about it. All of history, since the very beginning of time, has had to align to bring us both to this moment, right here. A hundred million random coincidences and split-second choices, just to put two people in a bar together on the night before Christmas.”

“We’re not together,” I smile. Despite everything, I’m charmed. It’s not just the smile and the body and the laughter in his eyes; he’s funny and smart too. There’s a poetry to his words, and I wonder for a moment if he’s a writer.

“We could be,” he contends. “C’mon,” he adds, his voice turning quiet. Intimate. “Let me buy you dinner. You can tell me all about this asshole ex-boyfriend of yours who stood you up.”

“He hasn’t stood me up.” I bridle defensively. “We flew all the way from California to spend Christmas together in New York.”

“And yet here you are, all alone.”

I stare at him, feeling that shiver of unease again. Matt was supposed to be here hours ago. It’s not like him not to call or text.

Except it is, a little voice reminds me. He’s been dropping out these past couple of weeks: showing up late, not replying to my messages. He swears it’s just work, they’re always slammed in the ER before the holidays, but now I wonder…

My feelings must have shown, because the hot stranger softens. “Hey, I didn’t mean to upset you. I’m sure he’s just running late.”