Lovely Neighbor (Lovely 1) - Page 12

“Oh god.”

I turn around to see Erin standing in my kitchen wearing what has to be one of my button-up shirts and I’m pretty sure nothing else. Her dirty-blond hair is a tangled mess and her mascara is smudged like she slept with it on. Her bare feet begin to take a step back and I hold my hand out to stop her.

“You Erin.” Why do I sound like I’m a fucking caveman? Use a complete sentence, dumbass. God, she’s fucking beautiful. She looks soft and warm and I ache to take her back to bed and find out how those curves would feel against me. “Sorry, you must be Erin. I’m Devin.”

Her cheeks flush as she puts her arms across her chest and looks down at what she’s wearing. “I’m sorry, it was so late I didn’t want to dig through my bags for pajamas.”

“I get it. I usually sleep naked.” Her eyes snap up to me and I curse myself for putting my foot in my mouth. “I mean that when I travel and I get to places, I don’t want to dig in my suitcase either.” Shut up, Devin, just stop talking. “So I sleep naked.” So we’re just going to talk about this on the first meeting. Great.

Her eyes run down my body and I have this feeling she’s picturing me naked. I quickly move the file in front of my crotch so she can’t see the embarrassing bulge I’m getting from just her perusal. I move next to the island so I can hide behind it and then hold up the folder. “I forgot my file. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you up, but I didn’t want you to not hear me and be even more scared. But I can see now that no matter what it was probably startling to find someone here when you thought you were alone.” Why can’t I stop rambling?

“I thought you were out of town.” She nibbles on her lip as her eyebrows pull together in concentration.

“I was, I am. I mean, I’m not out of town, I’m staying with my sister in the city. We’ve got a case we needed to go over.”

“Oh.” She looks around for a second before her green eyes come back to mine. “If you give me a second I can be out of your hair.”

“No!” I bark a little too loud and fast. “I mean no, of course not. I’m crashing with her for a few days, so this place will be empty.” My body moves a step closer to her without me telling it to. “Please stay.”

“I really appreciate it. You have no idea.” She fidgets with her fingers and tugs at the end of the dress shirt. “And sorry again about the PJs.”

“I think it looks better on you than it ever did on me.” The words tumble out of me before I can think them through, but she doesn’t say anything, she just looks down at her bare feet. “I’ll have to come back again tonight to drop off some files. I like to keep some of my open cases here.” Now I really have no idea where that came from, but I appreciate some part of me planning ahead. “Do you have plans for dinner?”

“Umm.” She looks at my front door as if trying to see through to her grandmother. “I don’t think so.”

“I have to go,” I say, waving the folder. “But I’ll bring something to eat when I come home and we can officially meet.” She nods and I see a smile tug at the corner of her lips. Meanwhile I’m smiling like an idiot who just rode their first roller coaster. “Get some sleep.”

I walk out of the apartment quickly like I’ve somehow broken into someone else’s place and stolen the file. Maybe I’m trying to get away from the whole scene that just happened in there or maybe, and more accurately, I’m trying to hurry the day to be over.

One thing is for certain, and it’s that I have to see Erin again.

Chapter Nine

Erin

“Aren’t all these little shops cute?” Grams asks. She’s been working hard on selling the idea of me moving here all afternoon.

“It’s nice that they’re all so close,” I admit. The street outside her building is filled with all kinds of stores and most everything you could need is within walking distance.

“Here, this place has the best pie.” She holds the door open to a little bakery.

“Betty! How are you, sweetness?” the older man behind the counter shouts.

“I’m good. I brought my—”

“Sister?” he chimes in, and I hide my laugh behind my hand.

“Granddaughter, Erin.” She shakes her head at him, smiling.

“Yes, Erin. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.” He holds his hand out over the display case. “I’m Johnny.”

“It’s nice to meet you too. I hear you have the best pies around.”

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