He's So Fine (Lucky Harbor 11) - Page 14

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That was the city rat in her.

And the bitch.

But Becca had proven to be genuine, and they’d become friends as Becca had acclimated to Lucky Harbor. And yeah, acclimation was required. It was hard to believe a place with cozy, inviting Victorian architecture and a majestic mountain backdrop—a town that resembled a postcard picture—could actually exist.

But so far, it was living up to the promise. “I lost my key,” Olivia admitted reluctantly. “Any ideas?”

“I’m a pretty good lock picker,” Becca said. “Let me go get my tools.”

Olivia was impressed. “You’ve got lock picking tools?”

“Bobby pins. Give me a sec, I also need something else.”

“What?”

Becca blushed and tugged on the hem of the tee. “Panties,” she whispered.

“Yeah, well, feel free to add a pair of pants to go with,” Olivia called after her.

Two minutes later, Becca was back and they were standing at Olivia’s door. Tongue between her teeth, Becca concentrated on breaking and entering.

“I appreciate this,” Olivia said.

“You should, as I’m trying really hard to mind my own business. I know you’re really private, and also that you can totally kick my ass, but…well, let’s be honest, I’m dying of curiosity here. And also, I’m so not good at minding my own business.”

No kidding. “I appreciate it, it’s sweet of you,” Olivia said. She was watching the hall and starting to sweat, getting nervous that this was taking so long. “Not to kick a gift horse in the mouth, or jeopardize the minding-your-own-business thing, but any chance we could speed this process up?”

Becca slid her gaze up, eyes sly. “Maybe.”

“Did I say you were sweet?”

“Sweet’s overrated. Spill. I want to know why your hair looks like you just went for a sea salt bath and you’re wearing men’s clothing.”

Olivia slid another look down the hallway—and thank you sweet baby Jesus, it was still empty. “How about I give you a rain check on the explanation?”

“Pinkie swear.”

“What?”

Becca thrust out her hand, pinkie first. “Pinkie swear you’ll tell me later.”

Olivia stared down at Becca’s proffered pinkie. “Seriously?”

“Yes or no?”

Olivia sighed and wrapped her pinkie around Becca’s. “Pinkie swear.”

Thirty seconds later, Becca clicked the lock open on Olivia’s apartment just as the door to the building opened at the end of the hall.

Olivia considered diving into her apartment and locking the door.

But Becca, definitely not-so-sweet, and most definitely ever-so-smart, subtly shifted, blocking Olivia’s escape route as she waved at Cole. “Would you look at that,” she said beneath her breath to Olivia. “He’s got wet hair, too. And—he’s injured?” She called out to him, “What happened? You okay?”

“Yep,” Cole said, and locked eyes on Olivia for a beat before smiling at Becca. And for the record, it was a very different smile than anything he’d ever given Olivia. It was an easy, familiar, genuinely affectionate smile, the same he’d used when he’d spoken of his sisters.

“You’ve got a knot on your temple,” Becca told him. “And you’re wearing a sling. Last night we were singing at the piano at the Love Shack and all was well. What happened between then and now?”

Cole tugged on a strand of Becca’s wild and crazy bedhead hair. “Nothing. I’m really fine.”

“Uh-huh.” Becca divided a look between Olivia and Cole, but Olivia had been born with secrets and knew how to hold ’em. Apparently Cole had the same skill.

“You pinkie swore,” Becca said to Olivia. “Remember that.”

“Hey,” Cole said, head cocked. “Becca, is that your phone ringing?”

“Oh! Maybe, yes, thank you!” She vanished into her apartment.

“I didn’t hear anything,” Olivia said into the silence.

He smiled. “Me either.” He nodded to Olivia’s apartment, which was standing open. “You got in.”

“Told you I could.”

His warm blue eyes met hers. “Just wanted to make sure, since it was my fault you took an unplanned swim.”

Nice of him to say so, but they both knew she’d reacted without thinking, and that if she’d only paused to observe for even a heartbeat, she’d have realized he was fine and not in danger.

“I can feel the cold draft coming out of your place,” he said. “Is your heater broken?”

“No,” she said ruefully. “Just my budget for the month.”

He nodded like he understood. “So…you’re okay? You warmed up enough?”

“I’m better off than you.” She gestured to his shoulder. “Sling?”

“An old injury,” he said casually.

He was good, but she was better. “You hurt yourself in the water,” she accused, guilt slicing through her. “You said you didn’t.”

His eyes met hers. “And you said you were late.”

“I am. I’m late getting to the shop. I’ve got a lot to do today.” And yet she stood there, not moving, oddly reluctant to walk inside and shut the door.

“I keep hearing the faintest whisper of an accent,” he said, eyes locked on her mouth. “Texas?”


Tags: Jill Shalvis Lucky Harbor Romance
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