“You know, I could have a cat. A big one who eats little dogs for snacks.”
He blinked and she sighed. “Okay, I took that too far. I’m sorry.” She crouched down and hugged him in, which he graciously allowed, even giving her a sweet little lick on her cheek. “Love you too,” she murmured, kissing the top of his head. “I’m not going to get a cat.” She could barely afford to feed the two of them.
She’d never even meant to get a dog at all, but about a year ago, she’d been walking home late one night when she’d heard a funny rumbling sound coming from behind a dumpster. She’d stopped to investigate, but the rumbling had stopped. It was only when she’d started walking again that the rumbling came back.
Pru had walked around the dumpster. Crouching low, using the flashlight on her phone, she’d fallen back on her ass when two glowing orbs had locked in on her.
Scrambling up to run, she realized the rumbling had stopped again and she slowly turned back. Channeling her inner Super Girl, she’d moved closer and had peered down at a scrap of fur surrounding those two huge eyes.
Thor, underfed, filthy, and trembling in terror. It’d taken a bribe to get him out, and another before he’d let her pick him up. All she’d had on her was a granola bar but he’d not been picky. Or dainty. He’d nearly bitten her finger off in his haste to eat.
And Pru, who’d been known to snarl herself when hungry, had fallen in love.
Straightening now with Thor in her arms, her gaze caught on the window across the way.
The pub wasn’t open. The accordion doors were shut and locked, but the morning sun slanted inside. She could see Finn behind his desk, head down. He was either dead, or fast asleep.
Both she and Thor stared at him. “I know,” she whispered to her dog. “He’s something. But you can’t get attached to him, because once I tell him everything, it’s over.”
Thor set his head on her shoulder. He loved her no matter how stupid she was being.
Leaving her box and Thor—his leash wrapped around a bench—to guard it, she quickly crossed the courtyard to the coffee shop.
Tina stood behind the counter. Tall, curvy, and gorgeous, she had skin the color of the mocha latte she was serving. When it was Pru’s turn, Tina smiled. “Your usual?” she asked, her voice low and deep and hypnotic.
“No, this one’s not for me,” Pru said. “It’s for a friend. Um, you don’t happen to know how Finn O’Riley likes it, do you?”
Tina smiled wide. “Sugar, he likes it hot and black.”
“Oh. Okay, um . . . one of those then.”
Tina laughed her contagious laugh and got it ready. When she handed it over, there was a dog biscuit wrapped neatly in a napkin to go. “For Thor,” she said. “And how about some advice that you didn’t ask for?”
Pru bit her lower lip. Was she that obvious? “Yes, please.”
“Two things. First, don’t even try to speak to him before he’s caffeinated. That man is hot as hell and a great guy, but he’s also a bear before his coffee.”
“And the second thing?”
“There’s no doubt, he’s a serious catch,” Tina said. “But he’s barricaded himself off behind work. So if you want him, you’re going to have to show him what he’s missing.”
“I’m think I’m working on that.”
Tina grinned at her. “Because you’re the Fun Whisperer?”
Oh, God. “You heard that, huh?”
“Sugar, I hear everything.” Tina winked at her, making Pru wonder if that meant that she’d also heard about Pru nearly killing him. Or their first kiss . . .
“Good luck,” Tina said. “My money’s on you.”
Pru took the coffee and dog cookie and headed back through the courtyard. Finn was still asleep. She gave Thor his treat and put her finger to her lips. “Stay,” she said and stepped into the planter that lined the building.
Thor ignored her and attacked his cookie.
Pru, draped on either side by two hydrangea bushes, knocked on Finn’s window.
He shot straight up, a few papers stuck to his cheek. His hair was tousled, his eyes sleepy, although they quickly sharpened in on her. His five o’clock shadow was now twelve hours past civilized. And holy cow, he was a damn fine sight.
Before she even saw him coming, he’d crossed his office and opened the window, looking far more alert upon wakening than she’d ever managed.