“What the hell are you doing?” he asked, in the sexiest morning voice she’d ever heard.
“Got you something,” she said. “It’s not a waffle but . . .” She lifted the coffee and added a smile, trying to not look as if she hadn’t just sweat her way through the courtyard with Thor and a heavy box of painful memories—impossible since her shirt was sticking to her and so was her hair. She didn’t have to look in any mirror to know that she was beet red in the face, her usual after-exercise “glow.”
Finn climbed out the window with easy agility. Pru backed up a step to give him room but he kept coming, stepping right into her space, reaching for the cup like a starved man might reach for a promised meal.
Clearly the man was serious about needing coffee. She stared up at him as he took the cup and drank deeply.
She might have also drooled a little bit.
“Thanks,” he said after a long moment. “Most people won’t come within two miles of me before I’m caffeinated.”
Not wanting to tell him that Tina had already warned her because she didn’t want to admit to soaking up info on him whenever and however she could, she just smiled. “How’s the hole in your chest?”
He absently reached up and rubbed a hand over his pec, a completely unconscious but very male gesture. “Think I’m going to live,” he said.
She eyeballed his hair and the crease on his cheek where papers had been stuck to him. “Living the wild life, huh?”
“The wildest.” He looked past her. “So who’s the fat cat?”
She turned and followed his line of sight to Thor, who’d curled up in a sunspot next to her box to doze. “I’ll have you know that’s my fierce, very protective guard dog.”
He scratched his jaw while eyeing Thor speculatively. “If you say so.”
“He protects me,” she said. “In fact, he won’t let anyone get near me. And don’t even think about trying to touch him, he hates men.”
“Not me,” Finn said. “Dogs love me.”
“No, really—” she started but Finn crossed the courtyard and crouched low, holding his hand out to Thor, who had opened his eyes and was watching Finn approach.
“Careful—” Pru warned. “He’s like you without caffeine, only he’s like that all the time. He might nip—”
To her utter shock, Thor actually moved toward Finn in a flutter of bravery, his little paws taking him a step closer, his tail wagging in a hopeful gesture that, as always, made Pru’s heart hurt.
Then, unbelievably, Thor licked Finn’s fist.
“Atta boy,” Finn said approvingly in an easy voice full of warmth and affection. “She says you’re a dog, what do you think?”
Thor panted happily and rolled over, exposing his very soft, slightly enlarged belly.
“What’s his name?” Finn asked, head bent, loving up on her dog.
She glared at Thor. “Benedict Arnold.”
Benedict Arnold ignored her completely and she sighed. “Thor.”
Finn snorted. “A real killer, huh?”
“Yes, actually, he—”
And that’s when Thor strained to reach up and lick Finn’s chin. Pru couldn’t exactly blame him, she wanted to do the same.
And then . . . her poor-sighted, man-hater of a dog climbed right into Finn’s arms and melted like butter on a hot roll. Except minus the hot roll and add a hot guy.
“I can’t believe it,” she said to herself, watching as Thor settled against Finn’s chest like he belonged there, setting his head on Finn’s broad shoulder.
“You were saying?” he asked on a soft laugh.
She stared at him, a little dazzled by the laugh. And then there was that stubble and she wondered . . . if he kissed her now and then nuzzled her throat like he had the other night, would it leave a whisker burn?
She wouldn’t mind that . . . “Do you have a dog?” she asked.
“No, but someday,” he said, reminding her of what Willa had told her, that he wanted a house outside the city and a big dog.
“So what are you doing today?” he asked.
She pointed to the box. “Unpacking some more.”
“And you say I need a fun whisperer,” he teased.
“You were asleep at your desk,” she said. “My statement stands. You most definitely need a fun whisperer.”
“I’ll put fun on my calendar, how’s that sound?”