Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay 1) - Page 35

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If he’d done the same to her, she probably would’ve jumped and banged her head on the hood. But Finn had better reflexes, and certainly better control over them. Still cranking on something with a wrench, he simply turned only his head to give her a level stare.

“Hi,” she said again and bent over at the waist, hands to her knees to try to catch her breath. “That’s quite a hill.”

He reached up and pulled out one earbud. “Hi yourself. Need an oxygen tank?”

“You kid, but I totally do.”

“You’re still wearing glitter,” he said with a smile.

“Five showers since that night,” she said, tossing up her hands. “I’ve taken five showers and it’s still everywhere. And Thor has been pooping glitter for days . . .”

Still smiling, he crouched and held out his hand for Thor. “You were quite the show the other night.”

She chewed on her lip, not sure if he was teasing or complimenting her or not.

“I could watch you do that every night,” he admitted.

“What, make a fool of myself?”

His smile turned into a full-fledged grin. “Sing and dance like no one’s watching. Live like no one’s watching.”

And just like that, she melted a little.

Thor was sniffing Finn’s hand carefully, cautiously, wanting to make sure this was his Finn, and finally he wagged his tail.

“Atta boy. It’s just me.” Finn opened his arms and Thor moved in for a hug.

Pru stared at the big, sexy guy so easily loving up on her silly dog and felt her throat go a little tight.

“I know Archer didn’t tell you where I live,” Finn said, eyes still on Thor. “Or Spence. I mean, Spence would if he thought it was funny but they’re both pretty hardcore about having my back.”

The hardcore part was undoubtedly true. She’d seen the three guys with each other. There were bonds there that seemed stronger than any relationship she’d ever had, a fact that played into her deepest, most secret insecurity—that she might be unlovable.

“Elle values privacy above everything else,” Finn said, “which leaves the busybodies.” He was watching her now. “Willa or Haley?” he asked.

“Neither.” She hesitated, not wanting to get Sean in trouble.

“Shit.” Finn rose, Thor happily tucked under one arm like he was a football. “Eddie?”

“Eddie?” Pru asked, confused. “Who’s Eddie?”

“The old guy who enjoys dumpster diving, eating dope brownies, and not minding his own business.”

Pru gaped. “I’ve been feeding him for a month now and he’s never told me his name. And I’ve asked a million times!”

“He likes to be mysterious. And also his brain might be fried from all those brownies. You going to tell me how you found me or not?”

She blew out a breath. “Sean. But he didn’t tell me to mess with you or anything,” she said hurriedly. “He did it because I have a favor to ask of you and needed to see you in person to do it.”

“Sean was at the pub?”

“Yes,” she said.

“Working?”

“I think so . . .”

“Huh,” he said. “He must have fallen and bumped his head.”

“He seemed to have all his faculties about him,” she said. “Or at least as many as usual.”

Finn snorted and set Thor down. The dog turned in a circle at Pru’s feet and then plopped over with an utter lack of grace.

“I brought you a present,” Pru said.

“What?” Finn lifted his gaze from Thor to her face. “Why?”

The question threw her. “Well, partly to butter you up for the favor,” she admitted. “I figured if I made you laugh, you’d—”

“I don’t need a present to do you a favor,” he said, his voice different now. Definitely wary, and something else she couldn’t place.

She cocked her head. “You know, presents are supposed to be a good thing.”

When he just looked at her, she wondered . . . didn’t anyone ever give him anything? And suddenly she wished it was a real present and not a gag gift. But it was too late now so she slipped her backpack off and pulled the bag from inside. Seriously second-guessing herself, not entirely certain of this, not even close, she hesitated.

He took the bag from her and peered inside, face inscrutable.

Nothing. No reaction.

“It’s a man’s athletic cup,” she finally said, stating the obvious.


Tags: Jill Shalvis Heartbreaker Bay Romance
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