“No,” she said. “I—”
He’d already turned and headed into her bedroom. She started to follow, but he came back out again, holding his shoes. Still no shirt, since she was wearing it. “Finn.”
He headed to the door.
He stopped and turned to her, eyes hooded.
“Can we talk about this tonight?”
“Sure. Whatever.” He started to leave but stopped and muttered something to himself. He then came at her, hauled her into his arms and kissed her. When his tongue stroked possessively over hers, her knees wobbled, but far before she was ready, he let her go.
He stared down at her for a beat and then he turned and left, shutting the door quietly behind him.
She moved to the door and put her hands on it, like she could bring him back.
But it was far too late for that.
Outside Pru’s front door, Finn stopped and shook his head. She was holding back on him, big time. But he knew something else too.
So was he.
Because as long as she wasn’t one hundred percent in, it felt . . . safe. The crazy thing was that he wanted her to be one hundred percent in. He wanted to do the same.
But he wasn’t going to beg her. He wanted her to come to him on her own terms. Until she did, he could hold back that last piece of his heart and soul and keep it safe from complete annihilation.
He was good at that.
He dropped his shoes to the floor and shoved his feet into them. He’d just bent over to tie them when Mrs. Winslow opened her door.
“Whoa, good thing my ovaries are shriveled,” she said. “Or you’d have just made me pregnant from that view alone.”
Finn straightened and gave her a look that made her laugh.
“Sorry, boy,” she said. “But you don’t scare me.”
With as much dignity as he could, he hunkered down and went back to tying his shoes, attempting to keep his ass tucked in while doing it.
When he’d finished, he stood up to his full height to find her still watching. “You’re a nice package and all,” she said, “but I like ’em more seasoned. Men are no good until they’re at least forty-five.”
“Good to know,” he muttered and started down the hall.
“Because until then,” she said to his back. “They don’t know nothing about the important things. Like forgiveness. And understanding.”
He blew out a breath and turned to face her. “You’re trying to tell me something again.”
“Now you’re thinking, genius,” she said. “If you were forty-five or older, you’d have already picked up on it.”
He went hands on hips. “Got a busy day ahead of me, Mrs. Winslow. Maybe you could come right out and tell me what it is you want me to know.”
“Well, that would be far too easy,” she said and vanished inside, shutting her door on him.
Finn divided a look between her door and Pru’s before tossing up his hands and deciding he knew nothing about women.
Finn strode into the bar. His morning crew cleaners Marie, Rosa, and Felipe all lifted their heads from their various tasks of mopping and scrubbing and blinked.
Shit. He forgot that he was making the morning walk of shame.
It was Felipe who finally recovered first and gave a soft wolf whistle. “Nice,” he said with an eyelash flutter and a hand fanning the air in front of his face.
Finn rolled his eyes in tune to their laughter. Whatever. He strode to his office and—as a bonus annoyance—found Sean asleep on his damn couch.
In Finn’s damn spare shirt.
He kicked his brother’s feet and watched with grim satisfaction as Sean grunted, jerked awake, and rolled off the couch, hitting the floor with a bone-sounding crunch.
“What the fuck, man?” Sean asked with a wide yawn.
“I need my shirt.”
“I’m in it,” Sean said. Captain Obvious.
Fine. Whatever. Finn slapped his pockets for his keys. He’d just drive home real quick and—
His keys weren’t in his pockets. Probably, given his luck, they were on the floor of Pru’s bedroom. He walked out of his office and strode through the pub.
“Just as nice from the rear,” Felipe called out.
Finn flipped him off, ignored the hoots of laughter, and hit the stairs, knocking on Pru’s door.
From behind him he heard a soft gasp and a wheeze. Craning his head, he found Mrs. Winslow once again in her doorway, this time with two other ladies, mouths agog.