The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay 2) - Page 6

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Although Willa had to admit, she did like the idea of orgasm RX . . .

“Yes, but what about spiders?” Pru ask. “A man will get the spiders.”

There was a silence as the rest of them contemplated this unexpected benefit to having a man.

“I learned to capture and safely relocate,” Haley finally said. “For Leeza.”

Haley’s last girlfriend had been a serious tree hugger. And a serial cheater, as it turned out.

“I just use the long hose on my vacuum cleaner,” Elle said, looking smug. “No awkward morning-after conversation required.”

“This is about Willa today so don’t get me started on you,” Pru told her. “You and Archer cause electric fires to break out when you so much as pass by each other. Remind me to circle back to that.”

Elle shrugged it off. “You’ve heard of opposites attract?” she asked. “Well me and Archer, we’re a classic case of opposites distract. As in we don’t like each other.”

They all laughed but choked it off when Elle gave them each a glacial look in turn.

Okay, so everyone knew she had a secret thing for Archer—except Elle herself apparently.

Well, and Archer . . .

Willa was just grateful to not be the center of attention anymore, although she wished they’d go back to the fascinating morning-after discussion because she hadn’t had a lot of awkward morning afters. She tended to complicate her bad choices in men by sticking too long instead of running off. Maybe that was where she’d always gone wrong. Maybe next time she was stupid enough to give another guy a shot, it would be a strictly one-time thing. And then she’d run like hell.

“Tell me the truth,” Pru said. “When it comes to me waxing poetic about mine and Finn’s relationship, on a scale of one to that friend who just had a baby and wants to show you pics for hours, how annoying am I?”

Willa met Elle’s and Haley’s amused gazes and they each murmured a variation of “not that bad.”

Pru sighed. “Shit. I’m totally that new mom with baby pics.”

“Hey, knowing it is half the battle,” Elle offered and being a master conversation manipulator, looked at Willa. “Tell us more about this guy with the cat.”

“I can tell you he’s hot,” Rory said as she walked by carrying a case of hamster food. “Like major hot. And also Willa remembers him from high school. He stood her up for some dance, but he doesn’t remember it or her.”

“Well how rude,” Haley said, instantly at Willa’s back, which Willa appreciated.

“I don’t think he was being rude,” Rory said. “Willa had been bathing puppies and looked like a complete train wreck, honestly, all covered in soap suds and puppy drool and maybe some poop too. Even you guys wouldn’t have recognized her.”

“I looked how I always look,” Willa said in her own defense. “And that part about high school was confidential.”

“Oops, sorry,” Rory said, not looking sorry at all. “I’ll be in the back, grooming Thor.”

Thor was Pru’s dog, who had a penchant for rolling in stuff he shouldn’t, the more disgusting the better. Pru blew Rory a grateful kiss and turned to Willa. “So back to hot-as-balls guy. More info please.”

Willa sighed. “What is there to say? We went to school together and he never noticed me back then either so I should’ve known.”

“How well did you know him?” Elle asked, eyes sharp. She was the logical one of the group, able to navigate through any and all bullshit with ease.

“Obviously not well,” Willa said, hunching over her sketch pad.

“Hmm,” Elle said.

“I don’t have time to decipher that hmm,” Willa warned her.

“You remember when Archer and Spence threatened to castrate your ex?”

Spence and Archer were the last members of their tight gang of friends. Spence was an IT genius. Archer an ex-cop. The two of them together had some serious skills. And yes, they’d stepped in when Willa had needed them to. “That was different,” she said. Ethan had been an asshole, no doubt. “Keane’s never going to be an ex, asshole or otherwise, because we’re never going to be a thing. Now if we’re done dissecting my life, I’ve got a lot to do before tonight’s wedding.”

She’d stayed up late working on the tuxes her client wanted the poodles to wear. Yes, tuxes. Just because she was in on the joke that South Bark Mutt Stop made more money on tiaras and weddings and gimmicks than actual grooming or supplies didn’t mean she couldn’t take the wishes of her clients seriously.

And hey, who knew, maybe if she ever got pets of her own other than the fosters she sometimes took in, and if she had more money than she knew what to do with, she might want a wedding for her dogs too. Although she sincerely doubted it. In her world, love had always been fleeting and temporary—sort of the opposite of what all the pomp and circumstance of a wedding conveyed.

Still, game to believe in lasting love as a possibility, at least for others, Willa dropped the giant poodle faux tux front over her own head and looked in the mirror. “What do we think?”

“Very cute,” Pru said. “Now jump up and down and do whatever it is dogs do to make sure it holds up.”

Willa jumped up and down like she was a dog in a show, holding her hands out in front of her, wrists bent as she hopped around to get the full effect of the tux. The girls were all still laughing when someone knocked on her front door.

Once again it was ten minutes before nine and in mid–dance step Willa stilled, experiencing a rush of déjà vu. The look on everyone’s faces confirmed what she needed to know. Still, she slowly turned to the door hoping she was wrong.

Nope.

Not wrong.

Keane Winters stood at the door, watching her.

“Perfect,” she said, her dignity in tatters. “How much do you think he saw?”

“Everything,” Elle said.

“You should get the door,” Pru said. “He looks every bit as hot as Rory said, but he also looks like he’s in a rush.”

“I’m not opening the door,” Willa hissed, yanking off the tux front. “Not until you guys go. Go out the back and hurry!”

No one hurried. In fact, no one so much as budged.

Keane knocked for a second time and when Willa turned to face him again, he went brows up, the picture of gorgeous impatience.


Tags: Jill Shalvis Heartbreaker Bay Romance
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