RELEASE DAY: October 21
“What about you?” Blake asked gently.
“I’m home to see my family.” I shifted on my feet, not wanting to go into too much detail either. I refrained from laughing at observing how we seemed to share that minor detail. “However, I now live in San Francisco.”
Blake’s dark eyebrow curled, slightly lifting, and his lower lip twitched in amusement. Gosh, he was just so damn sexy, it was distracting.
“You gave up the country life for the city?” he finally teased.
I let out a laugh at his expression and nodded. “Yeah.”
“How’s that working out for you?”
I tilted my head his way, failing to stifle my humor. “If you ignore all the absurdly confusing highways, traffic and noise, then it’s not so bad.”
Blake laughed, deep and throatily. The sound sent an undeniable shiver down my spine. I chastised myself for letting a simple conversation with a man affect me so, as he replied, “That’s a lot to ignore.”
You have no idea, I thought, referring to not being able to deflect his effects on me. I felt my inner strength wavering.
“It is,” I responded in more ways than one, realizing that I needed to get away from here. Being here was too much. He was too much. I swallowed deeply before saying, “Well it was a pleasure to meet you, Blake. But I do have to be going now.” I felt guilty for dismissing myself, so I added, “But maybe I’ll see you around with the other’s another time?”
His gaze turned speculative, and he parted his lips to speak. But he didn’t. The look he was giving me felt as though he could see right through me. It was unnerving.
Within seconds, his eyes shifted again, appearing to let me off the hook.
I released a silent sigh, thankful for his respecting my privacy, and not asking for any explanation.
“Since my two brothers are marrying your friends, I would say there is a good chance.” Blake grinned at last, revealing a sexy dimple at the corner of his mouth.
My eyes were captivated by the faint movement.
Stop thinking about his mouth!
He definitely had a good point, which only made me even more nervous. “I’ll see you later,” I waved with a pleasant smile and excused myself before my nerves melted into a puddle at his feet.
I quickly found Abbey, Gail and Lily, and then each of their significant others to congratulate them and say my goodbyes before racing to my car. All the while feeling like I could not breathe, as though I was being suffocated by thoughts of how breathtakingly handsome Blake was.
After stopping at the store for my mother’s saltine crackers, I sped home, yearning to step through the front doors, so I could be reminded of all the reasons to stay clear away from that man. All it took was sixty seconds of seeing how my father treated my mother, and it was a reality slap that love does not exist.
I would not allow myself to be so effected by a man, and weakened by the idea of having one of my own. I shook my head. Being around Gail, Abbey, and Lily with their men today had just played tricks on my mind. Sure, each of my friends had found great, loving men. But it was a risk I would never take a chance on.
And I would never cave to temptation. It could only lead to a broken heart.
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