Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7)(2)

“Mercedes?” her mother said in her ear. “You still there?”

“Yep.” She searched her brain for the conversation she’d just missed. “Don’t worry, I’ll be on time for Clara’s wedding dress fitting appointment.”

“Did you get a date for the wedding yet?”

Sadie sighed.

“It’s a wedding,” her mom said firmly. “You’ll need a date. And anyway, you’re past due to find your Prince Charming. Way past due.”

“Mom, I don’t need a Prince Charming. Forest animals who clean, yes, but it’s a hard pass for me on Prince Charming.”

“Everyone needs romance,” her mom said. “My book club just read the Fifty Shades trilogy and—”

“Those books aren’t romance, they’re erotica.”

“Actually, they were very romantic. Christian Grey’s a bazillionaire who falls in love with a regular girl. It’s like a Cinderella story.”

Sadie sighed. “Fifty Shades of Grey is only romantic because the guy’s a billionaire. If he was living in a trailer, it’d be a Criminal Minds episode.”

Her mom sighed. “I just don’t know what you have against love.”

“I don’t have anything against it.” Sadie hoped her nose wasn’t growing at the lie. “I just don’t need it right now.” Or ever.”

“But you haven’t dated anyone since Wes, and that was three years ago. He was a good man.”

An attorney, Wes had been sure of himself. Sexy, with an edge. Sadie was long past being hurt over what had happened between them, but she still wasn’t feeling the need to let someone new in, mostly because she simply hadn’t been attracted to anyone.

What about Suits? a voice inside her head whispered as she made her way from one window to the next in order to keep him in her sights. It was misting now and his dark hair shimmered with droplets every time he passed beneath a lamppost. Like Wes had been, he too was sure of himself. Sexy, with an edge . . .

He was everything she no longer let herself want.

Suddenly, he abruptly stopped between the day spa and the Canvas Shop. Crouching low in the now pouring rain, he stared at something she couldn’t see. “I’ve gotta go, Mom. I’ll call you back.”

“You always say that, but you’re fibbing. You’re not supposed to fib to family.”

“Uh-huh,” Sadie said dryly. “Tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter bunny . . .” And at her mother’s gasp, she gently disconnected, squelching a wince because she’d most definitely pay for that later. Her mom had a lot of talents, and one of them was being able to hold a grudge for a hundred years.

Sadie had a few talents herself, such as not sleeping at night and enjoying chocolate just a little too much. And okay, so she also was talented at drinking tequila, preferably in the form of a frosty lime margarita.

Slipping her phone into her back pocket, she went back to window-gazing to see what Suits was up to. He was still balanced on the balls of his feet, the wind and now rain pummeling his back, seemingly unnoticed.

What the actual hell?

She knew a few things about him. Such as the fact that he had lean muscles everywhere you might want a man to have lean muscles, and that women tended to fall over themselves when he smiled. His eyes were a beautiful caramel, with flecks of gold that sparkled when he laughed. He was some sort of tech genius and used to work at a government think tank. He’d invented a bunch of stuff including a series of apps that he and his business partner had sold to Google. More recently the two of them had created a way of getting meds and medical care into remote developing nations via unmanned drones. He was innovative and inventive on a large scale, smart, charismatic . . .

Oh, and there was one more thing—he and Sadie rubbed each other the wrong way by just breathing. She wasn’t even sure how it’d started, but there was an energy between the two of them she didn’t understand. At best it made her squirm. At worst, it sometimes kept her up at night.

Sadie’s best friend, Ivy, who ran The Taco Truck parked outside the building, had decided that she and Caleb Parker shared an unrequited animalistic lust and nothing could convince her she was wrong.

But it wasn’t lust, because Sadie no longer gave in to lust, animalistic or otherwise. Yes, he was fun, flirty, and charming, but she was highly suspicious of all those things. Her idea of fun, flirty, and charming meant being as sarcastic as possible. It’d done the trick too, scaring men off for years. But oddly, Suits seemed to be able to handle her sarcasm without so much as blinking an eye.

She had no idea what to make of that.

And what was he doing still all hunkered down like that in the rain? Was he hurt?

Driven by curiosity and the inability she had of letting anything go, she unlocked and opened the front door of the day spa and stuck her head out. “Hey.”

Staring at the brick wall, he didn’t turn her way or even glance over. He didn’t do anything except to say “shh.”

Oh, no. No, he did not , and she stepped outside to tell him what she thought of him and his “shh” and where he could put it. Sideways.

But with his gaze still on whatever was in front of him, he held up a hand, silently ordering her to stop where she was.

It was like he wanted her to lose her temper.

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