Can't Hurry Love(9)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

“So larger jobs are too hard for you? Out of your comfort zone?” he asked, his mind snapping to the new hotel and the remodeling it needed. A job like that could be too much for her, plus she would be dealing with his brother Merdock a lot. He didn’t trust women. None of them did, and who was to say that this shy act wasn’t just an act? Maybe she would seduce his brother? He felt protective, and then he felt guilty. He didn’t want to face the emotions, the vulnerability of the fear of weakness.

“No, not at all. I’m just finishing up the office building and warehouse for the Caprese family, and Francesca and her brothers. It was a huge job, and there were separate designs for everyone who had their own office space, but it came out great. I was nervous at first, but that was because I was out of work for a bit. Now I’m getting offered different jobs and taking my time accepting contracts,” she said, and then her cell phone rang. She glanced at it and then at him.

“Go ahead,” he said to her and found it interesting that she looked to him for permission to answer her phone.

“Hello? … Yes this is her,” she said, and then she squinted and shocked him as she spoke.

“I believe I know your brother, Costanza. He’s with me now, and we’re having coffee in Fulton.” He narrowed his eyes at her, and she covered the mouthpiece.

“Your brother Merdock. He got my name from Jaxon after finding out about the job I did at the office building for them.” She uncovered the receiver.

“Yes, actually I met your brother one day a few months ago while he was at lunch with my cousin, Francesca. Then he just saw me in town here and stopped to have his coffee with me. Umm, I guess I could. All right then, I’ll ask him. Thank you.” She ended the call.

“That was so strange. It’s such a small world, huh? Your brother mentioned that you all just purchased the hotel on the beach in Mercy. That it needs updating and a new appearance, and you were in the market for an interior decorator and designer.”

“We are, but I’m not sure you will fit what we need.” She scrunched her eyes together. “Oh, Merdock asked me to ask you about details and making plans to meet up to discuss ideas and fees. That you were going to get estimates but since Jaxon recommended me and was impressed with my abilities and professionalism that we should meet at the hotel and talk things through.”

“We make decisions together not separately. Besides, there’ll be others bidding on the job, so it isn’t in the bag for you,” he stated, and she swallowed hard. “Of course not.” He felt like a dick. He was being one, and it annoyed him that this woman grabbed his interest so much. He needed to protect himself and his brothers. There was no telling what this young woman was capable of or what angle she would play.

“I need to get going. I suppose if Merdock wants to meet then we will as we schedule the other decorators and see what their ideas are. He has your number. Now, are you ready to head out?” he asked.

“No, sir,” she said, and he bit the inside of his cheek. She was so damn beautiful. Her skin, perfection, and those eyes. Holy shit he could get lost in eyes so beautiful, and a green so enticing he just stared at her. When her tongue peeked out and licked her lower lip, he felt like grabbing her, pulling her onto his lap, into his arms and kissing her breathless. He couldn’t though. He wasn’t a fool. Women were sneaky, and they used everything they had to trick a man. He inhaled as he stood up and her perfume invaded his nostrils. He looked around them.

“Where are you parked?” he barked at her and then reached for her bags. “Wait, what are you—

He stared at her, and she stopped talking. “Where are you parked?” he asked firmly. She pursed her lips.

“Down the block,” she said standing up.

“Let’s go,” he ordered, and she stared at him, but he raised one of his eyebrows up at her, and she didn’t challenge, she pushed in her chair, grabbed her sunglasses and purse then followed him. As they walked, he noticed once again how people looked at her. How men’s eyes gazed over her body, and she was oblivious to it or faked it. “I can carry those,” she said, reaching for the bags as they got to her car. Their hands touched, and he stopped, stared down into those green eyes, realizing despite her very high heels he still towered over her about a foot or so. She was definitely petite.

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