Love, Unwanted (Discovering Love #3)By: Ra Chael Ohara
I hesitate to answer before finally lying and saying, “I don’t have a phone. Sorry.”
I climb in the cab before he can say anything. This night has confirmed why I don’t go out and meet new people. Even so, I can’t bring myself to regret meeting him.
A little part of me knows this won’t be the last I’ll see of Phoenix Castle.
Some Big. Some Small. Some Impossible.
“I’m sorry, but the library is closed,” I call over my shoulder from my desk when I hear the door open.
“I was wondering if you have a chance to talk?”
I recognize that smooth, rumble of a voice. It’s not a voice I expected to hear today…or any day, for that matter, so I jump up and out of my seat in a rush, knocking over my tea in the process.
“Bloody hell!” I grab the nearest thing to me—a stack of mail—and start mopping up the liquid. I’m so focused on using the mess I made as an excuse to not look at Phoenix, I haven’t noticed he walked across the library and now stands in front of me until he starts speaking again.
“Do you need any help?”
I inwardly groan when I realize I have to actually talk to him. I’d like to say I haven’t thought about Phoenix or the embarrassing incident at the pub all weekend, but that would make me a liar.
In truth, he and that embarrassing moment are all I’ve thought about, so much so I’ve convinced myself Phoenix wasn’t as good looking as I built him to up to be.
Looking at him now, I can say that he’s as sexy now as he was in that closet. He’s doing crazy things to my mind and body.
“I got it,” I finally answer after I get my brain to function again. I throw all the ruined mail away. “What are you doing here?”
“I want to apologize again for what happened the other night. Marcy can get a bit out of hand—”
“Listen, it’s okay,” I interrupt. What happened with Marcy was humiliating enough the first time around. I don’t want to relive it. “Like I said, it was an accident. I didn’t mean to run into your girlfriend, and I’m sorry she spilled her drink.”
“She’s not my girlfriend,” he says, frustrated. “She’s a groupie, not my girlfriend.”
“Well, like I said, I’m fine. Thanks for checking on me.” I grab a stack of returned books and head toward the children’s section, silently dismissing him.
I hate to admit a little part of me is disappointed in his reason for tracking me down. The hopeless romantic in me wanted to hear he couldn’t get me out of his mind, that he had trouble concentrating on anything and everything like I did.
The more I dwell on the thought he only came by because he feels bad, the more I convince myself that he probably thinks I’m some helpless nerd. It’s true, though. I spend more time surrounded by books than people. My last relationship was with Branson Tucker, a cowboy in an amazing book called Change Rein by Anne Jolin.
Outwardly, I’m the shy, nerdy girl everyone portrays me to be. On the inside, though, there’s a different part of me, a part who wants to explore, try new things, meet new people, fall in love, and just live.
“Do you want to have dinner?” Phoenix asks. My thoughts come to an abrupt stop.
I could not have heard what I think I just heard, right? “What?”
If the grin tugging on his lips is any indication, I know I must have a shocked expression on my face, one he finds amusing.
“I asked you to dinner.”
I guess I did hear what I thought I heard, but why? Phoenix can have any girl he wants. I mean, I’m having a hard time breathing and all he’s done is smile at me.
Oh my God, what if that’s what he wants? To sleep with me? “I’m not sleeping with you,” I practically scream in the guy’s face.
He takes a step back with wide eyes before a megawatt smile covers his face. “I promise no sex, just food.” I ignore my core tightening at the word sex and study him suspiciously.
Dinner sounds okay. What’s the worst that could happen? We’ll have dinner and then go our separate ways. It has to be better than going home to watch a Jersey Shore rerun.
“Fine. I know a great place,” I say with pretend confidence. I’m trying to look like this is no big deal, like I get asked out by sexy lead singers all the time. I button my jacket and head for the door.
“You wanna go now?” he asks.
“We should hail a cab. I brought my bike, but I gotta be honest, I don’t think you’ll be able to climb on the back of it in that skirt, sweetness,” he says seductively. I turn around. Just like I predicted, his eyes are glued to my ass.
Like he can feel the heat of my stare, his eyes shoot up to mine. I quickly turn back around to hide my blush. Shouldn’t he be the one who’s embarrassed? “We don’t need a cab. It’s right over here.”
Phoenix runs to catch up to me. We cross the street to get to the park across from the library. He looks at me with a raised eyebrow when he sees I’ve stopped at a food truck.
“You want to eat here?” he asks in disbelief.