The first time I met Jax Blackwood things went a little sideways.
In my defense, I didn"t know he was Jax Blackwood"who expects a legendary rock star to be shopping for groceries" More importantly, a blizzard was coming and he was about to grab the last carton of mint-chocolate chip.
Still, I might have walked away, but then he smugly dared me to try and take the coveted ice cream. So I kissed him. And distracted that mint-chip right out of his hands.
Okay, it was a dirty move, but desperate times and all that. Besides, I never expected he"d be my new neighbor.
An annoying neighbor who takes great pleasure in reminding me that I owe him ice cream but would happily accept more kisses as payment. An irresistible neighbor who keeps me up while playing guitar naked"spectacularly naked"in his living room.
Clearly, avoidance is key. Except nothing about Jax is easy to ignore"not the way he makes me laugh, or that his particular brand of darkness matches mine, or how one look from him melts me faster than butter under a hot sun.
Neither of us believes in love or forever. Yet we"re quickly becoming each other"s addiction. But we could be more. We could be everything.
All we have to do is trust enough to fall.Books in Series:VIP Series by Kristen CallihanBooks by Author:Kristen Callihan Books
"If my eyes could show my soul, everyone would cry when they saw me smile."
* * *
There is a man following me. I"m 99.5 percent sure of it. Though it should be freaking me out, I"m more intrigued at this point. I slide a glance over the organic apple bin at the stalker in question. Tall, lean, fit"at least judging by the way his coat hugs his broad shoulders"even features, good jawline. Chocolate-brown hair and tan skin. Chocolate and peanut butter. Yum.
I bite back a snort. It"s never a good idea to shop for food when hungry; everything starts to look tasty. And, okay, maybe I"m about 80 percent sure he"s following. Examine, if you will, the facts: Mega Hot Dude has appeared in every aisle that I"ve been in, but he doesn"t seem the type to follow anyone around. There"s something too self-possessed about him, as if he"s actively trying not to be noticed. Good luck with that. The guy has a luster that has nothing to do with looks but is closer to sheer magnetism. It"s so strong that he seems vaguely familiar, which is just ridiculous. If I"d met him before, I"d remember his brand of hotness.
Is he following me" The jury is still out. More study is needed.
Possible stalker guy glances up, his big hand wrapped around a rosy Honeycrisp, the same type of apple I"d put in my basket a moment earlier. I"m snagged by jade-green eyes beneath expressive dark brows before I look away, my heart thudding from being caught in the act.
Nope, he definitely can"t be stalking me. Guys like him never look at girls like me. They favor tall, thin goddesses with perfect bone structure, or diminutive elfin pixies with big eyes and perky smiles. They do not look at girls of average height, average weight, and average looks. I ought to know; I"ve been overlooked by guys like him my whole life. All the way back to first grade when little Peter Bondi chased all the girls for a kiss"except me.
It"s a terrible thing to realize that you"re the only girl whose cooties are so repellent, even the class booger-eater won"t touch you. The memory of watching all the other girls run around screeching while Kissing Peter chased after them during recess still stings a bit.
Not that I have a right to complain. I have my share of good features: clear skin"always a bonus"and decent lips. Mom used to call me Bardot, not because I looked like the "60s movie star, but because she thought I had a mouth like hers. Bee-stung lips, my mom called them, which sounds really painful and hideous. I have also been blessed with silky, red-gold, softly curling hair.
Now, I love my hair"and it"s taken me to the age of twenty-nine to be able to say that without worrying I sound vain. But some men see the hair and expect more from my face. They expect stunning beauty, not average attractiveness. How do I know" I"ve been told that very thing a few times. Ouch. And of course, the hair comes with the freckles. Men either love them or hate them.
Honestly, I am more likely to attract comic-book geeks. Soft-bodied guys with sharp minds. It works for me. Give me personality over muscles any day. All of which to say, Mr. Smolder is probably wondering why I"m everywhere he is, and is not at all interested.
Shaking my head at my paranoia, I head for the cookie aisle. The shelves are sadly bereft. Snowzilla, as the media is calling it, is headed this way. Since it"s March and New Yorkers were just starting to enjoy spring, no one is particularly happy about the surprise storm. In the true spirit of city dwellers faced with the possibility that stores might actually close, panic has ensued. People have been stockpiling necessities such as toilet paper, bread, water, and junk food.
I never understood the whole bread thing, because no one ever seems to purchase anything to go with the bread. Peanut butter is still stocked, as is jelly. What do these people do with their bread in the event of an emergency" Huddle down beside their piles of toilet paper and eat plain slices of bread until help arrives"
Whatever the case, all that"s left are a few chocolate chip bags and one lonely package of Double Stuf Oreos. Not to worry, my little Double Stuf delights, I"ll find you a good home. I grab the pack and am about to put it in my basket when Mr. Peanut Butter and Chocolate turns the corner. Again"
His long stride stutters as he catches sight of me, and his brow lifts a touch as though he too is thinking, you again" He glances at the Oreos in my hand, and his fine lips flatten. Because they are fine, those lips. Well shaped, wide, not too full, not too thin but just "