Closing my eyes, I
take a bite and savor the crisp crust and warm, soft center. There’s nothing
better than fresh-baked bread. It reminds me of home and being in the kitchen
with my grandmomma.
I open my eyes to
find him watching me, his gaze intense with newfound heat. “Good?” His brows
arch and amusement curves his lips.
Ignoring the throb
between my legs, I take another bite, not stopping until I’ve finished.
Harry returns with
our drinks, advising our food will be out momentarily. I guess Marcus is joining
me for dinner. I didn’t necessarily agree, but it seems too late to turn him
Marcus butters more
bread for himself and then for me. “I never meant to make an enemy of you, or
your grandmother.” His voice is gentle, soothing my frayed nerves. “On the
contrary, I’ve always hoped we could be more.”
“More? You’re trying
to buy my building, take my grandparents’ antique store from me. That’s my
home, my job. It’s… everything. What more could you possibly want, a kidney?”
My voice having reached a volume I don’t care for, I ease back, taking a deep
breath, and let it out slowly.
continue. “Can we not do this today?”
I’m interrupted by
Harry with our meal. He sets down two steaming bowls of Thai noodle soup and
another basket of fresh bread.
“Enjoy.” He bows as
he backs away.
“Thanks, Harry,” we
My gaze flies to
Marcus. He knows Harry’s name? I pegged Marcus as being too self-important to
bother learning his name—or anyone else who serves him. Maybe I’m the one who
doesn’t know who Marcus is.
Marcus smiles and
points to my soup. “Shrimp bowl?”
“It’s my favorite.”
I note he’s having the same.
“Me too.” He cocks
his head. “See, we have something in common. I bet if you got to know me, you’d
see we share more than just a love of Thai shrimp noodle soup.”
More? Somehow, I
doubt that. I have nothing in common with this man. I can’t deny I’m attracted
to him, but his rugged good looks, finger-tousled dark hair, and tall, muscular
build cannot compensate for the truth of what he wants.
“Why not today?”
Reading my perplexed expression, he clarifies. “I said I’d hoped we could be
more, and you said I was taking everything from you, then you asked if we could
not do this today.”
“Oh, yes. That.” I
stir my soup and take a tentative sip. It’s good and hot, liquid gold. I fish
around, playing with the noodles. “I’d just rather not fight today. That’s
He leans closer.
“I’d rather not fight with you any day. But, why not today in particular?” He’s
a determined SOB.
I study my bowl like
it’s the most interesting thing in the room—which would be a lie. The man
across from me clearly holds that title. The heat of his gaze burrows into my
I can’t say it out
loud. I can’t bear the pity I might see on his face if I were to look up. I
shake my head, taking another sip of soup and then a long drink of water,
blinking back my tears.
“It’s a year today,”
he says with reverence.
Smart man. I guess
he is paying attention.