There was a group playing quarters on the island and another group lining up shots on the breakfast bar – so not my scene. I just shrugged my shoulders, opened the door, pulled out a bottle of water and, when I turned around to walk back outside, I face-planted into a wall of solid muscle.
“Hand me one?” His voice was smooth and... gruff at the same time. Red-faced, I turned back around and got him his water, glad for the cool respite that the opened refrigerator door offered.
“Here you go.” I could not peel my eyes away from his mouth as he moved the bottle to his lips. They were perfect - beautiful and full in a completely masculine way.
I watched, completely fascinated, as his throat moved, downing the water in three or four large gulps. He wiped his mouth with his forearm and I couldn’t help but let my eyes travel up the rest of his arm to his biceps and shoulders – those were the same as his lips – perfect. Amazingly, gorgeously, utterly, divinely perfect. Muscled and tanned, his arms were mouthwatering.
My knees wobbled. My heart thudded. Thousands of butterflies spread their wings in my belly.
“Thanks…” he stared blankly at my face for a minute and I couldn't help but wondering if he liked what he saw. He cleared his throat and roused me from my little daydream where the gorgeous boy is mesmerized by the maybe-a-little-above-average looking girl. That’s when I realized he was asking for my name.
“Maddy. Sorry, my name’s Maddy." I nearly choked on my tongue to get my freaking name out.
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Let Love Heal
“Hello.” I call out timidly. I hear a thud, as what I assume is a head bumps into the underside of the desk. A male voice calls out “Crap” and I can’t help but giggle that I’ve surprised whoever is under there. He then says, “I’ll be right with you.”
“Okay, take your time. Sorry for interrupting. I’ll be waiting out in the lab.” I make my way back out to the main room and wait patiently for “under the desk mystery man” to meet me. And when he does, oh my dear sweet Lord of all things hot. I was fully expecting suspenders, a pocket protector, glasses, and plaid pants pulled up to his chest. I was expecting someone more along the lines of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, but what I got was Bradley Cooper from The Hangover.
That’s two very different Coopers.
My mouth goes dry and I’m suddenly struck dumb. As he walks to me, he wipes his hands on his faded and oh-so-soft looking jeans and then inspects them to make sure they’re clean. Standing before me, he extends his hand, and by some miraculous force, I’m able to put together, “Hi. I’m here to apply for the job.” My voice is squeaky as I wave the hot pink sign in between us. Shaking his hand causes sparks of electricity to course through my arm. “Wow. I just put that sign up this morning. I didn’t expect anyone to apply for a few days.” His voice is like velvet and it does funny things to my insides. When he releases my hand, it’s still hot from his touch.
“Let me go get some paperwork for you to fill out …” His sentence hangs in the air between us and I realize that I haven’t told him my name.
“Melanie. I’m Melanie Crane. It’s nice to meet you …”
“Bryan Mahoney.” And when he smiles at me as his name rolls off his tongue, I feel like a giddy school girl.
“Okay then, Melanie. Let me go get that paperwork and we’ll get the ball rolling.” He turns to walk away from me and my eyes are glued to his body. What the hell? A hot computer geek. You have got to be kidding me. This boy is seriously fine. Tall, lean and just plain beautiful. I should leave right now. I thought this would be a nice quiet job where I could go completely unnoticed, but there’s no way in hell I can work with him. He’s freaking hot and I’m, well, I’m not. I’ll be a bumbling fool the entire time I’m around him.
Just as I’m about to walk out the door, Bryan calls out to me. “Hey, Melanie! Where are you going?” Call me crazy, but there is a hint of desperation in his voice. With my hand hovering above the door knob, I inhale deeply and figure what the hell. I might as well go for it. The truth is he probably won’t even know I exist. Guys like him never notice girls like me anyway. I turn toward him and smile as I say, “No, I just have class in a few minutes. I wasn’t expecting to actually do an interview or anything. I don’t want to be late; that’s all.”
I flat out lie and just hope he doesn’t catch on.
His returning smile is blinding. Perfectly straight, white teeth flash before me, but what hits me in the gut is how his eyes smile along with his mouth. They crinkle in the corners and he shakes his head just a little. It looks like he’s laughing at me, but not in an “I’m making fun of you way.” Maybe he’s caught on, after all.
“Okay, so can you come back after class, Melanie?” The way my name sounds coming from his full lips makes my pulse skitter. For the first time ever, I feel noticed. This hot piece of man-cake is actually talking to me and looking at me and saying my name. And, call me crazy, but he’s not just being nice because I’m applying for this job. There’s something playful and flirty going on in his eyes, in his voice, in his body language.
Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.