A Seductive Fortune
By Anne Kane
Genres: Contemporary romance
Natalie had spent one amazing weekend with Jacob McKinley two years ago. When she awoke the next morning, he was gone. What were the chances that he’d turn up next door to her new home? Or that the mutt she’d rescued would conspire with his bouncy little spaniel to throw the two of them together?
The fortune teller at the local fair tells Natalie that she and Jacob are star-crossed lovers, and warns Jacob that Natalie needs a knight in shining armor. There is something bad coming her way. Can Jacob convince Natalie that he cares, and convince her to give him another chance, to trust him to keep her safe?
“Ah.” Britney cocked her head, finally making the connection. “I think Grandma mentioned you in some of her letters. I take it you’re the nutcase with the adorable puppy? The one who needs a haircut and a decent pair of jeans?” Not that she saw anything wrong with the ones he was currently wearing. They showed off his slim hips and nicely shaped ass quite effectively.
The voice in her head snorted in derision
Jacob rolled his eyes, a wry smile curving the edge of his lips. “That would be me. Your Grandmother was quite the independent spirit. I don’t think she ever approved of me.”
Britney forced a laugh. Did he really not remember her? “Oh you’re in good company. There weren’t very many people she approved of, but in her own way she was loveable. She liked to project the image of a grumpy old lady but she was really very sweet.”
He didn’t look convinced. “I’ll have to take your word for that.” His gaze lingered on her just a smidge longer than was polite. “You look familiar. Have we met before?”
Oh shit. Now what? Lying was never a good idea, lead to all sorts of things. In her case it usually led to getting caught.
“I doubt it. I haven’t been around much since I left school. Grandma and I mostly kept in contact by email and phone.” The lie slid out so smoothly she could almost believe it herself.
He shrugged, although a slight frown marred the perfection of his forehead. “It must be something else. Well, we’ve met now. Welcome to the neighborhood.” He looked down at Winston. “And who do we have here? Maybe Trixie had a reason for running away this time. He looks like quite the gentleman.”
Britney groaned. The guy needed to do something annoying. Anything. She did not like the way her heart melted with every sentence out of his lips. Mind reading better not be one of Jacob’s talents, or she might as well leave town now.
“This is Winston. He and I are somewhat new to each other, but I have to agree he’s definitely a gentleman.” There. That was almost a conversational tone of voice.
“Jacob held his hand out, palm up, and Winston sniffed it graciously before ruining the whole gentleman thing by slurping the fingers enthusiastically.
The look of shock on Jacob’s face was just too much.
Britney burst out laughing. She couldn’t help it. Finally! A less than perfect reaction. At the sound, Trixie jumped up and down, wagging her tail and yapping excitedly, and Winston let out a dignified woof, just to add to the confusion.
“I think he likes me.” Jacob wiped his hand off on his jeans, his mouth twisted in a wry grin. “Or maybe he just wanted a quick taste in case you plan on siccing him on me later.”
Britney smothered another peal of laugher, while Winston gave her a pained look. Apparently he saw nothing funny in his gesture of friendship. She patted him on the head. “It’s okay buddy. We can work on your manners this summer.”
He looked up at her with a serious expression and thumped his tail on the ground a few times. Apparently he was fine with that.
“Hate to introduce myself and run, but Trixie and I need to get back now. Welcome to the Cape. I’ll try to keep my little brat off your property from now on. When you get settled, maybe we can get together for a cup of coffee?”
Was he asking for a date? No. A cup of coffee between neighbors was just that. And she didn’t want to date right now anyway. Did she? No! Still, a cup of coffee couldn’t hurt anything. Even a cup of coffee with a gorgeous hunk of man that she’d slept with years ago. “Sure. Sounds lovely.”
He smiled then, and it went all the way from his eyes to the tips of his scuffed up running shoes. Britney’s heart did a little flip.
Coffee might not be such a safe idea after all!