Page 25 of Unlikely Hero

The truth is, I hate being away from him too. If I didn’t think that Jessie was truly Allen’s future… I wouldn’t.

Chapter 23

Jessie

It’s been four days without Allen. I know I’m stupid for counting and trust me, I feel like a fool every day. Today I woke up determined to forget him. If he can’t be bothered to even call me…

I might have been a virgin, but I’m not naïve. If a man takes you to bed and then disappears without a trace, it’s time to realize you got played. Okay, so he didn’t make me any promises and I pushed things in the direction they went. I can own up to that. But, still, he could have called. Just to say…

Shit. What could he say? “Thanks for your virginity, Jessie, it was swell.” Yeah, it’s probably best he didn’t call.

I get to the door of my shop and there’s a long rectangular box on the doorstep. I frown. I wasn’t really expecting any deliveries. I grab it, unlock the door and go inside. The side of the box reads 1-800-Flowers. I don’t know anyone that would send me flowers and my first thought is that it was delivered to the wrong address, but it has my name and the shop’s under it. When I take the top off, there’s a huge bouquet of flowers in the box. They’re assorted variety. They range from irises to hydrangeas and I even see a morning glory or two. The only thing they have in common is the color blue. There are different hues, but basically all blue. There’s a card on the top and I open it first, confused, a little excited, but definitely intrigued.

Jessie,

I have no idea what the florist sent, but I asked her to send flowers that reminded me of your eyes. Meeting you was something I didn’t expect. You’re very special. Thank you for our time together, it meant more than I could make you understand. Be happy, Mouse. Be happy.

Allen.

I read the note again…and again. The hand holding the card starts shaking and I read the note yet again. I look down at the flowers and slowly all of my emotions bleed into one—anger.

The flowers are gorgeous, the gesture was even nice, I suppose. Yet, they all boil into one thing. They’re a goodbye letter. Something sent maybe to relieve his conscience. Though, maybe not. Maybe this is a game he plays with all women. Or maybe sending flowers almost a week later is some kind of rule of thumb for one-night stands these days. I gather the flowers and throw them in the trash, just as the front door opens.

“Hi again!” a voice chirps out, airy and happy. It’s not like I get many customers, and it really pisses me off that I get one right now.

I turn around to look and color drains from my face as I see Allen’s sister standing there. I look around, but she’s alone now—except for a huge, bulky guy standing outside by the door looking like he might melt down in the hot Florida sun because he’s wearing a dark suit.

“Hi,” I murmur.

“I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d come back by. I really loved that shampoo I bought here a few days ago. I was thinking of getting a couple others.”

“The display is in the same spot. I did add a few different fragrances,” I tell her. I give her my back and go to the main counter. It’s rude—and deliberately so, but she’s lying. She didn’t buy anything the other day. Plus, the timing of her visit sucks, considering I’m still feeling like I’ve been punched in the stomach by her brother.

“Pretty flowers,” she murmurs, and when I turn around she’s looking in the trash.

“I suppose.”

“From someone you don’t like?”

“I’m sure you already know who they are from,” I mumble, sitting on the stool I keep behind the counter while wondering again, what exactly is going on with her and how she just happened to show up now.

“Why would I know?” she asks and she takes a blue tulip out of the trash. Her fingers move over the petals as she looks up at me.

“Because they’re from your brother?”

“They are?” she asks and it would be impossible to miss the pleasure in her voice.

“Listen, Mrs.—”

“Call me Ana.”

“Fine. Then, listen Ana, if you’re here to buy something that’s great. But, if you’re here just to make sure your brother’s message was received and then pump me for information, you can just turn around and walk out now.”

“With a sales personality like that, I’m starting to see why your store is always so crowded,” Ana murmurs, and I guess it was deserved, but it was still a bitchy thing to say.

“Try the Walmart in the next county over. I hear they greet you with a smile at the door,” I tell her, and I open up a ledger, pretending to be completely engrossed in it.


Tags: Jordan Marie Books Romance Books
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