I immediately regret asking what he’s doing here. I had assumed maybe he tracked me down or something, but I see that’s not the case. If it’s close to his home, then that means he lives close to Paige and me. We’re only about two blocks from our condo.

The manager appears again, Oz’s drink in hand. “Can I get you anything to eat, Mr.—”


“Dessert,” he says, interrupting him again. The manager almost seems flustered now.

“I’m down with that,” Paige chimes in.

“She doesn’t share,” I add.

“One of everything then,” Oz says, slowly running the tip of his finger over my wrist.

“There are eight desserts,” the manager says, like he can’t believe Oz is going to order them all.

“Should I order two of everything since she doesn’t share?”

I laugh, knowing that comment will definitely win him points with Paige.

“Oh, I like him,” Paige says, and I laugh.

“I like that sound.” Oz’s eyes are on me like no one else is at the table. His gaze is romantically possessive as his fingers continue to slowly caress me.

“Hmm?” I lean in a bit more toward him, moving closer without thinking. I want to see if he still smells like warm amber and honey, a smell I can’t seem to stop thinking about now.

“Your laugh. It’s lovely. I like it. I like even more that I made you do it.”

I’m in way over my head with him. He’s too charming, too consuming and already acts like I’m his. I could get lost in him far too easily.

“One of everything should be fine,” comes flying out of my mouth. My face heats, knowing everyone heard what he said. He’s so bold with his words. Uncaring of anyone hearing what he said. It’s a little intimidating. You’d think I’d be used to it living with Paige, but he keeps knocking me off my feet.

My eyes dart over to Paige, who’s studying us. She’s quiet, which isn’t like her. Even less so when a man is hitting on one of us. She’s normally quick to shut it down or even poke at something they said, trying to irritate them.

“Perfect.” His finger strokes across my cheek, like he’s touching my blush. I actually jerk back. He pulls his hand away, and the look on his face is as if I struck him. For a second he looks almost pained.

“Sorry. You caught me off guard,” I try to explain, hating my reaction. I’m not used to being touched.

“No, I’m sorry.” He gives me a long look, one I can’t read, before pushing back his chair. “I’ll leave you ladies to it.” He extends his hand to Paige once again. “It was a pleasure to meet you.” She shakes his hand and nods.

“You don’t have to go. Dessert is coming,” I protest, guilt growing, like I made him uncomfortable or something. Wow. Maybe I should have tried dating in college, because I’m seriously awkward at this. Then again, I don’t think anyone I’ve ever met would have had me tripping over myself like this. Not to mention no one ever piqued my interest like this either.

As he turns back to me, his sapphire-blue eyes have something hidden in them. He leans down and gives me a kiss on the cheek, and for a moment he lingers there, his soft lips grazing where he touched moments ago, and I finally get that warm amber and honey smell I’d been craving. Desire runs through my body, and a chill races down my back, making my nipples hard. An audible breath leaves my lips, and I close my eyes, completely taken by the slight contact.

“Enjoy your dessert, sweet Mallory. I’m sure it won’t be as decadent as you.”

With that, he’s pulling back and heading across the restaurant. I watch as one of the hostesses steps in front of him as he tries to leave. She looks like a model who moonlights here to make ends meet. She’s flawless with her straight blond hair and legs that go on for days in her short black dress. She reaches out to touch his arm, but he sidesteps her, giving her a firm head shake, clearly dismissing her, before exiting out the front of the restaurant. What was that all about?

“That was intense,” Paige says, pulling my eyes away from the door.

“Was that a goodbye?” Maybe my awkwardness was too much for him. He shot out of here rather fast.

“Well, yeah, he left.” She eyes me like I’m crazy and doesn’t get what I mean.

“No, I meant like goodbye-goodbye. No more texting me or whatever.” I wave my hands around like that might help explain what I mean.

“No.” Her eyebrows rise, and she shakes her head like I’m crazy. “That man is hooked.” She says it with such conviction that I’m almost afraid to doubt her. But yet I still do.

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