“By virtue of being a card-carrying eater of veggies and protein?”

“Yes, you’re a flag-waving member.”

“Ha, you said ‘member.’”

She laughs.

Like I said, the mouth is a wild card. “And kale is delicious.”

“Maybe to someone who never eats chocolate,” she suggests, her brow furrowing. God, she’s adorable when she argues. She gets a little crinkle between her eyebrows that I want to run my finger over, that I want to press my lips against, that I want to kiss.

And I officially have it bad for this woman if the crinkle in her forehead gets me excited. “I bet you’ve never had a roasted sesame seed kale salad, have you?”

She pretends to wretch.

“How about kale mixed with brussels sprouts and lemon?”

She clutches her stomach. “Are you trying to make it sound as awful and miserable as possible?”

I laugh. “Ginny, you don’t know what you’re missing.” When it comes to kale and men.

“I am definitely not missing kale.”

I set down my salad bowl, reach for her arm, and wrap my hand around it. She’s quiet at first, and so am I, because, hello, did I just kind of make a move by touching her arm? And does it actually feel better than how a hand wrapped around an arm should feel?

She lets her eyes drift to my palm, and I swear she trembles slightly, a little shudder that makes me think she likes it when I touch her. Makes me want to go for it with her. It emboldens me.

“Let me make you a kale treat,” I say in my best sexy voice.

She smiles softly. Kind of sexy. A little sweet too. As I let go of her arm, her fingers trail down my wrist.

Holy kale smoothie, she is flirting with me, and I have a leafy vegetable to thank.

She pins her gaze on me, her eyes fierce, her expression playful. “Bring it on, Noah Rivera.”

There. Right there. When a woman uses your full name, it’s definitely a sign. A sign of something good.

So I keep it up. No need to stop the volley now. “And if I prove you like kale? What then? What happens if I win the great kale battle?”

“It’s a contest?”

“Hell yeah. Contests are awesome.”

She laughs. “Fine. If I win, you have to make my next PowerPoint.”

I scoff. She probably thinks it’s a punishment. Little does she know nothing gets me down, not even PowerPoints. I’m actually ridiculously good at them, and I tell her as much.

“Ginny, I’m the master of PowerPoints. You can count me in.”

“The master of PowerPoints, you say? Tell me what other talents you have. Can you fold laundry?”

I puff out my chest. “I can fold laundry, I can do my own laundry. I’m fully house-trained,” I pause, then add, “in chores.”

“Stop, Noah, you’re getting me excited.” Excited is exactly where I want her.

“Chores get you excited?”

“Chores are the way to my heart.”

I decide to nudge open that door, leaning on my sexiest voice. “Would you let me do some chores for you?”

She waves her hand in front of her chest, like she’s heating up. “Please. You can’t say such seductive things in the office,” she whispers.

Then I kick the door, as if I’m doing just that. Seducing her. “Cleaning dishes. Mopping floors. Sweeping, dusting, even . . .” I pause, take a beat. “Vacuuming.”

She lets out a gasp, like I’ve hit the jackpot.

Then she schools her expression. “Anyway, enough about chores. I do have to go back to my desk and I can’t very well spend the whole afternoon thinking about chores, can I?”

This woman. Damn. I want her. “I don’t see the problem with that. But what do I get if I win?”

She tilts her chin, like she’s thinking. Her eyes flicker, the hint of a smile in them. “What do you want?”

I strip away the teasing for a split second, dead serious. “I think you know what I want.”

She swallows, looks away, then back at me, vulnerability in her eyes. “I do.” And her expression and tone shift once more to flirty. “How about you get the satisfaction of me liking kale?”

Now that, that is definitely flirting. And I’m fully satisfied.

That night, after I run ten miles and do a full circuit of weights at the gym, I research the best kale salads in New York City, because no way am I fucking this up by making it on my own.

The next morning, on the way to work, I stop at a gourmet shop that is purported to have an incredible kale salad with sesame.

At the office later, I find her in the cafeteria and offer it to her for lunch.

She arches a skeptical brow. “I won’t like this.”

“I know. You won’t like it. You’ll love it.”

She takes a forkful, chews, then stares daggers at me. “You tricked me.”

I smile. “No trickery.”

“This is bloody delicious.”


Tags: Lauren Blakely Romance
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