Page 13 of Hero Next Door

“No, no. I just wanted to give you this.” She hands me an expensive looking box of chocolates. “I feel so bad for the way that I spoke to you when you were just being friendly. And you’ve only just moved in…”

“You don’t need to worry. I don’t think bad of you,” I chuckle. “Like I said, I get it. My work can be a bitch too. You keep the chocolates, I don’t need them. I forgive you without them. I haven’t even thought about it.”

She insists that I keep them, blushing even harder. I only take them because I feel like it’s the right thing to do, just to calm her down. I feel like Esme’s head will explode if I don’t take them from her. She needs this apology to work out. Poor woman, again I find myself struck with worry about what is going on in her life. She is just so sad.

“I know that I didn’t see your girlfriend, but apologize to her as well,” she continues quietly. “I should never have behaved like that. I couldn’t be more embarrassed. I don’t want you guys to hate me or anything…”

“Girlfriend?” I narrowed my eyes at her. “What are you talking about? I don’t have a girlfriend?”

“The girl with purple hair… the one who was moving in with you… oh God, am I wrong?”

I toss my head back and laugh. “That’s my sister, Natasha. Not my girlfriend. She was just giving me a hand.”

If it was possible for her to blush even brighter, she does. She might as well be flaming in fire. I can’t help but wonder why she’s so embarrassed about me being single. I also wonder why that look sends a shiver down my spine. I mean, I have already told myself that I’m not going to fall for anyone any time soon, so it can’t be that. Maybe it’s because I want to know about her love life, to see if that’s the reason she’s entangled in knots about life all the time.

This is my chance, I think desperately to myself. This is my time. Now I could try and get to know her better.

Just to help her of course, just to get her to open up to me. I don’t have anything else in mind at all.

“I don’t know if this is a bit weird, but I have just been cooking and I made far too much. If you don’t have any plans, would you like to come in and have something to eat? It’s a bit late for you to start cooking now, right?”

“Oh, really?” Her eyes almost pop out of her head. “Are you sure? I don’t have any plans, but…”

“Well, unless your boyfriend would mind?” Was that smooth or totally cringy? Who the hell knows…?

“I don’t have a boyfriend.” She tries to laugh but the sound is much too strangled to really work. I hope that I haven’t made things awkward for her in some way, I don’t want her to think that I’m hitting on her… “Yes, that sounds really nice. I don’t normally get home until very late so I don’t have time to cook anything for myself. Noodles are my staple, so it would be lovely to be fed something good for my body.”

Hmm, so it isn’t a boyfriend, but it’s definitely something. I can’t help but wonder if it’s something to do with her job instead since the reaction that she had to something work related this morning definitely seemed excessive. I don’t know if I will be able to do anything to help her if that’s the case, I only really know about love life dramas, but I will give it a go, see what I can do for her. Even having someone to talk to can be helpful.

“Come through. Sorry that the place is a bit of a mess, I’m still getting sorted.”

“This is really tidy,” she gasps in total shock. “What must you have it like when you’re happily settled in?”

“Actually, my sister did most of it. She’s the really tidy one,” I admit. “But when I got in from work earlier I just tossed my stuff all over the place as you can see. She would kill me if she knew that much.”

I head over to my drink’s cupboard and pull out a bottle of wine that someone gave me as a celebratory gift for moving house. I’m not usually much one for drinking, but I think that the both of us will be able to relax more if we have a bit of booze in our systems. I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable here at all. Not when she’s being all sweet at the moment. I like this side of her a lot. From what I have seen anyway…

“So, what was the work drama?” I ask as I hand her the wine and continue to stir the food. “You know, if you want a fresh ear to moan to? You never know, I might even be able to offer some kind of helpful solution…”

Tags: Mia Ford Romance