Sweet Nothings

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The same nervousness she’d felt before the high school doors had burst open fluttered back through her. That was not her best friend’s fiancé.

“That isn’t Cody, D. That’s his brother. Nick.”

Wide eyes turned her way. “There are two of them?”

Joanie nodded, not taking her eyes off Nick, and forcing herself not to wipe her palms down the sides of her skirt again. Why the man made her nervous, she had no idea. She’d taken in all six-foot-four of his lean, taut, manual labor–created muscles when they’d met at Christmas, and she hadn’t been nervous then.

She’d been turned on, yes. But not nervous.

And yes, it had been unnerving to be turned on by someone who looked identical to her friend’s fiancé, even when said fiancé did nothing for her but provide an attractive view. But while unnerving, only a dead person could keep from ogling a hunk of man like that.

Only, along with her appreciation for his very fine form, she felt something new stirring inside her this time.

Something that seemed to wake from a long hibernation and jabbed at her from the inside as if screaming, Me! Me! Let me have him!

It disturbed her even more when she had a quick flash of the man her mother had run off with on Joanie’s thirteenth birthday. She hadn’t thought about him in years. Bill had been an out-of-towner, too. Just like Nick. And also in construction. As well as friendly, what she’d thought of at the time as genuinely nice, and a total cutie.

Strike, strike, strike.

Nick was hot, but he was off-limits.

She wasn’t her mother and she would never fall victim to a man, no matter how bad her insides flamed at the sight of one. And she certainly wouldn’t fall victim to the Bigbee Curse.

Nick lifted his gaze from the paper he held in his hand and scanned the street before him, then spied her van out front. He swept a hand through his dark hair, pushing it off his forehead, and turned in their direction. The jabbing inside her only intensified.

“He’s coming over here,” Destinee whispered.

Blood rushed through Joanie so rapidly she worried she’d fall over where she stood. Instead, she shook her arms and rolled her shoulders as if getting ready to go into battle. Whatever was going on inside her, she could put a stop to it. She’d seen plenty of good-looking men in her years. She’d even slept with a few of them. There was no reason this particular one was going to get to her.

“He probably wants a cupcake,” she stated. “Let’s meet him outside since they’re all in the van.”

Joanie pushed open the door as he reached the sidewalk, and couldn’t help but smile as they made eye contact. Dang, he was fine.

Too bad she couldn’t have just one itsy-bitsy taste to put out the fire he lit.

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