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As if sensing my presence, Emery glances up when I get near. Her eyes are captivating, two wide-set pools of blue filled with curiosity. She’s a deep thinker. A thoughtful girl, if my hunches are correct.

“You’re new here,” I say, my tone confident and direct as I treat her to full-on eye contact. Women love that shit. And I couldn’t look away right now, even if I wanted to. Jesus, she’s pretty . Like spring an awkward erection and come way too soon pretty. I’m in deep shit here. Momentarily speechless, I tuck my hands into my pockets and wait for her to respond.

“What gave me away?”

I expect a friendly smile or at least a sly grin, but Emery is watching me with a wary expression and guarded eyes. Her tone is flat and emotionless. Damn, that stings more than it should.

Extending one hand toward her, I attempt a warm smile. “I’m Hayden Oliver. I own the building, and I live upstairs. I just wanted to introduce myself and see if you needed anything.”

“I’m Emery. And I’m a little busy, if you’ll excuse me.” She looks down at her clipboard once again.

No way, sweetheart. You’re not getting rid of me that easily.

I hold up both hands, my smile widening. “I’m harmless.”

“That’s not what Roxy said.” Emery looks up at me as she says this with no warmth in her features.

That’s what I was afraid of. “I’m a pussycat. I promise.” I treat her to a wink, and Emery dissolves into a fit of laughter. It’s not the reaction I was expecting.

“I’m sorry.” She holds up a hand while trying to get herself under control. One more hiccup and she’s there. Lowering her hand, she grins at me. “Do lines like that actually work for you?”

Ignoring her question, I attempt to regain the upper hand. “Where are you moving from?”

“Michigan. I just graduated from law school, and I have an internship at Walker, Price, and Pratt. I start on Monday.”

“I heard you were a lawyer.”

She shakes her head, and there’s a faraway look in her eyes, as if she’s thinking about something unpleasant. “I’m not a lawyer. Not yet. I’m a legal intern for the summer.”

I nod. Even a blind man could see this job opportunity is important to her. She’s moved across the country for it, and I’m guessing she has to prove herself this summer to be hired on full-time.

“Walker, Price, and Pratt . . . that’s downtown, right? Near Pershing Square?”

She nods. “I think so. At least that’s what Google Maps said.”

I nod. “It’s not hard to find. And there’s a great sandwich shop within walking distance. It’s called Louie’s Lunch Shack. Just avoid the tuna salad, and you’ll be golden.”

I’d made the mistake of ordering that once. Never again. I shudder just thinking about it. I spent the next twenty-four hours in the bathroom, and my good buddy Hudson had to play nursemaid, restoring me back to health.

“Thanks for the tip.”

“Anytime. That’s what I’m here for.” What am I here for? Why am I standing here talking to this beautiful woman who I know I can’t have?

She just stands there on the sidewalk in the bright sunlight, as if she’s waiting to see what I’ll do next. I’ve never felt quite so unsure of myself. If Hudson hadn’t just given me a verbal lashing, I would have her upstairs in my condo with her panties around her ankles by now.

“We should grab a drink later, when you’re done moving in,” I say. I’m hoping she’s ready to call it a day now. It’s almost the weekend, and it’s five o’clock somewhere. Maybe alcohol will smooth over this tension between us.

She chews on her lower lip, thinking it over. “I really can’t. I’m sorry.”

Taking a step closer, I lean in toward her. “Is this about something Roxy said?” Fucking Roxy.

Her gaze skitters away from mine, and lands on the moving truck where the men lifting boxes grunt and scurry off for the elevator. “It’s not that, it’s just I’m here to focus this summer. I’ve just come off a bad breakup, and I’m so not looking for anything.”

“What did she say?” My tone comes out more commanding than I intended.

“Roxy?” she asks.

I nod.

Emery chews on her lower lip again. “That you’re a dirty, dirty man-whore who’s had his fair share of fun. And then some.”

“True on all accounts.” No use in denying it. I don’t like liars, and so I make it a habit never to be one myself.

Emery gazes up at me. Damn . Those eyes. It’s like they see straight through me.

“If liking pussy is a crime, lock me up. I’m as guilty as they come. I like the taste of it, I like the smell of it, and I especially like the way it feels when—”

She holds up her hand, her cheeks turning bright pink. “Do not finish that statement, Mr. Oliver. I get the point.”

Shit. Have I just been rambling on about how much I love pussy? I need to get ahold of myself.

I glance up at her. Her pulse has quickened in her throat, and her face is flushed. She gives me a look that women normally only give when they want to drop to their knees and service me. Or is there something in her eye?

My dick leaps to life.

Her gaze drops to the front of my pants. “I have a big dick ahead of me,” she says, and her cheeks flame bright red. “I mean a big day. Day ,” she repeats.

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