Home > The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay #2)(4)

The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay #2)(4)
Jill Shalvis

“Thank you,” he said with such genuine feeling, she glanced up at him.

A mistake.

His dark eyes had warmed to the color of melted dark chocolate. “One question.”

“What?” she asked warily.

“Do you always wear X-rated headbands?”

Her hands flew to her head. She’d completely forgotten she was wearing the penis headband. “Are you referring to my reindeer antlers?”

“Reindeer antlers,” he repeated.

“That’s right.”

“Whatever you say.” He was smiling now, and of course the rat-fink bastard had a sexy-as-hell smile. And unbelievably her good parts stood up and took notice. Clearly her body hadn’t gotten the memo on the no-man thing. Especially not this man.

“My name’s Keane by the way,” he said. “Keane Winters.”

He paused, clearly expecting her to tell him her name in return, but she had a dilemma now. If she told him who she was and he suddenly recognized her, he’d also remember exactly how pathetic she’d once been. And if he didn’t recognize her then that meant she was even more forgettable than she’d thought and she’d have to throw the penis headband at him after all.

“And you are . . .?” he asked, rich voice filled with amusement at her pause.

Well, hell. Now or never, she supposed. “Willa Davis,” she said and held her breath.

There was no change in his expression whatsoever. Forgettable then, and she ground her back teeth for a minute.

“I appreciate you doing this for me, Willa,” he said.

She had to consciously unclench her teeth to speak. “I’m not doing it for you. I’m doing it for Petunia,” she said, wanting to be crystal clear. “And you’ll need to be back here to pick her up before closing.”


“I’ve got a few questions for you,” she said. “Like an emergency contact, your driver’s license info, and”—God help her, she was going to hell if she asked this but she couldn’t help herself, she wanted to jog his memory— “where you went to high school.”

He arched a brow. “High school?”

“Yes, you never know what’s going to be important.”

He looked amused. “As long as I don’t have to wear a headband of dicks, you can have whatever info you need.”

Five extremely long minutes later he’d filled out the required form and provided the information needed after a quick call to his aunt—all apparently without getting his memory jogged. Then, with one last amused look at her reindeer antlers a.k.a. penis headband, he walked out the door.

Willa was still watching him go when Rory came to stand next to her, casually sipping her coffee as she handed over Willa’s.

“Are we looking at his ass?” Rory wanted to know.

Yes, and to Willa’s eternal annoyance, it was the best ass she’d ever seen. How unfair was that? The least he could’ve done was get some pudge. “Absolutely not.”

“Well we’re missing out, because wow.”

Willa looked at her. “He’s too old for you.”

“He’s thirty. What,” she said at Willa’s raised brow. “You’ve got the copy of his driver’s license right here on the counter. I did the math, that’s not a crime. And anyway, you’re right, he’s old. Really old.”

“You do realize I’m only a few years behind him.”

“You’re old too,” Rory said and nudged her shoulder to Willa’s.

The equivalent of a big, fat, mushy hug.

“And for the record,” the girl went on, “I was noticing his ass for you.”

“Ha,” Willa said. “The devil himself couldn’t drag my old, dead corpse out on a date with him, even if he is hot as balls. I gave up men, remember? That’s who I am right now, a woman who doesn’t need a man.”

“Who you are is a stubborn, obstinate woman who has a lot of love to give but is currently imitating a chicken. But hey, if you wanna let your past bad judgment calls rule your world and live like a nun, carry on just as you are.”

“Gee,” Willa said dryly. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. But I reserve the right to question your IQ. I hear you lose IQ points when you get old.” She smiled sweetly. “Maybe you should start taking that Centrum Silver or something. Want me to run out and get some?”

Willa threw the penis headband at her, but Rory, being a youngster and all, successfully ducked in time.

Chapter 2


Two mornings later, Willa’s alarm went off at zero dark thirty and she lay there for a minute drifting, dreaming . . . thinking. When Keane had returned for Petunia the other night, she’d been with a client so she hadn’t had to deal with him.

But she’d made sure to look her fill.

And that bothered her. How could she like looking at him so much? Maybe it was because he was so inherently male and virile he could’ve walked right off the cover of Alpha Male magazine, if such a thing had existed.

The thing was, she wasn’t supposed to care what he looked like, or how sexy his low-timbered voice was, or that he was taking care of his aunt’s cat in spite of not liking said cat.

Because hello, ditched for the dance . . .

“Gah,” she said to her bedroom and rolled over, sticking her head beneath her pillow.

She was too busy for a guy. Any guy. She had work and work was enough. She loved having the security of a bank account, when once upon a time she’d had nothing of her own and only herself to rely on.

She was proud of how far she’d come. Proud to be able to help kids who were in the same situation she’d once been in.

When her alarm went off, she jerked awake and groaned some more but rolled out of bed, blinking blearily at the clock.

Four in the morning.

She hated four in the morning as a general rule but today was an early day. She needed to hit the flower market and get some shopping done for an event she had going that night and also for her upcoming in-store Santa Extravaganza pet photo shoot, an annual event where customers would be able to get their pet’s photo taken with Santa. It was a big moneymaker for her, and half of the profits went to the San Francisco animal shelters.

She dragged a grumpy Rory with her, where they bought supplies for the night’s event, the photo booth, and additional foliage to boot.

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