Home > Caught Up in Her (Caught Up In Love 0.5)(4)

Caught Up in Her (Caught Up In Love 0.5)(4)
Author: Lauren Blakely

Chapter Three


I blow dried my hair the next morning.

I rarely blow dried my hair in the summer.

But I wanted to look good in case I ran into Bryan again in the hall. Or anywhere really. Evidently, I was going to have to make sure I looked good all the time since he was staying in my house for two weeks. But I was up to that challenge, because hello – hot and sweet guy staying in my house for two weeks.

Lucky me.

As I applied lip gloss, I asked myself once again how it was possible I’d never known that Nate had such a good-looking best friend? They’d been buddies all through college but it had never once occurred to me that the Bryan my brother had mentioned was gorgeous, with hair I wanted to run my fingers through, and eyes I could barely look away from – a forest green with gold flecks.

The house was quiet when I left for the store, and I wondered momentarily if Bryan was still sleeping. Or if he was an early riser and was out for a morning jog. He looked the type. The guy didn’t have an ounce of fat on him, and his arms had the perfect amount of tone to them. Muscled and trim, and with that boyish smile, he was so easy on eyes.

As I walked to the store, I realized his looks weren’t the only reason I wanted to make sure I had a good hair day. He was so easy to talk to, and we had an instant repartee from the second he’d hugged me in the driveway. I didn’t want to read too much into our connection since he was Nate’s friend, even though I couldn’t help but hope that he sensed a spark too when we’d been talking about movies out on the deck last night, or even when I bumped into him in the hall.

I popped into my favorite cafe, picturing walking into this shop with him, ordering a coffee drink on a first date. Would be take me out for coffee if he asked me out? No, that was silly. He knew I was fond of movies, and he seemed like the type of guy who truly listened to a girl, the kind who would arrange a date to be exactly what she wanted. We’d go to the movies, and he’d hold my hand at some point as the storyline unfolded on screen.

I smiled at that image. Then I promptly reprimanded myself for thinking of him that way. Even if we had an ease of conversation, even if he was handsome, even if we liked the same things, getting involved with him would be trouble for my heart. I was starting college in the fall, and he was starting the real world. There would simply be no us.

Better to erase those ideas now.

That was easier said then done though because my stomach flipped when I spotted him waiting outside Mystic Landing. He had a cup of coffee in his hand, and the ends of his dark hair were still wet. Soon, I was near enough to breathe in that clean, freshly showered scent.

“Hi there.”

“I’m a morning person too,” he offered with a sheepish little shrug. “Hope you don’t mind if I share the morning shift with you. Nate’ll sleep past noon anyway.”

“Not at all,” I said as I hunted for the keys in my purse, as if that action would mask the butterflies racing inside me from knowing I’d get to spend the next several hours with him.

* * *


I was slated for the afternoon shift with Nate, but hell if I was sticking to the schedule. I figured one of two things would happen the more time I spent with her. I’d learn she was annoying, a pain in the ass, or silly, and all of those would be great because I could get her out of my system.

Case closed, problem solved.

Or I’d discover the opposite. I’d learn that she was just as sweet and funny and smart as I’d already known her to be, and I’d fall harder.

I’d be screwed.

But for some reason, I didn’t stop. I walked right into the fire because I was dying to know all the things about her, down to what kind of coffee she drank. I gestured to her drink. “Must have just missed you at the cafe. Coffee, too?”

“Caramel macchiato. Only frou-frou drinks for this girl.” Then, she inched closer, and she was so near to me I could smell her shampoo, some kind of tropical rainforest scent that made me want to thread my fingers in her hair, back her up against the wall, and kiss her. Right then, right there Forget everything else but the feel of her lips. She dropped her voice to a whisper, like we were co-conspirators. “I even got an extra shot of caramel.”

She was playful and flirty, and I wasn’t going to miss the chance to keep up that kind of volley. I pretended the added caramel was the height of scandal. “So decadent.”

“And you?”

I tapped the lid on top of my cup. “Coffee. Just coffee, nothing more. I like my coffee the way —”

She narrowed her eyes and waved off my remark. “I don’t want to hear one of those customary guy jokes. I like my coffee the way I like my women — hot, strong, with cream.”

My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe she thought I’d say something so crass. All my crass thoughts were locked up safely in the far corner of my head. I’d be saving them for another time. “I wasn’t going to say that.”

“Oh. Sorry. How do you like your coffee then?” She said as she unlocked the door to the store.

Maybe it was because she wasn’t looking at me then. Maybe I felt the start of a what-the-hell attitude toward her. Maybe it was because I had a crazy hunch she was the kind of person who had a thing for romantic places that made me answer her in a low whisper, “The way they drink it in Paris. Black.”

She tensed briefly, or maybe she shivered. I wasn’t going to read anything into her reactions; all I knew was that I was damn glad I was a morning person, and was here with her.

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