Hands curled around her shoulders holding her steady. “Happy to see me?”
“What? No.” Do I know this guy?
“Plop, fizz – that’s the sound of my ego deflating.”
She wrenched free and backed away, wrapping her arms around her waist.
He held his hands up where she could see them. “Sorry. A pretty girl like you bumps into a guy like me, it makes me think my luck is changing.”
His voice, so deep and warm, wriggled past her defenses and eased the tension in her muscles. Who wouldn’t trust that voice? She looked up into eyes such a deep blue they reminded her of the sky before a storm. The broad-shouldered man stood half a foot taller than her. She should feel threatened. But she didn’t. Instead she felt something she’d never felt before.
Breathless. Hot. Mindless.
Her mouth opened, her lips moved, but no sound came out.
He frowned, and she froze.
Surely I’m safe in this crowd. Just in case, hold completely still and maybe he’ll go away.
“I’m sorry.” Please, please, please, don’t hurt me.
“I’m the one who should apologize.”
Okay, he’s not angry. He’s concerned. Is that any better? The phone jammed in her pocket suddenly buzzed against her hip. She pulled it out and answered. “Julie? Where are you guys?”
“Are you okay? I’ve been trying to reach you all afternoon.”
“I’m so sorry. I was at the salon and my phone was in my purse, so I never heard it ring.”
“Our celebration is going to have to wait. I have to work another shift at the hospital. Meg’s car wouldn’t start, and after that, Deb said we should cancel.”
Tiffany clamped her lips tight to keep the whimper of disappointment from escaping. Julie was distressed, and she couldn’t add to that. “I understand.”
“Honey, I’m so sorry. I know you were looking forward to this. But I promise we’ll reschedule real soon.”
“Okay, talk to you later.” She disconnected the call and put the phone back in her pocket.
“No, not really,” she murmured even as she wanted to stamp her foot in aggravation. It wasn’t bad news in a general sense. No one was hurt or dying. But disappointment was a hard pill to swallow.
“It sounds pretty bad. Can I help?” He offered her a kind smile.
Why are you so concerned? “Oh, no, but thanks for the offer. I was supposed to meet some friends here, but they canceled.”
“What a lucky coincidence, so did mine.”
“I have a solution.”
“You do?” It wasn’t hard to guess what would come next. He’d ask her to join him and she would politely decline. He was a perfect gentleman now, but what would he do later?
“What movie were you going to see?”
“That’s a great question.”
“I’ve got plenty more.”