Damn him, ooooooh, damn him and that highly amused grin that he gave me in answer. That’s what made it so much worse. Garrett Calder was handsome. He was tall and muscled with broad shoulders that looked (I could only admit this in my head, because I’d likely choke on the words if they came out of my mouth) incredible in a suit. Oh, I’d have liked it so much better if he was a hunchback with two teeth and pockmarks covering the left side of his body.
You know, have the outside match the inside.
“But my old man does?”
With brisk movements, I straightened my blue cotton blouse and sniffed. “Yes.”
Garrett leaned up against the door behind him, clearly not planning on going anywhere. Ass.
“You realize that I don’t have to answer you, right? It’s my prerogative who gets to call me a nickname and who doesn’t.”
When he snorted, I risked a look at him under my lashes. Still smiling that stupid smile. It was one of the non-professional things that I envied about him. The ease with which he smiled and joked, making the people around him happy in turn. The people who I reported to and the people who worked under me all respected me and liked me. But we weren’t exactly friends. We didn’t swap jokes or secrets.
But I’d take respect any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. So I straightened and faced him, giving him the full weight of my annoyed expression. “What?”
“Nothing.” He shook his head, completely amused by my snippy response.
“You are so aggravating.”
“And you are so defensive, Rory.”
I narrowed my eyes and he smothered a laugh. “I’m not defensive. I’m simply explaining to you that it’s my right to recognize that certain people are deserving of informalities over others.”
He clutched a hand to his heart. “So many big words. Stop.”
When I lifted an eyebrow, he gave me a mildly apologetic look. “Okay, fine. I’ll stick to Aurora.”
“Thank you,” I conceded. “Can I leave now? This kind of proximity to you gives me hives.”
Dylan Steadman has never seen his stubbornness as a bad thing. It’s always been easy for him to make up his mind and stick with it. It’s why he works a lot, why he doesn’t need to make time for a girlfriend, and why he recently decided to move across the country for a new job. His brothers and sister and happily settled, and now that all eyes have turned on him, he needs a change. He does not need a relationships, and moving to Colorado lets him breathe. What he didn’t see coming was Kat, the much-too-young-for-him employee at his new restaurant.
Kat Perry doesn’t have a family. She doesn’t even really have friends, but that’s by her choice. Her new manager, Dylan, has all the things that she should avoid: the muscles, the eyes, the smile, and the kind of white-knight syndrome that she doesn’t know what the frick to do with. Dylan should be easy enough to disregard since she’s managed to hold people at arm’s length her whole life, especially when a relationship is the very last thing she wants
But she can’t ignore him, not when he befriends her, and definitely not when they tap into combustible chemistry that threatens to burn down everything around them. So instead of fighting it, they come to an agreement- just friends with a bunch of benefits on the side. Easy, right? Not exactly.
Especially when the heart gets involved.
**Dylan is a 70k romantic comedy with a mild/medium heat level. It is a spin-off of the Three Little Words series and can be read as a standalone.**