He looked at me strangely. “I don’t want to go into the gory details—”

“I can handle them.” Or at least I thought I could. I was pretty sure I could.

That half smile was back. “When I got called out when I was talking with you, it was because the coroner had picked up the…body and had some evidence. Obviously, we know what the cause of death is, but I wanted to stop by and let you know that we are probably going to have an ID sometime today.”

“Oh.” I took a drink of my now lukewarm coffee.

“I also want you to contact me immediately if you see anything weird, okay?” Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a business card and placed it on the table.

My gaze fell to the card. So formal. “What could be weird?”

“Just if you notice anyone hanging around here that you’re not familiar with. Anything that gives you a bad vibe. That sort of thing.”

I glanced up at him, the unease from earlier returning. “Should I be worried?”

“No.” The smile he gave me this time didn’t reach his eyes. “Just careful.”

That really didn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy, but couldn’t he have just called me? If he had my address, then he had my cell.

The smile transformed and his face softened. “Yeah, I could’ve called you and told you that.”


My chin jerked up as I almost dropped my cup. “Can you read minds? Oh man, I hope not.”

His gaze did that slow slide again. “Now I’m curious to what I’d discover if I could read your mind.”

I widened my eyes and said nothing because seriously, my mind was one step from face planting in the gutter when he was around.

Reaching over, he tapped his fingers on my arm. “I didn’t want to just call you.”

“Oh,” I repeated. Goodness, I had this conversation thing down pat. It wasn’t my fault. The tapping of his fingers had sent a fine shiver up my arm.

“And I was in the mood for crepes,” he continued. “And when you’re in the mood for crepes, you want to share them with a pretty lady.”

My mouth opened but there were no words.

He chuckled as he rose. “I have to get going.”

“Okay,” I murmured, putting my cup on the table. I stood, following him to the door, and when he stopped suddenly, I nearly bounced off his back. His playful grin once again made an appearance. “Sorry.”

Colton tilted his head to the side. “I’ll be in touch, Abby.”

As he left and I closed the door behind him, I leaned forward, gently knocking my forehead against it as I tried to stop my wayward thoughts from making a bigger deal out of his visit than I should.

But it was hard.

“Ugh.” I pressed my forehead against the door and groaned.

Colton was an admitted flirt—an outrageous one. That was what he had to be doing because there was no way that it could be anything else. After all, how could it? Not when he was engaged six months ago, and he hadn’t said who ended the relationship.

Besides, I wasn’t his type. I wasn’t cutting myself short by acknowledging that. Colton was…he was gorgeous. The kind of masculine beauty that could grace the covers of the books I edited, and he was also sweet—charming, and from what I remembered, intelligent to boot. And me?

I was the kind of woman who got the guy in the books.

But not in real life.

Never in real life.

Chapter 5

“Oh my gosh, that is so scary.” Jillian brushed the heavy fringe of dark brown bangs out of her wide brown eyes. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” A little concealer had covered the tiny cuts on my face, and the palms of my hands only stung every so often. “It was scary and so unexpected.”

“Who would expect that? Ugh.” Jillian glanced down at her empty plates. We’d demolished our dinner and then our cheesecakes. “I can’t even imagine. I probably would’ve run screaming and flailing in the other direction.”

“That’s pretty much what I did.” I eyed the tiny crumb of cake on my plate and wondered how gluttonous I’d be if I ate that last piece.

“And that’s probably why you’re alive¸” she replied. “Even my father would have a hard time justifying a fight strategy rather than a flight one.”

Jillian’s father owned Lima Academy, and the sprawling building in downtown Philadelphia was more than just a gym. It was one of the premier mixed martial arts training facilities in the world. Jillian’s father, skilled in his native Brazilian jiu jitsu, could’ve probably used his ninja stealth and taken the guys out with his karate skills.

“Speaking of your father, how is he handling the idea of you leaving in the spring?” I asked, changing the subject.

She cringed as she leaned back against the booth, folding her arms across her chest. Tension seeped into her pretty features. “He’s still not exactly thrilled about it. He doesn’t like the idea of me not being within his eyesight. Like something’s going to…” She trailed off, shaking her head. “Anyway, do you still want to go to that signing Tuesday night?”

“Tiffany King’s signing? Hell yeah.” I relaxed when a genuine smile crossed her face. Conversations about her dad were usually a dead end. “She’s going to be signing A Shattered Moment.”

Jillian knocked her bangs out of her face. “I loved that book. Isn’t there going to be another author with her, though?”

“Yeah, I think Sophie Jordan and Jay Crownover are going to be there.” I glanced over at the couple walking past our table. “You want to meet at the bookstore?”

She nodded as she picked up her glass. “So,” she drew the word out. “This Colton guy you mentioned? You went to high school with him?”

I bit back a sigh. I didn’t know why I even brought him up, but I had, and I was woman enough to admit that I wanted to obsess over every little thing he’d said to me, but all I managed was a tight nod.

Jillian turned her head to the side and shot me a sidelong glance. “You know, when you brought him up earlier, you blushed.”

“I did not.”

“Yes, you did.”

My eyes narrowed, but I laughed because yeah, I probably did. “I had the biggest crush on him in high school, and I know that’s terrible because I was with Kevin and that probably makes me a terrible person.”

“No, it doesn’t.” She rolled her eyes. “Just because you were with someone doesn’t mean you’re blind to everyone around you.”

“True.” I paused. “And Colton was hot.”

Jillian giggled. “Was?”

“And now he like puts an extra ‘o’ and ‘t’ in hot. He…he actually remembered me. Like he knew what class we shared.”

Her brows rose, disappearing under her bangs. “Really?”

I nodded as I scrunched my nose. “And I think he was flirting with me. Okay. He was definitely flirting with me, but I think he’s just a flirt. And guys who are flirts will flirt with anyone.” I paused. “I wonder how many times I can say ‘flirt’ in a sentence?”

Jillian gave a close-lipped smile. “Oh, I know all about guys who will flirt with anything that’s breathing.” She glanced over at the empty table. “Anyway, maybe he’s interested.”