My eyes narrowed into thin slits. “I haven’t seen either of them, but that makes sense. I’ve seen the police car a bunch of times.”

Uncertainty flickered across his handsome face until I sighed and stepped back. “You’re not getting any,” I warned.

His thick lashes lifted. “I didn’t come here for that. No. Seriously,” he said when he must have read my doubtful look. “As hard as that is to believe—and I’m not going to lie, when I look at you, sex isn’t too far from the brain—but that’s not why I’m here.”

“You always say what’s on your mind, too.”

“Guilty.” He stepped inside, and I closed the door behind him. “I know it’s late, but I don’t have your number or I would’ve called you.”

“You could’ve just waited till the morning.”

He glanced at me as he shook his head. “Actually, it would’ve driven me crazy all night if I didn’t come and at least try to talk to you.”

Unsure of what to make of all of this, I bit the inside of my cheek and stepped around him. Nick glanced at the TV and raised a brow. “Never Been Kissed?”

“You say one bad thing about this movie and you can walk right back out that door.”

He raised his hands in surrender. “I wasn’t going to say a thing.”

“Uh-huh.” I plopped down on the couch, placing the pillow in my lap. “So are you going to apologize or something?”


Nick sat on the couch, his gaze fixed on the paused TV. For a moment I got kind of lost in staring at him. The guy didn’t have a bad angle. His profile, with the high cheekbones and cut jaw, could launch a thousand razor blade campaigns. “I am . . . I am sorry about the way I acted. I’m kind of a dick about certain things,” he said, letting out a deep breath. “I know that’s not a good enough excuse. I do know you didn’t do anything to deserve the way I acted. That was all me.”

I decided to drop a little of the attitude. “When I went to Mona’s tonight, I honestly wasn’t going there just because you worked there.”

“I know.”

I took a deep breath. “But you were an added bonus of going there.”

His gaze cut to mine and held.

“Not a huge bonus. A small one,” I added.

Nick smiled as he leaned back against the couch. “A little bonus, huh? I’ll take what I can get.” Lifting his left hand, he knocked the hair off his forehead. “You . . . you surprised me.”

Hugging the pillow close, I averted my gaze. “How so?”

“I don’t know,” came his now familiar response. “I don’t really know you, so everything about you should surprise me, but it runs . . . deeper than that.”

“I surprised you because I didn’t think it was cool of you to expect me never to step foot in the bar again?” Incredulity seeped into my tone.

“I know how it sounds. Trust me. I know.” Suddenly, the weariness was evident in his voice, dragging my gaze back to him. He was staring at the TV now, his brows knitted. I quickly looked away as he exhaled deeply. “I don’t do relationships.”

A laugh climbed up my throat and I cut it off. “That sounds . . . cliché.”

He chuckled, and out of the corner of my eyes I saw him smooth his long fingers under his mouth. “Yeah, it is. But that kind of shit . . . well, it’s not my thing. The . . . the women I get with, they know it. I don’t lead anyone on.”

“You didn’t lead me on, but I honestly didn’t know you’d flip out if I came to the bar.”

“I guess I thought you wouldn’t. I mean, I knew you’d come to the bar the first time, but I didn’t think you’d come back.” He paused, and I could hear the wall clock ticking. “I’m probably making no sense right now.”

Not really, but I wanted to try to figure him out. Some people said curiosity killed the cat, but I was on the side that believed knowledge brought it back. “You said something at the bar—something about having rules?”


My gaze slowly drifted back to his profile. I really needed to stop staring at him, but I couldn’t seem to help myself. “You really have rules about these things?”

“Don’t you?” he replied.

“No. I . . .” I trailed off. That was a good question and he had gotten me. I did have rules. “Well, I guess I do. Always use protection. Make sure I don’t have different expectations than the other person. I have to like them. There has to be some kind of connection,” I rambled on. “But I don’t have to never see them again.”

He rested the back of his head against the couch and turned his cheek toward me. “I have that rule so no one gets the wrong expectation. I don’t like for things to get . . . complicated or messy.”

I considered that. “Or you just don’t like to get close to someone.”

“Do you?” he asked quietly.


“So why do you have sex with some guy you just met? Look—I don’t mean that as a bad thing. I’m thrilled that you do—did with me. But that doesn’t seem like a way to get close to people.”

I shifted, curling my legs up against my chest as I pushed the pillow away. “Maybe it’s because I have no problem hanging out with or getting to know someone I had sex with.”

His grin turned wry. “Okay. You got me there.” There was a pause. “But why don’t you have a boyfriend? Someone like you can’t be single for long.”

“I’m not sure I like how you keep referring to me as ‘someone like you,’ ” I admitted.

“It’s not an insult.” His serious stare met mine, and my gaze skittered away. “I mean it, it’s not.”

Wrapping my arms around my knees, I decided to let that go for now. “I haven’t had a boyfriend in a long time.”


I laughed. “Totally by choice.”

“Explain,” he demanded. “I need more details on this.”

“Why is it so surprising? You don’t have a girlfriend and you’re hot. Granted, you are a dick, but a lot of chicks will overlook that for a nice set of abs.”

“You think I have nice abs?”

I rolled my eyes. “You know you have a great stomach.”

He chuckled. “I told you why I don’t have a girlfriend. I don’t do relationships.”

“Well, neither do I.”

There was a pause, and then, “I guess we are a lot alike.”

Looking at him, I tapped my fingers off my knees. “I thought so.”

“Past tense, huh?”

I nodded slowly. “I don’t have anything against relationships. I’m just a firm believer in not wasting your time unless you see a future with someone. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy each other, but why put the effort into something when you know it’s not going to go anywhere?” I shrugged one shoulder. “That’s my motto.”

“And you’ve never met someone that you thought would go somewhere?”


“Huh,” he murmured. A distant look crept into his features.