And then of course there was the whole Angus plot. I couldn’t get involved in a messy situation with Craig or anyone just now because I couldn’t split my focus. Maybe . . . well maybe if it was with someone who I trusted wouldn’t hurt me, then yes, I could split my focus, I could make it work . . .

But Craig wasn’t that guy.

I groaned. I had to stop thinking about him.

The door to Black Medicine swung open and in stepped a tall, good-looking dark-haired man.

See! You’re thinking about Craig so much, now you’re actually hallucinating about him!

“Oh shit,” I muttered, thrusting my book right up so it hid my face. It was Craig.

Of all the coffeehouses in all the towns in all the world, he walks into mine at this very moment!

Sick joke, Life, sick joke!

I ducked my head, holding my breath, praying he was in for a coffee to go.

Two minutes later a familiar voice sounded above my head.



I lifted my gaze and lowered my book at the same time.

Craig stood by my table, smirking down at me. There was a hard edge in his eyes though that told me he was still mad about our last encounter. Except if anyone should be mad it was me.

“Seriously?” I moaned and slumped back in my chair.

“Nice to see you too.” He slid into the empty chair at my table.

“What are you doing?”

“Joining you.”

“No, you’re not. You’re not bloody well ruining this thing with Angus again. I’d really like it to be over with as quickly as possible but your interference keeps delaying it.”

Craig raised an eyebrow. “You’re meeting Angus here?”

I sighed. “No. But apparently he comes here quite a lot. I’m just waiting . . .”

“To ambush him with your feminine wiles again.”

I heard the bite in his tone and glowered at him. “No. Not that it’s any of your business but I’m rethinking that strategy.”

“Too late. The sleazy bastard wants to fuck you, Rain.” Craig leaned forward, the hard edge in his voice giving away to concern. “It’s dangerous to play this game with him. I think you’d better overhaul your entire strategy.”

His assertion caused a flare of panic within me because it echoed my own deeply buried concerns.

“All that matters is doing this for Darcy.”

“And keeping yourself safe. After meeting this guy . . . Rain, he’s a creep through and through. Who knows what he’s capable of.”

I stared at him, not knowing what to say, and frankly more than a little unnerved that I’d come to the coffeehouse with the intention of meeting Angus only to end up across a table from Craig. “What do you want from me?”

He settled back in his seat and lifted his mug to take a sip as he stared at me. He stared so long I was practically squirming in my chair. “I’d like to sit here and have my coffee with you. Talk to you.”

Uneasiness moved its way through me because more than anything I wanted to sit and have my green tea with him. Talk to him. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

“Well I’m sure enough for the both of us.” He threw me a wicked grin that caused a familiar flush of attraction inside of me.

I rolled my eyes and looked away. “Of course you are.”

“So, Rain Alexander, what was it like growing up in Inverness?”

I guffawed at the question. “If you want me to stay at this table with you, you might want to lead in with a less loaded question.”

“Loaded?” He raised an eyebrow at me. “Interesting.” When I treated him to an unhappy look he nodded. “Fine. Why Edinburgh?”

“I tried London at first. I moved there when I was eighteen. For a while I enjoyed it. Had a job in a vintage clothing store—as you can imagine that was right up my alley. I thought I fell in love but after a year together I realized I wasn’t in love with him. It was the catalyst for moving back to Scotland. I’d always intended to come back for Darcy when she was eighteen anyway. The guy didn’t want to move and it was the last in a long line of issues between us.”

“What kind of issues?”

Craig seemed genuinely interested and it occurred to me that this might be the way to put him off me. While most girls would hide their craziness until they had their hooks well and truly sunk into the object of their desire, I decided, in that moment, just to put it all out there.

“I wanted to be the center of his universe—and I wasn’t.”

He frowned. “How so?”

I shrugged. “I’m a romantic.”

“That still doesn’t explain anything.”

“A relationship . . . an epically great, romantic relationship should be a partnership, right?”

“Right,” he agreed.

“Well that’s part of it. Our relationship wasn’t. I started to realize that I was constantly compromising for him, but he never did the same for me in return. Everything was about him and what he wanted. I want to be with a man who isn’t happy if I’m not happy, and vice versa.”

“That doesn’t seem like too much to ask. That seems fair.”

I scowled. “It’s not just about that, though. I expect a guy who loves me to think of me. A lot. Surprise me, and not simply on birthdays, but just because.”

Craig shifted in his seat, his eyes narrowing. “You mean spend money on you?”

“It doesn’t have to be about money or shiny gifts.” I shook my head adamantly. “It could be about making me breakfast in bed, or taking the dog out in the morning even though it’s my turn just because he’s happy to let me have a long lie for a change. It’s everything and nothing, the big stuff and the little stuff.”

He was giving me this small, tender smile that increased my uneasiness. He wasn’t reacting to my honesty the way I’d hoped he would. “Anything else?”

“He should be territorial without being overly possessive because I don’t like the idea of women flirting with the man I love and I’d hope he’d feel the same way—if only to make me feel better about being the possessive type.”

His gaze turned speculative . . . and heated. “You’re the possessive type? I’d certainly like to see that.”

Where was I going wrong? This was not the way I’d expected a one-night-stander to react to my confession! I huffed and he grinned like he knew exactly what I was trying to do and he was enjoying my failure.

I attempted to relax, realizing that this stubborn man was not going anywhere anytime soon. Unless of course I made the conversation extremely awkward . . . “What about you?”

“What about me?”

“Have you ever been in love?”

He raised his eyebrows in surprise. “I’m not allowed to ask you about growing up in Inverness but you’re allowed to ask a question that heavy?”

I shrugged. “I could just finish my tea and go.”

Craig narrowed his eyes. “Try it and I’ll tackle you.”

I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not. “What?”

Amusement lit his eyes. “You heard me. And I’ll answer your question. No. I’ve never been in love. How many times have you been in love?” he immediately said before I could respond to his answer.

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