She’s benched her heart. His is on the injured reserve.
the faculty parking lot, he thinks maybe it’s time to put his heart back in the game.
his secret weapon. But Nash’s plan to help Shelby regain not only her confidence, but also her financial security backfires and lands Shelby in the same hot water that brought her home in the first place.
Shelby wrapped her arms around herself, the body language unmistakable. She nodded. “I’ll get my insurance information.” She turned back to her car.
“No. I mean I can’t let you pay out of pocket. And don’t worry about the insurance. The deductible is probably more than what it would cost to repair the damage.” He could think of a better way for her to repay him. “How about you buy me dinner instead and we’ll call it even?”
She looked good, Nash thought. Better than good. The pretty tomboy had grown into a beautiful woman. She’d cut the long, light brown hair that as a teenager she’d worn almost exclusively in a ponytail, so that it just touched her shoulders, and she’d filled out in all the right places.
The shy smile was still there, although he didn’t miss the sadness in her amber eyes. Or the fear when he’d first approached her.
“What?” Confusion skittered across her face.
No surprise there, considering he was just as confused by his offer as she was.
He grinned. “You know, the meal you have at the end of the day? In the South we call it supper, in case you’ve forgotten.”
She’d lost some of that innocence he’d found so appealing so many years ago. Along with her accent. Guess that’s what happened when you received an Ivy League education.
She looked away and then back at him. Her eyes narrowed. “I just nailed the back end of your car, and you want me to have dinner with you?”
He had an all-consuming urge to gather her in and hold her close until the tension in her shoulders, and the sadness and fear in her eyes, retreated. But he doubted she would accept his sympathy. After they’d both left for college, he’d tried to hold onto their friendship despite the distance, but she never answered his emails or phone calls.
He knew he’d hurt her in high school when he took Leandra Lucas to prom instead of her, but he’d made a promise to a friend, and he didn’t break promises.
“Yeah, why not? Catch up. It’s been, what, eleven years since I saw you?” The day they’d graduated in fact. Him with decent grades and a football scholarship, and her as class Valedictorian. She’d headed off to Brown University for an accelerated program in mathematics the following week, and he hadn’t laid eyes on her since. Not even for their ten-year reunion last year.
She bit her lower lip then drew it into her mouth, and his eyes locked on like a heat-seeking missile. The memory of the sweet, hot kiss they’d shared in the back seat of Ethan’s 1993 Ford Mustang assaulted him.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
She was probably right. He just nodded. Clearly, she hadn’t forgiven him for what he’d done. Not that he could really blame her. He should have been upfront with her then. She would have understood. Maybe.
“I should probably give you my number so you can get me the repair bills for your car if you change your mind,” she said, returning his attention to the present.
“Right.” She stepped close and a light, clean scent tickled his nose. Like lemons, only sweeter. He tapped the number into his phone as she rattled it off to him, all the while wondering whether she wore perfume or if it was her shampoo. “But I won’t. Change my mind, I mean.”
“Okay. Well. Again, I’m really sorry about . . .” Her voice trailed off as she indicated the fender-bender.
“It’s just a car. Nobody got hurt, and that’s the important thing.”
“I’ll see you around.” Shelby rounded her car and climbed into the open driver’s side.
Realizing she couldn’t leave until he moved his car, he turned to do just that, but couldn’t help but wonder what twist of fate had brought Shelby Wentworth back into his life.
romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job as a practicing attorney.