“And here he comes, right on schedule.” Evette Marigold’s best pal Phillip pointed to the guy making his way through the sand to her tiny beachfront thatched roof café, Shore Enough. Ian Sterling, of the cropped blonde hair and bone-melting blue-eyed hunk variety, stepped into her place, gracing her with his presence.
“Great, Phil. Just what I need today,” she mumbled.
“Hmm, today and every day, babe.” Phil backed away from the counter he’d been scrubbing, giving her a playful wink.
She glared at her BFF and number one employee. None of this was funny. She smacked the button on the blender and the machine roared to life. Mango, pineapple, berries with a twist of lime and ice pulsed together in a whirl that matched her muddled mind and drowned out the rapid beats of her heart. She had no use for Ian. Not that the man could take a hint.
He walked right up to the counter and took a seat. Her place only held a good thirty people during the rush and six of those seats were designated at the counter. Unfortunately those rushes were fewer and farther between. She wiped her hands on her apron and approached him, the only lunch customer in her place. Sure, she’d take his money, since he was hell-bent on destroying her only source of income.
“What’ll it be, Mr. Sterling?”
He removed his Ray-Bans, folded them and set them on the counter, which left her stunned by the brilliance of his bluer-than-blue eyes. “Mr. Sterling? That’s a new one, Evie.”
She refused to let the deep timbre of his voice get to her. The fit of his blue jeans and the classically wrinkled white linen shirt hanging off his shoulders were doing enough damage. The guy had surfer dude written all over him, but he was far from that.
“Yep, it’s a new one.” She focused on her notepad. “What’ll it be?”
“Same as I have every day. I want the Shore Thing. And I like it spicy.”
Heat crawled up her neck. Underneath her dark hair, she began to sweat as memories flashed. She’d given in to her ego, believing he’d been coming to Shore Enough every day to see her, be with her. And she’d foolishly been his sure thing for one hot and spectacularly spicy night in the not-so-distant past. Goodness, she’d actually associated him with thoughts of the L word and gotten swoony and giddy when he’d come around. Until she found out his real intent.
“Spicy, right.” She pretended to write it down.
“I’ll have whatever it is you just mixed up in the blender too.”
“One Mango Tango. To go?”
He shook his head. “Not to go, Evette. You can’t get rid of me that easily. I’m not the devil.”
Could’ve fooled her. She stashed the pen in her apron pocket and leaned over the counter, facing him dead on. His eyes dipped down for a flicker of a second, fixing on the neon pink tank stretched across her healthy chest. Appreciation shone in his eyes. If only she wasn’t turned on by that look.
“You may not be the devil, Ian. But I’m not going to play Meg Ryan to your Tom Hanks.”
He blinked, his brows gathering. “What in hell does that mean?”
“Ever see You’ve Got Mail?”
He appeared totally clueless. “Is that a chick flick or something?”
“It’s the story of you and me, with an entirely different ending, buddy.”
Then she turned and sauntered away, sensing Ian’s gaze on her butt and wishing she hadn’t worn her denim cut-off shorts today.
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