Alice opened the door. Nervous, she found herself unable to stand still. Instead she danced from side to side. She’d been this way all day. Was this how people normally felt on their first date? She’d gone on a few dates with Frederick, but they’d known each other since they were children and their ‘dates’ had always been well-supervised, usually with her mother accompanying them.
This was in a whole different league. Jaxan was, well, he was so far removed from Frederick it wasn’t funny. She’d always thought Frederick attractive with his blue eyes, pale skin, and blond hair. But in comparison to Jaxan, Frederick was a boy. A soft, spoiled, boy.
And Jaxan was all man. Possibly more man than she could handle. She stared up at him as he stood in the doorway. His body blocked most of the sunlight, his shoulders, his biceps bulging. Dark pants hugged his muscular legs and he wore a vest that left his arms free. His jaw was firm, his skin tanned, there were small lines at the corners of his eyes that she hadn’t noticed before. She wondered how old he was.
His blue-green eyes gazed down at her, devouring her, watching her as though it had been days since he’d seen her last rather than just hours. She’d been on Zerconia for two days, but it felt like home. The people were friendly, well, mostly. The landscape breath-taking. It was a little overwhelming. This was her home now.
“Alice? Alice, are you well?”
Oh sugar. How long had she been staring at him without saying anything?
Good one, Alice. Way to smooth things over.
He studied her, the heat in his gaze morphing to concern.
She wanted the heat back. She didn’t want pity or worry.
“Sorry, I was, um, well, I hope I’m dressed okay. I didn’t know what we were doing so I wasn’t sure what to wear. If I’m not dressed appropriately I can go back and put something else on. Of course, Rich is through there and he’s kind of on edge so we probably don’t want to stick around here for long. You look nice by the way.”
He stared at her silently.
Shoot. She was talking too much.
“Sorry.” She paused. “I keep saying sorry a lot, don’t I? I just seem to—”
“Alice,” he interrupted. Thank God. She’d been afraid they’d stand here all night with her just rambling on and on. “You look beautiful.”
“Beautiful?” She glanced down at herself. She was wearing a plain blue dress. It had capped sleeves, a high neck and fell to mid-calf. This was about as revealing as her clothing got. Not sexy at all. “I don’t think anyone has ever called me beautiful.”
“Then their eyesight was poor. Because you are the most beautiful creature in the universe.”
“Are you two going or what? ‘Cause if I have to listen to any more of this, I’m going to vomit.”
Alice turned to glare at Rich. “Then don’t listen in.”
“Sorry, he got away from his leash.” Annabel appeared behind Rich and tugged him back. “Come on, Rufus. Back to your kennel.”
Rich gave Jaxan one last glower before Annabel pulled him back into the living area of Macon’s house. She was grateful that Macon and Annabel had given her a place to stay, but she couldn’t stay here forever.
“We should go while the going is good.”
“Do I need to know what Annabel meant by Rufus and kennel?”
Coming June 15th!