When Willow Havers lands a great job at a literary company in Boston, she is eager to start over. Willow runs into a potential love interest, and she may just get more than she bargained for. Will her move to Boston bring a newfound love, or will her struggles with starting over threaten her new future?
With a coffee in one hand and my cell phone in the other, I navigated through the busy streets of downtown Boston. It was my first week here, and I was solo. No boyfriend. No friends. Just me in the big city. Starting fresh.
The crisp air gave way to cooler weather and Halloween was just around the corner. I was a sucker for candy and cute little ones in costumes. A few storefronts were decorated for Halloween, pumpkins and skeletons lining their windows and stairs. I loved fall in New England.
Some days I was lonely. But that was okay. I had a brand-new job at the prestigious literary company, Ink and Pen. I was riding high, not letting anything from my past interfere with my accomplishments.
“What the hell!” I raised my head as my coffee flew from my hands and spilt all over my nicely pressed white shirt. Of course, the cup of hot, delicious goodness hit the ground, and it splattered all over my beige heels.
I danced in place as the heat of the coffee seeped into my toes and against my chest.
“I’m so sorry. Seems we both were distracted.” A man well over six feet tall stood in front of me. His jeans and plain shirt were unscathed from the coffee disaster that had just happened. Which made sense, considering he looked like he’d been plunked right from the heavens. He was a cross between a Greek god and an Abercrombie model. Naturally, the universe would be kind to him.
“It’s fine.” I sighed and pulled my shirt away from my skin. Why I’d decided to be cute and wear a patterned bra was beyond me.
“Here.” The man took off his shirt, revealing a black tank top underneath. And tattoos. Lots and lots of tattoos.
I found it hard not to gawp—okay, well, stare—at the ink that peppered his mocha skin. There were words, a few things that resembled faces, and things I couldn’t decipher. I smiled at a small jack-o’-lantern woven between some words about seizing the day. I love Halloween. I usually wasn’t a fan of tattoos, but this perfect stranger was a piece of art. Someone worthy of being gawked at. Which I was doing.
“No! Please. It’s fine. I’ll just grab another shirt.” My phoned buzzed, reminding me I had to be at Ink and Pen in a half hour to fill out new hire paperwork.
“I have lots at my office. Take it. Don’t want people ogling your flower-patterned bra, do you?” He winked and held out his shirt.
Who was I to deny this perfect gentleman his chivalrous act? Plus, I liked admiring his arms. I shrugged.
“Thank you.” I tugged the shirt over my body. It was way too big, but it did the trick. I caught a whiff of his cologne and resisted the urge to bring it to my nose and sniff it. That would officially make me creepy.
“Better tell your boyfriend what happened when you go home in another man’s shirt,” the stranger added.
“No boyfriend.” I laughed as I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the store window. I resembled a child wearing an oversized sleep shirt. All I needed was pigtails, and it’d complete the ensemble.
“Well, in that case, I’m Chase.” We shook hands. “Can I replace that coffee? There’s a shop around the corner. And our current attire would fit right in.”
We both snorted at the craziness of our appearances.
“I’d love to, but I have a meeting in a half hour. Rain check?” Riffling through my purse, I took out a wet wipe and tried my best to salvage my shoes. Thank God it was just paperwork and not my official first day. I was working closely with the head of the company and wanted to make a good first impression. Having coffee-stained shoes and wearing the shirt of a man I’d just met wasn’t what I had in mind.
“How about dinner, tonight?”
“Oh, um...” My phone buzzed again. Dammit. I was barely going to make it.
“Here, put in your number.” Chase handed me his cell, and I entered it. “Perfect. I’ll give you a call, and we can set something up. Willow. That’s a beautiful name for a beautiful girl.”
“Flattery will get you everywhere, Chase. But I have to go. Pleasure to run into you. And thanks for your shirt.”
“Anytime you need a shirt. Some pants. I’m your guy.” He pointed his thumbs at himself.
Cheesy. But adorable. “Noted! Take care!” I smiled and waved as I walked away.
When I knew I was out of his sight, I brought his shirt closer to my face and took in a deep breath.
This fumbled encounter might turn into something. Or not. But either way, Boston was seeming to be exactly what I needed.