Nye Havers is in his forties and has given up on love. Life hasn’t done him any favors, and his acerbic nature has just gotten worse over time. He rides a bicycle to work, gets splashed by cars in the rain, and is constantly in trouble because he can’t resist being a smart mouth.
He is the co-owner of a small courier service that has sadly become his life. But there is one surprisingly bright spot in his world, even if Nye feels he doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting the guy.
The guy, Donal Soames, is a client. He and Nye encounter each other on occasion, but when Nye is his usual snappish self, he ruins everything. Nye has to learn to curb his snarky behavior and catch a clue, because the love he’s been looking for might just get away.
I had tried relationships before, but I was either too acerbic, or not adventurous enough in bed, or not the right build, or looks, or whatever. The dating game got old fast, and then work became my passion because I could at least exert some sort of control over that.
If Ingrid’s instincts were correct about Donal’s interest, then what did I do about it, if anything? Was I kidding myself, or was that just years of bitterness talking?
As difficult as I could be, what was it like for someone like Donal? Did I even have a chance with the man? And how did I go about finding out more? So aggravating, this dating thing, or whatever it was.
Thoughts in a whirl, I decided to go to the grocery store early, for once, and stock up for the week. There was a Publix five blocks from the condo, so I decided to walk, especially since the wind was brisk and in the teens with wind speed. At least the sun was out.
I dressed in dark green jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt and sweater, with a jacket on top. A thick red scarf around my neck, I added a fuchsia knit cap and matching gloves, and put on sturdy boots before heading out with my shopping bag, wallet, keys, and cell phone.
The walk to the grocery store was chilly enough I could only focus on getting to my destination, and not Donal. When I stepped inside the warmth of the store, I just stopped and stood where I was for a minute, trying to get feeling back in my legs and hands.
“Excuse me, you’re blocking the way,” a familiar voice said. I closed my eyes. No, it couldn’t be.
I turned around and saw the man of my thoughts, dressed in midnight blue and dark gray today. “Sorry,” was all I said before moving toward the carts to get one of my own. Speak of the devil.
I decided it was best to focus on my reason for being in the store and not think about the man being in the same place as me. These coincidences were becoming unnerving. I went down the necessary aisles, grabbing what I needed to buy before heading to the self-checkout to pay for everything.
I was walking through the parking lot before I saw Donal again, in his Lexus, pulling up beside me.
“Need a lift?” he asked, gloved hands clenched on the steering wheel. His black hair looked a little windblown, which I didn’t think he’d ever allow. Mm. Okay, enough of that.
“Er, no, I’m fine, thanks, Mr. Soames.” I kept on walking, and he kept pace with me in the car. “Something you need?”
“Are you always this stubborn, Nye?”
My heart stopped. He knew my first name? Well, of course, he did. I was being silly. But hearing him say it like that ... Wait a minute.
“Stubborn? Me? I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mr. Soames.” I kept on walking. He followed.
“You can call me Donal, you know? We’re not working right now.”
“What, so we’re friends, all of a sudden?” Please say yes.
“I don’t know. You have this prickly shell that makes it hard to tell what you really feel.”
I stopped and faced him, hands clenched with my shopping bag dangling from my fingers. “Excuse me, Mr. Perfect, but you’re not exactly a prime example, are you? You’re so stiff, a block of ice would melt before you ever could.”