Real Magic. That’s all Ana Kallisti wants in her life, and when she meets Oren, she thinks her dream might come true. But Rob Goodfellow, has his eye on her, too, and he’s willing to use a little magic of his own, if it means he gets his way.
Real Magic is an homage to the Bard’s best known comedy with a sexy twist he could never have imagined.
It’s not your average Shakespeare story.
“Cable butter lub?”
Ana placed her finger on the page and let the paperback shut. There should be a law against talking to a person who is reading.
“Pardon?” She hoped she didn’t sound as irritated as she felt.
A pair of hazel eyes peering out from under dark, curly bangs caught her attention first, then a mouth that begged for a kiss. Said mouth shifted into a thousand-megawatt smile. “Can I buy you a drink?”
Ana blinked, staring at him for a moment. Men did not just offer to buy her drinks.
She looked across the table, thinking he was talking to Randi, but she had still not arrived. “You want to buy me a drink?”
“Are you waiting for your boyfriend?” The man glanced at the empty chair across from her. “It’s just that you have been sitting here for some time, and I was trying to find a way to talk to you.” He lifted one thin shoulder in a shrug, but his smile didn’t waver. “I went with lame.”
“I’m waiting for my girlfriend.”
He frowned, then the smile reappeared. “I’ll still buy you a drink.”
Ana shook her head at her lack of articulation. “I mean, I’m waiting on my friend who happens to be a girl. So yes, you can buy me a drink. I’m Ana, by the way.”
He slapped his forehead. “That’s what I forgot. I’m Rob.”
It was doubtful he had forgotten anything, but his response was charming. “Nice to meet you, Rob.”
“Nice to meet you, Ana.” He waved at the bar on the other side of the room. “Now, what would you like?”
“Hmm.” She abandoned any notion of something fancy. That never went well. “How about a beer? Something local. I like to try new things.”
His eyebrows disappeared under the fringe. “That sounds promising. Be back in a tick.”
She flipped her book over so she wouldn’t lose her place and dug her phone out. There was a message from Randi, On my way! Sorry!
Late as usual. Ana sighed and used the phone as a bookmark. Then she rested her chin on her hand and found Rob at the bar. Currently, his grin was being deployed to great effect on the bartender. Rob was lean in an Emo, boy-band kind of way, but he wasn’t wearing black. Instead, he wore dark-brown jeans and a deep-green tweed vest over a blue t-shirt. His accent was unusual, too, not the sometimes-thick accent of the Manx. This was softer, but she couldn’t place it.
Rob walked back holding two pints of amber liquid and set them on the table. “Idleness. Strange name for a beer, but it looks good.” He slid into the chair across from her.
Tentatively, she took a sip. It was fruitier than she was used to and rich at the same time. “Ooh, that’s good. I can see where the name comes from. I just want to sit here and drink.”
“Cheers.” He held up his glass, and they touched rims. After a sip, he made an approving face and leaned forward. “Tell me about yourself, Ana…”
“Kallisti. It’s Ana Kallisti, and there isn’t much to say. I’m an American who is here on holiday.” Upbringing made Ana wary of strange men. The Isle of Man was very safe, but she shouldn’t be foolish. “You?”
“No, no.” He waved a finger playfully. “We are discussing you first. Kallisti sounds Greek, but you don’t look it. Your hair is too light, and your eyes are…” he squinted, “blue-grey-green.”
“That’s hedging your bets.” Ana gave him a smile. “And my family is Greek way in the distant past.”
Rob reached across the table and gently turned Ana’s head sideways. “Ah, now I see it. You’ve got the wavy hair and classic profile of a Greek statue.” He sat back and crossed his arms as if admiring his work.
That’s definitely the way to flirt.
Ana looked at him. “Tell me about yourself, Rob…” She imitated his questioning tone.
“Goodfellow. My family is Brit through and through.” He picked his beer back up. “I’m a musician.”
No surprise there. Ana guessed he probably played the guitar.
“I play the fiddle, mostly.”
Ooh, so close.
“My mate and I are performing tonight.” He waved at the bar again—seemed he liked to wave without looking—but this time Ana noticed the writing on the ubiquitous pub chalkboard, Tonight at 8 and 10. The Mechanicals.
“That’s a cool name.” She took another sip. The beer was strangely addicting. “Where’s your bandmate?”
Rob gave another of his half-shrugs. “Oren will be here when he gets here. Let me think. You are here on holiday.” He leaned over to look under the table. “But you are wearing a dress instead of jeans. I’m guessing you are an elementary school teacher.”
Usually, his comment might have annoyed Ana, but tonight she laughed. Maybe it was Rob’s infectious smile or the beer or the beautiful summer night. “Wrong. I am actually a software developer. My friend is the elementary school teacher.”
Ana and Randi had been roommates in college, thrown together by a random computer-generated quirk of fate. Though their life paths had diverged wildly since college, they had remained close.
“Software? Interesting. You must be a genius. Anything I’d know? And where is this friend of yours?” He twirled the beer in his half-empty glass.
“When I left the B and B, she was on a video call.” Randi had also promised she would only be a few more minutes. “And I mainly work on developing the storyline for role-playing computer games, but I’m not sure about being a genius.”