Hung Up on You
Todd frees himself from the jumble in the hall and comes forward to kiss Dee’s cheek, then mine. Kai follows suit, giving Dee a peck on the lips before stopping in front of me. He grips my shoulders lightly, the way he always does when we see each other, and bends to kiss both my cheeks. “I’m happy to see you, Jules,” he says in his deep, measured voice. “I’m glad you could come for the weekend.” He leans forward and whispers, “Don’t be too mad at her. You know her heart is always in the right place, even if she tends to overstep.”
I don’t get a chance to ask what he’s talking about before he steps to the side, giving me my first look at the mystery stranger in the hall. His glasses have fogged up after coming in from the cold, but as the mist clears, I get a better look at his dark-blue eyes. The uncertainty on his face likely matches my own as he looks between the two couples. His eyes land on me next, and the crease in his forehead eases slightly, his frown morphing into a tiny, shy smile. He takes off his hat, revealing thick brown hair that stands in every direction, even after he attempts to smooth it down.
My stomach does a little flip. I get it now: this is a setup. I should probably be irritated, and that’s clearly what Dee expects, but this guy is cute. Really cute. He has a bit of a nerdy vibe, which isn’t my usual type, but there’s something about his shy, almost boyish smile that piques my curiosity. I usually resist Dee’s attempts to fix me up, but maybe I’ll cut her some slack this time. I’m single, I’m young, and there’s nothing wrong with a weekend hookup every now and then, right?
Dee steps forward and gives the guy a quick hug. “I’m so glad you decided to take Kai up on his offer to come. We’re going to have so much fun!” I’m vaguely aware of butterflies taking flight in my stomach as Dee turns to me. “This is Julia Coleman, my best friend. Jules, this is Zack Clayton. He and Kai work at the same insurance company.”
Zack steps forward, pulling off his right glove to shake my hand. Warm skin, good grip. His smile gives me a girl-in-a-romance-novel reaction: weak knees, heart fluttering, skin buzzing with awareness. Up close, I can see the crinkles around his eyes and the shallow dimple in his right cheek. I’ve always been a sucker for a cute smile.
“Nice to meet you, Julia.”
Oh god, and his deep, sexy voice. It’s the perfect complement to those beautiful eyes and adorable smile. I’m a goner.