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Or in soul mates.
But I believe in Hawke.
My life has never been whole since my parents left forever. I have my brother, someone I can barely tolerate most of the time, and I have my best friend, Marie.
And I have myself.
But when Hawke walks into my life, there’s an immediate connection. Our eyes lock and an unspoken conversation is exchanged. For the first time in my life, I actually feel something.
But he doesn’t.
He keeps me at arm’s length and pretends there’s nothing between us when there clearly is. I’m not the kind of girl to wait around for any guy, so I don’t.
But that doesn’t mean he isn’t in the back of my mind.
Our paths cross again in a way neither one of us expect and it changes everything. Was it destiny that made it happen? Was it fate?
Or was it something else?
“Does it still stand?” I asked.
“Of course it does. However, I have one condition.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Which is?”
“You have to show me that beautiful ass—just a peek.”
I rolled my eyes but couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. “Nope.”
“Then you at least have to cook for me all week.”
“That I can do.”
“Without wearing any bottoms…”
I scrunched up a napkin and threw it at him. “Pervert.”
He chuckled. “I never told you I wasn’t.”
I pretended to be offended but it only made me feel warm inside.
“So, when are you being kicked out?”
“That gives me plenty of time to get rid of all the filth.”
I pulled my hair out of the hair tie and let it fall to my shoulders. Hawke’s eyes immediately went to the strands and his expression changed. I fluffed the hair around my scalp with my fingers. After being pulled back all day, it felt good. “You seem like an organized person.”
“Sorry?” A blank expression was on his face.
“You said your place is covered in filth. But you seem so clean.”
“Oh…” He finally came back to the conversation. “No, I live like a pig just like every other guy.”
“I’m so excited to stay with you…”
He chuckled. “Don’t worry. I’ll give it a thorough cleaning. Just don’t tell your brother you’re staying with me.”
“Why?” That was an odd request. “He knows we hang out.”
“I don’t want to give him the wrong impression. Knowing him, he’ll jump to the worst possible conclusion. He doesn’t act like it when you’re around, but he’s fiercely protective of you. If he thought I even touched your hand, he’d come after me with a chainsaw.”
“That’s a little excessive…”
Hawke shrugged. “He’s your brother. If he’s crazy, you’re crazy.”
“That’s a slippery slope…”
His phone lit up on the table with a message. I knew I shouldn’t read it but I did. Come over tonight. It was from a girl named Brittany. I quickly looked away like I hadn’t read it.
Hawke locked the screen so it turned black. He knew I saw it.
I kept acting like I didn’t. I knew what he did in his spare time. It shouldn’t bother me but sometimes it did. It wouldn’t matter if he seemed happy, but it was clear he was miserable. It seemed like he was making himself suffer on purpose.
“I should head home,” Hawke said as he slid out of the booth.
Or you should head to Brittany’s. “Me too. I have to start packing. Ugh, I’m not looking forward to that.”
“I would offer to help, but I don’t want to.” He gave me a smile that told me he was joking.
“I’ll see you later.”
I raised an eyebrow. “What did you just call me?”
“What?” He turned back around. “You’re the muffin girl. So, I’ll call you Muffin.”
“That’s the silliest nickname I’ve ever heard.”
“And yet, it fits you perfectly.”