Home > Collide (Collide #1)(9)

Collide (Collide #1)(9)
Author: Gail McHugh

"You ran off so quickly last night that I didn't get a chance to give you a tip for delivering the food."

“Ooohhh.” Emily elongated the word, trying to think of something to say since he seemed to wipe her clear of any thoughts. “Right…about the way I left…I’m sorry about that.” She bit down on the pen cap and quickly asked, “Can I get you something to drink?”

Gavin flicked his gaze to her beautiful lips and smiled at what he thought to be a nervous reaction on her part. “Yes, I’ll take a coffee, please.”

“Do you take cream or sugar in that?”

He cocked his head to the side. “Do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Take cream or sugar in your coffee?”

Thrown by his question, she shifted on her feet. “Why do you want to know?”

Gavin paused for a moment, a grin softening his mouth. “Well, I’m trying to find out as much as I can about you. I figured coffee was an easy enough topic to conquer. I may be wrong though.”

A light laugh escaped Emily’s lips. “Seems a little stalkerish. Wouldn’t you agree?”

“Mmm…a stalker. That’s a new one and pretty brutal,” he laughed, amusement lighting up his eyes. “I’d like to call it curiosity.”

She shook her head and smiled. “Okay, so you haven’t answered my question. Would you like cream or sugar?”

“You haven’t answered my question.” He arched one, perfect brow. “Do you take cream or sugar with your coffee?”

Seeing it was a battle she was sure to lose, she gave in. “Yes.”

“Ah, opposites do attract. Perfect.” He leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms. “I’ll take mine black, please.”

Emily blinked once and then twice more, taking in his sensual face for a few more seconds. She turned away, striding back to the party of five; she asked if they needed anything else and dropped off their check. She made her way to the coffee bar, again feeling breathless by this stranger. As Emily prepared his java, Fallon promptly made her way over to her.

With her hair dyed jet black today, her mouth dropped open in Gavin’s direction. “Country, do you know that guy?”

Emily drew in a deep breath and looked to where Gavin was sitting, his attention now on a newspaper in his hand. “No…well…kind of, I guess.” She placed his coffee on a tray.

Fallon yanked Emily’s pad from her apron, scribbled her name and number on it, and handed it back to her. “Puh-lease give this to him. My eyes have never feasted on such extreme fucking hotness in my life.”

“That would be an understatement.” Emily started to walk away and then turned back to Fallon. “Wait, what about your father-aged boyfriend?” she laughed.

Fallon placed her hands on her hips and smirked. “I make myself available to any age, race, or gender if given the right opportunity.”

Shaking her head, Emily laughed and made her way back to the table. Trying to control her pounding heart, she tried to guess his age. She didn’t think he looked a day over twenty-five. With a shaky hand, she set the coffee down in front of Gavin.

He gave her a wide-eyed smile and placed the newspaper beside him.

“Have you decided what you want to eat?” she asked, glancing down to his onyx cufflinks and expensive-looking watch.

“Actually, I haven’t even looked at the menu yet,” he replied, picking it up to scan it over.

“Okay, I’ll be right back then.”

“Wait,” he said with a grin. “Can you recommend anything in particular?”

“The only thing I’ve eaten here is the Asiago cheese and portabella mushroom panini sandwich.”

“Good suggestion. I’ll take that then.”

She went to write down his order but stopped. “It has spinach on it, too. Is that alright?”

Slowly dragging his bottom lip between his teeth, Gavin smiled. “Does it include your name and number with it as well?”

Damn him and those lips, Emily thought to herself.

Trying to act as if she was unriveted by his question, she pulled Fallon’s number out and handed it to him. “No, not mine, but she wanted me to give you hers.” Emily crooked her neck in Fallon’s direction where she was standing at the host station watching them. “Hope she’s your type.”

Gavin didn’t take his eyes off Emily, not even for a second. “I’m not interested in her,” he answered evenly, sliding the piece of paper to the edge of the table.

“How do you know you’re not interested? You haven’t turned around to look at her.”

Resting his elbow on the table, a smile softened his perfectly sinful mouth. “I know I’m not interested in her because the only woman’s name and number in Manhattan that I want is standing right here.”

Emily shifted on her feet, her breath catching in the back of her throat. “Well, I’m sorry. I have a boyfriend.”

“I assumed you did,” he replied, casually crossing his legs. “It would seem almost impossible for you not to have one.”

“You assumed I did, yet you’re still asking me for my number?”

With the stroke of his gaze shifting to her left hand, he smiled. “Yes, but I don’t see a ring on your finger, and while there’s not a ring on your finger, there still may be hope for me.”

Emily raised an incredulous brow. “So you’re basically saying that you’re a cheater?”

“I’ve said no such thing,” he laughed.

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