The Doctor's Former Fiancee(82)

By: Caro Carson

She exhaled and looked out the side window again. Thankfully, her apartment was only a block away now. “Who in their right mind does? Just drop me at the top of the hill. If my street is icy, you won’t make it back up again because I’m pretty sure this little toy of yours isn’t sporting four-wheel drive.”

“I’ll have to let my parents know they’re not in their right minds.” His voice was mild. “Believing in relationships as they tend to do.”

“They’re the exception rather than the rule.”

“You’re what? Twenty-five? Twenty-six?”

“Twenty-eight.” And he was ten years her senior. His birthday had been in August, and Harvey’d had her camping outside the nightclub across from his apartment building with her camera to get photos of any gossip-worthy patrons coming in and out. He’d been practically gleeful when she’d shown him the ones of Pax and his dates. As in plural. He’d had three women clinging to him when he’d finally left the club in the wee hours of the morning. It’d been obvious they weren’t done celebrating when they’d crossed the street and headed inside his apartment building dragging a bobbing trio of “Happy Birthday” balloons behind them.

“That’s still too young to be so jaded,” he was saying.

She lifted her shoulder. “I learned early. Wait—” He’d turned onto her street and was creeping down the steep hill. “I said just let me off at the top!”

“And I ignored you.” The wheels crunched over the road, finally coming to a stop in front of her aging apartment building. He rested his wrist on top of the steering wheel and looked at her. “I do that whenever I hear nonsense.”

“Whenever you hear something you don’t want to hear, you mean.”

His lips twitched. “That, too.”

Her stomach swayed when his gaze dropped to her lips. She pressed them together and tried not to squirm in her seat. “Whether you want to hear it or not, we shouldn’t have, um, you know. Last night. That shouldn’t have happened.”

“Slept together? Got busy? Had sex?” His brown eyes were filled with devilish mirth. “Made love?”

She barely kept from clapping her hands over her ears. “We shouldn’t have had sex,” she managed sternly. “It doesn’t change anything.”

He reached out and twined a tangled lock of her hair around his finger. “Don’t be so sure about that, sweetheart.”

“I am sure.” She pulled her hair free, unsnapped her seat belt and shoved open the car door. Icy air swept in, overriding the car heater’s efforts, though it didn’t do diddly to douse the heat inside her. “Thanks for the ride home, Pax, but save yourself some time and look elsewhere for your next conquest. Lord knows there are plenty of women waiting to jump at the chance.” She grabbed her purse and leaped out of the car, shoving the door closed again before he could say anything else.

She hadn’t even begun picking her way across the icy sidewalk to the building entrance when she heard the whirr of the electric window going down behind her. “My parents are having a Christmas party on Christmas Eve. You should come with me. We can start off at my place with a drink.”

Exasperated, she looked back at him. “Pax—”

“I told you I ignored nonsense when I hear it. I’ll call you.” Then he gave her that trademark half-smile of his, rolled up the window with another whirr and drove back up the street that, by all rights, a car like that should have never been able to climb.

She blew out a shaky breath. “Darned shirt.”

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