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Bad Boy: A Stepbrother Romance(2)

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“No, believe me, I can tell,” I said, playfully jostling her.

“Well, I’m willing to bet a million dollars that it goes really well,” she replied with a smug grin.

I arched an eyebrow. “Now there’s a deal I can’t refuse. If the date goes well, then that’s awesome. If it goes badly, I get a million dollars. Also awesome.”

She nodded vehemently. “Uh-huh. Seriously, if it doesn’t go well, I swear I will actually owe you a million! I have no idea where I’ll get that much money, but that’s how sure I am about you and Ben hitting it off.”

I turned to her, a smile quirking my lips up. “Let’s hope you’re right…”

***

Well, Dana officially owed me a million dollars.

I’d been sitting at a table in Clancy’s Bar and Grill for twenty-five minutes now, and I’d finally accepted that I’d been stood up on my blind date. For the first fifteen minutes, I’d convinced myself that I’d been early, and truthfully, I had been early…but only by five minutes. I’d figured that Ben would arrive soon, and I’d ordered a cocktail and a basket of garlic bread to distract myself with.

For ten minutes after that, I’d attracted sympathetic looks from the restaurant and bar staff, and I’d even noticed some of the other patrons casting sad looks in my direction, as if there was nothing more pathetic and tragic than a single young woman eating alone.

Finally, I’d accepted that he wasn’t going to show up. I’d briefly entertained the possibility that maybe he had shown up, seen me and immediately left with horror, but that was too awful to think about. I knew I was no supermodel, but I wasn’t so horrendous that I deserved something like that.

No one deserved that.

I pulled out my cell phone, and I was about to text Dana to tell her I’d been stood up when something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I looked up and to the right, and my stomach twisted into nervous knots as I caught a glimpse of a strange yet somehow familiar man entering the restaurant and heading over to the bar.

God…who the hell was he?

I was certain I’d never met him, because there was no way I’d forget a face and body like that, but on the other hand, something about his broad chest, rippling muscles and the black tattoos twining their way down his arms seemed all-too familiar, as if I’d seen him a hundred times before.

He was wearing jeans and a tight dark grey T-shirt which left nothing to the imagination, and a second later, I realized my mouth was actually hanging open as I stared, heat pooling between my legs. I let my gaze float up from his chest to his face, and they came to rest on his eyes; a searing blue color even in the relatively dim light near the bar.#p#分页标题#e#

He noticed me looking at him and grinned, and I swallowed nervously as his eyes roamed over my face and whatever cleavage I had visible in the black and white patterned dress I’d chosen to wear. I almost forgot how to breathe as he checked me out, and when he began to walk towards my table, a shiver shot down my spine.

Oh. My. God.

He was actually coming over towards me.

Thank god…I hadn’t been stood up after all! He’d simply been late. Kind of a douchey move on a first date, but easily forgivable. I was sure there had to be a decent explanation; car trouble or something.

He grinned again as he arrived at my table, and I swear my heart melted at the sight of that smile alone. “Hey,” he said. “How’s it going? I’m…”

I jumped up in excitement, my nerves temporarily forgotten in the wave of euphoria I’d felt when I realized the hottest guy I’d ever seen was my freaking date.

“Oh, you must be Ben!” I said before clapping my hand over my mouth as I realized I’d rudely cut him off. “Um, sorry for interrupting. I was just starting to get worried that you were going to stand me up.”

He raised his eyebrows for a second, and some sort of strange expression flickered briefly in his eyes. Confusion? Annoyance? I couldn’t quite tell. Then he smiled again, and I knew everything was okay.

“No worries,” he said. “Yeah, I’m Ben. And you must be…sorry, I have the worst goddamned memory. What was your name again?”

“Aurora,” I said. “But my friends call me Rory.”

He nodded. “That’s right. Anyway, sorry about being a bit late. Car problems. Won’t happen again.”

I nodded. “I figured as much. By the way, you’re way taller than Dana said you’d be! She kept telling me you were short for a guy, but you’re a freaking giant!”

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