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“Great, just getting ready to leave work in a little bit.”

“Oh, well, I don’t want to bother you. I know you’re probably busy—”

“No, it’s fine. What’s up?”

Dani’s mouth suddenly dried up, and she could hardly get the words out. “Well, see, my mom has Noah this weekend. Actually, she takes him every other weekend, even though I told her she didn’t have to since I’m on vacation . . . ” Shut up, you idiot. “That’s not important. I was just wondering, if you don’t have plans, maybe you’d want to grab dinner and a movie with me?”

The line was quiet, and Dani looked at the screen, but he was still there. “Hello?”

“You’ve never asked out a man before, have you?” Dani could practically see his smile, and her cheeks burned.

“No, I haven’t ever needed to. Most guys ask for my number, not just give me theirs.”

“Whoa, sounds like you’re calling in my man card.”

Relaxing at the banter, she went to sit on the couch. “Maybe I am.”

“So, how about I try to earn it back by picking you up and paying?”

Fighting back the urge to giggle, she said, “I might be amenable.”

“All right. How about seven thirty? Give me a chance to go home, shower, and change?”

Thinking about her woolly mammoth legs, Dani said, “Let’s make it eight.”

“Eight works. Just text me your address.”

“Okay, see you then.”

Dani ended the call and flopped back onto the couch, kicking her legs excitedly. When the dogs came over and started showering her with doggy kisses, she spluttered as she got back onto her feet.

Then the heavy lump of doubt settled in her stomach.

Looking at her dogs, she asked aloud, “Is this a really bad idea?”

Shasta sniffed, and Bella snorted.

Shaking her head, she raced upstairs and started tearing through her closet for something to wear, her stomach fluttering. It was the first time in almost three years she was actually excited about something that had nothing to do with Noah. That was okay, right? Her mom had told her that she wasn’t just Noah’s mother . . . she was also a woman.

Besides, it was just one date . . . with a hot, sexy man who radiated confidence and charm. Who rescued dogs and toddlers and loved his mama without it being a huge turnoff.

It was official: She had nothing to wear.

Oh God, she was in so much trouble.

TYLER STOOD ON the porch of the townhouse, double-checking the address Dani had texted him. He had to admit that he might have changed his shirt a couple times. This was actually his first date, besides his junior prom, but considering they’d never made it to dinner and spent most of the night in the backseat of his car, he wasn’t really counting it.

He knocked on the door and heard Shasta’s deep bark on the other side, followed by Bella’s high-pitched howl.


He smoothed a hand over his short, shaved hair just as she swung the door open.

“Wow.” Tyler’s gaze roamed over the black sweater dress that hugged her body like a second skin, the cowl neck hanging off her left shoulder to tease him with the line of her collarbone. Her blonde hair fell smooth and straight just past her shoulders, and her eyes were outlined by dark shadows, making the green seem brighter.

With a husky laugh, she said, “This old thing? You’re sweet.”

She stepped out onto the porch with her purse in hand and turned her back on him to lock the door. He noticed the white sales tag sticking out the back and smiled. “You planning on taking it back if the date doesn’t go well?”