Page 10 of Forbidden Stranger

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“My pleasure.”My tongue slides over my bottom lip as I think about exactly what my pleasure would entail, and her eyes don’t miss the gesture.

“Romance,” she says and then blinks a few times.

“That’s what I’m here for.”Forcing myself to stop mauling her, I let her hips go but otherwise don’t move.I’ll try and keep my hands to myself, but I’ll be damned if I’m giving her any more space than absolutely necessary.

“Books.”This time it’s like she’s talking to herself before she says it again.“Yes, romance books.This way.”Before I know it, she’s turning on her heels and walking entirely too fast away from me.

It takes me a second before I go after her to close the distance between us once again.While I’m doing it, I realize that this is the first time in my life that I’m chasing a woman.

And I have zero hesitation.



Holy snowballs.My heart is still fluttering along with a few other places.Having that man grab my hips sent me into a frenzy.What the heck is wrong with me?Of course I almost trip over myself when the hottest man I’ve ever seen is talking to me.

He probably thinks I’m an utter dork and that I need to get it together.Be cool, I tell myself.Not Tinsel cool, normal-ish cool.I can do this.I’ve read a million romance books, so I should know how to flirt.Is that what I’m going to do?Crap, I’m not sure I know how to do anything, and I’m running out of time.I’m almost to the romance section already.

“I don’t get a lot of men that ask for romance books,” I say, trying to make conversation.

“Judgment?”I stop suddenly and turn back to face him.

“Oh no.I ah…” I stumble over my words.That was the last thing I was trying to do.I actually thought that it was sweet he was asking for it.

“I’m teasing you, Noel.”I let out a small breath.Right, we’re both romance readers, so it’s a judgment-free zone.

“You know my name?”I don’t recall telling him, but I also don’t recall my name ever sounding sexy when someone said it either.

“I heard that asshole say it.”

I snort a laugh and quickly cover my mouth with my hand.Why can’t I giggle?I have to freaking snort?Do I always do that?Is that how I laugh?

“What?You're telling me he’s not an asshole?”A smile pulls at the corner of his lips, and I drop my hand from my mouth.

“He’s…” I trail off, unable to come up with another word that isn’t so harsh.

“An asshole,” he fills in for me.“Go on.Say it.”

“He’s an asshole,” I whisper, and his smirk turns into a smile.Damn, he’s even hotter when he smiles.Is he flirting with me?“What’s your name?”


Another laugh pops out from me, and I rush to cover my mouth again.“I’m sorry.”Of course his name is Gabriel.I can’t wait to tell Snow all about this.

“Why is that so funny?”He cocks his head to the side, and I can tell from his expression I didn’t offend him.For some reason, I get the sense he’s not someone to easily get offended.

“It’s just a hero's name, I guess.”

“A hero's name?”

“Yeah.”I shrug.“Strong with a dash of sweetness to it.”

“Sweetness.I don’t think I’ve ever been called that one before,” he chuckles.

“Do you get ‘asshole’ too?”I tease him back.

“A few times.”We stare at each other for a long moment, neither of us saying anything.

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