Page 12 of Forbidden Stranger

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“Why all black?”She eyes him up and down.

“I don’t speak to the police,” he tosses back at her.

“Good answer.”She clicks her tongue.“Tourists don’t get to check out or borrowanythingfrom the library.”

“I’m well aware of the rules, Sheriff.”

“Good, because I’m always watching.”She winks before she disappears as quickly as she appeared.I know she’s not going far, and when I walk back out there, I’m likely getting an interrogation.



“Something with a lot of spice,” I say, and Noel blinks up at me before reaching her hand out and grabbing the first book she touches.

“Here you go.”She takes a step back, and I can almost see her pulling away and creating more space between us.

“Thank you.”I take it from her and move closer to erase that distance even though I’m mentally kicking myself for coming on so strong so fast.“Have dinner with me tonight, and we can talk about it.”

“I, um, don’t know.I think I’ve got plans.”

“Well, I’m going to take a seat and read until it’s time for you to get off.”Reaching up, I brush the hair away from her cheek and let my fingertips linger on her jaw.“Maybe you can decide by then if you’re busy or not.”

She audibly swallows and then nods when the words don’t come.

“Come on, before they send a search party.”

I take her hand in mine, and there’s a warm charge between us as I pull her to my side and back to the lobby.Once we’re out in the big open space, she tries to pull her hand away, but I only tighten my grip.Is she embarrassed?I know I’m being a caveman, but when asshole Mark sees us and then our connected hands, I get a thrill of satisfaction all over.

“This is my stop,” she says at the circulation desk, and I reluctantly release her.“If you want, you can have some cookies while you read…” She reaches over and takes a small box and slides it across the counter to me.

“I didn’t get any cookies,” Mark mumbles, but she ignores him and smiles at me.

That’s right, keep those smiles for me, dollface.

“I’ll make sure to sit where I can keep an eye on you.”I hold up my book and give her a wink.“Thanks for the treat.”

“You’re welcome.”Her cheeks flush scarlet, and I wonder if she’s thinking about this kiss like I am.

I take my time walking over to the reading section that’s cozy and quiet.I take a seat in a comfortable oversized chair that’s big enough for my bulk and faces the circulation desk.From here, I’ve got a direct line of sight on Noel, and it’s all I can do not to jump up and go back after her.

Also from this seat I can see Mark sulking off to the side as he glares at my cookies and then at me.I take a cookie out and make a show of slowly biting into it and closing my eyes while I moan.When I open them again, he looks away, and I take out the romance she handed me.

It’s about a small town with a librarian, and as I read the first chapter, I’m happy to see there’s a lot of spice in this one.At some point, Mark tries to talk to her again, but I see her shake her head and then turn away from him to work.He must get the hint because he skulks out of the library with his hands deep in his pockets like a petulant child.

“Score one for the away team,” I say to myself as I look back at my book and keep reading.

Every now and then when I turn the page, I glance up to Noel.Sometimes she’s looking at me, and sometimes she’s talking to people who come in.She’s so happy when she’s in her element and helping people find what they’re looking for.

At one point, I see her check her phone and then my own phone vibrates in my pocket.A thrill spikes in my gut as I take it out and see a message from Noel.

Noel:Snow you are not going to believe this.

Noel:Seriously.It’s like something out of our romance books!

Noel:Maybe I’ve eaten too many cookies today, but a guy walked into the library looking like a sex god on legs, asked for a romance book, and then KISSED ME!I have to be dreaming.

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