Page 48 of Unexpectedly Yours


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“Do you want to stay?” he asked.

She shook her head, looking up at him with all the sadness she could muster, and knowing it was wrong to play him like this. But she did have a headache, so it wasn’t a total lie.

“Okay. I’ll take you home.”

“It’s fine, Josh. I’ll call an Uber.” He wasn’t going to let her do that. No way.

His fingers brushed her chin, generating even more of that lovely heat, and he turned her face to his. His eyes were so clear, so blue, and his focus was clearly on her. Oh. My. God. It was all there, everything she ever wanted from him. “I’ll take you home,” he said quietly.

Caroline nodded and felt the warm rush of happiness that came from understanding. She’d never so blatantly manipulated a situation. She should feel a little guilty, but why? Josh didn’t want to stay, and if Caroline got her way later on, Josh was going to be so happy he’d be thanking her. He said good night to the women, being far more pleasant to them than Caroline would have liked, but she had to resign herself to the fact that Josh was a nice guy who wasn’t going to deliberately embarrass anyone. Josh Campbell... nice guy. Every day was another surprise.

The revelation consumed her thoughts as he paid the check, retrieved her wrap and escorted her out of the restaurant.

They walked for half a block before he stepped to the curb to get a cab. “I’m sorry about that.”

The original plan was for her to act unaffected. Cool and composed like the two women at the restaurant who tried to hijack him, but Caroline couldn’t pull it off. She needed to be sophisticated and urbane, but it wasn’t going to happen. She was jealous. “It’s amazing how certain things make it feel like middle school all over again.”

Once they were settled in the car he reached around her shoulder and pulled her close. “Why are women so bitchy to one another?”

“I don’t know. I try to be nice to people...”

“I didn’t mean you.”

“Were you referring to Bling One and Bling Two?”

Hearing his deep laugh burst out made her feel better. “I love that. Yes, I was referring to them, but in general you women are pretty tough on each other.”

“It’s hard for someone like me who... who...” What was it about him that made her want to spill her guts?

“What?”

“I’ve never been confident enough that I didn’t care what people thought of me. I always wanted to be liked.” She paused. “I don’t understand the bitchiness. What’s the point of being unkind?”

“I don’t have an answer.” he said with a shrug.

Caroline leaned against him, loving the warmth he threw off.

The car pulled up at the curb and Josh, surprisingly, took her hand as she got out. He pulled her alongside him and they walked down the street to no known destination, hand in hand. The city was busy on this early spring night. A light rain had fallen earlier, making the streets shiny and everything smell clean.

“I don’t think confidence has anything to do with it. Some women, not all, are always trying to one-up everyone. That’s not confidence or assertiveness, that’s desperation.”

“You think so?” The women certainly didn’t appear desperate.

“Don’t get me wrong. I respect their right to live their lives the way they see fit. But relationships—the life changing kind—should come organically. I don’t think that’s going to happen by frequenting the club scene.”

He nudged her into a coffee shop not far from her apartment that was known for delicious comfort food and great desserts. They were seated at one of the retro booths and he handed her a menu. “How’s your headache?”

“Better. I needed some air, I guess.”

“Gotcha. Maybe we should try that place again when the hype dies down.”

Caroline automatically agreed with him, but she honestly didn’t care if they ever went back. As soon as Josh’s knee brushed hers under the table, the only thing that mattered was that they were together.

“I love the mac and cheese they serve here.” It was one of Caroline’s favorites and she was so happy he’d picked this place to eat.

He took a deep breath and let it out. “I really am sorry I took you to that restaurant. I thought it would be nice, but anytime a place is new and there’s a celebrity connection, it becomes the latest place to be seen.”

“And you avoid that?”

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