Page 68 of Unexpectedly Yours


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Hanging up, Caroline placed her hand over her heart, so happy she thought she might burst. When had this relationship gotten here? It had gone from zero to a hundred in a few weeks, but yet it felt completely right, completely okay that he was here in the middle of the night. Those who didn’t know them would say itwasa booty call, but Caroline knew better. She pressed the button to let him into the building and waited until she heard his footsteps on the stairs before opening the door of the apartment.

Josh looked happy, rumpled and completely sexy. “Why are you here?” she asked again, stretching her arms up and looping them around his neck.

There was a tick of silence that settled between them and then he took her hands from around his neck and held them. “I needed to be with you.”

“Is everything okay?”

Leaning in and dropping a sweet kiss on her lips, Josh smiled. “Everything’s fine. Perfect now that I’m here.”

If she could have written this moment herself, Caroline couldn’t have done better. She pulled him into the apartment and as they walked to her room, she could tell this wasn’t about heat or lust or desire. This wasn’t about sex. This visit was about the two of them.

About being together.

Finally, Caroline was having a romance.

13

Josh liked that he and his brother were getting closer. They made a point of getting together for breakfast or lunch every week just to keep up with each other’s lives, and that was mending a lot of broken fences. This morning, as he was getting ready to leave Caroline’s apartment, his phone reminded him that he was meeting Jason at Junior’s, right off Broadway, in twenty minutes. If the subway gods were with him, he might make it.

He wished he had time to go home and change for work because there was no doubt in his mind that Jason was going to question his casual clothes, but he’d overslept, and jeans and a polo were all he had.

Caroline was already gone, having an early call at a job site, and that meant he would have to face a grilling from Tessa before he even got out of the apartment. Walking into the living room, he saw her at the breakfast bar, sipping her coffee and flipping through a magazine. Her eyes tilted in his direction a few times before she finally said something.

“If you hurt her, I will kill you.”

Josh, who had been trying not to make eye contact, turned to face her, and he couldn’t help but grin. It wasn’t a good thing to do, because it was going to piss her off, but he couldn’t stop himself. “That sounds like a line from a movie.”

“Don’t mess with me, Campbell. She’s my best friend and I will make your life a living hell if you do anything to make her unhappy.”

Josh didn’t know how he was supposed to respond to Tessa’s ultimatum. On one hand he admired her willingness to protect Caroline, but on the other hand he was pissed. She had no idea what Caroline meant to him. It was pissed that won out.

He took two steps toward her and shot his hip into the wall next to where she was sitting. “You know, I don’t know what everyone’s problem is, but trust me on this: First, Caroline can take care of herself. She doesn’t need protecting, but in the event she does, I’m there. She does not need protecting from me.”

“I don’t trust you.” Tessa folded her arms and stuck her nose right in the air. “Not at all. You’re too perfect.”

“I’m far from perfect, but I’m not stupid. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I have no intention of doing anything except make her happy. Now, is there anything else?”

“You’re not going to ditch her?”

He laughed. “Because you sniped at me? I don’t think so. You’d better figure out a way to get used to me because I’m not going anywhere.” He stood and grabbed a biscotto from her plate. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to meet my brother for breakfast.”

He enjoyed leaving Tessa speechless because he had a feeling it didn’t happen too often. Just as he was about to open the door, she called to him. “Josh?”

Turning, he saw she was smiling. What the hell? “Good answer,” she said. “See you around.”

* * *

Josh walked into Junior’s,the landmark New York City restaurant, and saw his brother Jason seated at a table, reading something on his iPad and sipping coffee. He was only a few minutes late, but as expected, when Jason saw him, his eyebrows shot up and a shit-eating grin crossed his face.

“You’re dressed a little casual for the office today.”

Josh glanced down and shrugged. “Nothing important today. I can get away with it.” He couldn’t. He had a meeting at eleven with the engineers, so after he ate he was going back to his apartment to shower and change.

“Yeah, right.” His brother slipped the tablet back into his briefcase and opened his menu, examining it like he’d never been here. “I think I’m going to have pancakes today.”

“The pancakes are good here.” They’d slipped into small talk. Great. The waitress brought Josh some coffee and he was waiting for Jason to say what was on his mind because the silence was driving Josh nuts. Thanking the waitress for the much-needed caffeine, Josh looked over at his brother, who was still grinning. Grinning like a fucking idiot. “Crap, Jay. Just say it.”

“How’s Caroline?”

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