“That was one crazy wedding, wasn’t it?”
Heather Davis turned from where she was sitting at the bar after her boss, Lily Bloom, married Zane Wolfe. The hot guy chatting her up was in half a tux at this point. Luke Remington had been the best man and was in the Army, only here on leave. His tux jacket, vest and tie were off, the white shirt unbuttoned a few and her mouth was watering more than it had been as she eyed him all night.
His short military cut. Dark eyes that didn’t let you see much of what he was thinking. A charming grin coming her way.
Cool and relaxed was the impression she’d gotten. Cocky too.
Not someone that was her type, or she’d ever talked to, let alone would consider flirting with.
That was her past life though. The one she had in Mystic now was who she was trying to be.
“It was,” she said. “You seemed to be having fun. How long are you in town for?”
“Just a few more days,” Luke said. “I’m staying right here at this hotel.”
“You’re on leave or something? Don’t you get a lot of time off for that?”
She didn’t know much about the service or how time like that worked. “I am. Just another week, but I’ll travel some and then go back.”
“No family to visit?” she asked.
Most of the wedding party was long gone. She’d be getting a new roommate tomorrow. Daisy Jones was recently hired as Rose’s assistant and was going to be living with her.
The few months living alone hadn’t been all it was cracked up to be and she was starting to get lonely.
Heather hadn’t been employed at Blossoms that long, but she’d needed a place to stay and since Poppy moved in with her fiancé, Reese, and was going to sell her condo, she asked if she could rent it out instead. It’d been tight moneywise, but with a roommate soon, life would be smoother sailing.
“No,” he said quickly and held his hand up to the bartender to get another beer. She’d had more wine than she should have, but she wasn’t drunk. Not unless she considered it drunk with happiness over having the time of her life at this wedding.
Heather never felt as if she fit in all that much in her family. Two older brothers that protected her and made her feel as if she couldn’t do much on her own.
Her parents thought she was a disappointment in her career because they wanted her to be a doctor after she went into science. She never had any desire to go into medicine like they hoped.
She’d let herself be talked into doing research, maybe finding cures or saving the world from something. That job didn’t last all that long either because she was miserable letting others make decisions in her life.
She had to remind herself more often than not that her Grandmother Jane, who’d cultivated her love of gardening, also told her repeatedly to be selfish and find what made her happy, not anyone else.
Her grandmother had passed while Heather was in college and never got to see her graduate. It’d been a handful of years now, and once her grief settled, she decided to listen to that advice regardless of her mother telling her she was being foolish.
She was working on fragrances and formulas for healing and relaxing properties for Blossoms and loved how she could blend her education with a love of gardening she’d developed as a kid.
“I don’t blame you. I love my family and all, but I’m glad they are there and I’m here.”
“Where is there?” he asked her.
“Concord, New Hampshire,” she said. “What about you?”
“The not so nice side of Baltimore. Too many places to count. So yeah, not the same thing.”
She looked him over again. His tall build, she was guessing six foot two, which was much bigger than her five foot four. He probably had a hundred pounds on her easily too. His brown hair and eyes, close-cut hair, and five o’clock shadow.
He looked dangerous to her, and she figured it came from being in the service, but now she was guessing it might have been part of his upbringing too. He didn’t look like the guy that would tell you any of that though.
“No,” she said. “I don’t care where someone came from. I only care about the here and now.”
He laughed at her. He’d laughed a lot tonight. He talked to people and mingled and her eyes were always going to him. She couldn’t help it and she wasn’t alone with her gaze.
Many of the single women at the wedding were feeling and saying the same things she was thinking, but she wouldn’t admit it to anyone.
She was still new here and didn’t know anyone well enough to share things like that.
She’d already had more than one comment on how she looked and acted different tonight than they were used to.
Not that she needed it pointed out. She didn’t look nerdy. She had her contacts in rather than her glasses, though most didn’t see her in her glasses that often either. They usually just saw her in safety glasses when she was in the lab.
But when she was out and having fun, she tried to be the person that she felt inside. Not the one her parents and brothers wanted her to be. But the one her grandmother encouraged her to let shine.
Moving here might have been the best decision in her life, but it was still hard to break away.
“Sounds like my type of woman,” he said. “Can I get you another drink?”
“Sure,” she said, picking up her wine glass and finishing it. She’d just take an Uber home tonight. No way she was cutting the night short. She looked around the bar and didn’t see anyone from the wedding and wondered what possessed her to come in here alone. Probably because she didn’t want to go home alone.
“How long have you worked for Lily and her sisters? She seems like a great catch for Zane. Man, he needs that in his life. Lucky bastard.”
She smiled. “Just a few months. But those three sisters are the best. Is this the first time you’ve met Lily?”
“It is,” he said, “though Zane talks about her.”
“That’s so nice. You big tough guys have a sweet side.”
He laughed at her and her face blushed. She hadn’t meant to say that and wondered if the wine was loosening her tongue up a bit.
“Not sure anyone has ever said I had a sweet side to my face before.”
“I don’t know you that well,” she said. “Unless you want to share. But you’re leaving in a few days, so we are back to the here and now.”
“That’s right,” he said. “To the here and now. Or maybe later.” He held his glass up to her.
“I might be on board for the maybe later,” she said. She knew by the look in his eyes he meant going to his room and, damn it all, though she’d never done it before, she was pretty sure she was going to tonight.
Regrets would be for later, but this was the new her and why she moved away. To be herself.
If that meant a night of sex with a man she just met, then so be it.
It’s not like she’d see him again. He was going back into the service and she’d go on with her life but at least have some great memories.