"You are so wrong for me."
Levi had to agree--he was. He was leaving Chicago in a few short weeks. He didn't do commitment--ever. But everything about this night, this girl, was so good. So right. Until at 11:59 p.m. she got out of his bed, got dressed and left!
What had he done? Things had hardly started and she was off! Yet he was bored with simpering women he couldn't get rid of. Elise was a breath of fresh air. How was he going to find her...and get her back in his bed--for the whole night this time? It seemed Mr. Levi-and-Leave-Them might have found the one woman to leave him begging for more....
"You did it in a car!"
A week already and still with this.
Elise pushed a windblown curl from her brow and stared, disbelieving, across the hood of the Volvo Wagon at her sister. "That is not an explanation for setting me up on a blind date. Which, incidentally, I can't believe you're dropping on me the same hour you stick me with babysitting Bruno, the puppy beast. There's got to be a rule about that or something."
It should have been a perfect day. Following a pre-dawn rain, the sun shone bright against a vivid blue sky dotted with cotton-ball clusters of pure white. It was the first she'd had off in two weeks, and she'd intended to spend at least a piece of it jogging the lakefront paths. She hadn't even made it past Burnham Harbor when her phone rang, and her sister's latest emergency sidelined her at the entrance to Soldiers Field--where she stood now, withering on the receiving end of her sister's caustic glare.
Ally Porter-Davis shook her head, disappointment coloring her words. "A car, Elise."
Yes, well, more accurately, she'd done it in a bed. And then a car. And then against the door just inside her apartment. But somehow she didn't think the clarification would win her any points.
"The car part was an accident?"
Ally's brow arched impossibly high. "An accident? Like he, what, just fell in?"
Cheeks flaming, Elise shook her head. "No! Like I wasn't planning for it to happen again...we were at a stoplight and he asked how long I'd lived in the neighborhood and when I looked back at him to answer..." She closed her eyes, awash in the heat of that moment, the look in his eyes when they'd skimmed down her body; the feel of those big hands pulling her over him left her shuddering--
"That! Right there." Ally rounded the back end, tapping her fingers against the backseat window as she passed. "That look and--and full body meltdown--that's the reason I'm setting you up. You need a man. A relationship with someone nice and reliable. Someone you can lean on. Not some thanks-for-the-free-ride-in-my-car guy you're too ashamed to give me the name of either."
"I don't need anyone. And, nice try, but I'm not giving you his name because you'd have him Googled and the whole sordid scenario up on Facebook with six of your mommy-and-me compadres posting comments in less than an hour's time."
"Excuses." Ally popped the trunk and took a step back as her six-month-old Great Dane bounded free of his confine, spun around with a frighteningly exuberant bark, and then lunged, pinning Elise to the passenger side door. "And about Bruno. Thanks for bailing me out with him. You were the only one I could ask."
The wind knocked effectively from her lungs, Elise stared down at the two saucer-sized puppy paws, planted dead center over her breasts. Shooting an accusing look at her sister, she wheezed, "You are so on my list."
Ally waved her off, closing the trunk with her hip. "Your 'So hip-deep in trouble' list?"
For crying out loud. Well, if she broke it down to the acronym, then yeah. This was what happened when people had babies and they struggled with creative ways to stop swearing. "That's the one."
"He's a puppy. You can't put him on your list."
As if. Bruno might be the one feeling her up, but it was Ally who'd dropped not one bomb, but two on her today. "I'm not talking about Bruno. I'm talking about...