Running Into Love (Fluke My Life)(2)

By: Aurora Rose Reynolds



Like kiss the crazy woman.

“Run with your eyes open,” I hear in a mocking voice behind me. My head swings around, and I find her rolling her eyes at me.

“I saw that,” I inform her like a fucking five-year-old.

“Good.” She shrugs, and frustration fills my chest. I have never been more turned on and annoyed in my fucking life. “I thought you were leaving.” She raises a brow, and my jaw ticks.

“I am.” I turn and jog off before I do something crazy like toss the woman over my shoulder and run home with her crazy ass and fuck her until neither of us can move. Reaching the park exit, I feel something hit my thigh, and I realize then that I still have her headphones. With a shake of my head, I shove them into my pocket and look at my watch. The movers will be at my place in just a few minutes, which means even if I wanted to go find her to return her headphones, I don’t have time.

FAWN

“Why are the hot ones always jerks?” I shake my head in disgust, pulling my eyes from the hot shirtless guy’s retreating back. When I first opened my eyes after crashing to the ground and saw him above me, I thought I was seeing things. The light from the sun had caused a halo to appear around him, making him look like the gods themselves had cast him down to Earth. Luxurious dark hair had fallen across his forehead, and golden eyes with thick dark lashes had scanned me from head to toe, making something inside me feel warm and dizzy. Then I saw his lips move like I was in some kind of strange dream, and I asked him if he was talking to me. I probably shouldn’t have assumed he was trying to attack me when he was only pulling out my earbuds, but how was I supposed to know he wasn’t? On that thought, I shake my head and limp over to one of the benches lining the path and take a seat. Pulling out my beloved iPhone from the pocket in my sports bra, I sigh, realizing that my headphones are gone. Getting up, I look around to see if he dropped them on the ground, then look toward where Mr. Hot Guy ran off and debate whether I should try to catch up with him. Deciding that I don’t want another confrontation—since my ego can’t handle it—I head home, walking slowly through the city.

Once I reach my block, I notice a large moving truck parked in front of my building with the back flap open and two guys sitting on boxes inside. Diva, who lived in the apartment across the hall from me, moved out of the building and in with her fiancé a month ago, so it’s a good bet that I’m finally getting a new neighbor. Walking up the stairs, I stop dead in my tracks. There is no way my luck could be this bad.

Mr. Hot Shirtless Guy from the park is standing in front of Diva’s empty apartment door talking to two guys who are carrying a large leather couch. Ducking my head, I try to get past his open door without being noticed, but I know I’m too late when I hear him ask, “Are you stalking me?”

“You wish.” I glare at him as I pull a key out of my sports bra and walk across the hall to open the door to my apartment.

“You have got to be kidding me.” He narrows his eyes, which makes me smile and his eyes narrow further.

“See you around, neighbor.”

I laugh, shutting the door with my heart pounding as a voice in the hall says something about a hot neighbor before a different voice booms, “Shut the fuck up.” Smiling at that, I look around. I am quite proud of my little nest. My apartment is considered large by New York standards, because in addition to my bedroom I have a small office space with a door that could be considered a second bedroom. The kitchen is to the right and has a bar that stretches the length of the kitchen, separating it from the living room. Four heavy metal bar stools with high backs line the bar, each in a different color—one rusty red, one dusty blue, one burnt yellow, and the last a weathered green. The living room, where I spend most of my time, has a suede sofa with throw pillows of different colors, which tie into the bar stools, and a painting that hangs above the couch of a pot of flowers sitting on an old table. The bedroom has the same furniture I had growing up: a double bed with an elegant wrought-iron frame, a tall white dresser, and one glass-top metal-framed side table that I found at a flea market. Above my bed hangs a picture I took of the ocean when I was around fifteen that my mom had blown up a few years ago as a Christmas gift. It reminds me of home but also complements the bedside lamp filled with sand from that exact beach and some shells I have collected over the years. The blue-green duvet and sheets make my room look like it belongs near the sea, a place I love.

Pulling myself from the front door, I head to the couch and lie down, closing my eyes for a few much-needed minutes of shut-eye.

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