Running Into Love (Fluke My Life)(4)

By: Aurora Rose Reynolds


“Fawn,” I say under my breath.

“What?” He frowns, moving closer.

“My name’s Fawn—like a baby deer.” I sigh, hating that my parents named me after an animal that has a history of getting hit by cars or shot by hunters.

“Fawn,” he rumbles while his eyes slide over me once more, making me suddenly aware of how close we are and how very attracted I am to him when I totally shouldn’t be. I know men like him, and I know they always lead to one thing—heartache.

Wow, okay, time to go. I slap myself mentally while moving toward Muffin, ready to carry her out of here if I have to.

“Her name’s Muffin?” he asks as I pull on her legs in an attempt to drag her off the couch.

“Yes,” I confirm, glaring at her when she tucks her long doggy legs under her body and turns her face away from me.

“Muffin, come,” he says with a snap of his fingers, and she instantly lifts her head and bounds off the couch to stand in front of him. “Sit,” he orders, and she backs up, taking a seat.

“Traitor.”

“You’re a good girl,” he coos, walking toward her, and I know this is when she’s going to show her true colors and try to attack him. But of course it’s just my luck that she stays still and allows him to pet her. “You just need to be the alpha,” he tells me with a devastatingly smug smile while my girl rubs against him with her tail wagging. So much for dogs knowing anything about girl code!

Okay, I’m officially jealous of my dog.

“She likes you,” I whisper in shock as she licks his palm.

“Most women do.” He grins, and I roll my eyes even though I’m sure it’s true. Most women are attracted to assholes—it’s human nature.

“Let’s go, Muffin.” I clap my hands against my thighs, and she looks at me, then back at Levi.

“Come on, girl, let’s go,” he commands as he turns for the door.

“Yeah, the alpha thing is totally working. You should write that down for me.” I snicker as she climbs back onto his couch and lies back down.

Sighing, he looks at Muffin, then runs his hand through his hair. “Why don’t you go get her a treat and I’ll wait here for you to come back.” With a nod, I head across the hall to my apartment and grab a treat from the large jar on the kitchen counter, then rush back over to his place.

“Muffin! Treat!” I sing as I walk through the door, then cross my arms over my chest and stare. Levi’s standing over Muffin rubbing her belly and cooing at her like she’s a small child. “She’s not going to want to leave if you’re doing that.”

“If I didn’t have to work I would say she could stay, but I need to leave soon.” He gives her one last rub as he looks at his watch.

“What kind of work do you do?” I hold the treat close to Muffin’s mouth, then pull it away when she tries to snatch it, hoping she will follow the treat—but she doesn’t.

“I’m a detective with the NYPD.”

“Well, thank you for your service.” I smile, then continue softly, “My dad’s a detective out on Long Island, so I know how difficult your job can be.”

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s also very fulfilling,” he agrees. “Where do you work?” he asks after a moment of watching me try to tempt Muffin off the couch with the treat.

“Hustler on West Fifty-Fourth Street,” I say with a straight face.

“Thanks for your service.” He winks, and laughter bubbles up the back of my throat and my head tilts back as I laugh loudly. “What do you really do?” he asks softly when my laughter has died down and I’ve wiped the tears from under my eyes.

“I’m a fifth-grade teacher.” I smile, then let out a frustrated breath as Muffin grabs the treat from between my fingers and swallows it in one gulp.

“Do you like it?” He laughs at Muffin as she scoots over just enough to shove her head under his hand so that he’ll pet her again.

“Love it,” I respond immediately. “I know it’s cheesy, but there is no better feeling than seeing a kid’s face when they learn something new.” His eyes change and fill with a softness that makes my stomach flutter.

Seeing that look, I know I need to get out of here, because the level of hotness is enough to make me question my recent decision to join a convent. I enjoy dating about as much as I enjoy getting my monthly Brazilian.

The whole dating scene has changed so much during the last few years. Now instead of just telling someone that you like them and you would like to spend time with them, you’re left competing for—I don’t know what. The whole swipe left, swipe right, call, don’t call, text, don’t text, interested, not interested, have sex, don’t have sex scene has left me a little confused and a lot overwhelmed. On my last date, the guy openly compared me to another woman he was seeing. I think he was drawing up an Excel spreadsheet in his head while I sat across from him. He actually asked me my jeans and shoe size. I was surprised he didn’t ask me my SAT scores or bank balance. When I got home from that date, I knew I was done. I decided that I would rather spend my days alone than be made to feel inadequate.

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