Statistically Improbable (Dating by Design Book 2)(5)

By: Jennifer Peel

“Opening my door would accomplish both.”

He shook his head as he walked over. “Feisty and high maintenance.”

“Now what kind of girlfriend would I be if I didn’t expect the best from you?”

“The pretend kind.”

“I pretend really well.”

He entered my space and leaned in. “Is that so, darlin’?”

I breathed in his fresh laundered scent and minty breath. “You’ll see.”

His eyes widened before he opened my door.

I took my seat in the pristine vehicle. It still looked and smelled like he had just driven it off the lot. I didn’t know if I had ever been in such a fancy car before. It had more buttons and shiny screens in it than I figured were necessary. But what did I know? I drove an old 4X4 Toyota truck that had been passed down from my older brother.

He joined me on the driver’s side.

“Nice car.” I continued to look around it.

“Nice? You better think of a new adjective.” He turned on the car and it purred almost as well as Jasper.

“My brothers would call it a sissy car.”

“What?” He stepped on the gas and zipped between the cars on the road.

I was sure he was going well over the speed limit.

And for some reason, every time he accelerated or wove in and out of traffic, he would look my way. “Does this bother you?”

I sat back, relaxed. “Like I said, I grew up with brothers on a ranch. It takes a lot more than that to scare me.”

He eased off the accelerator. Disappointment washed over his features.

“Why did you slow down?”

“It’s no fun if it doesn’t bother you. Kenadie would be gripping the door by now, screaming at me to take it easy.”

“I guess her brothers never drag raced with her down Main Street or played chicken with their trucks out in the hay fields.” I thought of Colton and Lincoln. The Dawson brothers, as they were known. Trouble makers with hearts of gold. At least when it came to their sister, and now Colton’s bride, Savannah.

“Where did you grow up?”

“In a small town in Star Valley, Wyoming.”

“People actually live in Wyoming?”

“Maybe not as many people as antelope, but yes.”

He chuckled some. “What brought you here?”

“School.” I give him the easy answer.

“Where did you graduate?”

I stared out my window. “Um. I have one semester left.” I’d had to drop out full-time a few years ago when things at the ranch took a downturn. I’d been taking a class here and there trying to finish my exercise and wellness degree.

“How old are you?”


He did a double take. “I didn’t realize you were that young.” He obviously didn’t look at my profile at work. I was only five years younger than him, but he did have an affinity for older women.

“Is that a problem?”

He thought about it for a second. “Young hot babe on my arm? It could work.”

He thought I was a babe? Most guys called me cute. “I still don’t understand why you need a fake girlfriend.”

“Because, darlin’, I’m particular about the kind of women I want approaching me.”

“So you want a deterrent?”

“I want the ability to choose.”

“But if a woman thinks you have a girlfriend and you ask her out, doesn’t that turn her off?”

“You don’t know women very well, do you?”

“Apparently not the skanky men-stealing ones.”

He busted out laughing. “You and Kenz have to be related.”

“We both don’t like tramps?”

He reached over and smoothed my hair like I had seen him do a hundred times to Kenadie. I had to force myself not to shiver from the touch.

“I don’t date tramps. The right woman will know that what’s between you and me isn’t real.”

“I still don’t remember agreeing.”

“I’m not worried, darlin’.”

I shook my head, sat back, and enjoyed the ride. What was it about this man?

Chapter Three

The barbecue restaurant was crowded, with dozens of flat-screen TVs plastering the walls.

I scanned the TVs in hopes of finding . . . “Oh, good, they have the Jazz game on.” I settled in my seat. And no, Zander did not pull out my chair for me. “I bet my brother Lincoln twenty bucks they were going to beat the Nuggets tonight.”

“You’re a basketball fan?”

“Pretty much a fan of any sport.”

“Do you have a favorite?”

“Football. I’m a huge Denver Bronco’s fan. I was so bummed Peyton Manning retired, but I’m glad he got to go out on a high note.”

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