A Beautiful Mess
Page 13

 T.K. Leigh

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After braving the Boston streets teeming with tourists, Alexander finally reached Boston Common, inwardly detesting the hot and humid weather that early in the morning, but he had run in tougher conditions in the past. As he ran through the large park, he couldn’t stop thinking about the woman he met just a few nights before. Her eyes flashed through his memory. He smirked a little as he recalled the expression on her face during his attempts to hit on her.
As he rounded the corner, the crystal clear lake came into view. The Swan Boats were out as tourists clambered for their turn to ride the famous boats. In the corner of his eye, he saw a woman sprinting in his direction. He stilled, flashing back to Friday night. It all seemed so familiar, but there was something different. No, this time, the woman was running for fun and not because her life depended on it. It looked like her, but surely, it couldn’t be. What were the chances?
Alexander continued to run toward the woman. It was Olivia Adler. He couldn’t believe his luck as he full out grinned at her, hoping she would stop for a quick chat. But she was so focused that she wasn’t paying attention to anything around her, including anyone running nearby.
“Woah! Slow down killer!” Alexander shouted, causing Olivia to stop abruptly.
She turned around, taking her ear buds out, and searched for the source of those words. She knew instantly when she saw his eyes. Those beautiful green eyes that she had been dreaming about the past few nights.
“Mr. Burnham, I mean Alexander,” Olivia said breathlessly, blushing when she recalled his words from the other night. “People only call me Mr. Burnham in the bedroom.” She bent down and put her hands on her knees, trying to slow down her breathing. “Sorry. I didn’t see you. I was in the zone.”
“What zone is that? The heart attack zone? You need to be careful in this humidity,” he said in a stern voice. Olivia needed to take better care of herself, he thought. It was careless to run with such intensity in that heat and humidity. Something could have happened to her. Why did he care? He didn’t know what to make of the strange feelings he had for her.
Olivia looked up and stared at the attractive man in front of her, taking in his beautifully sculpted biceps threatening to bust through the arms of his running shirt. Licking her lips, she imagined how he would look with his shirt off, wanting to rub her hands all over the finely defined abs she could faintly make out through his shirt.
Alexander’s face softened with a hint of amusement, noticing her eyes traveling over his body. “You’re not from Kenya, so stop trying to run like you are.”
Olivia laughed and it felt good. Maybe it was the nerves of being so close to Alexander again, but she didn’t care. She couldn’t remember the last time someone made her laugh like that.
“That’s a beautiful sound,” Alexander said as Olivia straightened up, finally having caught her breath.
“What is? A girl out of breath from trying to break the four minute mile?” She smiled as she took a sip from her water bottle.
“No. The sound of your laughter,” he said softly. “I think it’s quickly climbing on my list of favorite sounds.” Olivia blushed at his words, dropping her gaze from his. He took a step forward, leaning down to her ear. “But I’m sure I’d enjoy the sound of you out of breath as well, just as long as it were my doing.”
Olivia gasped, blushing again, as she turned her eyes away from him. Something about Alexander and his words made her blush like a teenager. She was normally so confident and sure of herself, but around Alexander, her stomach seemed to be all knotted up, never knowing what words were about to fall out of his sensual mouth. She found herself thinking about all the ways she wanted Alexander to make her completely breathless. She felt the possibilities were endless as her eyes roamed his body to his perfect legs.
“See something you like, Miss Adler?” he asked with a mischievous grin on his face.
Shit, Olivia thought. He totally caught me checking him out!
Alexander smirked, proud of himself for catching Olivia off-guard. For someone who seemed so confident, he could tell it was all a front to keep people away.
Avoiding his eyes and his last statement, Olivia turned, gazing at the lake. “This is one of my favorite spots in the city,” she said, taking in the Swan Boats as they floated through the park that morning. She had no idea why she felt the need to share that piece of information with him. She was desperately trying to ignore the desire that had begun to grow within her own body, particularly after his previous comments. “I couldn’t decide whether to run the Charles today or come to the Commons.”
“Well, I’m glad you went with the latter.”
Olivia turned to look at him and was met with a full beaming smile. There it was again. That electricity between them. After a brief moment of silence, Olivia felt that she needed to say something. “Thank you for the flowers,” she said, crossing her arms in front of her body. “I thought about calling you last night, but it was one in the morning and I didn’t want to disturb you,” she explained nervously as she stood not even a foot away from Alexander, staring into his piercing green eyes. His proximity was overwhelming.
“I told you to call me anytime and I meant it,” he replied softly, taking a step closer to her, their bodies almost touching. Olivia could smell him. He smelled of sweat and body wash, and a unique scent that she assumed was just him. A slight breeze ruffled through the trees, causing a few wayward curls to fall in front of her face. Alexander gently tucked a curl behind her ear and she immediately became self-conscious, not wanting him to be turned off by her flushed complexion or her sweaty body.
Olivia had no idea why Alexander affected her as he did. She never found herself completely speechless in front of the opposite sex before in her life. But something about Alexander made all notions quickly disappear, prohibiting her from forming any rational thought. Most of her life, she had shied away from any sort of real relationship, fearful that she would be left heartbroken and alone, but there was something about the man in front of her that made her want to get to know him better. And there was part of her that felt as if she already did.
“Well, I should finish my run,” Olivia said, breaking her gaze from his eyes and taking a step back, hopelessly wanting to keep her distance from Alexander. “I’m planning to head to Beer Works later for the game,” she explained.
“Oh? You’re going to the game today?” Alexander piqued up. This was turning into a golden opportunity for him.