The Heat is On
Page 25

 Elle Kennedy

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Shoving his aviator sunglasses onto his nose, he focused on driving to Shelby’s bakery. The shower had helped clear his head, and the two beers’ worth of alcohol he’d consumed this morning were starting to leave his bloodstream. He felt alert now. And pissed off.
Yup, still pissed off at Savannah for being so damn stubborn and so damn scared.
But what could he do about it? No way was he going to beg. He was way too proud for that. Besides, what would it achieve? Savannah wanted to live in her heartache-free world of first kisses and whirlwind thrills, and who was he to force her into a relationship?
Best thing to do was move on.
Put her out of his mind, find a new, cute female to strike up a thing with and proceed to f**k the love he still felt for Savannah right out of his body.
Savannah examined her reflection in the mirror, wondering if the low-cut violet dress she’d chosen was too sexy for a first date. The silky material fell down to her knees, so it wasn’t too indecent, but her br**sts practically poured out of the bodice. After a second, she shrugged and moved away from the mirror. Whatever. You could never go wrong with sexy.
Her arms ached in protest as she lifted them up to adjust the artfully messy twist of her hair. She was still sore from yesterday. She’d gotten up at six in the morning and spent seven hours getting the flowers ready for the wedding. She’d driven around town like a maniac, first to the Rose Room, the banquet hall where Jeannine and her husband-to-be Henry were holding their wedding reception. Along with bringing Chad, Savannah had hired a few temporary workers to help her set up all the tables, chairs and wall panels. She’d left half of the workers to finish up, then went with Chad and a couple of others to St. Augustine’s Chapel to get the aisle and altar ready for the actual ceremony. She’d left Chad in charge, headed back to the banquet hall, then back to the chapel, back to the hall, and so on, until she found herself ready to collapse by the time noon rolled around.
During one of her trips to the Rose Room, she’d had a moment to chat with Annabelle and her business partner, Holly, who mentioned Matt had just left. Apparently he’d given them a ride and stayed to help unload supplies. Savannah had just missed him, and she hadn’t been sure whether she was happy or sad about that.
His parting words had been buzzing through her head like angry wasps for three days now.
Hope you had fun.
He hadn’t sounded cruel when he said them. Just sad and resigned. She almost wished he’d been cruel. At least then she could feel better about the way things ended. If she hated him, then she wouldn’t have to miss him.
Unfortunately, she didn’t hate him.
And she totally missed him.
Good thing she had a solution for that.
The wedding had gone off without a hitch, the flowers were a success, and Prestige Events wanted to work with her again. To celebrate, Savannah was going on a date with Tony, the tall, dark-haired hottie who’d waltzed into her shop yesterday evening to buy flowers for his newly engaged cousin. The two of them had flirted for several minutes, until he finally gave her a sexy smile and asked if she wanted to have dinner with him the following evening. She’d said yes immediately.
Tony was just the kind of guy she liked spending time with. Gorgeous, easygoing, and not looking for a relationship. He’d told her he worked long hours at the law firm at which he was a junior partner, and didn’t have time for anything serious.
Exactly the way she liked it.
A flicker of guilt went through her as she left the apartment. She felt kind of sleazy, going out with someone else when the dust of her time with Matt had barely even settled. But so what. Tony would be a nice distraction. A way to put Matt out of her mind for good.
Downstairs, she stepped onto the sidewalk in front of her shop and found a sleek black BMW waiting at the curb. The passenger window rolled down and Tony’s cute grin greeted her. “Hop in.”
Despite herself, she was a tad irked that he hadn’t gotten out to open her door for her. Matt always did, even if they were just going for a quick cup of coffee. His southern gentleman manners, as he always said.
Don’t think about Matt, a sharp voice ordered.
She decided to heed the voice’s advice. She was going out with Tony. Tony, not Matt. So there was no reason to think about anyone other than Matt—shit, Tony, anyone other than Tony.
“Hey,” she said as she got into the car.
Tony’s dark eyes studied her appreciatively. “You look amazing.”
He moved the gearshift and added, “I made reservations at the Italian place around the corner. Is that cool with you?”
“It’s great.”
They didn’t say much more as he drove to the restaurant. Savannah normally excelled at first date chitchat. She had no problems asking questions or dropping a few flirtatious remarks, maybe even innocently brushing a guy’s arm to make that first contact.
But she didn’t do any of that tonight, and when they were finally seated at a secluded corner table with a red and white checkered tablecloth, she almost felt nervous.
“So,” Tony said, reaching for the menu, “how do you like being a florist?”
She fumbled for her own menu. “It’s great.”
“Cool. Did you always want to work with flowers?”
“Uh-huh. Flowers are…well, they’re great.”
She tried not to cringe. She’d uttered the word “great” like fifty times already and they were ten minutes into the damn date. Drawing in a breath, she pretended to study the menu, all the while gathering up confidence. Enough was enough. She was acting like a total loser here. She was in her element, for Pete’s sake. These first encounters, the exciting, flirty moments leading up to fun between the sheets—she lived off them, damn it.