She glanced toward his house while they stood on her porch, aware of the thick trees and fence that kept his privacy. Like the man himself, walled off and unavailable unless she scaled his barriers.
If she even wanted to anymore. Solene was right. Men were such a pain in the ass. Too much work.
They climbed the stairs to her front porch and stood in front of her door. No more sexual tension. No awkwardness between them, because she’d have to feel some kind of emotional investment or attraction from her date to get that. And the icy male seemed oblivious to her presence. Like always.
“Good sigh or bad sigh?” he asked, not appearing to care either way. Once again, the man who rarely let an emotion show remained in control.
For her own sanity, she decided to draw the line with him. “You know, I’m just going to be honest with you.”
“I think you’re attractive. I think you’re intelligent.” Did he seem to stand a little straighter at that? “But you’re emotionally distant and, well, cold. It seems a real shame that you’re so closed off, Noel. But that’s your business. Your life. From now on, we’ll be great neighbors, casual acquaintances who might pass each other from time to time, but that’s it. I’m sorry if I seemed pushy about getting to know you. You’re obviously a private man. And tonight has shown me I should keep my distance.”
So disappointing that Noel was bad boyfriend material. But what had she expected?
“What exactly did I do that upset you?”
Again, no emotion in that voice.
Irritated, she glared at him. “You really don’t see it, do you?”
He quirked a brow, so patronizing, and said nothing.
Frustrated, because he had so much potential—nice with her parents, lived close by, great income, manners, attractive—she let fly, “I can’t do this. You’re like a robot, you know? I used to think you weren’t even into women before you asked me out. You’re so quiet and detached and… Oh, forget it.” She opened her door and entered, but when she tried to close it behind her, he stepped inside.
“I have something to say. Then I’ll leave.”
She should have been frightened by how he’d invaded her space. But she wasn’t. Noel didn’t feel like a violent man. Hell, he didn’t “feel” like much of anything…warm, mammalian, or human.
She tossed her coat and purse on the couch, then turned and crossed her arms over her chest. “Go ahead.”
He stared at her a moment, then walked closer. An odd look entered his eyes, and she knew a moment of uncertainty. “Do I frighten you?”
A normal guy would ask if he scared her. Noel enunciated each word with polite entreaty.
“No.” Unnerved maybe, but not exactly terrorized.
He nodded. “Good. You have a valid argument. But there’s something I’d like to point out.”
“Please do.” He was so civilized, so proper. So much handsomeness wasted on someone so…cold.
“I went out with you because I’ve wanted to for a long time. That much is true. But I think you’re equating my sense of control with a lack of imagination.”
“I’m sorry. What?”
“I’d like a good night kiss.”
“I’m not asking for sex. I won’t put a hand on you. I just want to show you that I’m a flesh and blood man under all my robot armor.”
She flushed. “I didn’t mean to insult you. It’s just that we’re so different, and I—”
“One kiss. Then I’ll go.”
She shrugged and leaned closer, then closed her eyes. “Go ahead.”
The things I’ll suffer to keep on good terms with my robot neighbor.
Contract Signed (Triggerman, Inc. Book 1)
January 17, 2017
Three assassins and a baby?
How many assassins does it take to change a diaper?
Three assassins have met their match and it wears diapers.
Triggerman, Inc., Book 1
Noel “Ice” Cavanaugh’s method is foolproof. Get in, do the job, get out, melt away without a trace. Chill out until his next mark is assigned. Neat. Tidy. No mistakes.
This time, though, something isn’t right. Two somethings. First a random attack that feels not-so-random. Then he discovers someone’s left a baby on his doorstep with a note claiming it’s his. And the sexy neighbor who found the boy first has too many questions in her eyes to ignore.
When her handsome, mysterious neighbor suddenly asks her out on a date, Adeline Rose has suspicions he’s fishing for “help” with his bundle of joy? By date’s end, she’s convinced NOel’s just as distant as he seems until a scorching goodnight kiss ends with sex against the nearest wall, the heat between them burning away all thoughts of careful.
Now Noel has more than one problem on his hands. Splitting baby duty between three badass assassins, figuring out how to fit more time with Addy into his no-room-for-error schedule and keeping both of them safe from the danger he’s increasingly sure has followed him home.
Warning: Beware a killer with a heart of gold, a baby who needs constant changing, and unrequited love that’s actually quite requited.
Award-winning author Marie Harte has been writing professionally since 2005. Sheâ€™s both a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has written over 100 books and counting. Marie writes books with heat, humor, and character. She writes independently and for several publishers, to include Sourcebooks and Samhain. Though currently writing contemporary romance, she also writes paranormal and romantic suspense. Before turning to writing full-time, she earned a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and spent several years in the United States Marine Corps as a communications officer. Marie currently lives in Central Oregon with her family. Thereâ€™s nothing she likes more than finding a good book to read and a great cup of coffee to drink.
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