Game Plan – Chapter One

gameplan_msrGAME PLAN

Copyright © Karla Doyle, 2012

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.


Chapter One

“Scott’s really working the team spirit today with that kelly-green golf shirt buttoned up to the eyeballs.” Lasha sniggered as she pointed to the opposite set of bleachers.

Andie swatted her friend’s hand down. “Stop pointing, he’ll think you’re motioning him over here.”

“It’s been what, two years now? Your ex needs to get laid so he can get over you.”

The trouble with that theory was Scott’s indifference to sex. A concept so foreign to Lasha, she’d obviously blocked it out of her mind. Andie cocked an eyebrow at her best friend.

“Right. The only briefs Scott likes to dive into are legal ones.” The focus switched as Lasha checked Andie out, head to toe. “You’re the one who needs to up their nudetastic action quotient—from zero. That’d throw Scott off the reconciliation trail.”

“I’ll get there,” Andie said, at which Lasha rolled her eyes. “I will, eventually.” With any luck, before her lady parts shriveled up. So far, though, she hadn’t met anybody she wanted to go out with. Or plain old hit the sheets with. Really, where did forty-year-old, barely divorced moms go to meet available men? The idea of cruising clubs and bars at her age gave her the heebie-jeebies. And there weren’t a lot of prime candidates at parent council meetings. The two males present last month had passed their best-before date a decade ago. She probably shouldn’t be so picky, but since she had no plans to get serious at this point in her life, if ever again, settling for a soft-bellied man with a decreasing libido who excelled at intellectual conversation wasn’t happening. She’d had one of those.

Lasha wandered off, searching for her next sexual plaything, most likely. Dylan left the on-deck circle for his turn at bat. Andie rose from her spot at the end of the front row bench and laid on the hooting and clapping. Her son looked over his shoulder and rolled his eyes. At twelve, Dylan rode the line of being glad for his mom’s attention and wishing she’d blend into the crowd like normal mothers. As long as he still smiled at her antics, she wasn’t about to give them up. This season, he remained her little boy.

And damn, the boy could hit. His worm-burning line drive zipped past the first baseman and found a home halfway into the outfield. Dylan rounded second, had a look, thought better of getting greedy and dove back to the bag. He’d be proud of those bruises tomorrow. Cheers and whistles filled the air as she watched her son brush dust off his knees. The noisy fans all but drowned out the warning she heard a second too late.

“Ow—what the?” She grabbed her ankle, hissing at the heat spreading above the bone. Everyone around her remained focused on the game. Nobody had noticed her crumple in pain. Not even Scott from across the diamond, even though he’d barely taken his eyes off her for five innings.

She eased onto the bench and rolled her leg sideways. A baseball-sized welt had already formed above her right ankle. The foot she used for sewing. Terrific.

“Hey, are you okay? I yelled over at you.”

“Apparently you need to get a better set of lungs, because I didn’t hear you.” The snarky response left a bitter taste in her mouth. “Sorry, that’s the pain talking, not me. I’m not always a bitch.”

“No worries, I get it. Taking a hit stings. It’s my fault anyway. I shouldn’t have drilled the ball that hard on the sidelines. Here, lemme take a look at that ankle… Damn, it’s rising faster than a twenty-year-old virgin getting a lap dance.”

Andie’s first thought was that the guy needed to shut up, there were kids nearby. Her head snapped up to tell him so and the thought fell away. Kneeling in front of her was what could only be defined as a prime candidate. Full head of light-brown hair with exactly the right amount of messy, incredible blue eyes and lips designed for making out. And since the buttons on his baseball shirt had been neglected, Andie was treated to a view of one spectacular naked chest.

“I take it back, your lungs look fine,” she said, and clapped a hand over her mouth. Major slip of the internal thought process.

The hunk looked up at her, totally amused. “They do, do they?” He scooped her foot into his hands and placed it on his thigh as he examined her ankle.

Strong fingers gently but thoroughly traced over her flesh. Yes, he was merely checking for damage he might’ve caused. It was still the best contact she’d had in forever. Her own hands got the job done, but they didn’t send a thrill through her system. Thank god she’d shaved her legs this morning. Not that he’d notice or care.

Andie’s mind headed for the scenario he’d mentioned. Except she became the dancer, gyrating over the bulge in his lap. And he was no virgin. Uh-uh. In her version of the strip-club seduction, the athletic stud beneath her was a sexual MVP.

“It’s not serious, but it needs to be iced.” The deep richness of his voice yanked her out of the premium-grade fantasy. “You bring any ice packs?”

She swallowed and shook her head. No way could she speak to him again. Not after telling him his chest looked good, and especially not after picturing herself grinding onto his cock. God, her face must be beet red. The way he grinned—he had to know. Oh, but he was pretty. And much younger than her. Too young for her to be picturing naked and sweaty.

“I’ll grab you some ice from my cooler.” He sprinted away. Baseball pants had always been one of her favorite things about the game. On this guy, they were downright erotic.

Lasha slid in beside her. “Who in the name of tasty treats was that?”

“Just some guy who hit me with a ball. A case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“Just some guy, huh?” Lasha raised an eyebrow. “So switch places with me. Maybe I’ll get lucky and be in the wrong place too.”

“You don’t want one of these.” Andie turned her leg so Lasha could see the now-monstrous bump.

“No, but I’ll take one of those.” Lasha nodded toward the pure testosterone jogging their way. “I wouldn’t mind if he groped my leg like he did yours, or looked my way with those come-play-with-me eyes, either.”

“Shut up, he’ll hear you. There was no groping. No bedroom eyes. And he’s too young.”

“Not for what I had in mind.” Lasha looked at Andie’s face and laughed. “Not for what you had in mind, either.”

“Shut. Up.”

“Why don’t I go watch your offspring kick some tween butt until you’re strong enough to stand on that horribly injured foot.” Lasha moved off as the baseball hottie dropped to his knees. “Make sure you get his number, Andie, in case you need him to reimburse you for crutches or something.”

Later, she would kill Lasha for embarrassing her this way. Right this minute she had better things to do. Like soak in every detail of the specimen kneeling in front of her. Nice, round muscles filled out his shirt. Great shoulders and pecs did it for her in a big way. This man had both going on. He lifted the injured leg to his lap again, seating her foot on the fly of his uniform pants. She stared at her toes, willing them still, when all they wanted to do was jump free of their strappy sandals and wiggle against his crotch. Good god, she needed to end this before she did something stupid.

“That’s cold.” Reflexively, she tried to draw her foot away. He held it and the ice pack in place while looking up at her. With his level of hotness, the ice would be water in minutes. Boiling, even.

“Your friend is right, we should exchange numbers.”

“I’m not going to sue you for the price of ibuprofen tablets, don’t worry.” The motion from his chuckle shifted his shirt. A hint of ink on his finely shaped chest peeked out at her. Tattooed men ranked highly in her personal fantasy time. Bad, meet worse. She was so toast.

“I like these shoes. Sexy.”

And things just got toastier. “Not your size, sorry.”

“I prefer them on you.” He winked and swiped one finger across the high-gloss, hooker-red polish on her big toe. “You have very pretty feet. Nice toes.”

“Thank you, I grew them myself.” She hadn’t flexed her flirt muscle in years, but it sprang into action. Pheromones and adrenaline rushed her system, sending heat to her unmentionables and a chill to her nipples. Strange how the body worked. And utterly fantastic.

After inspecting her toes and the injury a couple minutes more, he met her eyes again. “Keep the ice on for ten minutes. I’ve gotta go, I’m playing on the other diamond and my game is about to start. But you should call me later. For ibuprofen, cold packs, a foot rub, whatever you need. I deliver, 24/7.”

“A foot rub—are you a registered massage therapist or something?”

“Strictly amateur. But I do more than feet, and I guarantee satisfaction.”

Well that about sealed it. The toys were coming out tonight. The big ones. “Thanks, but I think I’ll survive.”

“I’m going to worry about this beautiful foot unless I see for myself that it’s improving.”

Andie couldn’t take her eyes off his mouth as it stretched into a glorious, open grin. He had nice, straight teeth. Really white too. Probably a non-smoker, one of the criteria on her wish list. She had no business sizing this guy up. He couldn’t be more than thirty-two. Thirty-three at most. Way too young for her.

He pressed a scrap of paper into her hand, letting his fingers linger a little longer than necessary. “My number.” Another sizzling smile later, he was walking away, backward.

She set the ice pack aside and stood, taking a tentative step toward the chain link fence beside the diamond. Pain shot up her leg and she winced. He stopped and she waved him to keep going. “I’m okay.” She was so not okay.

He shook his head. “Call me, I’ll come over and ice it for you.”

“What if it’s the middle of the night?” Wow, she did not say that in front of all these respectable family types.

“I’ll be lying awake thinking about those pretty painted toes anyway.”

Andie glanced around. No one had heard the exchange, everyone was intent on the game. Her son’s game. Where her attention should be, instead of flirting with a strange man, regardless of how hot he was. Much as she wanted one more gawk, one more sexually laced comment, she kept her eyes on the juvenile baseball players wearing Jell-O green. But she wouldn’t soon forget the major player in gray and black.

Getting bumped to this shitty, small ballpark wasn’t pissing Mason off anymore. And for the first time in his life, he wished he played catcher. Playing deep centerfield meant he couldn’t see the neighboring diamond. If this inning dragged on much longer, he might not get another look at the woman he’d sort of purposely hit with a ball. Andie. The name suited her—uncommon in a totally good way.

He’d noticed her as soon as she got up and started cheering. Sure, lots of people yelled, whistled and clapped. Especially at kids’ games. But Andie’s actions seemed different. More enthusiastic, for one, and genuine. Of course it helped that she was hot. Not in any overdone or obvious ways. A long, brown ponytail poked out the back of her ball cap. Very cute. She wore a formfitting white t-shirt and rolled-to-the calf, skin-tight jeans that accented a trim waist and very fine ass. Even in those basic things she oozed sex appeal. So he’d ditched his regular warm-up routine and chucked the ball her way. He intended it to land at her feet, not ricochet off her body. In a way, it worked out better than his original plan.

Up close she didn’t disappoint. Pretty face to match the nice body. Big, round blue eyes, clear and sparkling as an untouched lake. Plump lips that begged to be kissed. Then there were the shoes. Not your average mom shoes, that’s for damn sure. He could barely look her in the eye once he touched her leg. No way could he hide it. One look at his face and she had to know he was thinking of fucking her wearing nothing but those shoes and a smile.

A lazy fly ball fell into his glove making the third out. About time.

He reached his team’s bench as the other game wound up. One of the boys hopped the fence and practically bowled Andie over with a hug. Must be her son. That a kid his age showed affection that easily said a lot about the parent.

Or parents. Shit, where’d the guy with the fluorescent-green golf shirt come from? She’d definitely been alone during the game, aside from the female friend who’d eyed him up as though he were dinner. If there’d been any sign of a man at Andie’s side, Mason wouldn’t have made a move. And her hands had confirmed it—no wedding ring. No tan line where one usually sat. Fair game in his mind.

Their attraction was mutual. He was positive about that, because when he touched her leg, the sparks between them were almost visible. One simple touch and his cock had started rising. Her expression told him she had some control issues of her own brewing too. No way he’d misread the chemistry.

But from the dynamic in his line of sight right now, golf-shirt guy had to be Dad. What Mason couldn’t tell from this distance was whether he was something more.

“You got a thing for the MILF on diamond two?”

Mason forced his eyes from Andie and tried not to glare at his idiot teammate. Only a classless jerk referred to a woman as a Mother I’d Like to Fuck, no matter how sexy she was.

“I appreciate good-looking ladies, sure.”

“Ever been with an older woman? I hear they’ll do anything and everything to get some hard, young dick.” The loudmouth stared toward Andie and adjusted his junk. “She looks all right. I’d do her.”

“Don’t be so fucking disrespectful, Ev.”

Evan snorted. “What’s up your ass—what, was she your babysitter or something?”

“No, your older sister babysat me, and not only did she help me with my math homework, she taught me about oral sex too.” A huge bullshit lie, but Evan’s head looked ready to pop off, which was awesome. He’d apologize later. To Evan’s sister, not to the dickwad.

“Fuck you, Lang.”

Mission accomplished on getting rid of Evan. Too late, though. The crowd at the other diamond had turned over and new teams were on the field. No sign of Andie anywhere. Shit.

Mason’s mind stayed on Andie for the remaining innings. One, because she’d gotten under his skin in a big way. Two, because he couldn’t stop thinking about dumbass Evan’s comments. Yeah, she was older than him. Maybe a few years, maybe a few more than that. So what? He didn’t care about an age gap and neither should anyone else.

But what if they did?

He was getting way ahead of himself—the odds of her using that piece of paper he’d slipped into her palm were slim. If she did call and they hit it off…his friends and family were good people. Nobody he cared about would give a rat’s ass about an age difference. What losers like Evan thought counted for jack. Now that that was settled, he’d just have to wait and hope for the phone to ring.

* * * * *

Andie hated feeling pissy about Dylan spending every weekend with his dad. She didn’t blame Dylan for wanting to go. No boring hanging around the house when he spent time with his dad. Scott used his wealth to great effect. This weekend, they were off to Toronto. Tickets to both Blue Jays’ games, premium dugout seats—nothing but the best—and a field-view room in The Dome’s Marriott Hotel so Dylan could watch the teams warming up. They’d done things like this as a family until she asked for the divorce.

A little pang of regret popped up. Squashing it was as easy as recalling Scott looking on while she packed for an excursion, then taking out whatever clothing he deemed inappropriate for Mrs. Scott Finch to wear publicly. Bye-bye tops that even hinted at cleavage and jeans that accented her curves. His replacements—pressed pants and bland blouses. Knee-length skirts. Monochromatic outfits in tan, navy or pastels. And decently sexy high heels? Never. Not for a woman of her social position. Gag.

No, she was never going back to living that way. Not with anybody. Sometimes, though, being alone sucked. Like tonight, and all of the weekend nights that she ate alone, watched a DVD alone, drank a glass—or several—of Cabernet alone. Still, she’d take the trade-off. Being alone meant wearing what she wanted, painting her nails hooker-red and shaking her ass to a rocking beat. She liked belonging to herself.

Though, belonging to a sexy man for a smoldering night of fun once in a while would be nice.

She moved mindlessly through the nightly routine. Teeth brushed and flossed, face washed and age-defying night moisturizer applied. She hobbled through the empty house to her bedroom. Turned down one side of the covers and slid into the king-sized bed. The crisp, cool sheets tickled her skin. She shimmied out of her sleep shorts and camisole. Why not sleep naked—it’s not as if anyone would walk in on her. A breeze drifted through the screen, raising goose bumps and sending her nipples to attention. She trailed her fingers across the peaks. A shiver rippled through her, sending a jolt of sensation between her legs. Nice, but she needed something stronger. She licked her fingers, drew them into her mouth like a cock. God, she needed to do that for real, and soon. Somebody virile and totally hot. Like the guy from the baseball game.

Mason, according to the scrap of paper on her bedside table. A fitting name for a guy with a solid physique. No doubt his cock would be hard as stone too. She sent the moistened fingers back to her nipples, toying with them by rolling and squeezing. She closed her eyes and imagined him. A man like Mason would take charge of the pleasure. She squeezed the buds until heat bloomed in her breasts and made a beeline lower. She snaked one hand between her legs, slid two fingers inside her cock-deprived channel, then dragged them up to her clit. A few light strokes to tease like his tongue would do. She pressed harder, rubbed faster, imagining his face there. Orgasm hit and finished too quickly. Not nearly satisfying enough.

Masturbation usually helped her sleep. Not this time. Tonight it made her more aware of being alone in bed. Because that’s what she needed to dwell on…not. She stared at the clock for three insanely long minutes. Half past ten. Too late to bug friends. They all had kids or significant others, or some combination thereof, except for Lasha. By this point in the evening, her best friend would be incommunicado due to much more thrilling sexploits. And that left Andie a little green.

Not that she wanted Lasha’s brand of freewheeling promiscuity. Just some adult companionship once in a while. A couple hours of fun. The no-strings-attached kind—and if it came with some nudetastic action, as Lasha had called it, the vibrator collection in her bedside drawer would probably appreciate having a night off.

She flipped on the bedside lamp and picked up the slip of paper. She’d had plenty of chances to throw it away—at the ball park, when she stopped for takeout, at home—but she’d kept his number. Using it would be crazy. And yet the phone was in her hand, her fingers pushing the buttons.

One ring, two. Her heart beating its way out of her chest almost drowned out the third ring. Good, he wasn’t home, saving her from one giant, embarrassing mistake.

Then he answered, “Hello.”

Most people used the simple, standard greeting in question form. Not Mason. His hello was a statement that slid into her ear like a caress. An invitation. As if he knew she was naked and had recently come while fantasizing about him.

“Sorry, I think I’ve called the wrong number.”

“I don’t think you did, Andie.”

Dammit. Foiled by Lasha’s big mouth and caller ID. Now what?

“I’m glad you called, I was thinking about you.” Rustling followed a beat of silence on his end. “How’s the foot?”

Ah ha. That kind of thinking about her, the guilt-ridden kind. “I iced it when I got home, like you said, and the swelling has gone down a lot. But your sloppy throw cost me a night of dancing, so you know.” The around-the-house-by-herself kind, but he didn’t need to know that part.

A low laugh that curled her toes filtered through the line. “That’s too bad. But I’m sure your date found other ways to entertain you. Better ways.”

“My date?”

“The guy from the ball park. Glasses, green shirt.”

“Oh, him.” Mason had seen her talking to Scott after the game…interesting. But she and Scott giving off a couple vibe? Not possible. They’d barely touched each other while married and Andie always kept at least a foot between them now. Still, if people—such as Mason—got the wrong impression, she obviously needed to make some changes. “He’s my ex. Definitely not a date.”

“In that case, I’d like to make it up to you.”

Andie listened to more shuffling on Mason’s end. She rolled to her back and it struck her—the rustling sound could be bed sheets. Mason lying in bed, stretched out in his naked glory… The mental image made her mouth water. And reach for her southern parts.

“You don’t owe me anything. I’m fine. That’s really what I called to say.”

“At ten-thirty on a Friday night?”

The amusement in his tone initiated a blush she was glad he couldn’t see. “Busted. That was lame, I admit.”

“Lame but cute, and I like that you’re owning it. So, how about it, are we on?”

God, he had a sexy voice. Like broken-in leather, rough and soft at the same time. She could listen to him talk for hours. About anything. So why not do it—accept his offer, grab the opportunity before it disappeared. Before she chickened out. “Okay. Make it up to me sometime.”

“Now works for me.”

No backing out. She looked down at her naked body. Freshening up in a bath would be nice, but take too long. “I need a few minutes to get dressed. Where should we meet?”

“By the fountain at Museum Square. We’ll go from there.”

“Okay, it’s a…a meeting.” She slapped her forehead. Lame, lame, lame.

“It’s a date, Andie. I’ll see you soon.” Mason waited for her to hang up before reaching over to disconnect. As soon as he’d seen her name on the call display, he’d switched to speakerphone mode. He wanted her voice in the air around him. And yeah, he wanted his hands free for other things.

The guys from his team had razzed him plenty when he bailed on pub time. Not because he skipped partying for sitting by the phone—none of them put those pieces together. Instead they ribbed him about work, since morning appointments were the excuse he gave. He could live with that. Only he needed to know the truth.

By the time the phone rang, he’d already fallen into bed, horny from thinking about her all evening. He’d been halfway to finishing when her voice echoed through the speaker. Talking to her made it worse. He palmed his cock once, and again. He needed release, but not now. He grabbed clothes and hustled from the bedroom. He’d come later, after some close-up time with Andie. Then he’d have every detail of her face and scent committed to memory. It’d be worth the wait.

Downtown was busy. Not surprising, the temperature and clear sky made it an ideal night for bar-hopping. His buddies would still be at it, meaning he and Andie had a few less options. If the team saw him out with a woman after ditching them, he’d never hear the end of it. And he’d rather they didn’t have something to ride him about next time out. If anyone was going to ride him, it was Andie.

He stuck his hands in his pockets and shifted his hard-on as inconspicuously as possible. Stupid move, thinking about sex again. His balls would be blue by the time he got home. He cut around a group of Goth wannabes and spotted Andie, sitting on the edge of the fountain. She hadn’t seen him yet. He slowed up and enjoyed his last minute of anonymity.

She’d called this a meeting, and even though he’d corrected her to date, he wasn’t sure she’d agreed. Her outfit definitely said date. The skirt showed lots of shapely leg and the sleeveless shirt hinted at some fine cleavage. Very sexy, top to bottom. The last time a woman had appealed to him this much was…never. Not Stacey, his ex-fiancée, and nobody since, either. He stopped short. Took a breath and let the hit to his system settle. Damn.

She noticed him then. Her face lit up, putting the dozens of strings of white lights decorating the Square to shame. If he previously owned an ounce of cool, it vaporized into the early summer night. He didn’t need a mirror to know his smile went ear to ear.

“You look—” What words could he use without scaring her off? “You look beautiful. And incredibly sexy, if you don’t mind me saying so.” He offered his hand and she took it, letting him pull her to a stand in front of him. The heat of their connection zinged through him. Some long-lost reserve of control sprang up to save him from yanking her body to his and kissing her breathless. He’d have to do it before the night ended. That much he knew.

“Where can I take you?” He kept her hand, adjusting their fingers to link together. “What would you like to do, other than dance?”

Andie’s mouth parted and closed. She shook her head but, to his relief, with a smile on her lips.

“It wasn’t a yes or no question, and if I ask you one of those, I really hope you’ll be nodding, not shaking your head.”

“That’s a safe bet, unless you’re asking if I’m ready to go home.” Her face went pink, an indication of what it cost her to make the statement.

The blush only made him want to kiss her more, but he pushed the greedy thought aside. “No chance of that question happening.” He motioned with their joined hands and they began walking. “Unless I’m asking to go with you.”

Well, now. Fantasizing about sexing it up with Mason was one thing. Knowing that it might become reality before they said goodnight was a whole other ball game. One Andie hadn’t played in years. Even before the separation and divorce, sex had been infrequent—to the extreme—and lackluster. And yes, she blamed that on Scott.

But what if it wasn’t all Scott’s fault? She might be horrible in bed and not know it. Because, let’s face it, being a pro at getting yourself off didn’t guarantee pornographic results with a partner. Especially with a younger man. The whole prospect made her suddenly weak in the knees. She stumbled slightly and turned on her swollen ankle, prompting Mason to wrap his arm around her waist. Totally worth the stab of pain in her leg.

“Sorry about the ankle.”

“The smile on your face makes that hard to believe.”

“I wish I hadn’t hurt you, but I’d be lying if I said I’m sorry that it got you here.”

Even with the wedge-heeled sandals that were killing her ankle, she only reached his chin. She’d been eye-to-eye with Scott. Looking up at a man was kind of sexy. Oh, who was she kidding—it was ten kinds of sexy. So was his firm grip on her waistline.

“You’re putting too much weight on that foot. If you put your arm around me, I could support you better.”

“What are you, a doctor?” Sarcasm or not, she took him up on the suggestion. Her hand slid across his lower back and hooked into a belt loop. The ass that had looked so fine in baseball pants lay a mere hand’s width lower. Itching to grab it as she was, she restrained herself. She was forty, after all, not fourteen.

Mason steered her toward a small restaurant. “How about here?”

“It looks busy.” And by busy, she meant bright. Outside, with moonlight and intermittent streetlights, she was relatively comfortable. But once they were across from each other, under the unforgiving glare of hanging pendant lamps, there’d be no escaping the obvious—their age difference. “Plus, it’s nice out. Maybe some place with a patio instead.”

They’d stopped on the sidewalk. The set of his body indicated they weren’t going any farther. Neither would her fantasy date after a few minutes at a table. At least she didn’t have to worry about her bedroom skills anymore.

“Patio next time. Let’s go in and get one of those tables at the back.” He squeezed her waist. “I don’t want to share you with everyone on Dundas Street. I want you to myself tonight.”

The promise in his voice made her tingle. Mistake or not, she let him lead her to the door. Well, there were worse places to be humiliated than a quiet bistro with semi-private seating.

A cute little thing of about twenty-five led them to the booth Mason requested. Sashayed in front of them better described her action. Mason’s hand stayed on the small of Andie’s back, and when she peeked over her shoulder, his eyes were on her, not the perky butt in front of them. Go figure. Andie eased onto the maroon upholstery, giving the hostess a smug smile when she caught her openly gawking. Mason’s preference had the younger woman stumped too.

Theirs was one of those curved booths able to seat an entire family, yet perfect for cuddling. He slid in close beside her and put one arm over the back of the bench. Voila, instant twosome moment. The twirpette grudgingly took their drink orders and huffed away. Once she was alone with Mason, his eyes surveying her face, her nervous dread returned.

“I’m older than you,” she blurted.

“I’m taller than you.”

“I have a twelve-year-old son.”

“I have a one-eyed cat.”

“You’re just making fun of me now. Your cat has nothing to do with this,” she said, motioning between them.

His fingers dropped to the back of her neck and trailed along her shoulder. “Neither do the other things. None of them affect how well we’ll match up.”