Key of Light (Key 1) - Page 76

“It’s my business when she’s just become my business partner. When prior to that we were partners of another sort, and it’s my business because I like her a lot, and she’s in love with you. This shows a remarkable lack of taste, but is nonetheless the way it is.”

Guilt crept slyly into his belly. “It’s not my fault she thinks she’s in love with me.”

“I didn’t say ‘thinks.’ She’s not an idiot, despite her lousy taste in men. She knows her own mind and heart. And if you’re not taking her feelings into consideration before you unzip your fly—”

“For Christ’s sake, give me a break.” He sat up now, dropped his head in his hands. “She won’t listen to me. And she did the unzipping.”

“You were just an innocent bystander.”

“There’s no point in blasting me about this. I’ve spent considerable time blasting myself, for all the good that’s done. I don’t know what the hell to do.”

She sat on the table, leaned toward him. “What do you want to do?”

“I don’t know. She sent me flowers.”

“Excuse me?”

“She sent me a dozen red roses this morning. The card said, ‘Think of me.’ How the hell could I not think of her?”

“Roses?” The idea just tickled her. “Where are they?”

He squirmed. “Um. I put them up in the bedroom. Goofy. This role reversal, it’s just not right. It’s not natural. I think it flies in the face of countless rules of scientific order. I need to put things back on track. Somehow. Back on track. Stop grinning at me.”

“You’re hooked.”

“I am not hooked. And that’s another term I object to. Someone with a degree in library science should be able to find more appropriate terms.”

“She’s perfect for you.” She kissed his cheek. “Congratulations. I’m not mad at you anymore.”

“I don’t care who you’re mad at. And it’s not a matter of who’s perfect for me. I’m not perfect for anyone. I’m a slob. I’m inconsiderate and selfish. I like having my life loose and unstructured.”

“You’re a slob, no question. But you’re neither inconsiderate nor selfish. It’s that inconsiderate and selfish bitch Lily who put that in your head. If you buy that, you’re just stupid.”

“So, are you wishing a stupid slob on your new pal?”

“Maybe. I love you, Flynn.”

“Man, I’m getting a lot of that lately.” He tapped a finger on her nose. “Love you, too.”

“No. Say: ‘I love you.’ ”

“Come on.”

“All three words, Flynn. Choke them out.”

“I love you. Now go away.”

“I’m not finished.”

He groaned and fell back on the couch. “We’re trying to take a nap here, for our mental health.”

“She never loved you, Flynn. She liked who you were in the Valley. She liked being seen with you, and she liked picking your brain. You may be stupid, but you’re pretty smart in some areas. She used you.”

“And that’s supposed to make me feel better. Knowing I let myself be used?”

“It’s supposed to make you stop blaming yourself for what happened with Lily.”

“I’m not blaming myself. I hate women.” He showed his teeth in a vicious smile. “I just want to bang them. Now will you go away?”

Tags: Nora Roberts Key Fantasy
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