(If you'd like to read from the beginning you can go Here.)
Clutching her robe to her throat, Anne opened the door a crack. “Yes?”
She had to raise her gaze a good six inches before she found the face of the man leaning against the doorframe. Despite his height, he had a boyish quality that kept his darkly handsome good looks from being intimidating in their Hollywood perfection.
He straightened and a smile lit up his face like a beacon.
A bit weak in the knees, Anne put a hand to her hair. Why, oh why did she insist on looking like a slob for as long as possible before she got ready in the morning?
“Hi. I’m moving in downstairs and I was wondering if you might have a broom and a hammer I could borrow. I can’t seem to find mine yet.”
“Sure.” Anne debated and finally slid the door open a bit further. “You want to come in? I’ll be just a minute.” Maybe it would be a good test for a fellow. He would see her looking her worst, if he still showed any spark of interest, it could bode well.
“You have done wonders with this place.”
Anne looked around the living room, seeing it with fresh eyes. It really was pretty spiffy. A cluster of brilliant Chinese lanterns hung in the corner. Bookshelves lined one wall, holding Anne’s books and a collection of Jillian’s creations from when her roommate was going through her pottery phase. Colorful curtains, a few scattered rugs, and some bright pillows on the old art deco furniture did make it feel cozy and artistic all at once.
“Thanks. My roommate is an actress. I think she has the idea that everywhere she goes is some sort of set. She certainly had ideas on what an apartment in Greenwich ought to look like.” Oh great. Not only did she look ridiculous but she had also mentioned her gorgeous, actress roommate.
Still looking about himself in apparent appreciation her guest took a seat on the couch.
“Wait here and I’ll rustle up a broom and hammer.” Had she really said rustle up. Arggh. “Would you care for some coffee?”
“I would love some. Thanks.” He stood again and extended his hand. “I’m Erik Carter by the way.” His handshake was firm and dry with just a hint of callous.
She was grinning like a drip. Shaking herself she dropped the papers she had been holding onto the table, and fled for the kitchen.
She scrounged up their broom and found a hammer in the junk drawer, then took out a tray to lay with her coffee service. She might be a sap, but she could at least be a good hostess. Her mom had drilled her in that fine art, honing her skills until they were razor sharp.
With her offerings in place she finger combed her hair and fluffed it a little. This time she would not be such an inane, nattering, dunce.
Erik seemed consumed with intense perusal of his hands as she entered. But he jumped up and took the coffee tray she was balancing on one hand.
“Cream or sugar?”
He gulped the coffee in two long swigs and reached for the broom and hammer. “Thanks, I better get back to work.”
Anne opened the door for him and he was gone in a flash. Sighing she returned to the couch and plopped down. It was obvious that her charms had been insufficient to capture his attention even for the length of time it would take to decently drink a cup of coffee.
Oh well. She probably needed to get to work anyway. Her glance slid over the coffee table. Where were those papers? She’d left them right there. Hadn’t she?
Bending low she looked underneath in case they had fallen to the floor. Nope. She stood and turned around. They were lying on the side table. Surely she hadn’t left them there? Had her handsome new neighbor been nosing through her things? Maybe he had just moved them to make room for the coffee service.