Blitzed by the BillionaireBy: Alice Ward
Fantastic. I’m sitting three feet away from Adonis, about to pig out in four-year-old sweatpants. I’ll eat fast and get out of here before I have to make eye contact with him.
“That’s quite a steak you’ve got there,” he commented, shattering my hope to get through my meal unnoticed.
“I’m hungry,” I explained awkwardly.
Hungry and lame.
“It’s nice to see a woman with an appetite,” he replied, but I couldn’t tell if he was teasing, serious, or simply grossed out.
I finally looked up at him and my heart instantly raced.
Like me, Ethan was wearing a plain white t-shirt and a pair of sweats. He had dark hair, hypnotic hazel eyes, and I could tell by the fit of his shirt that his body was as chiseled as his chin and cheekbones.
“I’m Ethan McAlister,” he said with a cocky, expectant grin.
Well, isn’t he impressed by himself? Though I guess I’d be a little cocky too, if I looked like that.
“Nice to meet you, Ethan. I’m Emily Kinkaid.”
“It’s nice to meet you too.” The expectation on his face turned to amusement and he spun on his stool to face me. “So tell me, Emily Kinkaid, how is it that a beautiful woman such as yourself is dining alone tonight?” His voice dripped with charm.
“My boyfriend coaches a pee-wee football team at the Boys Club, and they have practice tonight.”
“And you didn’t tag along? Not a sports fan, I take it?”
“I’m a huge sports fan. I just don’t like football.”
He gave me an understanding nod and took a long drink of his water. “Let me guess, you think it’s too violent.”
I swallowed a bite of my potatoes and chased it with a sip of my soda.
“I think it’s too dangerous,” I corrected him. “For kids, at least. I don’t mind watching it on television, but when it’s one of your children on the field, it’s a completely different story.”
His eyes widened with surprise. “You have kids?”
“No,” I replied with a laugh. “I’m sorry. I teach kindergarten. I have a bad habit of referring to every kid in the school as mine.”
The shock changed to relief and Gladys reappeared behind the counter. A platter of pancakes, sausage, and eggs appeared in the order window and she set it in front of Ethan before returning to the booths with a pot of coffee.
“Kindergarten, huh? You must have a lot of energy,” he commented, covering his pancakes with syrup.
“It ran out long before the final bell today, which is why I look like I’ve been hit by a truck,” I explained with a light-hearted laugh.
“If you’re this beautiful when you’re exhausted, I’d love to see you on a good day,” he countered. I still couldn’t tell if he was teasing or being serious, but I was surprised by how at ease I felt around the handsome, charming stranger.
He’s like Linda. I bet he’s never met a stranger. And I’m sure he flirts like this with every woman he comes across. But what the hell? It’s harmless. I may as well enjoy it.
“I’m serious,” he continued. “I’m new to the area. I’d be incredibly grateful if you’d show me around sometime.”
I shifted on my stool, suddenly nervous. “I have a boyfriend,” I told him again.
“Which is why I’m asking for a tour, not a date,” he replied, completely undeterred. “Come on, you’d be doing me a huge favor.” He gave me the most adorable, pitiful puppy dog eyes and I had to turn away. I knew if I stared at him much longer, I’d agree to anything he wanted.
“I really can’t,” I insisted. “Even if it’s innocent, it’s a line I’m not willing to cross.”
“So you’re beautiful and loyal. Your boyfriend is a lucky man.”
I stared down at my half eaten meal and knew I couldn’t take another bite. I leaned over the counter and fetched my own to-go box.
“In a hurry?” he asked.
I lifted a shoulder. “Sort of.” I filled the box and pulled a twenty from my wallet.
“Gladys looks like she’s going to have her hands full for a while. Will you make sure she gets this?” I asked, setting the bill on the counter.
“Sure,” he agreed. “If you’ll give me your phone number.”
I blushed and shook my head. “I’m sorry. I just can’t.”
“I understand. But I can’t stand the thought that I may never see you again.”
I knew he was just flirting, but my pulse quickened and my heart felt like it might explode from my chest with excitement. I slung my purse over my shoulder and met his eyes with a smile.