She didn’t know why he didn’t like her.
Everyone liked her. She went out of her way to be cordial and welcoming. But this guy had a shield around him so thick that even in a crowded bar he sat alone and isolated. He watched the action on the restaurant floor with a bit of wistfulness. And she wondered what his story was.
“Is there a reason you don’t like me?” She couldn’t believe those words had spilled from her mouth. She had spent her entire life being nice, being polite, and being agreeable. But when she asked him, there had been a challenge in her voice. The freedom was liberating.
He ate his hash slowly as if savoring each bite of food. The chef was pretty amazing.
She waited as he chewed. He glanced out the side of his eyes, a gorgeous hazel that she totally should not have noticed. This close to him his scent was a mixture of sunscreen and warmth and clean sweat as if he’d spent the day in the sun. Earthy. Masculine. And very, very sexy.
She shouldn’t notice how sexy he was. He didn’t like her.
She was tired of waiting for an answer. She propped her hands on her hips and leaned into his personal space. “You don’t even know me.”
“I don’t have to know you.” He flipped a glance her way. “I know your type.”
Her type? “What type? Nice? Invested in making people happy?”
“Rich, clueless, and arrogant.”
“Yeah, well you’re grumpy, irritating, and wrong.”
Her feet throbbed and now her head ached. She rarely cried but everything about today had been difficult. Feeling like a fish out of water wasn’t pleasant. She wanted to go back to her busy life and her active friendships. But she was stuck here for the moment. And her eyes burned.
Tracy took a deep breath and focused on something else. She needed to channel her alter ego. What would Cee-Cee do?
She had imagined Cee-Cee For so long. Cee-Cee spoke her mind and didn’t worry about optics. She didn’t even know what optics were.
“I’m making the best of a bad situation.” She defended her actions.
But as she looked at him, she realized there was more going on than his slightly derogatory comments about her. He’d done a weird turn thing so he wasn’t facing the bar but sort of sideways. It had to be hard to eat that way.
“You need to stop running away from your problems.”
Her heart stopped. Did he know who she was? Hopefully he was just intuitive. “Easier said than done.”
“Of course it is. Hard things aren’t supposed to be easy.” He said it as if he was intimately familiar with hard things.
She wasn’t about to let him off the hook. He clearly had his own issues.
“Maybe you need to take your own advice,” she shot back. Damn straight.
“Maybe you’re right.”
Tracy and Colt make their debut on Thursday, July 1st! Sideways is full of fun Vermont-y activities like apple picking and lying in the grass and staring at the clouds and lots of yummy food as Colt rediscovers his love of cooking and Tracy finds her fairy tale.
I absolutely loved writing Tracy and Colt. This book is funny (Tracy is completely unprepared for living in the country) and sweet (underneath his grumpy exterior is a guy who is really in touch with his feelings and grounded in the present…total fantasy, a guy who is incredibly self-aware. LOL) and sexy (because who doesn’t love sexy times?).
It was an honor to be chosen to write in Sarina Bowen’s world and I hope that I did Colebury and the Speakeasy justice. I’m so happy to share Sideways with you.