A Kind of Magic

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Elle’s breath caught in her throat as she gazed up at the man who held her in his arms. She found herself staring into eyes of dark blue, like the churning waters of the Atlantic.

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled incoherently.

One side of his mouth lifted in a smile as he stood her up and on her feet.

“Nothing to apologize for.”

She couldn’t stop staring at him. He looked like he just stepped off the cover of GQ with a body she was sure he spent half a day in the gym to get, and a face that made her knees weak. Literally.

When she managed to look away from his fascinating eyes, she found a strong jaw line, wide, thin lips, and a high forehead. Dark blonde hair hung to his shoulders, adding more appeal to him. A regular rugged looking man, if you liked that type.

Which she did.

She cringed inwardly and tried to swallow as she looked away from his face. Wrong move, since she found herself now gazing at his amazing chest and arms. She had never really cared for the body building type, but on this guy all those muscles just added to his good looks.

Her eyes went to his wide shoulders and the steel gray shirt that molded to his body. She knelt down to pick up her clipboard and let her gaze wander down his long legs encased in black denim. He wore jeans like only male models could. Perfectly.

She was dying for him to turn around so she could get a view of his butt.

What is wrong with me, she thought to herself.

You want him.

So she did. Men like him didn’t pay her a bit of attention. To her surprise, he bent down next to her and helped her pick up her papers.

“Do you work here?” he asked.

This time she noticed his peculiar accent. “Yes. You’re not from around here, are you?”

He shook his head. “First time in Houston.”

“What do you do?”

“Do?” he asked, his brows bunched together in confusion.

Elle finished gathering her papers and stood. “Job. What kind of job do you have?”

“I don’t.”

Great. Here I thought I had found someone good, only to find he’s a bum. A good-looking bum, but still a bum.

“Oh. Where do you live?” Elle didn’t know why she asked that, just being nice she supposed.

“The Huntington in River Oaks.”

Her mouth nearly dropped open. That was one of the nicest condominiums a person could live in Houston. He wasn’t a bum, he was rich.

“Ah,” she managed. “I hear that’s a nice place.”

He shrugged his thick shoulder. “Why don’t you come by sometime and take a look?”

Had he just asked her out? No, couldn’t be. He said ‘sometime’, which translated into ‘I’m just being nice’.

“Maybe,” she said and turned back to the Viking sword.

“How about tonight?”

Her pencil dropped from her fingers as she faced him. He bent down to retrieve it, giving her time to regroup. She stared at his large hand as he handed her the pencil.

“Interested? I would love to take you to dinner, but I don’t really know the town.”

Despite the fact that she had lived alone long enough to know not to go to a strange man’s house, much less let him know where she lived, she felt a strange sense of trust with this man that she had never felt with anyone before.

“Tonight?”

His face fell. “You must already have plans.”

“Actually…I don’t.”

The smile returned. “So, you’ll come?”

“What floor?”

“The top.”

She thought it over for a moment. “All right, but for one drink only.”

“Perfect. My name is Roderick Thales,” he said smoothly.

“Elle,” she said and extended her hand. “Elle Blanchard.”

He took the hand she offered and brought it to his lips. “A lovely name.”

His eyes bored into her as his lips lightly grazed her knuckles. Her breath rushed past her lips that had parted slightly, and she knew at that moment, had he taken her, she would have let him.

“Until tonight,” he said and released her hand.

As he walked out of the weaponry exhibit, she finally got her view of his butt.

Perfect. Just like the rest of him.