Hooked on You - Cathryn Fox
You know in an action movie, when the hero just saved the day and everything goes into slow-mo as he walks toward the heroine, to emphasize the guy’s sexiness? Cue the big finale kiss, right? When they ride off into the sunset, have you ever sighed happily and thought, one day, that’s going to happen to me?
Yeah, me neither.
But right now, after driving almost seven days straight, traveling from my academia world in Victoria, British Columbia, to a small fishing town in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, I’m about as close as I’ll ever get to that romantic scenario. Unfortunately, two things are missing from the picture. One, the hot lobster fisherman coming my way has no idea who I am, and two, I’m definitely not the kind of girl a guy like him would even notice.
I’d have to grow two big claws, a tail, and a hard shell before I found myself in that hottie’s hands. It’s not that I’m a troll or anything. I’m average looking, but I’m a mathematician—a logical thinker—who has no time for fantasy. Okay, well, maybe that’s not entirely true. I have dated in the past, and later tonight, when I’m finally tucked into bed at my late grandmother’s B&B, a fantasy or two starring Mr. Hot Fisherman might play out in my mind’s eye.
Yeah, that’s happening for sure.
“Hey,” the fisherman says, snapping me back to the present. Wait, is he talking to me? Dammit, what the heck did he just say? “Hey,” he calls out again, and I glance over my right shoulder to see if he’s calling out to some curvy brunette behind me, but I’m the only one crossing the road. I turn back in time to see long muscular legs work to close the gap between us.
Cue the slow-mo.
I’m about to smooth my hair in some flirty gesture—okay, I’m an academic, but every now and then I curl up with a Cosmo—but my muscles seize when he drops the crate of lobsters he’s carrying and runs toward me.
What the heck? This isn’t how it happens in the movies.
The ringing of bells reaches my ears, followed by chains rattling and heavy, pounding footsteps. I angle my head to the left, toward the clattering noise, but it’s not human feet hammering down the pavement. No, it’s hooves. Hooves! My God, there’s a runaway horse and buggy barreling down the road, and I’m in its direct path. I’m about to move, jump clear out of my perfectly sensible driving shoes, when something knocks the air from my lungs and sends me spinning across the road like the Tasmanian devil.
“I’ve got you,” I hear as we hit the curb with an undignified thud, and I try to suck in air as we come to an abrupt halt. I gasp but can’t seem to fill my lungs, or even think properly. My inability to do the most basic involuntarily action—like breathing—has very little to do with my near-death experience and everything to do with the hottest fisherman on the planet pinning me to the hard ground with his even harder body.
I open my mouth and try to say something, anything, but only manage a high-pitched sound like a chipmunk jacked up on red bull.
Great, just great.
“Are you okay?” he asks. Worry lines bracket the most gorgeous green eyes I’ve ever seen as he assesses me. His hand goes to my hair, and with the rough pad of his thumb, he brushes a wayward lock from my cheek.
“I…I…can’t breathe,” I manage to get out.
“Shit.” He slides off my bruised body. Dressed in orange bib pants, held up by black suspenders, and a white, button-down dress shirt that conflicts with his fishing apparel, he kneels beside me and goes back on the heels of his rubber boots. That look shouldn’t be sexy. On any other man, it wouldn’t be, but on him, oh my ovaries.
I force myself to tear my gaze away. Embarrassment floods me as I look around, blink the scene into focus, and take note of the gathering crowd. In the distance, the horse slows and glances back at me over his shoulder. He shakes his head and gives a