Studfinder (Busy Bean #5) - L.B. Dunbar

1

Rita

“You,” I hiss, glaring at the most annoying man I’ve ever met, and I’ve met plenty of annoying men. Of course, not all of them were hunky, smirky, sexy silver foxes, but that was neither here nor there. I am standing here, and he is sitting there. “You are in my spot.”

This is the third time this week he’s encroached on my couch in the Busy Bean Café, and three strikes mean you’re out, handsome.

Taking a moment, the offender blinks before narrowing his bluest-of-blue eyes and glares back at me. For a second, I wonder if I have something on my face. Maybe chocolate in the corner crease of my lips or lettuce in my teeth from lunch.

What the frick is he staring at?

Then he blinks again and slowly leans forward. His arm porn-worthy forearms rest on his wide-spread thighs as he glances up at me. Since I think he’s about to stand from the place where he’s perched, I speak.

“Thank you.” My mother taught me manners, even if I sometimes lack the use of them. Especially on this occasion, where a hunky, smirky, sexy silver fox who is the most annoying man I’ve ever met is sitting in my spot on the plush peach couch in my favorite coffee shop.

He stops moving at my gratitude and turns his head slowly left to right. Then he swivels at the waist right to left, exaggerating his motions as if he’s searching for something over his shoulders. Did he forget something? Did he drop his phone? His hand moves to his side and smooths over the velvety cushion, stroking it like the soft texture is a pleasure fabric or a preferred pet. My mouth waters for some reason because his movements might match that of him caressing a woman, taking his time to sculpt along her thighs. Maybe glide over her backside. Stroke the inside of her legs and . . .

“Just what are you doing?” He’s taking too long to move it.

“I’m looking for a sign that says this seat is taken.” Turning that edgy face upward, beaming those blue headlights at me, he crooks the corner of his mouth in the smirkiest of smirks. “But as I don’t see one, nor do I see your name on this couch, I think I’ll stay.”

He falls back against the couch as if he’s dropping onto a mattress, tossing himself down into the fluffiest of pillows to catch his hard body in a cushion of heaven. His arms stretch wide to encompass the length of the couch back. He even sighs. A long, lush, deep groan of pleasure emits from him while his eyes close for a second. Then he inhales. When his lids flip open, he spears me in place. That does not stop my mouth.

“Look, handsome, this is my spot. Everyone knows it’s my spot. Think Norm in Cheers, where everybody knows his name. This is where I sit.” I shouldn’t have called him handsome. He probably already knows he is. In fact, I’m certain he knows he’s good-looking. I don’t know how he even faces himself in the mirror every morning. He’s that good-looking.

“I’m curious if everyone is always glad you came . . .” His eyes narrow at me, and I ignore the emphasis he’s put on a certain term. I will not fall for these kinds of wordplay games, nor will I falter under the curl of his sassy mouth. Even the crinkle of his nose as he annunciated that word was hot.

“Of course, they’re always glad I’m here, occupying my spot.” My voice hardens as my fists clench at my sides. I’ve had a day, and I just want to sit in my happy place and sip some coffee. Is the Busy Bean the most convenient spot for me to haunt? No, it is not, but I’ve been to worse places—been there, done that—and I will not be going back. I live halfway between Colebury and Montpelier, where my law office is located, and coming here is out of my way most days. But today is one of those days when I need my spot and a good cup of dark roast, and I do not need this hunky, smirky, sexy silver fox glaring back at me or his fine backside taking up residency on my couch.

Get a grip, Rita.

Technically, I don’t own the couch or the right to claim this space as mine. The Busy Bean Café is owned and operated by Audrey Shipley and Zara Rossi,