The third book in Devney Perry’s newest series—following the Eden family from the small, fictional town of Quincy, Montana—is out next week, and I have a little sneak peek for you from this slow-burning second chance romance.
Talia was sitting alone at a table. She was in her blue scrubs with a white lab coat over the top. In one hand, she held a fry. In the other, a chicken tender.
I chuckled. Never in my life had I met a woman who ate like Talia. She inhaled her food. She chewed with fury and didn’t spend her meals chatting. When she sat down at her plate, it was to consume. Fast.
There were two chairs at her table, so I claimed the empty seat, popping open the top to the plastic cup with my ketchup inside.
Talia’s eyes widened. Her mouth stopped moving. She sat straighter, chewing a few more times before she swallowed. Then she dropped the fry and chicken strip into her own paper boat. “This has to stop.”
“It will. After you listen to me.” I dunked one of my own fries in ketchup, shoving it into my mouth.
“This is my place of work. I’m not talking to you here.”
“Then I guess you’ll have to let me inside tonight when I come over with dinner.”
Her nostrils flared and she splayed her hands on the table. “No.”
God, I loved hearing her say my name. Even when she was pissed. “Actually, we’d better make it six thirty. I’ve got some painting to do. Might take me the rest of the afternoon.”
“I remember your hearing used to be a lot better.”
I smirked and ate another fry. “Still like pizza?”
“Grr.” She snarled and shoved to her feet so hard that the chair behind her nearly toppled over. Talia caught it, then swept up her food. “You stubborn ass. If you show up at my door, plan to freeze because I’m not letting you inside.”
“Then come to the gym.”
“Why?” Her voice was too loud. She realized it and glanced around, grimacing a bit when a table of nurses gave her a strange look. “Why do you want to talk so badly? Nothing you can say will change the past.”
“I can’t change it. But I’d like to explain.”
“Then what? Let’s say I come to dinner. Then what?”
“Then . . . if you still want me to leave Quincy, I’ll leave.”
Talia studied my face for a few long moments, a lot like how her father had earlier. Assessing. Dissecting. Searching for the lie. “You’ll leave if I ask you to leave.”
“I will leave.” If after we talked, if me living in Quincy would cause her too much pain, then I’d go.
Moving again wasn’t the plan. But I’d figure it out. After tonight, if I truly felt like we were over and there was no chance, I’d walk away.
“Fine. Six thirty.” She spun, her ponytail whipping through the air.
I popped another fry in my mouth.
And grinned at the beautiful woman storming out of the cafeteria.