Statistically Improbable (Dating by Design Book 2)(5)

By: Jennifer Peel

“What’s there to like?”

“Besides their adorableness?”

His brow crinkled. “I’m adorable. Cats are evil creatures that do nothing besides leave cat hair all over your clothes.” He looked over my sweater and jeans.

I always made sure I never left the house with any kind of pet hair on me. “I guess that’s our cue to go.”

“You’re not going to try and convince me otherwise?”

I nudged him out of the way so I could close my door and lock it. “Why should I?”

His eyes narrowed. “Every woman I’ve known who’s loved her pet always had a laundry list on the tip of her tongue to throw at me when I informed her of my dislike for the filthy things. Even Kenadie.”

I shrugged and locked my deadbolt. “I guess Kenadie and I don’t have everything in common. Pets are a personal choice.”

“Huh.” He sounded skeptical. He clapped his hands together. “Are you ready to have the best barbecue you’ve ever had?”

“Maybe second best.” I grinned.

“Second best?”

“I grew up on a cattle ranch. I know barbecue. My dad has a wall full of blue ribbons for his beef brisket.”

“Well, cowgirl, I’m going to show you how we do barbecue in the South. And you may change your tune.”

“I doubt it, city slicker.”

He laughed. “You’re a little feistier than I thought you would be.”

“Does that disappoint you?”

“On the contrary. I dig it.”

He showed me to his new black sports car. It even gleamed at night. He had gone on and on about it in the office last month when he’d bought it. He headed straight for the driver’s side.

“The rumor about southern gentleman isn’t true?” I stood at the passenger door, wrapping my arms around my chilled self in the late October air.

He tilted his head from across the car. “Do you want me to warm you up or open your door?”

“Opening my door would accomplish both.”

He shook his head as he walked over. “Feisty and high maintenance.”

“Now what kind of girlfriend would I be if I didn’t expect the best from you?”

“The pretend kind.”

“I pretend really well.”

He entered my space and leaned in. “Is that so, darlin’?”

I breathed in his fresh laundered scent and minty breath. “You’ll see.”

His eyes widened before he opened my door.

I took my seat in the pristine vehicle. It still looked and smelled like he had just driven it off the lot. I didn’t know if I had ever been in such a fancy car before. It had more buttons and shiny screens in it than I figured were necessary. But what did I know? I drove an old 4X4 Toyota truck that had been passed down from my older brother.

He joined me on the driver’s side.

“Nice car.” I continued to look around it.

“Nice? You better think of a new adjective.” He turned on the car and it purred almost as well as Jasper.

“My brothers would call it a sissy car.”

“What?” He stepped on the gas and zipped between the cars on the road.

I was sure he was going well over the speed limit.

And for some reason, every time he accelerated or wove in and out of traffic, he would look my way. “Does this bother you?”

I sat back, relaxed. “Like I said, I grew up with brothers on a ranch. It takes a lot more than that to scare me.”

He eased off the accelerator. Disappointment washed over his features.

“Why did you slow down?”

“It’s no fun if it doesn’t bother you. Kenadie would be gripping the door by now, screaming at me to take it easy.”

“I guess her brothers never drag raced with her down Main Street or played chicken with their trucks out in the hay fields.” I thought of Colton and Lincoln. The Dawson brothers, as they were known. Trouble makers with hearts of gold. At least when it came to their sister, and now Colton’s bride, Savannah.

“Where did you grow up?”

“In a small town in Star Valley, Wyoming.”

“People actually live in Wyoming?”

“Maybe not as many people as antelope, but yes.”

He chuckled some. “What brought you here?”

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