Statistically Improbable (Dating by Design Book 2)(6)By: Jennifer Peel
“School.” I give him the easy answer.
“Where did you graduate?”
I stared out my window. “Um. I have one semester left.” I’d had to drop out full-time a few years ago when things at the ranch took a downturn. I’d been taking a class here and there trying to finish my exercise and wellness degree.
“How old are you?”
He did a double take. “I didn’t realize you were that young.” He obviously didn’t look at my profile at work. I was only five years younger than him, but he did have an affinity for older women.
“Is that a problem?”
He thought about it for a second. “Young hot babe on my arm? It could work.”
He thought I was a babe? Most guys called me cute. “I still don’t understand why you need a fake girlfriend.”
“Because, darlin’, I’m particular about the kind of women I want approaching me.”
“So you want a deterrent?”
“I want the ability to choose.”
“But if a woman thinks you have a girlfriend and you ask her out, doesn’t that turn her off?”
“You don’t know women very well, do you?”
“Apparently not the skanky men-stealing ones.”
He busted out laughing. “You and Kenz have to be related.”
“We both don’t like tramps?”
He reached over and smoothed my hair like I had seen him do a hundred times to Kenadie. I had to force myself not to shiver from the touch.
“I don’t date tramps. The right woman will know that what’s between you and me isn’t real.”
“I still don’t remember agreeing.”
“I’m not worried, darlin’.”
I shook my head, sat back, and enjoyed the ride. What was it about this man?
The barbecue restaurant was crowded, with dozens of flat-screen TVs plastering the walls.
I scanned the TVs in hopes of finding . . . “Oh, good, they have the Jazz game on.” I settled in my seat. And no, Zander did not pull out my chair for me. “I bet my brother Lincoln twenty bucks they were going to beat the Nuggets tonight.”
“You’re a basketball fan?”
“Pretty much a fan of any sport.”
“Do you have a favorite?”
“Football. I’m a huge Denver Bronco’s fan. I was so bummed Peyton Manning retired, but I’m glad he got to go out on a high note.”
“It was a great game, even though I was rooting for the Panthers.”
I grimaced. “Cam Newton is such a cry baby. And what is that dabbing thing he’s always doing?”
“You mean this?” Zander demonstrated.
“Now, darlin’, those are fighting words in the South.”
“Bring it on.”
His eyes were full amusement. “I think you and I will get along just fine.”
I tucked my hair behind my ear. “We’ll see.”
He turned his gaze from me to the male server that came to take our drinks. Zander ordered a beer before I had a chance to say anything.
“Water. Thank you.” I smiled at the handsome server who gave me a wink.
“What’s wrong with water?”
“It’s Friday night. Get a beer or order a cocktail.”
I met his gorgeous eyes. “I don’t drink.”
He leaned back in his seat. “Are you joking?”
I shook my head. “My mom was killed by a drunk driver when I was fourteen.” I did my best to not get emotional about it. Or to think about the snowy day twelve years ago when my life forever changed. I think it was then my dad made up his mind that I would never grow up and call Addison home. He sent me away as soon as I graduated from high school.
Zander took his hat off and ran his fingers through his hair before replacing the ball cap. “I had no idea. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. How could you have known? And besides, do you know how many calories are in beer?” I smiled to let him know I really was okay.
He patted what I’m sure was a six-pack of abs. “It’s all in how you go about it. But, if it makes you uncomfortable, I won’t drink. I’m always responsible when I drive.”