Say You Love Me (Pine Valley Book 3)(9)

By: Heather B. Moore

She set a sign in the window that read “Be back in 20 minutes,” then walked to the Main Street Café to grab a sandwich. The line wasn’t too long, and she only had to wait a few minutes for her ham and Swiss on wheat. As she walked back to the office, she sipped her lemonade and ate the sandwich. She was too hungry to wait.

She realized someone was standing by the door as she neared the office. She had been gone less than twenty minutes, so she was glad whoever it was had waited.

But as she neared, she realized the man waiting wasn’t necessarily a real-estate client. If she had to guess, the man was Dawson Harris. Was he looking for Jeff? Why wouldn’t he just call the office or try Jeff’s cell? He’d never come to the office before that she knew of. The man turned as she approached.

Yep. Dawson Harris. He was wearing dark-gray dress slacks, a button-down shirt, and a tie. Not really Saturday work attire, but maybe lawyers never dressed down, unless they were in a yoga class. The thought made Clara’s skin warm. They hadn’t even talked yet, and she was on the verge of blushing. Jeff’s words ran through her mind as she remembered him telling her how Dawson had asked if she had a boyfriend.

Clara wished she had a free hand to make sure her flyaway hair wasn’t too crazy. She’d pulled it back in a clip this morning, but she could feel that strands had come loose about her face and neck.

Taking a deep breath, and pasting on a friendly smile, Clara decided to not let this encounter be as awkward as last night’s. So what if he’d called Jeff after the yoga class and asked about her? Clara wasn’t ready to date.

“Hello,” Clara said before Dawson could speak. “Jeff’s out with a client.”

“The rest of the day?” he asked.

“I think so,” Clara said. “I can double check if you want.” So, he was looking for Jeff. Of course he was. What did she expect? She slipped the drink into the crook of her arm so she could unlock the office door with her key. Instead of waiting for her to open the door, Dawson leaned over and opened it for her.

“Oh, thank you,” Clara said in her most cheerful tone. Dawson smelled good. Like some sort of spicy cologne. She tried to ignore the way he smelled, and the fact that he’d followed her into the office space.

Clara crossed to her desk and set her sandwich and drink down. She was sure she smelled like ham and cheese and hoped Dawson wouldn’t stay too long.

When she turned to see him, he was just standing there, as if waiting for her to look at him before he spoke. She suddenly wanted to hurry to the bathroom to check her makeup and hair, which was ridiculous. Last night she’d been in workout clothes, sweating, and wearing no makeup.

Presently, she was wearing black leggings, an oversized blue sweater, and low-heeled boots. Not too dressy, but not sloppy either. She held up her cell phone. “Do you want me to see if Jeff’s coming back?”

“No,” Dawson said, slipping his hands into the pockets of his pants. He wasn’t carrying a briefcase or manila folders—isn’t that what lawyers carried around all the time?

All she knew was that the intensity of his brown eyes focused on her made it hard for her to think straight. She wished he would have just called, although she didn’t know if that would have been much better. She felt hyperaware of every action and every word.

“I’m not here to talk to Jeff,” Dawson continued.

He seemed so serious that Clara wondered if there was something else wrong. Maybe there was some secret lawsuit against her that he’d been notified of? Maybe the sale of her grandma’s house wasn’t going to go through after all, and he was here to tell her. None of that made sense, and Clara decided she needed to sit down. But would it be rude to take her place behind her desk before she found out what he wanted?

“Okay, no problem,” Clara said, her pulse racing. “Is there something I can help you with, then?”

Dawson smiled. “I hope so. Do you like classical music?”

Dawson wasn’t exactly encouraged when Clara’s eyes widened at his question. He supposed that asking her if she liked classical music was sort of out-of-the-blue. But he hadn’t wanted to call her to see if he still got the same vibe as he did last night—something propelled him to talk to her in person again. Clara was a pretty woman, but she seemed to not realize it at all.