Josie Day Is Coming Home
for one thing, you’ve got all your teeth.”
    His grin widened, proving her right.
    “For another, you’re reasonably open-minded. Unlike some people in this town, you don’t jump to conclusions. Much.”
    As though considering that, he frowned at the items he’d
brought—a two-liter bottle of Seven-Up, a package of Ding Dongs, and a deck of
playing cards. He set them on the coffee table, then sucked in a deep breath.
    “Wait, are you about to jump to a conclusion?” she
asked, pretending to be horrified. “Don’t do it!”
    Luke wasn’t deterred by her joke. “That’s the second—or
twentieth—time you’ve said something like that about this place.” In the
middle of opening the Ding Dongs, he regarded her curiously. “If you hate
it here so much, why did you come back?”
    “I dunno. Maybe I’ve got something to prove.”
Josie blinked, surprised. Where had that come from? “Or maybe I
just wanted a cheeseburger at Frank’s. Nobody makes them like that
anymore.”
    Luke gave her a skeptical look.
    “Come on. I’m kidding . What could I possibly
have to prove to these old busybodies? Who cares what they think?”
    He still looked unconvinced. Damn it.
    “Besides, it’s not every day a girl inherits a mansion
of her very own. I got itchy. I had to check it out. Haven’t you ever
wanted to do that? Just chuck everything and take off to do something
completely unlikely?”
    A strange expression crossed his face. Josie guessed he
had—or he’d wanted to. She wondered which.
    “If you mean learn to samba,” Luke said,
“then, no.”
    Disappointed, Josie made a face. “No, I don’t mean
‘learn to samba.’” She felt sure Luke had been about to reveal
something—something important. Something that had nothing to do with sambaing,
and everything to do with him .
    The truth was, despite her resolve to bail out on Blue Moon,
she couldn’t deny a certain attraction to the place. And to its caretaker. Luke
was interesting, if a little too laid-back in the repairing-the-mansion
department. He was gorgeous, if a little too mysterious. He was often funny,
occasionally puzzling, and always gallant. Really, Luke had more going for him
than the last four men she’d dated in Las Vegas had.
    Besides, let’s face it. She was as susceptible to that
devilish grin of his as the next girl was. Maybe even more, since
“devilish” generally promised “break-the-rules bad boy”—her
favorite kind of guy.
     Hmmm. Josie watched as Luke poked at the fire, sending
sparks up the chimney. Now that she no longer planned to keep Blue Moon, there
might be sparks happening of an entirely different kind. Luke wasn’t off-limits
anymore. She wasn’t going to be his boss, and he wasn’t going to be her
handyman. That meant things were looking up. And here she was, with twenty-one
and a half hours to kill. Doctor’s orders.
    “I meant something really unlikely,” she
prompted. “Like taking up skydiving or driving cross-country with nothing
but a guitar and a Chihuahua.”
    “Is that the voice of experience talking?”
    “Maybe.” Josie smiled. This guy was a mind-reader.
“Or maybe I’m just trying to jog your memory, Mystery Man. How about
working as an extra on a movie set? Building homes for the homeless? Flying on
a trapeze?”
    Luke replaced the fireplace poker, then came toward her.
“How about having my house taken over by a down-on-her-luck showgirl?
That’s new. And unlikely.”
    “Hey.” Offended, she lifted her chin. “I’m
not down on my luck.” True, she’d been a little… squashed …by the
events of her big homecoming. But she felt herself beginning to bounce back.
Bolstered by a few hours’ relaxation, the half pity-burger she’d wolfed down,
and the solid comfort of Blue Moon, Josie felt better equipped to deal with
everything. “But I do think it’s cute how you love this place so much, you
call it your own.”
    “Yeah. Cute.” Wearing that frown again, Luke
strode across

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