When a Heart Stops

When a Heart Stops by Lynette Eason

Book: When a Heart Stops by Lynette Eason Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lynette Eason
Tags: FIC042040, FIC042060, FIC027110
at night, I like my coffee. Decaf, though, okay?”
    He nodded. “I’m right there with you.”
    â€œAnd do you have any flavored creamer?”
    â€œVanilla or mocha.”
    Delight lightened her pretty eyes. “Mocha.”

    While he rummaged around in the kitchen, getting the coffee brewing, Serena straddled a stool, placed her elbows on the bar, and settled her chin in her hands.
    And studied him. It wasn’t a hardship.
    Tall, with the same fiery red hair that he shared with his sister, Alexia, and gorgeous green eyes. Serena sighed.
    He looked up. “What’s wrong?”
    Mortification filled her. Sighing over him like a lovesick teen. Again! She cleared her throat. “Um. Nothing. Just thinking.”
    â€œAbout?”
    She couldn’t help the small smile that lifted her lips. “You really want to know?”
    He paused and looked at her. “Yes. I really want to know.”
    â€œIt’s kind of silly, actually.” Serena forced herself not to fidget. “I was thinking how much you’ve changed since the last time I saw you. You know, when I was a kid.”
    A light went on in his eyes. And he grinned as he gave her the once-over. “I could say the same about you.”
    She bit her lip, then blurted, “I had a big old crush on you when I was twelve.”
    His face softened. “I know.”
    The heat of embarrassment hit her. “You do? You did?”
    â€œYes. Which is why I did my best to avoid you.”
    Serena winced. “I was that annoying?”
    â€œNo.” His somber expression grabbed her. “I knew I wasn’t any good. And I didn’t want to hurt you.”
    That made her heart flip. “Oh.”
    He shrugged and turned back to the coffee. “You were too young for me anyway. But it didn’t stop me from noticing that you were going to be an incredibly beautiful woman one day.”
    â€œOh.” She couldn’t seem to find any other word in her vocabulary.
    Dominic chuckled, stepped closer, and pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. “I was right.”
    Serena felt the breath leave her as his gaze dropped to her lips. The musky scent of his cologne surrounded her. In the blink of an eye, a thousand thoughts raced through her mind. Finally, her tongue got back in touch with her mind. “I’m not twelve anymore.” As soon as the words left her, she wanted to recall them. While she’d found other words, apparently she’d lost her filters.
    He froze. Tender fingers lingered on the fragile shell of her ear as he stared down at her. “I know.” He paused as he studied her closer. “Trust me, I’ve noticed.”
    Her lower lip trembled. Her heart thumped, threatening to rupture through her chest.
    His head lowered.
    Her eyes closed.
    And the doorbell rang.

13
    TUESDAY, 10:45 P.M.
    Dominic flinched and pulled back, his heart racing at the interruption. He’d almost kissed her. And regretted that he hadn’t. Clearing his throat, he said, “Excuse me a minute.”
    He noticed the red in her cheeks and hoped she wasn’t thinking he was trying to move too fast with her. That certainly wasn’t his intention. In fact, he really didn’t have any business thinking about her romantically.
    Did he?
    Then again, why not?
    Like she said, she wasn’t twelve anymore.
    He left her in the kitchen and walked to the front door. Out of habit and self-preservation, he stood to the side and peeked out the window.
    No one stood on the porch.
    Uneasiness tightened his gut.
    His hand reached for the weapon that was never too far from his fingertips.
    â€œWhat is it?” Serena asked from the doorway.
    â€œI’m not sure. Some kids playing around maybe.” Dominic reached for the doorknob, then hesitated. He walked into the den and pulled back the curtain that would allow him to see the front porch.
    The porch light illuminated the area. No one

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