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The words and graphs on the report were blurring together again and Luke blinked, his eyes drifting back to the clock. He wanted to call her but figured if Aris wanted to talk then she would have called him or at least responded to his texts by now. The fact that he was the only one initiating contact—stopping by her place, calling her, texting her—was an obvious sign. She hadn’t answered her door or returned his messages in days. He needed to take the hint and fall back if, in fact, those were hints. Luke was genuinely concerned but perhaps she was misinterpreting his persistence. It was clear to him that Aris wasn’t looking for more than a casual friendship and he was…what?
What was he looking for?
Leaning back in his chair, he pulled out his phone, glanced at the screen and laughed at himself…and the truth behind his actions.
He needed to get his shit together.
When the hell had his mild interest in Aris shifted to something more? In the beginning, she’d barely caught his eye. He’d seen her around, but there were dozens of pretty women in the neighborhood. Yet, she was the one who always shifted his attention. It was just something about her…but his curiosity was fleeting and never enough to make him go out of his way to say hello or want to know her name…
Until he saw her at the sports bar.
That urge to finally speak to her had surfaced out of nowhere, but everything afterwards had been completely driven by her. He’d simply gone along for the ride—from the botched breakfast at her apartment to her decision to upgrade them from neighbors to friends.
Luke smiled as he remembered the first time she called his place. He had gotten home late and saw he had a few messages. He figured they were from his mother and Jessica, the only two people who insisted on calling him at home before trying to reach him on his cell. He was right, of course. The second and third messages were from his mother and Jessica, but it was the first one that surprised him—a long message that was left around the time he’d left Aris’s apartment earlier that same day to grab food before the tow truck arrived to haul off her car.
“Hey, it’s me. Aris. I got your number out of the community directory…who knew the day would come when I would actually find myself using this thing? Anyway, I was just thinking…not too many people know that I have mutilated heads in my apartment, I’m a lousy cook and I eat like a man. In my mind, that makes you a friend…which means you get to have the number to my Droid. My land line is really only for bill collectors, but I see they listed it in this directory despite my request for them not to. The nerve…I ought to write a nice-nasty letter to the property manager about this…anyway, what was I sayin’? Oh yeah, my number…save it…”
Luke shook his head at the memory, grinning at how she could go from dismissive in one minute to declaring them friends shortly after. That night, he’d saved her number in his phone without hesitation. Instead of Aris, he had entered Moody as the name to appear in his Contacts list.
Straightening up in his chair, he put his phone away and shifted his gaze to the report in front of him that he didn’t care to read…grinning and still thinking of her…
Moody suited her perfectly.
DAWN OF ARIS IS COMING MARCH 3!
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Aris Collier is chasing her dreams…at a snail’s pace. With little money and big talent, she works tirelessly to perfect her craft…even at the expense of her relationships. When she walks away from yet another dead-end entanglement with the hopes of finally getting her life on track, the last thing she expects is a fast friendship with her neighbor, Luke. They couldn’t be more different but soon the two become an inseparable pair, leaving Aris both surprised and disturbed that Luke understands her better than anyone else ever has…
Luke Donovan has it all—looks, career, money and status. Most importantly, he has the bold, brave and beautiful Jessica Knox, a woman he’s been building his impeccable life with since college. But as Luke continues his corporate climb, he soon realizes that the view from the top isn’t so great and the future laid out in front of him is very far from his true definition of happiness. For the first time in his life, Luke is unsure…until he meets his quirky neighbor, Aris, who just may help him discover what love and life are really all about…