Luca Bianco is a jerk. There I said it.
He thinks he’s so suave and sexy, walking around in his paramedic uniform stretched out by all his hard muscles and saving lives every day. I swear he thinks every woman in the world would kill for a chance to be with him.
Men like Luca are good for one thing only—a one-night stand—not commitment. I don’t care if my friend did pay good money at a charity bachelor auction for me to go on a date with him, I refuse to do it.
That is until Luca offers me a deal I can’t refuse, and I agree to be his pretend fiancé.
The heat that’s simmered between us for a decade ignites and I’m not sure even Luca will be able to kickstart my heart after I call code blue.
What’s that saying? Love is blind?
Not true. I can see this head-on collision coming a mile away.
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The light from the street reflects the humor shining in his eyes. “I’m just sick of the fighting.”
“Fighting is what we do best. It’s basically how we communicate.” Then all the puzzle pieces join together in my head. I’m so stupid. “You want something.”
We pull up in front of my house just as I realize what a fucking moron I am.
“Nope.” He takes the keys, grabs the bag of food and gets out of the car.
He’s totally playing me. I might not be a psychologist who can quickly spot a liar, but Luca, I know too well. Not well, but when it comes to our interactions—I know him. And this nice Luca, taking me to a Hawks game, buying me dinner, wanting to eat with me…this isn’t the Luca Bianco I know.
I climb out of his car, the slam of the door echoing down the dark residential street. “Tell me what it is you want.”
His lips remain straight, not even a hint of a smile or smirk.
Another clear sign that this isn’t the Luca I know.
“Come on. Let’s eat.” He nods in the direction of my house.
“By prolonging whatever it is, you’re just pissing me off, which means if you need something, I’m more than likely going to say no. Or we could play a little game…”
“How about we eat?” He waits patiently as I insert the key into my door, disengage the alarm that Cristian, Luca’s brother insisted we get installed.
Police officers. Jeez.
We step inside and he’s the one to shut the door and flick the lock.
“Planning to have your way with me?” I’m not serious as I walk into the kitchen to grab us some drinks, utensils, and napkins.
The sound of the television blaring drifts into the kitchen seconds later.
With my hands full, I head back into the living room. “Feel free to make yourself at home,” I deadpan, handing Luca a Vitamin Water and a napkin.
“Thanks.” He lifts the napkin and drink. “And thanks.”
We sit on the couch because although our house is nice and newly redecorated thanks to Maddie’s mad skills, the family room area is small and the best place to see the television is the couch. No worries though, there’s still a cushion between us.
I open up my box of food, a little bit of steam hitting my face. “I can’t just sit here and watch soccer with you and not know what you want.”
I hate that I’ve had to resort to being sincere in my request.
He opens up his own box and I’m a tad jealous I didn’t get the burger. It smells and looks delicious.
Luca doesn’t respond, just stands and heads into the kitchen.
He knows our house way too well thanks to his brothers always suggesting we meet here when we go out.
I pop a cauliflower floret into my mouth, tasting the Korean flavor makes my mouth water. Opening up my Vitamin Water to cool my tongue, I ignore Luca’s return, instead, fixating on the television as he rounds the coffee table in front of me. The couch dips with the weight of his body which is now closer than before.
I’ve never been alone with Luca, much less this close. I feel a shift in our volatile relationship like the stillness before a storm. It’s too quiet. It’s too calm. Too…enjoyable.
“Here.” My gaze shifts from the television, although I couldn’t tell you the score of the game and I see he’s holding half his burger out to me.
“What’s this?” I ask, loading my mouth with another califloret.
Man, it’s hot.
“I think you had a little bit of drool dripping from your mouth when I opened the container. How about we share?”
He smiles. A smile I’ve only ever seen on his face with his friends, or his brothers, and especially his mom. He doesn’t even wear this smile when he’s with girls. At least not that I’ve ever seen. That fact runs around my stomach stirring up the butterflies to max flight.
I don’t like this.
It’s too damn calm.
Where are the eighty mile per hour winds?
“Luca, if you don’t tell me what you want, I’m going to kick you out of my house.” I take half the burger and slide my cauliflower and fries closer to him as an offering.
“You can’t just wait?” he asks, seeming disappointed.
“HA!” I point to him with a greasy finger. “You do want something from me. Tell me what it is.”
“You’re ridiculous you know that, right? A normal person would wait.”
I shake my head. “No, they wouldn’t.”
See, this feels good. This feels right.
“LUCA!” I scream.
He blows out a breath. “Fine. I need a favor from you.”
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