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[Lori has come to Reid's grandmother's home to supervise the installation of the hospital equipment, and Reid drops by. He is still smarting from the news that one of his dates has publicly accused him of being bad in bed.]
That voice. Lori didn't have to turn around to know who was standing in the doorway of the kitchen. They'd only met once but everything about him was burned into his brain, including the sound of his voice. It made her want to consider a lobotomy.
She braced herself for the impact of the dark, knowing eyes, the handsome-but-just-shy-of-too-handsome face, and the casual slouch that should have annoyed the heck out of her, but instead made her want to melt like a twelve year old at a Jesse McCartney concert.
Reid Buchanan was everything she disliked in a man. He'd always had it easy so nothing had value. Women threw themselves at him. He'd had a brilliant career playing baseball, although she'd never followed sports and didn't know any details. And, he'd never once in his entire life bothered with a woman as ordinary as her.
"Don't you have something better to do than just show up and annoy me?" she asked as she turned toward him.
Her reaction to his physical presence was immediate. She found it difficult to breathe, let alone think.
"Annoying you is an unexpected bonus," he said, "but not the reason I'm here. My grandmother's coming home today."
"I know that. I arranged it."
"I thought I'd stop by to visit her."
"I'm sure knowing you stopped by four hours before she was due home will brighten her day so much that the healing process will be cut in half."
She pushed past him, ignoring the quick brush of her arm against his and the humiliating burst of heat that ignited inside of her. She was pathetic. No, she was worse than pathetic -- one day she would grow enough to achieve pathetic and that would be a victory.
"She won't be here until this afternoon?" he asked as he followed her back into the library.
"Unfortunately, no. But it was thrilling to see you. So sorry you can't stay."
He leaned against the door frame in this room. He did that a lot. He must know how good he looking doing it, Lori thought grimly. No doubt he practiced at home.
She knew Reid was shallow and selfish and only interested in women as perfect as himself, so why was she attracted to him? She was intelligent. She should know better. And she did...in her head. It was the rest of her that was the problem.
She was a total and complete cliché -- a smart, average-looking woman pining after the unobtainable. The bookstores probably contained an entire shelf of self-help books dedicated to her condition. If she believed in self-help books, she could go get herself healed.
As it was, she was stuck with enduring.
"Don't you have to go away?" she asked.
"For now, but I'll be back."
"I'll count the hours."
"You do that." He stayed where he was, apparently unmovable.
"What?" she asked. "Are we waiting for something?"
He smiled, a slow, sexy smile that caused her heart to actually skip a beat. It was a new low.
"You don't read the paper, do you?" he asked.
"No. I go running in the morning and I listen to music."
The smile brightened. "Good. I'll see you later."
"You could wait until the evening nurse shows up and visit then. Wouldn't that be a great plan?"
"But then you'd miss me. Snarling at me is the best part of your day. Bye Lori."
And then he was gone.