At least when it comes to finding Mr. Right.
I’m tired of men that only want one night stands or blind dates that are nothing but awkward and uncomfortable. I’m tired of avoiding inappropriate text messages and the constant disappointment of always meeting Mr. Wrong.
After all these years of dates that lead nowhere, I can admit that it’s me. I’m the problem. I’m shy and picky and cursed. Definitely cursed.
So I’ve decided two things.
The first? I’m giving up dating and relationships and men in general. Maybe, possibly, forever.
The second? I’m going to have to try harder to avoid Ezra Baptiste.
If I couldn’t hack it in the kiddy pool of dating, I certainly can’t swim in his deep end. He’s too successful. Too intense. He’s all man when I’m used to nothing but boys pretending to be grownups. He’s everything I’m afraid to want and so far out of my league we might as well be different species entirely.
So he’ll need to find a different artist to paint his mural. And a different graphic designer to help him with his website. He’ll need to find someone else to glare at and flirt with and kiss.
It can’t be me.
We’re too different.
“Are you okay?” he asked with that smooth, even voice that could not be ruffled or perturbed. Ever so elegantly, I pulled myself from my tangled thoughts and replied, “Huh?” “You seem tense,” he added. Champagne forced the truth from my lips. “You make me nervous.” His concentrated gaze found mine. “Why?”
Oh, how to answer that loaded question. I tilted my head to the side, my long hair fell over my shoulder and I confessed, “Probably because the first time we met, you told me my style was juvenile at best.”
His eyebrows drew down. “I didn’t say that.”
The truth strengthened my courage and I added, “You also said that your clientele was too wealthy for my cheap taste, and that if I ever wanted to make it in this city I was going to have to try harder.”
His eyebrows dipped further. “That doesn’t sound like something I would say.”
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. He looked so… affronted! “Are you serious? That sounds exactly like something you would say!” I felt myself loosen up in his arms. His hand pressed tighter against my back, drawing me closer to him. “You asked me for advice and then hated everything I had to say.”
“That’s not at all how I remember it,” he countered, referencing the first time we’d met. Vera and I had made reservations at Lilou and then waited six weeks to get in. When we finally did, Killian had given us the five-star treatment, but Ezra had stopped by our table for all of five minutes. Just long enough to insult me. He continued, “I distinctly remember you calling me an old man with dated taste and a tacky dinosaur of a website.”
I was positive my expression was a mirror image of his, insulted, outraged and maybe, possibly a little ashamed. “I wouldn’t say those things,” I countered. “I’m not that bold.”
His laugh was hard, bit out with the barest amounts of real amusement. “Molly, every single thing about you says otherwise.”