Heart's a Mess
Author:Scott, Kylie

“No,” he said. “Duncan and I take turns closing up. Tonight’s my night off. Normally I’d have been out of here an hour ago. But I was waiting.”

 

“Yeah?” Violet threw open the locker to grab her handbag, doing her best to listen.

 

And stopped. There was her bra. Neatly folded and sitting atop her bag.

 

“Yeah,” he said, his voice coming closer. “I thought we could talk.”

 

Motherfucker.

 

She’d forgotten all about the stupid thing. Getting away had been her priority the night before. Forgetting it ever happened had featured predominately throughout the day. Evidence of their sexual escapades had skipped her mind entirely.

 

The bra wasn’t one she wore often. It had been a gift from a friend and the band was a bit tight. Losing it hadn’t worried her anywhere near as much as it should have, clearly. When she’d gotten home, she’d torn off her clothes and dumped them in the laundry basket, doing her best to forget what she’d been up to. Who she’d been all over. Worry about the possible repercussions had filled her mind. Missing lingerie had been the least of her concerns.

 

“How?” she asked, dry-mouthed.

 

“I remembered your perfume.”

 

Violet closed her eyes, shutting it all out. It didn’t work. He stood close enough now that she could feel the warmth of his body, the weight of his stare. And her job, her beautiful job, it was slipping away like sand through the hourglass. Shit.

 

“I think it might be best if we talk at your place, yeah?” he said.

 

“Not in the office?”

 

“No,” he said. “This is personal. I don’t want this affecting work.”

 

Her eyes shot open. “You’re not going to fire me?”

 

“Absolutely not,” he said. “No, Vi. I wouldn’t…look, whatever happened or happens in the future stays between us, outside of this place. It doesn’t impact your job. We can both be professional about this, right? We’re both adults.”

 

Her heart had a mini seizure. Just in case. “It’s really okay?” she asked.

 

“It’s perfectly fine. I promise.”

 

Her ribs loosened their pincer grip on her chest and she took a full, happy breath. It felt like her very first for the day. “Oh. Good.”

 

Alex smiled back at her, blue eyes warm. Really warm, bordering on smoking, smoldering hot. They were packed full of affection and the promise of good times ahead. And holy shit, reverse thrusters, because there wasn’t a single chance of that happening. She couldn’t let it.

 

“In that case, we have nothing to talk about,” she announced. “I think it’s best if we just pretend this never happened.”

 

“Wait—”

 

“It was a mistake, a huge mistake that will never be repeated.” Violet grabbed her handbag and stuffed the bra deep inside. “I’m really glad we could sort this out.”

 

“No,” he said. “We haven’t sorted anything out. We need to talk.”

 

“This definitely doesn’t affect my job?” she asked.

 

“Definitely not.”

 

She nodded. “Then that wasn’t an order from my boss. This never happened. None of it. Good night, Alex.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Like hell she’d get away from him that easy.

 

Alex stood behind the bar staring at Violet. Chillingly cold, foamy beer gushed over his hand, startling the crap out of him as the glass overfilled. “Damn it.”

 

“That’s the sixth time you’ve done that,” said Duncan helpfully.

 

“Shut up.”

 

“This hour.”

 

Alex gave his smirking customer, luckily one of the regulars, an apologetic smile. “Sorry about that. Let me get you a clean one.”

 

“I gave up keeping count for the day,” Duncan told the customer.

 

“He would have had to take off his shoes. Math was never his strong suit,” said Alex, finishing up with the fresh drink and placing it on the bar. “That one’s on me, Reg.”

 

Reg nodded and smirked some more, moving back to his table.

 

“Why don’t you just go talk to her and put us all out of our misery?” his brother asked, throwing him a towel to mop up the mess. “Go on. They’re finished serving dinner. It’s a quiet night.”

 

“Didn’t ask for your opinion.”

 

“Think of it as a gift. Catch her before she heads out the door.”

 

Alex shook his head. “No.”

 

“For fuck’s sake,” Duncan moaned melodramatically. “If I have to spend another day with you making cow eyes at her it’s not going to end well.”

 

Alex ignored him.

 

“She looks hot in that low-cut top tonight.”

 

His hackles rose. “Don’t.”

 

“Maybe I’ll go talk to her. Since you don’t have the balls, and all.” Duncan grinned at him, amusement lighting his eyes. Though Alex could only see the one. His brother had plastered his fringe down over half his face to cover the black eye from two days back. “She looks like a lot of woman to handle, if you know what I mean. Might be best if I take charge of this particular staff situation.”

 

Alex had advanced on the little prick, fists clenched tight, before he even knew what he was doing. “You want another black eye?” he growled, loudly enough to make the closest pub patrons cast curious looks in their direction. Shit.

 

“No, numbnuts. I want you to grow a pair and go woo the girl already.”