Heart's a Mess
Author:Scott, Kylie

“She wants to be left alone.”


“Right. That’s why she’s sneaking looks at you every time you’re not looking at her.”


That stopped him. “She is?”


Hope grabbed him by the throat.


Until John rapped his knuckles on the other side of the bar. “Service.”


“What do you want?” Duncan barked at him.


With one raised brow, John leaned across the bar. “You two idiots are making a scene. Again. Cut it out. And give me a bottle of the ‘01 Mount Cooma. I’ve got some truffles that I want to try it out with.”


“He won’t go talk to her,” Duncan said, reaching for the requested bottle of wine.


“That’s coming out of your pay,” Alex informed his older brother.


John just shrugged. “It’s worth it. Who won’t he go talk to?”


“Are you kidding me?” Dunc asked. “How could you possibly not have noticed him drooling over Violet?”


“Violet?” John accepted the bottle, checking the label with care. “That the new girl?”


“Yes,” said Dunc. “The one Marie’s training up to manage the restaurant so she can have time off. You might recall we had a meeting about it?”


His brother just looked at them blankly. Which shouldn’t have surprised Alex but did. John’s range of focus was amazingly narrow. If it didn’t directly involve him or his kitchen then the man remained oblivious.


“You know, Johnny. Your world is a small, pathetic place,” said Dunc.


“Wherein I am God.” John’s smile was all teeth. “Marie doesn’t need help running the restaurant. What would she even want nights off for? This place is her life.”


“I guess she wants more of a life,” said Alex.


“Yeah. Right.” His older brother scoffed and wandered away, bottle of wine in hand. “Bye.”


“You really want to end up like him?” asked Duncan. “Spending your free time alone, jerking off to a bottle of wine and some fungus?”


“Are truffles fungus?”


“Fucked if I know.” Duncan shrugged. “Go talk to the girl. Please.”


His gaze zoomed straight to where she stood wiping down a table. Didn’t matter where in the room she might be, he could feel her whereabouts and immediately put his eyes on her. It was a hell of a super power and a little scary, to be frank. Since when had he been so tuned in to any woman?


Tonight she had on a plain black dress that fit her just right, and as Duncan said, gave him amazing glimpses of an expanse of creamy cleavage. It had short sleeves and the flowers tattooed on her arm peeked out from underneath. Her hair was up in some fifties-style ’do and her cherry-red lips shone like the sweetest ripe fruit. He had no idea how the woman had gotten beneath his skin so fast but he wanted beneath hers, constantly.


Marie said something and Vi threw her head back, laughing raucously, completely unselfconscious. Something low in his guts tightened. His dick knew exactly what it wanted and no one else would do. Fuck she was pretty and what a gorgeous laugh. But as if conscious of his voyeurism, she quickly stifled the sound and pinned her lips shut. Then she picked up the cash bag and some paperwork, and headed toward the staff exit.


“Go get her, tiger,” Duncan said before moving down the bar to serve a customer.


His feet were already moving.


Not following her was out of the question.




The office door clicked closed and she heard the lock turn.


Violet wasn’t particularly surprised. What with all the hot-and-heavy glances of the last few days, she’d known this had to be coming. Unwise as it was, a part of her had even yearned for it.


She closed the safe door and spun the dial, tugged once to test it. Then she got the hell off her knees and stood, smoothing down her dress. “I was just finishing up for the night.”


“Hey,” said the tall, beautiful man.




“Cute.” Alex chuckled and sat himself down on the long leather couch pushed up against a wall. “See, the thing is, Vi. It’s driving me crazy, not knowing what happened between us.”


“Nothing happened between us.”


“Now that’s a lie.”


“All right, we fornicated.”


He licked his lips and gave her a halfway smile. “I get that. But I’m going to need more detail from you.”


“Oh, no…” She demurred, a hand rising in protest.




“Such as?”


“Why don’t you come sit down so we can talk about it?” He patted the seat beside him in invitation. “You’ve been on your feet for hours.”


“True.” Vi grabbed the back of one of the chairs situated in front of the big old desk, turned it to face him and sat down. Her hands wrapped around the chair arms, fingers holding on as if she expected takeoff to be imminent. Letting them roam free would be far too risky. She wanted to touch him again too much.


“What do you want to know?” she asked.