The Wednesday after my Sunday drinks with Roddy and Seonaid, I found myself in the untenable position of wanting to say no to Sylvie and not being able to. Somehow, she’d gotten her hands on a Twister game board and had talked the kids into playing.
I hadn’t thought it was a great idea, and Jan wasn’t too sure, either, but Sylvie won by announcing only she and I would play, and the kids would take turns spinning the wheel. It actually turned out to be a pretty good idea because we ended up in such awkward positions, in fits of giggles, that we had all the kids laughing and trying to cheat by placing us in even more ungainly positions!
I was in the middle of begging Poppy not to cheat with the Twister spinner when a deep, masculine voice sounded from behind me at the door.
“What is going on here?”
Unable to turn to see who it was, I heard Jan’s voice. “The children’s entertain—”
“Uncle Aidan!” Sylvie squealed in my ear, making me flinch. “I’m moving but you can’t move!” She unwound her leg from mine and was gone.
“How is that fair?” I asked. I wanted to move. I had my ass in the air and the mysterious Uncle Aidan was right behind it.
I bowed my head trying to see through my legs but all I saw were his and Jan’s feet and then Sylvie’s as she rushed him.
“Come play, Uncle Aidan,” Sylvie begged excitedly.
“I think I’ll just watch.” His voice rumbled, sounding amused. He had a great voice. A beautiful lilting, cultured Scottish accent. And my ass was in his face. In green Peter Pan leggings that did nothing to hide the shape of my body, I might add.
I looked super professional right now.
“Oh, please,” Sylvie begged. “Please.”
“No, sweetheart. You go back into the game. I’ll be here when you’re done.”
“But I want you to play with Nora—I mean, Peter Pan.”
I almost choked. It was time to get up before Peter Pan was made to play Twister with a strange man. The thought sounded so perverted, I had to swallow a giggle.
“Please, please!” the other kids suddenly started begging.
Sylvie began instructing him on the position she’d been in.
“Guys, leave Sylvie’s uncle—” The squeak of the plastic mat halted me midsentence.
And then I felt his heat, followed by the smell of expensive cologne. It was earthy but fresh. Like wood, and amber, mint leaves and apple.
Oh, dear God.
Slowly, I lifted my head and found myself staring into green eyes that were bright with amusement. Familiar green eyes with flecks of yellow gold.
“You must be Peter Pan,” he said, laughter trembling on his lips.
Lips I remembered well.
In fact, I remembered those broad shoulders too, that square, unshaven, strong jawline and expressive mouth. I remembered the sexy laugh lines around his eyes. It all belonged on a very tall, well-built guy who had once picked me up off the floor of a pub and then flirted with me the following day in a supermarket on what would turn out to be one of the worst days of my life.
Uncle Aidan was the stranger from the bar.
Small goddamn world.
Realizing I hadn’t spoken, I managed a croaky, “Hey.”
Our faces were too close together, and his long leg was currently entangled with my short one.
“Right hand green, Peter Pan!” Sylvie announced.
I wrenched my gaze from his to the mat. The nearest green spot would mean climbing her uncle like a monkey. Part of me wondered if she’d cheated. I shot her a suspicious look and watched her shake with giggles.
“Oh, crap,” I muttered under my breath.
I heard the rumble of laughter and my eyes flew back to his. There was a challenge in his, but not recognition. He didn’t remember me. Why would he? I was just a girl he briefly met once.
“I’m not doing it.”
His eyes grew round with mock innocence. “But that would be cheating.”
“Cheating?” Sylvie heard. “No cheating.”
“No cheating, Peter Pan!” Poppy cried out from her chair.
Soon all the kids were buzzing with laughter and conversation as I stared at the man who was already too close for comfort.
There was no way I was doing it. It wouldn’t be appropriate. I moved toward him as if I was going to do it and I let my left hand and foot slip. I flipped at the last minute, crashing down on the mat on my back.
“Oh no, I fell! I lose!” I threw my hands up in the air.
I heard his laughter before his face appeared upside down above mine. My breath caught as he smiled down at me. “Liar.”
“It’s called pretending.” I grinned up at him. “There’s a difference.”
Instead of smiling back at me, he suddenly frowned. “Have we met?”