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No one knows how I blow off steam, and thatâs how I like it. Most of the time, Iâm happy just being part of a big family in a small town. And those times I need to get away are mine and mine alone.
My secret stays safe until I meet her â the woman who simultaneously pisses me off and turns me on. She seems like a wallflower at first, but it turns out thereâs a lot more to her than I realized. Despite her hidden strength, she has a vulnerability I canât resist.
As we open up to each other, I realize sheâs starting to mean everything to me. She doesnât feel the same way, but that wonât stop me from doing whatever it takes to keep her safe â even if it means exposing my secret to her. Iâm in way over my head, and all I can hope is that someday, sheâll feel the same way about me.
I pressed my lips together, silencing my indignation. Mousy? Librarian? Who the hell did Mason Lockhart think he was?
If only I was the kind of woman whoâd fly out from behind the corner I was hiding around and defend myself. Poke a finger against his chest and show him just how unmousy I was.
But I wasnât that kind of woman. His words hurt because of the spark of truth they held. My cheeks were flaming with embarrassment as I managed to sneak into another room to hide from view so they wouldnât see me. Iâd die of shame if Reed and Mason saw me, or if they knew Iâd accidentally overheard their conversation.
Iâd been waiting to meet Mason and thank him for helping move my stuff in. Ivy and I got back early and I had headed down to my room to start unpacking. But I heard the brothers talking as they headed to my room and I didnât want to interrupt so I managed to make myself scarce. But I still heard every word of their conversation. Fat lot of good that had done me. Now I knew Reedâs brother thought I was a frumpy, mousy bore.
But, seriously, did Mason Lockhart think people got dressed up for moving day? Iâd just pulled a U-Haul truck from Seattle to Lovely, Missouri, stopping at motels on the way. Today Iâd completed the last leg of the journey and judging by the dark skies it looked as if I arrived in the nick of time. Iâd be willing to guess that snow was in the forecast. This morning, after Iâd showered and looked through my stuff for my hair dryer and clean clothes, I hadnât been able to find exactly what I wanted.
And that was why my long curly hair was wound into a bun and I was wearing a random, longish skirt. But the cardigan? That was totally on purpose because it was soft and warm. Mason Lockhart could piss off if he didnât like it.
Iâd seen him at Ivy and Reedâs summer wedding. The Lockhart brothers were pretty much impossible to miss. They were the quintessential tall, dark and handsome man â times five. Other than Reed, I didnât know any them. Except, possibly, Mason. I doubted Iâd ever forget his name now.
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