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Flipping Love You(8)
Author: Erin Nicholas

Still, there was something about her that he found intriguing. There was no question in his mind that it had to do in part with the fact that she was gorgeous.

Now that they’d moved closer to Michael’s truck and the street lights he could see her more clearly. He couldn’t tell what color her eyes were exactly or if she had freckles or if her teeth were perfectly straight or anything. But she had a cute turned up nose, that long, tightly wavy hair, and a great body. She was very petite. She only came to chest level on him and he was sure he could span her waist with both hands. She had small perky breasts, slim hips, and a tight ass. He’d bet she was a runner or something.

Most of all though, he wanted to make her smile.

That was very strange. But she seemed so serious.

She had a bit of a sense of humor that had peeked out. At least he assumed she was joking when talking about turning him into the authorities and getting him written up if he didn’t help her goats. But she also seemed…detached. She truly seemed unconcerned about his medical condition and she was willing to manipulate him into helping the animals.

Detached was not something that Zeke understood. He had never been detached about anything in his life that he could think of. He wasn’t sure anyone in his family could actually define that word.

Landrys attached. Period. To recipes. To favorite fishing spots. To favorite embarrass-your-relatives stories. To people. Most definitely to people.

Like leeches.

“Okay, fine,” he said. “We’ll get the goats back home. Then you have to let me buy you a drink.”

She shook her head. “No, I don’t.”

Zeke heard Michael snort. He cast his friend a glance.

“How about coffee?”

“I’m okay.”

“How about the best pecan pie you’ll ever have in your life?”

“No, thanks.”

“Goat cheese balls?”

Michael laughed out loud at that.

If she said yes to those, Zeke was going to be in trouble, but he knew this woman wasn’t going to let him buy her anything so he was just being sarcastic.

“Or goat steaks maybe?” he asked. He eyed Sneezy as he said it.

“No,” she said, clearly a bit exasperated.

Which was fine. Zeke was very familiar with people being exasperated with him.

“Look, it’s not like either of us is doing the other a favor by getting the goats to the barn,” the woman said. “They just need to get back. If you’d rather call someone else, I suppose we could do that. But the three of us are here and I think that’s more than enough to handle the goats, especially since there’s also a dog.”

Zeke snorted. “That dog is part of the problem.”

“She’s clearly still learning.”

“Clearly.”

“It just seems like a waste of time to wait for someone else to get here.” She paused. “Also seems like a waste of time to stand here talking about all of this instead of just getting it over with.”

Zeke wasn’t sure what to say. He was actually…offended.

He was very well-liked. That wasn’t his ego talking. That was just a fact. Yes, he was very well-liked by women in particular. It was unusual for women to not want to…consume things with him. But it was very uncommon for people in general not to want to spend time with him.

Then again, it also seemed unusual for someone to come upon another person who had just had a motorcycle accident and not be at least slightly concerned about them.

So the woman was weird.

It was her, not Zeke.

Okay, good. He could accept that.

It was better they not have a drink, or any goat products, together.

 

 

2

 

 

Zeke would’ve really preferred, however, to not have had a friend witness all of this. Especially a friend who would repeat it to the rest of his friends, most of whom were his relatives.

“Okay, let’s go.”

The woman went to the dog and told her she was a good girl and to come. Then they each picked up a goat and started in the direction of the petting zoo barn that was down the road.

The rest of the goats followed along behind them with Benny running from one side of the group to the other, barking and woofing. Zeke rolled his eyes. She had the general idea, but the goats were definitely following the humans, not listening to Benny.

The petting zoo was located directly next to the Boys of the Bayou Swamp Boat Tour Company office and docks and across the street from Ellie’s bar. Zeke was tempted to walk straight in there after they got the goats settled and the gate secured. But his bike was still up by the motel and for some reason, he wanted to make sure the woman got back to where she’d come from.

“Were you just passing through?” he asked her.

“I’m staying at the motel,” she said. “I was over at the convenience store getting food and was walking back when I saw you barreling toward the goat.”

Zeke looked at her as they walked. He could not read her. Was she joking? Surely, she had to be joking. “I wasn’t barreling,” he felt inclined to say.

“You would have been if it hadn’t been for the stop sign.”

He stopped walking. “I knew it! I knew I stopped. You manipulated me to get me to take those goats back to the barn.”

She gave him a look that said, “obviously”. “I wouldn’t have had to if you were a good guy and had just agreed to do it in the beginning.”

“I’m a very good guy. I was going to do it.”

“You sure were whining about it.”

Again, Michael snorted, but said nothing.

“I wasn’t whining. I’ve had a long day. And I just wrecked my motorcycle,” Zeke pointed out.

“You stopped at that stop sign. The goat was crossing the street. You started forward and then saw him and swerved. You were clearly not paying attention.”

“So?”

“So it’s your own fault.” She turned and started walking again.

Michael walked along beside her.

Zeke watched them for several steps.

He realized he was having a hard time processing this whole situation.

And yes, he was self-aware enough to realize what it was.

This woman wasn’t a bit charmed by him.

And she wasn’t letting him off the hook.

That sounded a little pathetic. He was twenty-five years old. It wasn’t like consequences were an entirely foreign concept.

But he was the baby of the family. He didn’t have a lot of consequences. Yeah, he knew how that sounded, but it was true. He was the youngest grandchild, except for a couple of girl cousins who didn’t live in Autre. He was the youngest boy in his family, even if it was only by two minutes behind his twin Zander. And he loved being the youngest.

Youngest children got away with all kinds of shit. He’d been aware of that from a very young age. Also everyone worried about him more. Everyone loved to take care of him. And he loved to let them. Could he have survived on his own if he had to?

He really wasn’t sure.

He’d never had to try and he couldn’t think of a time, at any point in the near future, when that would change, so he didn’t really think about it too hard.

He finally jogged a few steps to catch up with Michael and the woman.

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