Home > A Heart So Wild (Atlanta Siege Hockey Romance #1)(7)

A Heart So Wild (Atlanta Siege Hockey Romance #1)(7)
Author: Raine Thomas

“Damn,” Christian said, once again echoing Callan’s thoughts. “You sure you’re not really a psychologist?”

“Maybe that’s a profession I’ll explore in my next life,” she said with a wink.

Christian shook his head. “Well, color me impressed. What’ve you picked up about me?”

She turned so she more directly faced him and gave him a scan, even leaning down to look under the table at what he was wearing. Then she replied, “I think you’re a goalie and that you’re newer to your comfortable financial status than Callan,” she said, earning a blink of surprise from Christian. “You walked a step behind him when crossing the club, telling me you’re used to having teammates who protect you. Then you caught Allie and stopped her from falling when I bumped into her, telling me you’re nimble and also used to being a protector. I don’t see any visible signs that I’d expect to see in someone playing hockey at a professional level, which tells me you’re really lucky, you don’t get to play very much, or you wear more protective gear than someone in Callan’s position.”

She paused until Callan provided, “Left winger.”

Nodding, she turned back to Christian. “You wear nice clothes, but nothing custom. No flashy jewelry or designer shoes. You’re drinking a beer that I’d wager is produced locally and priced reasonably. And I think coming here tonight was Callan’s idea, but you’re glad you came.”

Silence fell over the table after her eerily accurate description was finished. Roxy took another sip of her mojito, her gaze on Callan’s face. He was both awed and a little weirded out by her right then.

Allison broke the silence with a laugh. “You get used to it,” she said, reaching over to give Roxy a sideways hug. “It’s a pretty awesome gift.” To Christian, she said, “I’m not nearly as good at reading people as Roxy, but I’ll bet I know something else about you.”

“What’s that?” he asked.

“You’re going to ask me to dance.”

He gave her a slow smile. “How about that? It’s like you read my mind.”

“Let’s hit the floor, Hot Stuff.”

Christian eased out of the booth, reaching out to assist Allison until she stood beside him. They headed off without a single glance back, confirming for Callan that his and Roxy’s work there was done.

Normally, Callan would have been thrilled to be left alone with a beautiful, interesting woman like Roxy. For some reason, though, he suddenly felt unsure of himself. The things she said about him hadn’t exactly been flattering. Chipped teeth. Imperfect nose. “Flashy” wristwatch and tailored clothes. All of it combined into a description Callan wasn’t sure Roxy approved of.

And for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out why that mattered.

 

 

Chapter Four

 


Roxy gave Callan a moment to process everything she’d shared. Her accuracy had to be jarring to someone like him. For her, however, it was just part of her life.

She had grown up in a large family that celebrated and honored its Roma roots even after decades of adapting to American culture. While many of the myths and stories depicting the Roma as “Gypsy fortune tellers” were completely inaccurate, her grandmother happened to be a legitimate psychic with a loyal clientele. She had explained her gift to Roxy when Roxy was a child, both because Roxy was curious and because her grandmother saw that same gift in her. Under her grandmother’s tutelage, Roxy learned enough to sometimes step in to handle readings if the need arose.

She usually enjoyed exercising her powers of perception and interacting socially with her grandmother’s clients, and she had appreciated the extra under-the-table cash from those readings over the years. But there was no denying there were people who didn’t give any credence to what she and her grandmother did. It seemed Callan was one of them.

She told herself it didn’t matter. Sure, she was attracted to him. So were many other women in the club, judging by the not-so-subtle ogling going on. But the level of attraction between her and Callan was irrelevant. Her job now was to occupy him and allow Allison to explore her chemistry with Christian. She was perfectly capable of doing that even with someone who’d rather be with someone else.

“So,” she said to break the silence, “on a level of one to ten, with one being ‘not at all’ and ten being ‘I’m ordering an Uber and getting the hell out of here,’ just how freaked out are you right now?”

His expression, which had ranged between skepticism and discomfort for the past few minutes, transitioned into amusement. The tension eased from his shoulders as he relaxed back against the booth and took a sip of his drink. He appeared to give her question serious thought.

“I’d say I’m about a four,” he ultimately replied.

“Really? I would’ve easily given you an eight or nine.”

“At first, yeah,” he admitted. “That’s an astonishing talent you’ve got there. But now I’m just really impressed. You’ve got me wanting you to read my palm…see what else you might pick up about me.”

She sensed the sincerity in his tone. It kept her from denying his request outright. She braced her right elbow on the table and placed her chin in her hand.

“Is that right?” she said.

“Yeah. I mean, if you can guess my job off a broken nose—busted twice so far, by the way—and some chipped teeth, I’ve got to know what my palm tells you.”

Ah, she thought. I see.

She hadn’t only surprised him with her insights. She had insulted him.

“You say those things as though they’re flaws,” she observed. “I happen to think they’re what give you such off-the-charts sex appeal.”

One of his eyebrows lifted. “Is that what it is? I’ve often wondered.”

His roguish grin told her she’d managed to soothe his pride. His comment amused her enough that she dropped her right hand to the table and brought her left hand up to rest beside it.

“Let me see those hands of yours,” she said.

“Both?”

She nodded. He shifted as though he was about to comply. Then before his hands reached hers, he turned his left hand over and ran his thumb over the inside of her right wrist. The instant jolt of pleasure evoked by the gentle touch almost made her gasp and pull away. She met his dark gaze.

“That’s a lovely tattoo,” he said.

The look in his eyes and the deep timber of his voice had her battling the urge to lean closer to him. Her body suddenly craved his touch with an almost overwhelming intensity. She instinctively moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue. When his eyes moved to her mouth, she almost lost the battle.

To get herself back under control, she shifted her focus to the tattoo he had mentioned, a collection of nine stars representing her immediate family.

“Thanks,” she said, pleased that her voice was so calm with her heart racing like she’d just run a lap around the club. “Now, are you really interested in this reading or were you just looking for a reason to touch me?”

He smiled again and placed his hands in hers. “Why both hands?”

She began her examination of his hands in the glow of the booth’s light as she replied, “Your non-dominant hand—which, judging by the fact that you hold your glass in your right hand, is your left—tells me what was fated for you, while your dominant hand tells me how you’ve actively chosen to live your life. Reading both palms gives me a clearer picture of how you’re fulfilling your cosmic potential.”

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