Standing at the makeshift bar in the house his brother, Greg, shared with three other guys through university, Trevor zeroed in on a girl that stood out amongst the rest. She was one of those innocent-looking strawberry blondes with no makeup, freckles, and the glow of all that life could offer on her face. His heart flipped right there. He’d never believed in things like love at first sight, but in that moment, he changed his mind.
He’d only stopped by after a long haul run to Atlanta to congratulate his little brother on his graduation. He’d planned on staying no more than ten minutes, favoring instead a hot shower, a steak, and his bed. Only now, the pretty sweet thing was eyeing him back and dammit if he wasn’t sunk when she smiled at him.
“Hey, I’m Layla,” she said, after walking over and leaning up against the breakfast bar loaded with alcohol, snacks, and red plastic cups.
“Trevor,” he answered, turning to face her. He had the urge to kiss her right there. She smelled like watermelon bubble gum. “Greg’s my baby brother.” He pointed his beer cup toward his brother. She nodded.
“I felt you staring at me. Like this pull in my gut,” she said. His brows rose a little and she smirked. “Okay, I’m lying. My friends told me there was a hot guy checking me out.” He chuckled and shook his head, but she nudged him in fun. “You believed me, didn’t you?”
“Only because that’s how I felt when I saw you.”
She cocked her head, examining his face, which held a serious expression.
“You did?” Her eyes narrowed. “You’re just trying to get me back.”
“Nope. I was going to go home until I saw you.”
“Okay, okay,” she said, waving her hands and sounding excited. It was goddamned adorable! She shifted to face him then too. Placing her hands on his forearms, she giggled. “I want you to know I am not this kind of girl, so don’t go expecting to get in my pants, okay? This experiment is for science.” He nodded at her fake solemnity and she continued. “There’s only one way to tell.”
“Tell what?” he asked, cocking one brow and wondering if he looked as smitten as he felt.
“If we’re like soulmates or something.”
“Soulmates?” He grinned in skepticism. “Seriously?”
“Hey now, you’re the one that brought up ‘gut pull.’” Her fists went to her hips.
“You’re right, Layla, I did. Please continue.” She was the one that brought it up, but she was too damn cute to argue with. And before he’d even finished his thought, the honey-haired beauty was kissing him.
Swept away, his hands found her hair and entwined in it so he could pull her closer and taste more of her. His heart was flipping like a gymnast in his chest and he felt dizzy with the need to consume more of this woman. When she ended their kiss, he was more than a bit stunned. Holyfuckingshit. They were soulmates. And damn if watermelon wasn’t his new favorite flavor.
He stared at her, stunned by his absofuckinglutely ridiculous thought. He wasn’t a teen girl, for fuck’s sake. He was a twenty-seven-year-old man! A man’s man! A big rig driver, soon to be balls-to-nutsack with a bunch of newbies in military boot camp. And yet here he was, his six-foot-two frame teetering from having kissed a woman he hadn’t known for more than five minutes.
Layla put a finger to her chin, looked up, and hummed. He couldn’t hear the humming as the music was loud, but he could tell. Her eyes finally slid back to his and she bit her lip, which was puffy from their kiss. His stomach tightened. The flush on her cheeks made her even more appealing.
“Nope. Nothing.” She sighed, tossing her hands up in defeat and Trevor’s jaw dropped.
“Uh, nothing?” he stammered, furrowing his brow and then swallowing hard. She smirked and he couldn’t help it; his hand clapped off her bottom, making his palm buzz.
“Oh!” she blurted, clasping her bottom cheek. “You caught me, huh?”
Trevor gave her a firm look and crossed his arms. “Layla, you know what happens when you fudge the results of a serious scientific experiment—in human trials—don’t you?”
She frowned. “I know, I know. It’s a serious offense.” She shook her head, looking at her feet, which he suddenly noticed were bare and had the prettiest pale pink polish on them. “I should be ashamed of myself.” She looked up swiftly then, her lip caught between her teeth again until she spoke. “You won’t report me, will you?” Her hands were back on his forearms and the feel of them made his gut fall and rise as if he were riding his Harley way too fast in the mountains.
“I don’t know. How will you learn your lesson if there are no consequences?” While his face remained serious, she broke out in a huge grin—one that made his gut dance like a little-fucking-girl’s.
“Well, you could spank me again.”
And that was it, no two ways about it, he was in love. This girl, who he knew almost zilch about, was his.