As I twisted the deadbolt, a large hand came down on my shoulder. I froze. My heart slammed into my ribcage.

The hand moved. “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” The voice was strong, deep. Very masculine.

I wheeled around and my heart nearly stopped.


That was the only word that formed in my mind as I took in all six plus feet of him. Sandy blond hair fell into his hazel eyes. A crimson red rugby jersey fit snuggly against his broad chest, slim waist, and large biceps.

“Closed down computer,” I mumbled.

“What?” He looked at me like I belonged in a loony bin.

I shook the stupor from my head. “I’ve already shut down the computer. I’m closed. I can’t sell you any books tonight.”

He smiled, his eyes dancing. “I’m not buying a book. I’m looking for Jace Durham? Is he here, I need to do business with him.”

Great, another college kid that thought he could score drugs. I’d kill Suz for starting that rumor, even if it were a joke. And why did everyone assume Jace had to be a boy?

“Jace doesn’t do business with piss-ants like you, so just leave.” I turned and unlocked the door. What a waste. I guess good looks doesn’t mean smart.

He grabbed my arm and spun me around. His nostrils flared. “First off, you know nothing about me. And second, let Jace make up his own mind if he wants to do business with me.”

“Look,” I said, trying to defuse the situation, no need to get someone who could squash me like a bug all riled up. “No matter what you’ve heard, you can’t get anything stronger than Tylenol here. And that’s only if you’re a friend. The whole drug dealer thing was my idiot friend Suz thinking it was funny to tell some guy that wouldn’t take a hint and leave me alone that I sold drugs. I don’t. So just leave please.”

His eyebrows knitted together. “Listen, pumpkin, I don’t know who you are or anything about drugs, but I need to talk to Jace. And if you go find him for me, I’ll make it worth your time.”