Lucky Girl (Lucky Alphas Book 2)

By: Mallory Crowe

She left her helmet on the seat, confident that no one would be stupid enough to try to steal from someone here. Then she gave her storage bag one strong tug to make sure it was locked. That box she found was more valuable than the helmet. Once she was satisfied everything was good, she headed into the bar. The friendly hostess, a girl who didn’t look any older than seventeen, smiled in the sweet, vacant way that let Harper know she wasn’t recognized.

She was usually able to slip around unnoticed. It was a small town, but she’d never been as famous as Wade Maxium or his sister, Sarah. Sure, when she forced the school to allow her on the football team when she was fifteen years old, she got her fair bit of time in the local papers, but that was almost twenty years ago now. People had moved on with their lives, and she left as soon as she could to get away from all of this. To wash the blood off her hands.

It would’ve worked a lot better if she hadn’t gone and replaced it with more.

She was able to get a table in the back corner, and as soon as the waiter came to ask for her drink order, she asked for a water and a basic cheeseburger. She wasn’t here for a good time or to enjoy the atmosphere. She just wanted a burger that would keep her full enough to make it to the next town to get a hotel. She didn’t even want to sleep here for the night.

She was well aware how unhealthy her feelings were about this place. For the most part, her childhood had been great. Especially compared to what some of her friends had to go through. But that last year here had been like a stain that she hadn’t been able to wash off. Maybe someday she’d be a healthy, functioning adult who could handle her past, but today wasn’t that day.

She heard someone approaching, and her mouth started to water. She hadn’t realized how thirsty she was. She was about to look up and reach out for her water, but it wasn’t her waiter standing at the edge of the table.

“How you doing?” said the man in front of her.

“Not interested,” she said dryly.

“All right,” said the man as he had the audacity to sit down in the booth across from her. “What exactly aren’t you interested in?”

She rolled her eyes. She really didn’t have time for this. Well, she supposed she had no plans for the night so time wasn’t a factor. But she was definitely short on patience. She took a deep breath and looked across the table, right to the man’s dark-brown eyes. “Look, I get it. You’re attractive.” He raised his eyebrows in surprise, but she didn’t give him a chance to speak. “You won the genetic lottery, didn’t you? What are you, six foot two? You’ve got a good full head of hair, shoulders like you hit the gym more than most ever have time to. I’m sure that a large percentage of the time when you start hitting on a woman, she’s more than ready to powder her crotch and bat her eyelashes for you, but I’ve had a long day and I’m not in the mood. So please trust me when I say I’m not interested.”

He tilted his head. “Well, that’s pretty presumptuous of you. What if I just wanted to sit down and have a friendly chat?”

She shook her head. “You don’t get to bullshit me. Not today, not in the time of the #MeToo era. You’re not just walking up to some woman alone in a bar, looking for friendship. There are two reasons why you’d be at this table. One is if someone is trying to sue me and you’re some super-secret process server ready to give me papers, or you’re trying to get into my pants. No other options. No in-between. Now look me in the eye and tell me that I’m wrong.”

The man leaned forward on his elbows and took her up on her offer, staring deeply into her eyes so long that she was tempted to look away. “You’re wrong,” he whispered. The hint of a smile tugged at his lips.

Harper looked away first, cursing herself as she did. She had done so well up until that moment. “All right, I’ll bite. Why are you here then?”

“Your friend Wade hired me. I’ve been looking for you all day.”

She blinked a few times in shock. His words were both possible and impossible at the same time. “Wade wouldn’t hire anybody to deal with this.” He couldn’t have. This was so personal. How could he trust anybody else with the information? She narrowed her eyes and studied him carefully. “You’re lying.”

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