Home > Running into Love (Fluke My Life #1)

Running into Love (Fluke My Life #1)
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds

Chapter 1

TROUBLE!

LEVI

Lifting my eyes off the pavement below my feet, I frown when I see a woman running toward me with her eyes closed and her hands in the air, waving from side to side. Jesus, what the fuck is she doing? I don’t even have a chance to get out of her way, and before I can prepare, she’s running into me at full speed and we’re both tumbling toward the ground. Attempting to keep my weight from crushing her, I try to spin us at the last second, but I only manage to turn us to our sides before we land and skid across the ground.

Groaning from the impact, I roll over and move to my knees, rising above the woman, and scan her from head to toe. She’s tiny, so much smaller than me that I know I could crush her without trying. I just hope I didn’t. “Babe.” I wait for her eyes to open, and when they do I’m stunned. She’s beautiful in an unusual sort of way that reminds me of a fairy. Her blonde hair is a mass of wild curls. Her face is soft; her nose, tiny; and her lips are a shape I wouldn’t mind studying more, but her eyes aren’t like any I have ever seen before. The color reminds me of an old beat-up green pickup truck I used to have—the green had faded and peeled away, leaving layers of silver and blue. I loved that truck. Feeling her eyes on me, I shake my head and force myself out of whatever spell she has me under. “Are you okay?” I ask her. Her eyes move to my lips, and she frowns. “Christ, do we need to get you to a doctor?” I question, watching as her hand lifts and her finger covers my lips, her brows pulling together. “Do you think you can move, or should I call an ambulance?”

“Are you talking to me?” At her question I frown, then move my eyes over her head and down her neck, and then I see the cord to her earphones. Realizing her music is still blasting and she can’t hear me, I move my hand to her neck to take hold of the cord, then let out a grunt as she hits me in the stomach and her knee comes up, barely missing my nuts.

“What the fuck?” I bark.

She starts to go wild, yelling, “Help! Fire!” at the top of her lungs, causing the people walking by to slow to see what’s happening.

“Jesus!” I finally get a grip on the cord and pull, which tugs the earphones out of her ears, and her body stills. “Are you crazy?” I grit out, and her eyes move over me, then to the cord in my hand.

“Oh shit. Oops!” she pants, covering her face with her hands. Oops? Is this chick for real?

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” I ask, and she uncovers her face, moving her eyes to my abs as I sit back on my knees.

“Tinker Bell, can you get a fucking clue for a minute?” I snap, ready to wring her pretty little neck, and she pulls her eyes off my torso, then looks around, and her cheeks fill with color.

“Everything’s okay. Show’s over, folks.” While she sits up, she waves her hands out toward the crowd that has gathered around us; then she looks at me and points at my chest. “And, you, don’t call me Tinker Bell!”

“You’re bleeding,” I inform her as I stand, and her eyes drop to her knees, and her face scrunches up. I don’t want to think that she looks cute with her face like that, but I do.

“Gross.” She stands, not noticing the hand I’m holding out to help her to her feet. Stepping back, I open my mouth to again ask her what the fuck is wrong with her, but my mouth dries up as she rips her shirt off over her head, leaving herself in nothing but a sports bra. As my eyes scan over her tight little body, my cock twitches. Then I realize I’m not the only one checking her out; a couple of other men have stopped to stare. At that, my anger irrationally spikes.

“Are you kidding me? Put your shirt back on! What the hell is wrong with you?” I step close and pull my tee from my back pocket, where I’d shoved it at the start of my run. “Put this on,” I demand, holding the shirt out toward her, and she shakes her head.

“No, thanks.”

“You seriously must be crazy. What the hell kind of woman runs with her eyes closed?” I ask, and her head starts to lift, but her gaze pauses on my abs before she lifts her eyes slowly to meet mine.

“If you knew my eyes were closed, why didn’t you get out of my way?” she asks before moving her eyes back to her knee, which pisses me off. It shouldn’t matter, but I fucking hate that she keeps taking her eyes from me.

“You must be a natural blonde,” I grit out, but she doesn’t give me the reaction I want.

Her eyes stay on her knee as she mutters, “And you must be a natural asshole.”

Standing there staring at her, I realize I must have hit my head, because I seriously want to get this woman’s attention. What the fuck is wrong with me? Without knowing this chick, I can tell she’s a whole different kind of trouble. “Just run with your eyes open from now on,” I bark, pissed off at myself. I need to get away from her before I do something stupid.

Like kiss the crazy woman.

“Run with your eyes open,” I hear in a mocking voice behind me. My head swings around, and I find her rolling her eyes at me.

“I saw that,” I inform her like a fucking five-year-old.

“Good.” She shrugs, and frustration fills my chest. I have never been more turned on and annoyed in my fucking life. “I thought you were leaving.” She raises a brow, and my jaw ticks.

“I am.” I turn and jog off before I do something crazy like toss the woman over my shoulder and run home with her crazy ass and fuck her until neither of us can move. Reaching the park exit, I feel something hit my thigh, and I realize then that I still have her headphones. With a shake of my head, I shove them into my pocket and look at my watch. The movers will be at my place in just a few minutes, which means even if I wanted to go find her to return her headphones, I don’t have time.

FAWN

“Why are the hot ones always jerks?” I shake my head in disgust, pulling my eyes from the hot shirtless guy’s retreating back. When I first opened my eyes after crashing to the ground and saw him above me, I thought I was seeing things. The light from the sun had caused a halo to appear around him, making him look like the gods themselves had cast him down to Earth. Luxurious dark hair had fallen across his forehead, and golden eyes with thick dark lashes had scanned me from head to toe, making something inside me feel warm and dizzy. Then I saw his lips move like I was in some kind of strange dream, and I asked him if he was talking to me. I probably shouldn’t have assumed he was trying to attack me when he was only pulling out my earbuds, but how was I supposed to know he wasn’t? On that thought, I shake my head and limp over to one of the benches lining the path and take a seat. Pulling out my beloved iPhone from the pocket in my sports bra, I sigh, realizing that my headphones are gone. Getting up, I look around to see if he dropped them on the ground, then look toward where Mr. Hot Guy ran off and debate whether I should try to catch up with him. Deciding that I don’t want another confrontation—since my ego can’t handle it—I head home, walking slowly through the city.

Once I reach my block, I notice a large moving truck parked in front of my building with the back flap open and two guys sitting on boxes inside. Diva, who lived in the apartment across the hall from me, moved out of the building and in with her fiancé a month ago, so it’s a good bet that I’m finally getting a new neighbor. Walking up the stairs, I stop dead in my tracks. There is no way my luck could be this bad.

Mr. Hot Shirtless Guy from the park is standing in front of Diva’s empty apartment door talking to two guys who are carrying a large leather couch. Ducking my head, I try to get past his open door without being noticed, but I know I’m too late when I hear him ask, “Are you stalking me?”

“You wish.” I glare at him as I pull a key out of my sports bra and walk across the hall to open the door to my apartment.

“You have got to be kidding me.” He narrows his eyes, which makes me smile and his eyes narrow further.

“See you around, neighbor.”

I laugh, shutting the door with my heart pounding as a voice in the hall says something about a hot neighbor before a different voice booms, “Shut the fuck up.” Smiling at that, I look around. I am quite proud of my little nest. My apartment is considered large by New York standards, because in addition to my bedroom I have a small office space with a door that could be considered a second bedroom. The kitchen is to the right and has a bar that stretches the length of the kitchen, separating it from the living room. Four heavy metal bar stools with high backs line the bar, each in a different color—one rusty red, one dusty blue, one burnt yellow, and the last a weathered green. The living room, where I spend most of my time, has a suede sofa with throw pillows of different colors, which tie into the bar stools, and a painting that hangs above the couch of a pot of flowers sitting on an old table. The bedroom has the same furniture I had growing up: a double bed with an elegant wrought-iron frame, a tall white dresser, and one glass-top metal-framed side table that I found at a flea market. Above my bed hangs a picture I took of the ocean when I was around fifteen that my mom had blown up a few years ago as a Christmas gift. It reminds me of home but also complements the bedside lamp filled with sand from that exact beach and some shells I have collected over the years. The blue-green duvet and sheets make my room look like it belongs near the sea, a place I love.

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