Hometown Girl


“I can’t believe I shaved my legs for Conan The Barbarian.” Elyse Fitzgerald whispered to her friend, Ronna. She walked down the sidewalk trailing well behind her blind date, and was in no hurry to catch up. Elyse not only shaved her legs, but other places—places no woman would ever want to nick. “What’s his name again?”

Ronna shot her a disapproving glare.

“Doug? No, Dan? Damn, that isn’t right either. I know it’s a ‘D’ name.” She snapped her fingers “Dave!”

The moment she said his name, Dave turned and Elyse had the urge to duck into the alleyway, but then realized he wasn’t turning to look for her, he was pulling the door open to the bar without gentlemaning up to wait for her. The man was a real prize.

A moment later, Elyse stepped into The Crow’s Nest—the third bar they’d hit since coming to the Red Hook section of Brooklyn that night. She’d suggested leaving the first two under the guise of finding a decent band whenever Dave became too attentive.

Ronna nudged her shoulder to get her attention. “Dave’s not that bad, and I hear he’s really good in bed. Isn’t that the point of this exercise?”

Elyse shot Ronna a skeptical look wondering why, if Ronna was such a big fan, she didn’t sleep with him. “Maybe, but I’m just not feelin’ it.”

Ronna tossed her long red hair over her shoulder and pulled her shirt down to maximize her cleavage. “Probably because you won’t let him touch you.”

Just the thought of Dave putting his meaty paws on her had Elyse stifling a shiver. She ripped her eyes away from her blind date de jour to stare at the bartender who stared right back from across the crowded bar. “No. It couldn’t be. That would be way too it’s-a-small-world-after-all-ish.”

“What are you talking about now?” Ronna hollered over the band and bar chatter.

“The bartender. I think I know him.” Elyse elbowed her way across the crowded space for a closer look and to make sure she hadn’t imagined him. Hell, it wouldn’t be the first time she thought she’d seen her schoolgirl crush during the six years since she’d last seen him. She stepped up to the bar and her mouth dropped open as she stared into the fathomless silver-gray eyes of none other than Simon Sprague. Elyse couldn’t believe her luck and was suddenly thrilled she’d shaved in all those places. Carefully.

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