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Knew it. Well, I didn’t know that, exactly. But I knew he wasn’t a customer. I snatch the ID up and examine it while Sophie shifts nervously and asks if she’s in trouble.
The guy is extremely good-looking and, not gonna lie, the badge makes him that much hotter. Gallagher. Nice Irish name. I run my finger over the three-dimensional surface while I have one of my best ideas to date. “Feds aren’t really her fetish, but I know a girl at school who’d be so into you,” I blurt out, my mood instantly lifted.
“Everly!” Sophie and Agent Gallagher reply simultaneously with near-identical looks of exasperation.
Whatever. I have so many good ideas, but sometimes you just can’t help people when they don’t want to be helped.
A flower delivery arrives and I grin, looking forward to Sophie signing for a flower delivery from her boyfriend while this agent guy attempts to hit on her. It’s the most stunning arrangement of flowers I’ve ever seen. A sea of orange blooms. I think I spot a peony. I love peonies. Luke and Sophie must have had one hell of a weekend. But then the delivery man looks up and asks for me.
I walk to the other end of the counter to get out of Sophie’s way and accept the delivery. They’re even more stunning up close. Roses, peonies, some miniature calla lilies in orange. An assortment of greenery. I’m not sure what it all is. The vase itself is at least a foot tall.
The delivery man places them on the counter and then pulls out his clipboard and frees a card from the clamp. It’s not a business card-sized envelope, the kind that normally comes with a bouquet. It’s a notecard. My name and work address at the coffee shop are typed across the front. He places it on the counter next to the flowers and wishes me a good day while I stand motionless and stare at it, deep in thought.
It’s obviously from Sawyer. I lean on the back counter and stare at it from a safe three feet away. He’s done his homework. The orange ribbon yesterday, the boots I’ve been coveting, the orange flowers today. That can’t be a coincidence. He’s looked, or had his assistant look—what was her name? Sandra. They’ve clearly looked at enough of my social profiles to send what I’d like. I don’t think Sandra is responsible for more than the legwork here though. She wouldn’t have known to send me boots in honor of the nickname he’d coined for me without him specifying to do so.
A customer arrives, interrupting my musings and procrastination over opening the envelope. Sophie’s still busy with the agent so I move the flowers and card to the back counter and take their order. Two more customers file in and I busy myself with their orders, the unopened card never out of my consciousness, as much as I try to pretend I’m not curious about its contents.
I finish up with the customers then ponder making myself a drink. I get as far as filling the portafilter with espresso and leveling it before I admit to myself I will not wait another second to open the envelope. I abandon my drink-making and slide the envelope off the counter and run my finger under the glue on the back to break the seal. I slide the card out. It’s the same as yesterday’s. Heavy cream card stock with Sawyer Camden written in a bold font along the bottom edge, off centered to the right. I flip it open.
I want you.
Like yesterday’s note—I like you—this is all that is written on the card. Short. Effective, I’ll admit, because it causes me to suck in my breath as desire winds its way through my body. I smile and stuff the card back into the envelope, then tap the card on the countertop.
Sawyer Camden, what in the hell am I going to do about you?
I’m in class on Thursday when I receive a message from Chloe. You have another delivery, it reads.