“Would you happen to have any cyanoacrylate?”
I wrinkled my nose. “Cyano…what?”
“Oh, I think I have some in my SUV. If not, there’s a drug store on the next corner. Just give me a minute to clean up.”
Thomas held up a finger, squinting through his good lens like a drunk owl. “Thank you, but I don’t require assistance.”
“I’m responsible for this mini disaster. I won’t be able to sleep tonight if I don’t do something to help out.” I shook my head mournfully. “And I’m a mess without my eight hours, so please…”
He gave in with a sigh. “All right.”
I did a mini happy dance, hoping he’d crack a smile. No such luck. However, there was a decent chance he couldn’t see me and yes, I was vain and ridiculous, but it was better than thinking I’d irritated him beyond redemption. He’d liked me five minutes ago, damn it. Maybe even lusted after me. I wasn’t crazy. I noticed those shy, sideways admiring glances, and I preferred them to his current stoically distant expression.
I tidied my area at warp speed, sweeping up the largest clumps of hair before dousing my hands with sanitizer and pulling my man bag from the mini locker in the corner. I slung it over my shoulder, peeked my head around the partition to say a quick au revoir to Easton, then motioned for Thomas to follow me.
“I parked in the lot behind the coffee shop. This way.”
I kept up a steady barrage of inane conversation on the short walk to my ride, ranging from spring weather and the flowers in bloom at the park near my condo to my yearly allergy woes. You know…nonsensical filler designed to entertain the sexy stranger who’d gone ghostly quiet.
His silence made me nervous. I liked it better when we were discussing merman dick. I didn’t know how to restore that mood, but fixing his lenses was probably a good start.
I popped open the hatch of my white Explorer and yanked a giant duffel from under a portable net to reach a small plastic toolbox. In my haste to rearrange the bags, a soccer ball rolled toward me and bounced onto the pavement.
Thomas scooped up the ball before it got away, then held it from his body, his brow furrowed hard enough to leave premature lines on his forehead. “What’s this?”
“My equipment. Just…shove it anywhere,” I instructed, bending to sift through drill bits, wrenches, and tape measures.
“My vision is laughably bad, but this appears to be sports paraphernalia. American soccer, perchance?”
Now, that was kind of cute.
“You are correct, sir.” I plucked the ball from his fingers and wedged it into the open duffel, and returned to my task.
“Is it yours?”
“The ball? Yes, I—oh, I think I found it.” I tossed him a quick smile as I groped around the bottom of the box and pulled out…a dried-up tube of superglue. “Crap. We’ll have to go to the drug store for your cyanide.”
“That’s it. I promise it won’t take long. In fact, I’ll buy you coffee afterward. We can sip lattes while we wait for the glue to dry.”
“Thank you, but that’s really not necessary.”
“I insist.” I shut the hatch, turning toward him as I locked my SUV with my key fob. He met my gaze, though his pronounced squint indicated he couldn’t see me well.
Thomas pushed his mangled glasses to the bridge of his nose and somehow managed to look fierce as hell. Call me crazy, but the steely professorial armor under his rumpled façade was hot. Very hot. I wouldn’t mind climbing him like a tree, mussing his newly shorn locks, licking his lips, and—
“It was nice to meet you, Noah.”
He offered a vague smile and turned away.
I watched his retreating form, admiring his broad shoulders while berating myself for being such an idiot. But I let him go. I had to. It was a free world, and he was a big boy. He certainly didn’t have to listen to me. It was just a little worrisome that he’d risk life and limb and walking into walls—
Bam! He collided with the side of the bank building.