Meet Brian and Kit from An Accidental Gentleman. Kit doesn’t have the patience for a relationship, not when all she wants from a man is a night of fun. Brian thought he’d never settle down — but now his best buddy Rob is getting married and starting a family, and love doesn’t look half bad. Especially once Brian meets a strong, capable, no-nonsense woman who stops his heart.
The customer bell over the front door tinkled a warning an hour before closing Tuesday evening. Pickup, more than likely. The extra hour gave office jobbers unable to fix a loose screw with two hands and a flathead time to drop their problems in Kit’s lap and take pieces good as new home for dinner.
From her workbench in the back, she hollered a greeting. “Be right with you.”
The stand mixer cracked open on the operating table would have to wait for its fresh worm gear. As she walked to the front, she wiped food-grade machine grease from her fingers. “Can I”—holy fuck, Prince Charming had tracked her down—“help you?”
Brian’s dress shirt sported navy pinstripes today. No grease stains, but she could change that.
He rubbed the back of his neck, driving his short hair up, and flashed her a toothy grin. “I was going to bring you a lawn mower.”
Snail-slow, she tilted from the waist and scanned the shop floor behind him. She loved a good laugh, but fucking with Brian delivered a charge her body hadn’t learned to measure. “You showed up empty-handed.”
“Yeah.” He kept his distance, ten feet back from the counter, between the refurbished kitchen appliances and the working antique radios. “It wasn’t mine. Or broken.” Two steps forward, he dropped his hand and lifted his head. In his unblinking stare, his eyes glowed green as a solid grounded connection. “I wanted an excuse to see you.”
The corner of the intake ledger hung off her side of the counter. She aligned the edges. The leather cover had collected stray scuffs in the sixty-five years since Grandpa Jake had opened the shop. The softness stretched over the unyielding boards beneath, protecting the pages between. “What’s your replacement excuse?”
“No excuse.” One shoe rapping in place on the vinyl, he created sharp tick-tock beats over the air conditioner’s low hum. “Games are for boys.”
“And you’re not a boy.” Sometime between Thursday and Tuesday, he’d gained confidence. All kidding aside, he’d be a hot fuck if he didn’t insist on the dating part. Her skin prickled with the charge of an approaching storm.
“I acted like one for a long time.” Shrugging, he gained another stride. Two feet back from the counter, he spread his hands, palms up. “I’m tired of that life. Something’s changed for me.”
Her heart demanded more amperage to keep up the pace. “What changed?”
“You.” He dropped the word like a stone in an old well, all else quiet as they waited for the splash.
“You don’t even know my name.” Her own fault.
“You want me to?”
The no-strings fuck she’d turned down Saturday at the track despite being revved and ready to race she blamed on Brian. His damn soft-looking hands and the challenge in his tone, and the way in her fantasies he hadn’t been afraid to use her real name—
“Katherine.” Sonova-fucking-bitch. “Kit. Everyone calls me Kit.”
The wattage on his smile for sure blew out a fuse box somewhere. He closed the gap to the counter. “So which is it for me?”