Tara looked at both of them. “Oh. Oops. I’m sorry, guys.”

Amelia laughed. “It’s not a problem. Sometimes it works out that way.”

“But we appreciate the fix-up,” Flynn said. “Skylar’s sweet.”

“She is, isn’t she? Hey, at least I did fix up one couple tonight. Just not the way I originally intended.”

“Better than everyone going their separate ways,” Flynn said. “And let us help you with that.”

They ended up pitching in and assisting Tara with her wine inventory. They headed downstairs into the wine cellar, which was pretty incredible. Flynn carted up a case of chardonnay, while Tara and Amelia each carried two bottles of red.

“Thanks for the assist,” Tara said. “Now I insist the two of you go join the party.”

“All right,” Flynn said. “But first, Amelia, how about some wine?”

She’d gotten so caught up in being close to Flynn that she’d completely forgotten about her wine.

“Oh, right, wine.”

“What would you like?”

“I’ll take that merlot.”

While Tara busied herself reorganizing and helping out one of the couples who’d wandered into the kitchen, Flynn expertly opened the bottle and filled her glass. Then he went into the refrigerator and grabbed a beer.

“Let’s go sit down somewhere.”


They made their way to the private corner where she’d sat with Aaron earlier. She noticed Aaron and Skylar deep in conversation at the fireplace. So much so, they hadn’t even acknowledged Amelia and Flynn when they’d walked by.

Yes, those two were going to do just fine.

“It’s like no one else in this entire house exists.”

Flynn looked over his shoulder at Aaron and Skylar. “Yeah, I’d say they hit it off pretty well.”

He returned his attention on her. “And isn’t that how it should be with someone you’re interested in?”


He picked up her hand, and she experienced that same tremble she’d felt earlier when he’d gotten closer to her.

“That zing I was describing before.”

She lifted her gaze to his. “That zing.”

His gaze was direct and she couldn’t help but focus on his mouth.

“Yeah. It’s an attraction. A chemical thing. When you feel a tightening in your body, an awareness of the other person.”

His thumb rubbed over her hand. It made her breath catch as tiny sparks—she hated to use the word, but she had no other description for it—zinged through her. It felt like mini electrical shocks quivering within her.

“Do you feel it right now, Amelia? When I touch you?”

She jerked her hand away, forcefully rubbing her skin where, just seconds ago, she’d felt that erotic charge from Flynn. “No.”

His lips curved. “You sure about that?”

“Absolutely. I didn’t feel a thing.”

He leaned back and took a long swallow of his beer, studying her.

There was something so intense about Flynn. She’d felt it months ago when he’d interviewed her. Back then, she’d liked that about him. So many restaurant owners had barely looked at her when they interviewed her, as if she didn’t exist. Flynn was all about eye contact, which at the time of the interview she’d really appreciated. He had made her feel like a person, as if her opinions mattered.

Now, though, they weren’t talking about the restaurant or food. In fact, they weren’t talking at all. She wanted to look away, but there was something incredibly magnetic about his eyes. About all of him, really, from the square cut of his jaw to the thickness of his black hair to the way he smiled.

And then there was his body. She almost wished it wasn’t fall and he wasn’t wearing a long-sleeved shirt. She’d seen him in short-sleeved shirts before, had gotten a glimpse of his tattoos, though she wanted a closer look not only at his body art, but at his muscles.

She wasn’t much for a man with muscles. Her ex had been on the lean side, and that had never bothered her. But now that she was up close with Flynn, she had to admit the idea of running her hands over his biceps or sliding her fingers under his shirt to wander his abs held a certain appeal.

Flynn cleared his throat and her gaze snapped back to his face. Only then did she realize she’d been visually mapping his body as she’d thought about him.

And the telltale smile on his face told her he knew exactly what she’d been doing.

Her face flamed hot. She stood. “Well, I should go refill my wine.”

He looked at her glass. “You haven’t finished what’s in there yet.”

“I haven’t, have I?”

She abused the poor merlot by downing it in two swallows. “Now I have.”

Flynn’s lips curved. “Thirsty, Amelia?”

“Apparently. I’ll be right back.”

She made a quick exit into the kitchen, hoping there’d be someone in there she could talk to so she wouldn’t have to go back and talk to Flynn.

Unfortunately, the only people in there were the catering staff, though she did take a few minutes to tell them how wonderful dinner had been. Then she refilled her wine and reluctantly made her way back into the living room.

Fortunately, there were several people sitting with Flynn now, including with Tara and Mick.

She breathed a sigh of relief.