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The next morning, my doubts return, and I chuckle at my naïveté. Because why, oh why is the simple act
of making breakfast together a challenge, too?
It’s not my fault, really. Several factors are conspiring against me.
The first? Biceps porn. Holy shit, it’s a thing. When he lifts the pan from the stove, his biceps flex like
thick rubber bands. If he were to hold himself above me during sex, I’d see them at close range. Up, down, swivel, and repeat.
The second factor? That apron looks fucking glorious on him. The strings are tied snugly around his trim
waist, which emphasizes the nearly perfect V formed by his broad chest and shoulders. Damn, it’s hot as
hell in here. I fan myself, but it doesn’t help. So when I’m sure he’s not looking, I grab the mister off the
counter and spritz my face.
He catches the sound, though, and draws back. “Jesus. Did you just spray yourself with that?”
“Yeah. Why?” I pull on the collar of my T-shirt to let in some air.
He snickers, his eyes gleaming with amusement. “Ashley, that’s olive oil. You need to wipe that off.”
Great. My cheeks are on fire, and now that there’s oil on them, I just might be the first human cooking
surface in existence. Swallow me whole, Mother Earth.
Shaking his head at my gaffe, he preps the waffle mix while I use a paper towel to clean myself. I should
use a cleanser or something, but I don’t want to miss the biceps porn—or the apron porn for that
matter. Besides, olive oil must be good for the skin.
“No blueberries, right?” he asks.
“Yeah. And I remember you love strawberries, but I’m not putting them in my waffle maker. I’ll toss them on top.
“Fine with me.”
I squeeze my fists at my sides when I discover there’s more porn. Whisk porn . He’s got a mixing bowl in one hand and a whisk in the other, and he’s beating that waffle mix like he’s its daddy.
He looks up and finds me staring at him. “Everything okay?”
I nod like a human bobblehead. “Mm-hmm.”
He transfers the mix to a measuring cup and pours the batter into the waffle maker. Then he flips it
over. Oooh, it’s a double waffle maker. Fancy. Unaware that he’s the new host of my personal cooking
show on the Julian Channel, he bends at the waist and wipes the metal plate with a kitchen towel, giving
me a DVR-worthy view of his butt. His Nielsen ratings would go into the stratosphere every time he
made that move.
“Can you wash the strawberries?” he asks.
Sure, no problem. That ass is going to get someone arrested one day .
Julian’s voice snatches me out of my happy place. “What?”
“The strawberries. Can you wash them?”
I shake my head and push out my lower lip. “Didn’t you hear me? I said, ‘Sure, no problem.’ ”
He laughs. “In your mind, maybe, but not out loud.”
“Sorry. Watching you cook requires my full attention. You’re so precise, and there are so many steps.” I
retrieve the strawberries from the fridge and rinse them in the sink. How do I get these thoughts out of
my head? What can I do to stop myself from wanting him? I should probably confiscate his apron. That
would be a good place to start.
Beside me, Julian wipes down the counter. When he’s done, he bumps me with his hip and reaches for a
clean strawberry, breaching my personal space to get to it. I try to bump him back, but he blocks me
with his body, lifts the fruit over his head, and drops everything except the crown into his mouth.
The moment he bites into it, I sway on my feet. When he slides his tongue over his bottom lip to catch
the juices, I swoon. Screw you, Julian. Screw you. But not really. What I really mean is, screw them
From PRETENDING HE’S MINE . Used with permission of Avon Impulse. Copyright © 2018 by Mia Sosa.
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