Aussie: A Bad Boy Second Chance Romance

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Authors: Kate Dawes, Ava Catori
display I was working on. My first thought was Megan, but then I remembered I’d changed my number. Could it be Dawn?
    I was glad to see it was from her.
    She messaged, Hey, can we talk? I mean in person .
    Hell yes, we could talk. I thought for a moment and wrote back. Pick a place and I’ll be there.
    A couple of minutes went by. Still nothing. I started to text her back that she could come to my apartment, but before I could finish, she’d sent me another message. Once again, we were on the same wave length.
    She asked, Can I come to your place?  
    After sending a text back with my address, she mentioned that she got off work at six. She’d be by not long after.
    I did a half-assed job finishing up the display and called it a day.
    ***
    “What?” she said when I opened my apartment door. “What’s that look for?”
    She looked great. She’d put on a dark, red dress and had on heels.
    “You shouldn’t have gotten all dressed up for me, but I appreciate it.”
    She smiled. “You wish.” She stepped past me, brushing against me. I couldn’t help noticing the floral scent. Was it perfume, shampoo? Something. Either way, she smelled amazing. 
    She turned and faced me. “Do you do that a lot, what you did a the club? Come on to women, get them off, and then leave?”
    “Why? Did you come for more?” I grinned.
    She fought back a smile. I could see it. I could always see it.
    “I just want to know—”
    I cut her off. “No, I don’t.”
    I walked to my kitchen and she followed. I fumbled around in the refrigerator. “Want something to drink? I’ve got a few beers, some Dr. Pepper, let’s see…”
    “You’re avoiding.”
    I took two beers from the fridge and closed the door, and said, “I’m being hospitable and all that.”
    I flipped off the top, then handed her the beer. She scowled and shook her head. Trying to decide what to say next, she scanned the apartment.
    “It’s not much, but it does the job. I just moved in,” I said. “I haven’t even walked down to the beach yet. I was going to do that tonight.”
    “Did I mess up your plans?” she asked.
    “No,” I said. “The beach will still be there. I can do it another time.”
    “Are you still surfing?”
    “I haven’t in a long time. I’m thinking of getting back into it.”
    She smiled. “That makes this place even more perfect.”
    I laughed. “Your house has bathrooms bigger than my entire apartment, and this is perfect?”
    Dawn rolled her eyes. “It’s not my house, it’s my parents. I’d move into a place like this in a heartbeat if I got paid more or got a better job. I can’t afford to with this current job.”
    “It’ll happen one day. You’ll get there.” I walked over to my new couch, sat down, and patted the cushion next to me.
    Dawn sat.
    We were quiet for a moment or two. She’d obviously wanted to talk about something but she wasn’t coming out with it. I figured she was going to tell me that she felt guilty about cheating on Scott and, just like old times, I was supposed to come up with some guidance.
    My plan was to play it cool, act like it didn’t matter that much. I wasn’t going to let her see me vulnerable.
    She hesitated a few moments longer, then finally spoke. “So, I broke up with Scott.”
    Okay. Quick change of direction here. While I’d teased her about not being able to break up with him, I didn’t think she’d actually do it. Did she want to do it? Or had I pushed her? I didn’t say anything, but waited.
    Dawn picked at the label on the beer bottle, her eyes laser-focused on what her fingertips were doing, avoiding eye contact with me. But then she looked up. “He, uh…slept with another girl over the weekend.”
    This would have been the perfect time to say I told you so but she didn’t need to hear that right now. So I just said it in my head and tried not to let it show on my face.
    “You were right about him all along.” She shrugged, playing it off like it didn’t

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