Her shoulder was bare. In the brief time it took him to snatch his hand away he felt smooth skin and delicate bones. He wished he hadn’t touched her. Or that she was wearing her usual T-shirt and combats. Something.
“You really think I wouldn’t recognize you? I’d know you whatever you were wearing. The way you’re looking at me—the way you lift your jaw when you’re about to argue me to death? Last time you wore that look you threw a plant pot at my head. That scratch on your left arm? You got that last week when you slipped on the ice and that wire cut through your jacket. I know you, Rox.” And he had every intention of knowing her better. But he was a man who had learned the value of patience. She didn’t have the right feelings for him, but he was hoping that one day she would.
Flustered, she pulled her arm away. “We’ve talked enough about me. What are you doing here? Since when did you shop in a toy department?”
He’d wanted it to be a secret, but it seemed as if both of them were giving up secrets today.
“Since I wanted to pick a Christmas gift for your daughter.”
He saw her eyes go soft and her lips move in a soundless exclamation.
He saw emotion flash across her face, softening her pixie features and dousing the spark in her eyes.
“I— For Mia? Well that’s—” She swallowed and then scowled. “I could punch you.”
It wasn’t the reaction he’d expected, but Roxy never reacted the way he expected. It was one of the many things he liked about her.
“What have I done wrong this time?”
“You stopped me being mad at you! And I really wanted to be mad at you.”
“You did?” He knew that if he smiled it would all be over. “Why?”
“For showing up here. For catching me doing this, and wearing this stupid costume—” She pushed at her hair and knocked the tiara askew. “No one was supposed to find out.”
“And that brings us back to my first question.” He reached out and straightened her tiara. “Why are you doing this?”
She flapped her lashes. “All my life I’ve dreamed of being the Sugar Plum Fairy, but I can’t dance to save my life so this is the closest I get to my dream.”
“Not buying it. Try again.”
“This way I get to see Santa every day. How cool is that?” She caught his gaze and sighed. “Don’t look at me like that.”
“How am I looking at you?”
“I don’t know—” She tapped her wand on her palm and her foot on the floor. “Like you’re a priest and you want my confession. Isn’t it obvious why I’m here? I need the money. Now turn around, go home and pretend you never saw me.”
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