His phone pinged with a request for money from the “friend” he’d met a few weeks ago. Another tech person, someone who’d seemed genuinely interested in just getting to know him. Now Nathan had “an interesting” business venture for him.
“Why the frown?” Charlie passed him a muffin, her fingers briefly touching his.
A touch gone so fast, he shouldn’t even notice it. Instead, he found his focus on her hands. On the fingers that touched him. On the woman who’d haunted his dreams since he’d landed at her rescue.
Dev put the phone is his pocket and bit into the muffin. The strawberries and sugar made his senses spin. “It was nothing.”
“Didn’t seem like it.” Charlie took a swig of water.
He waited for her to press the issue, but she didn’t. “I appreciate the muffin. That was kind of you.”
“It’s nothing.” Charlie waved away the statement. “You sure you’re okay?”
The word yes was on the tip of his tongue. Instead of releasing it, he found other words tripping out. “Someone I thought wanted to be a friend is hitting me up for money disguised as a business opportunity.”
“‘Disguised?’” Charlie frowned. “How can you tell if it’s disguised?”
“Years of practice. It always starts small. A friendly ask, then it escalates to something bigger. Far grander, something a friend wouldn’t ask for.” Self-made millionaire was a weird club. Much tinier than the average person realized. New money not invited to exclusive parties but wanted by everyone, if they gained something from it. “You might not understand.”
“I do.” Her hand rested on his knee before she yanked it back. But her eyes held a look in them, one that said she was telling the truth.
“I need to see to an ocelot we brought in a few weeks ago. Want to tag along?” She was already moving toward the door. Focused on the next task.
“I thought I moved fast.” Dev barely caught up with her as she exited the room.
“What?” Her shoulders shifted, brushing his. The urge to lean into the contact pulsed through his system.
Seriously…when had he last had a crush like this? He needed to get past it. This was just a new stop, the latest in a long line of movement for Dev. He never got close, not since he made a name for himself, because no one ever wanted Dev for just him.
“You’ve been on the go since I met you. Always moving—it’s a complaint people use against me. That they can’t keep up.”
“No!” Dev reached for her, then put his hands down. He didn’t know her well enough to hug the concern he saw on her face away. But he wanted to. “It’s just nice to meet someone who is also always on the go.” Not his best recovery, but Charlie didn’t press.
“Yes.” Dev matched his stride to hers. “Time to see the ocelot.”
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