“He had to cancel.”
He. That was promising. “Is he a shit kicker too?” I grinned.
He almost choked on his drink, and pressed his hand over his mouth to keep from spraying me with his beer. When he finally swallowed he frowned at me. “You almost killed me.”
“Did you assume I was dumb?” Asher asked watching me with narrowed eyes.
“What?” I asked confused.
“I mean when you first saw me, did you think I must not be very bright?” he asked.
I was feeling buzzed now so maybe I didn’t guard my tongue like I should. “I thought you were a mighty fine-looking cowboy. And I guess if I am honest I didn’t expect much in the brain department.”
His expression registered surprise at my candor and he also looked flattered. “I thought you were against people jumping to conclusions.”
I rubbed my eyes and laughed sheepishly. “I guess only other people.”
“Don’t worry. I’m not insulted because I basically thought the same of you.” He laughed. “Until we talked.”
“And then I dazzled you with my intellect?”
“You surprised me,” he admitted. “You had more spunk in you than the average city boy.”
“Spunk? Did you seriously just say I have spunk?” I grinned. “You really have been hanging around the livestock too long.”
His cheeks flushed, and he finished off his drink. “That’s because I like taming things.”
I laughed. “This is getting interesting.” He was definitely flirting with me now, and my stomach was warm with the excitement of it.
He met my gaze and his was smoldering, but then he looked away and swallowed nervously. “You and I come from different worlds.” There was a line between his brows.
“I think we probably have more things in common than you would think.”
“We were both in the rodeo circuit.”
“You like my coffee,” I said trying to figure out why he looked so unhappy all at once. “We will always have that.”
“Yeah, but I can get java anywhere.”
“Nah, you can get hot, brown tasteless water out of a machine on every corner. But what I offer is unique and special.”
He sighed. “I’m inclined to agree.”
“I’m glad to hear it.” Were we even still talking about coffee?
He looked so serious suddenly I felt a little nervous. I glanced at Sal and she and her boy toy were getting along well as far as I could tell. When I checked Asher’s expression again it was still borderline grim.
“Were you going to hang around for the séance?” I asked. “I think it starts any minute.”
He shook his head. “No I seem to have enough trouble communicating with the living.”
“You seem like you’re in a bad mood.” I couldn’t help but comment. “Did I say something to bother you?”
He finished his drink and leaned forward putting his face near to mine. His breathing was slightly elevated with a hint of ale on his warm breath. “You bother me.”
I’m sure my expression registered the shock I was feeling. I was doing my best to hide the surge of lust I felt at his lips so near to mine. “That’s intriguing.”
“I preferred it when I thought we had nothing in common,” he said, his expression flirting with irritation.
“I like things simple,” he said gruffly, sitting back.
“I’m not following.”
“You’re easier to ignore if I’m just a dumb ass cowboy and you’re some wussy city boy.”
“Are you saying you’re having trouble ignoring me?”
“Probably because I equate you with my daily caffeine high,” he said, attempting a joke. Then he frowned again.
I took a sip off my glass and tried to control my excitement. It was obvious he was attracted to me too, but definitely fighting it. I wasn’t sure what to do. I liked him a lot, both physically and personality wise. But it wasn’t the best idea in the world to start something up with someone who was so glaringly ambivalent.
“No need to stress. We’re just two people having a drink together.” I tried to keep my tone light.
“Do you live nearby?” I realized it sounded like a pick up line the minute the words left my mouth. I cringed and tried to tweak it. “I just mean because you come in the shop every morning.”
He watched me with his narrow gaze. “This town’s so small I think everyone lives nearby.”
“Very true.” I finished my drink and bumped my glass on the table top. I wanted nothing more than to drag him home with me but I knew in his confused state that was a horrible idea.
He cleared his throat. “Would you want to go do something sometime?”
He was confused but he wanted to see more of me. Good idea or the worst idea? I took a deep breath to calm myself. “You mean like skin a raccoon or something?”
He laughed. God it was such a nice tone. Warm and husky. “While that does sound like a ton of fun, I was thinking maybe hiking or horseback riding.”
“I thought I bothered you.”
“I’m attempting to work through that.” He drummed his long tanned fingers on the table, and I tried not to obsess about what they might feel like skimming over my body. “You seem like a nice guy and I’d like to get to know you better.”
“So you decided against ignoring me?” I leaned back in my chair and allowed a sly grin. I couldn’t seem to help flirting with him.
“It’s not as easy as it sounds.”
“You know you aren’t the first dumb ass cowboy who has tried to butter me up just to get free coffee.”