Home > Man Candy(13)

Man Candy(13)
Author: Melanie Harlow

Cooks his own dinners (have smelled Italian things, chicken things, possibly steak after getting home at night).

Binge watches Game of Thrones and House of Cards.

Takes out the trash and recycling bins (even mine) without being asked.

Sings Beatles songs in the shower sometimes (fave might be Rocky Raccoon, voice not too bad).

Wears size 12 shoe (left pair of boots in the hall to dry).

Wears size 32/34 jeans (left pair of jeans in the dryer).

Posts selfies to IG once a day (shirtless if inside, has perfected the Flynn Ryder smolder)

Gradually a picture was emerging of Quinn as a polite tenant, fitness buff, good student, vainglorious photographer, and generally happy, well-adjusted person.

Who wasn’t interested in me.

“I don’t understand,” I complained to Claire and Margot over martinis at our weekly Wednesday GNO. “He was all about me that first night he moved in, and he’s ignored me ever since!”

“Wait a minute, you just said you’ve been trying to avoid him for the last ten days,” Claire said, sipping her Cosmo. “How is that him ignoring you?”

“There have been plenty of nights where he must have heard me come in.” I refused to let him off the hook. “He could have come up like he did the first time.”

“Why would he? You told him you weren’t attracted to him.” Margot blinked at me. “You told him to keep his hands to himself, did you not?”

“I said maybe I wasn’t attracted to him,” I reminded her. “And that was only to get him to kiss me.”

“You’re being ridiculous,” Claire said, shaking her head. “And you never get this way over a guy.”

She was right. If I wanted someone, I went after him. If it was fun, maybe we’d make it work for a little while.

But Quinn wasn’t playing fair!

“Tell me about it.” I tipped back my dirty vodka martini. “Want to hear something insane? I have this list of things about him, stupid stuff that doesn’t even matter and isn’t helping me get him into bed. But I keep adding to it!”

“Oh my God, Jaime.” Claire rolled her eyes. “Quit obsessing over getting him into bed. Just go talk to him. Hang out a little. You complained about him playing games, but right now you’re just as bad.”

I gaped at her. “Do you know me at all, Claire French? I don’t want to talk to him. I’m not even sure I like him.” That wasn’t exactly true…Quinn did sort of amuse me, and I liked the way he’d taken care of his mom. He just knew how to push my buttons.

“Then forget him altogether,” said Margot. “It’s not like you want a relationship.”

“Ew. No.” I shuddered.

“OK, so go bang someone else if you have to,” added Claire, “but maybe you should let this one go.”

They were probably right, but I couldn’t.

Once I get a craving like this, it has to be satisfied.

The next day was Thursday, and I took it off from work in order to get some things done—a dentist appointment, some shopping, monthly lunch with my mother. She asked me how my toast for Alex’s wedding was coming along, and it stressed me out so badly that I’d come home, put on some pajamas, and uncorked the wine a little earlier than usual. But I figured the buzz might help the creative juices flow, so I justified it by sitting down at my computer with every intention of working on the toast.

Instead I stalked Quinn online.

Half a bottle of Bordeaux later, I was sneaking down the stairs with my wine glass in my hand. If I’m going to stalk him, I might as well do it right.

His door wasn’t even locked.

It was like he wanted me to come in!

And besides, I wasn’t going to steal anything—well, maybe some undies—I was just curious. Quinn was never home before nine on Thursdays, and I’d be in and out of there in five minutes. Ten, tops.

I don’t think I need to tell you, it didn’t exactly go as planned.



What the hell? Had I left my door open?

I’d overslept this morning, and I’d heard we were going to get a ton of snow today, so I’d left in a rush, hoping to beat the bad weather. Maybe I’d neglected to pull the door all the way shut behind me.

Taking off my boots, I set them on the hallway mat and glanced up the stairs toward Jaime’s apartment, but didn’t see or hear anything.

Then I walked into my living room, and it hit me—the scent of her perfume.

In my apartment.

It was unmistakable, and by now, familiar. Sweet and fresh and floral. She smelled like a perfect spring day in the middle of winter, and it made me want her even more every time I smelled it lingering in the hall. But she was so stubborn, rushing past me every time I saw her, barely making eye contact, saying nothing more than hello and goodnight. If it weren’t for those telltale blushes, I might think she’d been telling the truth that first night, and she really wasn’t attracted to me at all. Just today, during my workout, I was thinking about trying again with her. For fuck’s sake, we weren’t kids anymore. Did we have to play games? Life was too short not to go for what you wanted, and I wanted her.

Had she been in here today?

I closed the door behind me, set down my bag, and walked back toward my bedroom. That’s when I realized I could still smell her. Then I heard a noise coming from my room and walked into it just in time to hear a small sound of girlish terror and see the closet door being pulled halfway shut from the inside.

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