Home > On the 2

On the 2
Author: Felice Stevens


* * *




* * *



“Sorry. Didn’t mean to bang into you.”

Irritated at being squashed, I glanced up from my newspaper and was instantly…interested.

Windblown and grinning, the man smoothed the errant strands of dark hair that landed over his brow, and then he settled into the empty seat next to me on the Uptown Number 2 train. Green eyes framed by ridiculously long, thick lashes sparkled at me, and a charmingly crooked smile crept over his face—a face chiseled by the gods of fabulous cheekbones and perfect chins. Twin dimples winked at me.

What the hell? The first rule of survival on the subway was not to stare directly at anyone, but damn, I couldn’t help it. I reassured myself it was only because he was so good-looking that he’d startled me. I wasn’t used to seeing model-like perfection on the Uptown 2 during Monday morning rush hour. Or at any time, for that matter.

“Am I naked?”

I blinked, brought back to reality by his low chuckle of amusement.

“Excuse me?”

“You’re staring at me, so either I’m naked”—he paused, and I sensed he had a flair for the dramatic—“or you’d like me to be.”

Heat flared in my belly and shot up to my face. “I-I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. No, you’re not naked, and no, I’m not interested in seeing you get to that point.”

Dirty liar. Yes, you are.


Now he was the one staring, and though I returned to my newspaper, the words blurred before me. I sensed his probing gaze and finally set my paper on my lap.

“Do you mind?”

“I don’t know. Do I?” That cheeky grin returned. “Guess it all depends on what you have in mind.”

“You’re staring at me. It’s…annoying.” I waved my hand in the air between us. “It’s fucking with my concentration, and I’d like to read my morning paper.”

“It’s Monday. Didn’t anyone ever tell you it’s important to ease into the week?”

“No.” I lifted the paper again, effectively ending our conversation.

I’d been taking the train to work for over fifteen years, and never had I engaged in a conversation with a stranger. This was New York City. You paid your overpriced fare, waited forever for a train, hoped you could find a seat, and if you did, you sat and either listened to music, read the news, or stared off into space, having perfected looking without seeing. God forbid you caught the wrong person’s eye; there was a chance you’d end up a statistic on the evening news.

All I wanted was to be left alone so I could figure out how to quash this instantaneous unwanted attraction that had sprung up with regard to this man. I shifted, a vain attempt to put extra space between us, but the seats were too narrow, and neither of us was small. The way he filled out that sleek suit he wore, Mr. Gorgeous had to be six two and two twenty.

So here I sat, trapped with Chatty McChatterbox, and I still had over eight stops to go. Given that I had no desire to leave my coveted seat and stand squished between a man who thought brushing one’s teeth was a weekly occurrence and a teenage girl on her way to school who’d decided this was the perfect morning to eat her McGreasy breakfast on the train, I knew I’d have to suck it up and stay put.

We lurched to a stop, and of course the banal, useless announcement came on the loudspeaker that there was traffic ahead and we’d be moving shortly.

Lies. All lies.

Minutes ticked by, and as we continued to wait, I became acutely aware of the man’s warm, firm thigh pressed to mine. Why couldn’t it be winter, when we’d be all bundled up and I wouldn’t be able to zero in so easily on his musculature?

Perfectly sculpted muscles at that.

Dammit, why is it so hot in here?

Sweat trickled down my spine.

My seatmate frowned. “I hope it’s not going to be like last week. It took them over half an hour before we got to the next station.”

“It better not,” I muttered. “Someone better be sick for them to screw up the trains like that again.”

My neighbor’s brows rose high. “Well, aren’t you a merry ray of sunshine? And such a caring New Yorker. It’s because of people like you that we have a reputation for being rude.”

My face flamed. “I didn’t mean it like it sounded. Just, I have meetings and I can’t be late. I’m sure everyone else has to get to work as well. Even you. So hopefully it’s not just because the conductor needed to take a piss and stopped on a whim.”

“What do you mean, even me? You don’t think I could have a job that’s as important as yours?”

No. As the deputy chief financial officer of a huge private hospital, I was responsible for deciding how and where to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars we received yearly. I was certain Gorgeous George did not top me in the my-job-is-bigger-than-yours department.

“I don’t know what you do. I’m assuming it’s modeling or something.”

That charming smile appeared again. “Why thank you. But alas, no. I’m not a model. Merely a shop boy.” When I didn’t respond, he explained, “I work at Macy’s Herald Square in the men’s department.”

“Oh. My apologies. That sucks.” My grimace was real. “Must be tough dealing with customers all day.” The less I saw anyone, the better. I was much better with numbers than people. Numbers were definite. People were messy. Emotional. Needy.

“I love it. I find people fascinating.” He propped his chin in his hand and gave me the benefit of those luminous, grass-green eyes.

Already frazzled by the conversation, I uncharacteristically stumbled over my words. “Uh, well, uh, lucky you, then.”

“I bet I can guess what you do.”

Another uncomfortable bead of sweat ran down the back of my neck. Not because the train was ridiculously overheated, but because the proximity of this stranger was doing all sorts of weird things to my breathing and pulse rate.

Get a grip, Nash.

“Doubtful,” I told him.

A corner of that generous mouth kicked up. “Wanna try me?” The tip of a pink tongue peeked out—and for fuck’s sake, I was getting turned-on in the middle of rush hour on the filthy 2 train.

What the hell was happening?

If anyone from my office could see me, my reputation as The Iceman would be shot to hell, as I was burning up from the inside out. But I managed to pull it together and not lose my shit.

“Sure.” It was the only word I could manage.

He tapped his artfully stubbled cheek with a long, elegant finger. “Corporate exec. Probably something to do with numbers, and big ones at that. You’re close to forty, give or take, and live alone in a high-priced condo. You have issues with your family.”

I didn’t want to react but couldn’t help it. My jaw dropped. “That’s…pretty damn close.”

He lifted a shoulder. “It’s a talent. One of many.” He winked.

I ducked my head, pretending to try and read the paper that thankfully covered my lap. How did this person pull such a visceral reaction from me that no one else—man or woman—had ever managed to achieve? I wanted to know what he tasted like from top to bottom.…My fingers tightened on my paper.

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Den of Vipers
» House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2)
» The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #
» Sweet Temptation
» The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» Wreck & Ruin
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» Twisted Hate (Twisted #3)
» The Play (Briar U Book 3)