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A ragged breath of relief escaped when he finally turned loose of her hand. “Yeah, I’ve been dating a lot these last couple of years. After a few years of being a lonely widower, I realized my grief wasn’t going to bring my wife back. Instinct told her if she asked him to leave her alone right now, Morrison Fox would do it. She dipped a piece of bread in the herb enriched oil and brought it to her mouth, much too aware of his half-lidded gaze following every movement. The simple truth was that Morrison Fox was likely the last chance she might ever have in her life to experience what he was suggesting, offering, threatening—whatever. “I don’t think I understand your question,” Lydia said quietly, carefully keeping her attention focused on the bread. Or did you just cut loose with strange women after she was gone? I’ve been dating solid for two years now, been in therapy for the same time, and I still haven’t been able to genuinely connect with another woman.” Lydia waved a hand in the air. “Then why are you wasting your time having dinner with me? “I have three things I order, and I rotate them.” Morrie rolled his eyes and shoved the fork closer. Hurry it up—I’m starving.” Rolling her eyes in return, Lydia opened her mouth and let him feed her because it was easier than arguing.She tried to cover her reaction up by giving voice to some of the questions making her brain hurt. Why are you putting moves on me you know I don’t want? Yes he made her nervous, but she’d take it to her grave if she could rather than admit it to him. Maybe on some level it was nice to think a man like him might find her appealing—faked or not, she wasn’t totally sure—but it had been a long time since anyone had pursued her at all. The thought of his mouth on hers, and kissing her with passion, made her want to wretch in panic, though she was bravely fighting it. But the thought that Morrison might decide she was too much trouble was actually worse than those fears. It was stalling of course, but it was necessary until she could sort out her own scrambled mind about Morrison Fox. Her teeth clamped across the tines and slid the succulent food off the end into her mouth.There are plenty of women at North Winds who are interested in trading places with me right now. I bet there are plenty of women in others places who would too. And it had been decades, literally decades, since she’d even cared if a man noticed her. She couldn’t even remember the last time any man had kissed her. It would be like the final validation in her life that her husband had been right, not to mention the laughing women in the bathroom. There was no solution without risking the kind of entanglement that Lydia had tried most her life to avoid. His gaze dropped to that half-lidded expression again. There was a loud crash from the wait area and dishes came flying out from behind the privacy screen across the floor.

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My guess would be yes since you never remarried,” he said lightly.

She looked around to see if anyone else she knew was having dinner there, breathing another sigh of relief at the negative answer.

The last thing she needed was rumors flying around.

Widowed and over sixty might not sound like the perfect life to some people, but Lydia intends to remain single. ” Lydia demanded, appalled that the question was so close to a wail. I want to go home.” The sommelier appeared to pour their drinks. ” “I’ve been a widow now for almost as many years as I was married,” Lydia said. “Well your guess would be absolutely wrong in my case,” Lydia stated flatly, shocked to realize she didn’t want to give Morrison the same polite lie she’d used most of her life.

Book 4 of this humorous romantic comedy saga finds the dashing and sexy Morrison Fox trying to woo the reluctant and sassy Lydia Mc Carthy. Lydia Mc Carthy didn’t want any man in her life, much less an incorrigible old flirt like Morrison Fox. “I am not stressed,” Lydia denied firmly, leaning on the table. ” Morrie asked, leaning on the table to mirror her. The server appeared with fragrant bread that made her mouth water. Tuesday and Thursday—usually,” she said sharply, dropping her gaze from his curious one to her bread again. Now I’ve thrown off your entire routine and messed up your week. For some reason, she either wanted Morrison to like her or hate her. “I had an arranged marriage, separate bedrooms, and a husband who kept several mistresses.

Widowed since her forties, being single has suited her. I like trying new things,” Morrie said, winking at the young woman again when Lydia sat straighter and glared. “Lydia, your stress level is the reason wine exists. When she pulled back and sank as far into her seat as possible, his laughter broke free at last. When the server mixed the oil and seasonings for dipping, Lydia’s stomach decided to betray her by growling loudly. Embarrassment is a permanent condition around you,” she said, putting her face in her hand. Shorry, Lydia.” Shaking his head sorrowfully from side to side, Morrie stuck his bottom lip out as he lifted a hand in apology. Morrie calmly lifted his wine glass and took a sip, feeling everything but calm after making Lydia laugh again. I was lucky one of them didn’t talk him into divorcing me before he died.She truly can’t see any sane reason to risk her peaceful existence for someone who says he wants to make wine out of her one minute and then embarrasses her the next. “I swear on all that is holy I do not intend to bite you,” Morrie protested. When she could bear to lift her gaze again, the server was gone and she was met with another knowing smile—sans laughter thankfully. After she’d scurried off nervously, Lydia’s gaze collided with the man’s across the table. He felt his eyes crinkling hard with his efforts to keep a straight face. He could easily see himself making her laugh many times a day, which meant he was already learning her. I was lucky none of them got pregnant with his child. Evelyn died in her sleep from something medical I still can’t pronounce. Do you at least make your lovers coffee in the morning before kicking them out the door? “Seriously, I’ve never figured out the proper etiquette for extrication the morning after.” Lydia laughed loudly then, drawing most of the attention in the restaurant to her. That old fart is the biggest gossip in Falls Church.” Harrison had actually taunted him into finding out Lydia’s secrets for himself—the old coot.Does it matter at her age that Morrie might be her last chance to find true love? ” Morrie asked, ignoring his mouth wanting to twitch at Lydia arranging and rearranging the items on the table between them. Either Lydia was nervous about being with him or she had a severe OCD problem. He looked at the nervous young woman waiting on his order. But the smile was accompanied by a chunk of bread being pressed towards her mouth. You didn’t need to go home to a lonely house and dinner for one. She watched Morrison grin as he leaned his head to the side until his ear almost touched his shoulder. The laugh at his silliness bubbled up and out of Lydia, filling the air around the table before she could constrain it. Lauren was probably the only reason he stayed married to me.” “I’m sorry,” Morrie said sincerely. For a long time, I had to sleep sitting up in a chair or on the couch. Since he was pretty much already obsessed, Morrie was finding it a small jump to become a fool trying. I couldn’t afford his extortion fees,” Morrie said casually, sipping his wine and watching Lydia sip hers around a very secretive grin. I will die an old maid—happy to have had complete control of my life,” Lydia declared. Maybe I’m guilty of a little wishful thinking, but I think you’re just as interested in me as I am in you.” Their pasta arrived then, steam lifting from the noodles and sauce, creating a white mist between them.Later, Lydia promised herself, she was going to go back over every moment of the afternoon and figure out precisely where she had gone wrong. So why was she now sitting in her favorite Italian restaurant listening to Morrison Fox humming as he read the menu? Lifting a hand to their smiling server, Morrie gave her a wink and smile as the girl hurried over. ” Morrie asked, watching her sit back and make a sterling effort not to fidget in her seat. “Water for both of us, but also bring two glasses of your best house white.” “Ms. We have her preferred wine in stock,” the server said softly. I wasn’t looking forward to it myself,” Morrie said. Lord knew, she’d suffered through many worse social occasions. ” the server at her elbow asked, startling her from her thoughts. Thank you, Andrea,” Lydia said softly, looking up to see the girl’s eyes widen in surprise at hearing her name said so sweetly. She bit the end of the bread off that she was currently eating and threw the rest of the piece at Morrison, who caught it deftly and shoved it in his mouth in one bite. I was afraid of the bed—even the new one I bought after she was gone. Maybe the man across from her really was better than he seemed. He found himself wishing he could kiss her and taste the wine on her lips. “No one has that,” Morrie denied, shaking his head. Lydia sighed as she held Morrison’s knowing gaze, keeping silent until Andrea left them alone again.“Look, we’re just two friends doing volunteer work together having dinner. ” When Lydia didn’t take the bread immediately, Morrie reached over and picked up her hand, which felt really right in his. If you still want to go home then, I’ll have the server pack our dinners to go. Let me.” “Don’t be ridiculous,” Lydia said, sighing and opening her mouth in defeat. Lydia bit into the mouthwatering warm bread, moaned and sighed as she chewed. I was afraid of closing my eyes.” Lydia put down the bread she was eating and picked up her now full glass of wine again. “You loved her,” Lydia stated finally, swallowing and br inging her gaze to his. I hear it in your voice and can see it in your eyes. I just hate to see him unhappy.” Lydia snorted into her glass. Of course you care about whether or not he’s happy. I’ve seen lots of men go through your phase of starting over. “Well, whatever Harrison did say, I can assure you it’s all true. “I might eventually become your friend Morrison Fox, but you’re never warming my bed. “Only because you’ve never had a real man warming it up. I bet you get the same damn thing every time you come here.Instead of putting food in it as he’d originally planned, Morrie used it to tug her body over the table far enough to p ress the bread he still held in the other hand to her mouth. With her free hand, she took the rest of the bread from his fingers, trying her best to ignore the knot of tension his touch had caused again. Morrie leaned back, getting comfortable in his chair again. I know this about myself—just as much as I know that I’m happy to be sitting across from you right now. ” Lydia finished her bread and reached for a second piece. He wasn’t joking, wasn’t teasing, and wasn’t using words to irritate her. It wasn’t often she felt that way and she knew she wasn’t handling it well. She rubbed the center of her chest to ease the tightness there. And if she was anything like Jane is now, I’m guessing she’d have seriously hurt you for even flirting with other women, much less sleeping with them. That’s a good thing—and rare.” “Actually, my wife was more like Elijah than Jane. Got his heart broken and turned celibate because of it. He could be gay, and my name would definitely die with him then,” Morrie said, eyes twinkling with his exaggeration. Now if you try and tell me your wife was celibate, I will call you a liar. Evelyn was a lovely, warm woman who loved me with all of herself. But I think she might have ruined me by being both friend and lover. You’re good-looking, in good shape, and can make people laugh. I’m sure the right woman will come along.” “I think she may already have,” Morrie said, lifting his glass and smiling at Lydia as he sipped. And we’re already friends,” Morrie said, twirling a small bite of the delicate angel hair pasta around his fork and spearing a shrimp on the end. Try something different.” “I do not always get the same thing,” Lydia denied.

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