Defensive Heart Excerpt


“Hello, James.” Her sweet voice through the phone line was 
balm to the anxiety knotting his stomach in fear she wouldn’t answer.

Jimmy blew out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. 

“How’s your Saturday been?”

“Overall it’s been okay. You?”

Slouching down on the couch, Jimmy propped his feet up on 
his coffee table, crossing them at the ankle. “After waking up in 
an empty bed, which kinda sucked I have to say, it got better. 
Hung out with my best friend for most of the day.”

Surely you didn’t really expect to wake up next to me. I would 
think you’d prefer to wake alone. After all, isn’t that how things 
work when you’re single?”

Jimmy closed his eyes. She didn’t get it. “Yeah, I guess, 
except…”

“Except what?”

Screw it, he may as well hit her with it straight. “Except I would 
rather have woken up with you there, that’s all.”

“I can say your answer both surprises, and confuses, me.”

He chuckled then let out a loud sigh. Nope, Sonja-the-lawyer 
did not get it. “And I can say your reaction, sadly, does not 
surprise me.”

“I’m not sure what to do with you.”

Jimmy dropped his feet to the floor and sat up, rubbing the 
spot between his brows. “No need to be sure; I have plenty of 
ideas.”

She let out a soft laugh. “Oh yeah, like what?”

Memories of the prior night with her played through his mind. 
Vivid images of her naked body. Her voice echoing in his ears… 
Bliss. It’d been fucking bliss. But really, could you call 
something you hadn’t stopped thinking about since it 
happened a memory? It was more like a steady stream of 
awareness of an event he for sure wanted a repeat of. He 
lowered his voice. “Liiiiike… what you did with me last night. 
That’s a fine place to start.”

“Hmm… So your desire is to have more than a one-night fling 
with me?” Her tone was matter of fact, almost threaded with 
disbelief, nowhere near inquisitive.

“Desire? No, Sonja. I intend to have much more than a one-
night fling with you.”

“You sound quite sure of yourself.”

“I am.” He stood and walked to the loft’s big windows. “I know 
last night was more than a fling for you too, so don’t try and 
deny it. That kind of chemistry and being in sync with another 
person is rare and it will happen again.”

Silence stretched over the cellular waves between them. Her 
soft breaths in his ear the only indication she was still on the 
line, until finally she spoke. “I can’t deny there was chemistry 
between us, but I’m not sure it’s wise to continue.”

“Wise?” He laughed. “Of course it’s wise. It’d be the smartest 
thing you’ve ever done. Trust me on that.”

“You love to annoy me. You love to pick fights with me. Why 
on earth should I trust you, James?”

“Tell you what, come have a drink with me tonight and I’ll 
explain all the many reasons why you should trust me.”

“No.”

“No? That’s it? Just… no?” Jimmy pinched the bridge of his 
nose and paced in front of the windows. Jesus she was 
stubborn.

“No is a complete sentence, James.”

“Yeah, I guess it is, but how does that count. I mean your 
favorite word to say to me is no. But last night you said yes. 
Finally. And you have to admit you’re grateful you did. The 
many orgasms we shared is proof of that.”

“I can admit I’m very grateful for the experience of last night.”

“Come have a drink with me, Sonja.”

“No. But if you must know, I have other commitments tonight 
I have to attend to.”

“Okay fine, you win. Tomorrow.”

“Sunday has it’s own set of commitments.”

Defeat, and disappointment warred for first place in Jimmy’s heart. Resuming his spot on the couch, he let his head fall back 
on the cushions and closed his eyes again. He thought for sure 
after last night, they’d be past the constant problem of her 
pushing him off. But, no. “No” was still her favorite answer 
when it came to him. And that fucking sucked. “You’re not 
going to make this easy, even a little bit, are you?”

“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.”

Jimmy blew out an exasperated breath. “Oh, I think you do, 
but I’ll let it go for now.”

“Look, I had a very nice time last night.”

“Sonja, don’t. I’m not going anywhere, so you can tell me no all 
you want. I’m not giving up. So, although I’ll concede defeat 
tonight, be ready for me to call tomorrow.”

“Fine. Have a good evening, James.”

“You, too.” Jimmy tossed his phone on the couch beside him.

It was clear Sonja intended to keep him at a distance. And that 
wasn’t going to work for him. He could be patient though. He 
would show her, at every turn, he was serious. He’d found 
something in her that lit his world on fire… he knew it lit hers 
up just the same.

There was no way in hell he was going to let her rob either of 
them of that.

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