Suddenly, Sierra started howling and yipping, then went tearing off towards something Lily couldn’t see, pulling Lily along with her. She found herself tipping up on the lead again. Both of her bags slipped and pulled her even more off balance. . “Sierra. Stop!” Too late. Her normally calm Cocker Spaniel was out of her ever lovin’ mind and Lily was about to met the floor with her face if she didn’t think of something quick.
She felt herself fall. It was as if everything went in slow motion. She saw Sierra break loose and run hell bent for leather but Lily was unable to stop her. She saw the ground coming at her but also saw there was nothing to break her fall. She squeezed her eyes shut, preparing for the painful jolt. But it didn’t come. What she felt next was a pair of strong, warm arms encircle her and drag her up against a very masculine chest.
Lily opened her eyes and looked up at her savior, prepared to say thank you, and found herself staring into the most amazing hazel eyes. Her heart raced and her mouth dried out and she said nothing.
“Are you okay?”
Lily nodded and continued staring. Oh, God, it was him. The new neighbor who was even more gorgeous up close.
“Are you sure? I’m going to put you down now.”
Again Lily nodded like an idiot. Say something, you twit, before he thinks you’re incapable of coherent thought. “Thank you.” She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry about that.”
“No need to be sorry.” He knelt and held out a hand to Sierra who had come bounding back after losing her prey. “Who are you, pretty girl?”
“That’s Sierra.” Lily tucked her hair behind her ear and watched as her dog rolled over on her back and enjoyed the man’s attention. For a brief moment Lily was actually jealous of her dog, God, she had it bad.
“Well, hello, Sierra.” Donovan stood after petting the dog and held out his hand to her. “I’m Donovan Kelly.”
“I-I know.” She took his hand, cringing at what she’d said. Now, instead of coming off as a mute twit, she thought she sounded like a creepy stalker. “What I mean is I heard one of your friends the other night in the hall.” She blushed, she wasn’t making things better.
“Sorry about that, the guys tend to get a little loud at times.”
“What? Oh, no I wasn’t upset. They weren’t too loud. I just heard them say your name. That’s how I knew what your name was.” Great! Now she was rambling.
“I’m glad. You look like you have your hands full.” He indicated her bag, the dog leash and purse. “Can I help you with anything?”
“Oh, thanks but no it’s okay. I’m normally more graceful. I just didn’t have a great grasp on Sierra. Thanks again for catching me.”
“Anytime…” He cocked his brow.
“Lily. My name’s Lily.”
“Anytime, Lily.” He bent and patted Sierra once more. “Have a good afternoon.”
“You too.” Lily watched as Donovan stepped through his door then wave before closing the door between them once again. She looked down at her dog and Sierra almost looked as if she were smiling and proud of herself. She certainly seemed terribly calm now, as if her work there was through and she could relax. “Did you do that on purpose?”
Sierra panted and cocked her head to the side. This was ridiculous. Lily needed to get to the dance studio. She’d ponder the likelihood that her dog, of all things, just played matchmaker. As they walked downstairs, Lily glanced down at her dog once more. “Did you and Sophia cook this up?”
Sierra looked over her shoulder and barked as if to agree. Well, what could she do if her best friend and dog were working in cahoots?