Resisting the Hero:An Accidentally in Love Novel(6)By: Cindi Madsen
Penny barked again—so damn loud—and nudged him with her wet nose.
“I drank too much last night, Pen. Does that mean nothing to you?”
Penny whimpered and he swore she looked at the clock, as if to say, Can’t you see we’re already thirty minutes behind schedule? Get your lazy ass out of bed and take me running already.
Connor slowly sat up, promised himself he’d never drink that much again, and pulled on warm-ups, a T-shirt, and his sneakers.
The cool morning air helped wake him up the rest of the way, though he was still foggier than usual. Penny didn’t take it easy on him, tugging him hard toward Lake Norman. Running was a release, a way to get everything off his mind and start the day fresh. But today it just wasn’t doing it for him. When he tried to turn around a mile shorter than usual—today was more of a three- than a five-mile day—Penny didn’t budge, pulling against her leash and whimpering. Finally, with the promise of an extra doggy treat when they got home, he convinced her to turn around. He had about a mile to go when he caught sight of the blonde jogging ahead of him.
He swore he’d stared at that same ass at the Rusty Anchor. Despite the fogginess, that was one thing he distinctly remembered from last night. He took a couple long strides to close the distance and get a closer look. Yep, it was definitely Kaleb’s little sister. Hair pulled up in a messy bun, cheeks flushed, black yoga pants showing off her shapely butt. Man, he loved yoga pants. He quickened his pace to catch up with her.
Faith glanced at Penny as she started to pass her up.
“Nice morning for a jog, isn’t it?” Connor asked, forcing as much cheeriness into his voice as he could manage.
“Yeah, it i—” Faith nearly tripped over her feet when her gaze landed on him.
He grabbed her arm to help steady her. “Careful. Or you’ll have skinned knees to go with that mark on your face. You know, from where you ran into the door last night while checking me out.”
She jerked her arm away from him. “I was not… It was dark and… You’re so cocky, you know that?”
“It’s part of my charm.”
“You don’t have any charm.” Faith crouched down to pet Penny as she glared at him, and his dog snuggled right up to her. “A cop with a German shepherd. How cliché of you.” The verbal jab was canceled out by the adoration in her voice. More for the dog than him, probably, but he liked to think it was a little him, too.
Faith scratched behind Penny’s ears. “Poor doggy. I bet it’s hard living with an ego that big, isn’t it? You ever need a break, you come find me.”
“You’re staying with Kaleb and Anna, right?” Connor asked.
Faith glanced up, one of her eyebrows quirking higher than the other.
“If Penny needs a place to escape, she needs to know where you’ll be.” He reached down and patted his dog, and her dark eyes and muzzle moved back and forth between him and Faith.
The breeze caught hold of the pale strands coming loose from Faith’s bun. One of the strands stuck to her lip and she quickly swiped it away. But now he was looking at her full bottom lip and how it had a slight indentation in the middle. And since he was crouched down petting Penny, he was close enough to really take in Faith’s features, things he hadn’t noticed in the dim bar last night. She had high cheekbones, startling green eyes, and a cute little beauty mark above one eyebrow.
He thought about how bored he’d been with women lately. He had a feeling he’d be anything but with this girl. She was feisty, and by all appearances, couldn’t stand him. He wasn’t sure what it said that he found himself intrigued by that, but he was.
“I’d better get on with my jog,” Faith suddenly said, straightening. And then she was off and running. He wanted to catch up and tease her a little more. See if her cheeks flushed the way he vaguely recalled them doing last night. But then again, the view was nice from back here, and he knew something she probably didn’t…