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My Butter Half – The Way To A Man’s Heart
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I’ve spent my life in the stuffy corporate world.
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“Having a good day, Mr. Barton?” Valerie asks, pouring me a cup of coffee. I’m at a table for one in Hot Spot, the local diner, eating biscuits and sausage gravy.
“Logan,” I say. “Call me Logan. And if you see my daughter, will you tell her to give her old man a call?”
She laughs, placing a hand on her pregnant belly. She recently married a local cop, Vance, and later this year they are expecting their first child. “Old man? Mr. Ba— I mean, Logan, you’re hardly old.”
I run a hand over my jaw. “Turned forty last year.” The woman at the table next to me keeps trying to make eye contact, but I couldn’t be less interested.
She’s eating her avocado toast in expensive workout clothes, with so much Botox she can hardly smile, looking like a cookie cutter of every divorced woman in this part of town.
Valerie lifts her eyebrows. “None of my business, but do you ever think of dating? I have lots of customers who would be interested in going out with a man who owns a house in the Hills, drives a brand-new Audi, ran a marathon last month, owns a massive company, and—”
I cut her off. “Thanks but I’ll pass.” The woman next to me turns her body toward us, clearly listening in, and now clearly interested.
Truth is I do want someone. Badly. But not just anyone. Certainly not a woman after my money.
“All right,” Valerie says. “I won’t bug you anymore, and I’ll tell Kourtney you were asking about her.”
I go back to my breakfast, focusing on my food, not wanting this woman to ask for my number. I pay my bill with cash and get up to leave. Dreading the thought of going back to the office. I should be enjoying my prime. I’ve built an incredible life for myself, but what good is that if I don’t have anyone to share it with?
I haven’t taken a day off in months. Not even when my kids, Kourtney and Billy, each got married earlier this summer. They planned ceremonies on Saturdays and so I kept putting on a suit and tie each day. Paid for my two grown kids to have exotic honeymoons, meanwhile I haven’t gone anywhere.
I just want to meet someone who stirs my heart, makes me feel alive in a way I never have before. Is that too much to ask? Probably.
The bells on the door of Hot Spot jingle as a woman awkwardly pulls it open. In her arms is a loaded crate. Her face is blocked by jugs of milk.
“Oh, Lucia,” Valerie says. “Let me help.”
“No way, Hot Mama,” the woman says, huffing as she loses her grip. “Vance would be horrified at you lifting weight.”
“Here, let me help,” I say, jumping in. I lift the bottom of the crate, taking the weight off her hands, and take it from her. The woman is gorgeous. One look and my heart knows. It’s her.
She’s the one I have been waiting for.
His eyes meet mine and I take a sharp inhale, surprised at what I see. He’s so handsome, flecks of green in his light blue eyes, tall, with broad shoulders and the perfect amount of scruff on his jaw.
“It goes in the kitchen,” Valerie directs the man holding my crate.
“You got it.” He takes directions, carrying her crate to the back.
I turn to Val. “Who is that?”
She smiles. “Logan. Why?”
I purse my lips. I don’t know Valerie all that well. I just know that she’s good friends with Mirabella, who happens to be my brother’s wife.
“No reason,” I say. “I’ll just go back in the kitchen and grab the crate, if you don’t mind?”
A large group enters the diner and Valerie grabs a stack of menus. “That’s great, thanks so much. Those eggs you’ve been bringing are the bee’s knees.”
I smile as I turn, wanting to catch another glimpse of this man, Logan. One look at him and my belly flipped with butterflies. Pushing through the kitchen door, I smack right into him.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” I say as he takes a step back. I fall smack against his chest.
He takes hold of my arms, helping me get back on my feet. “It’s okay,” he says. “I got you.”
I swallow. He certainly does.
I never get like this with guys. All hot and bothered. But one look at Logan, in his suit and tie, and I don’t think he’s a guy at all. He’s a man.
“Thanks Logan,” I say, stepping toward my crate of milk and butter. “For catching me.”
“You know my name?” He walks around the stainless steel island, both of us ignoring the cooks in the kitchen. His eyes are on mine and mine alone. The intensity surprises me. I like it… but I’m not familiar with it. “It’s Logan Barton, by the way.”