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Lucy Benoit shoved the door to the laundry room open with her back, her fingers slipping from the handles of the overloaded basket. Dropping everything onto the closest washer with a groan of relief, she flexed and extended her aching hands.
"Hello there. Need some help?"
She spun in surprise. A bearded guy rose from the cracked vinyl couch and scooped up a pair of socks and two black lacy thongs.
An extremely cute, helpful, bearded guy.
"Wow. Not awkward at all. Thank you, kind stranger."
Straight white teeth gleamed in a smile as he dropped the lacy bits into her hand. Aiming for nonchalance after he had handled her delicates, she jammed the thongs into the mound of clothes.
Her breath wheezed in her lungs and she coughed. Partly from bringing in the laundry, but mostly from the surprising blue of his eyes. It would be a shame to cloud those nice eyes with pepper spray. But no matter how nice his smile, a girl can't be too careful living in downtown Milwaukee.
He cleared his throat and sat on the nearest washer. "I'm apartment 26B. Andy."
"Andy. 26B." Lucy shoved fistfuls of laundry into the machine. "What happened to Susan? Is she okay? Did she move out?"
"No, no, she's fine. I'm just crashing with her for a while." He leaned back on the dryers, watching her avidly.
Crashing with Susan? That was odd, this guy was at least twenty years her junior. Well, hey; who was she to judge? Still, Susan didn't strike her as the cougarish sort. Go Susan, get your freak on...
"I'm her son."
Her son, that makes sense. No pepper spray required. Probably. Stealing another look at him as she loaded a washer, she upgraded cute blond guy to darn near yummy. Light hair, twinkling blue eyes, sweatpants and a worn Portland University T-shirt that fit just right on his broad shoulders.
And socks with his sport sandals. Uh-oh. Rule number seven: bad fashion sense. Wrong, wrong, wrong. But not enough to knock him off the potential dating list.
"I'm Lucy. 30C. Good to meet you." She extended her hand to shake his. He held contact a moment too long, his palm warm and firm. Not limp or clammy or, worst of all, that smooth overly moisturized feeling some pretty boys had. But he wasn't so much pretty. Too rugged, too manly.
She turned sharply back to her laundry. "Susan never mentioned you." She blew at a hair teasing her forehead, trying to cool down. Susan was one of those nosy neighbors who kept tabs on everyone else's life. Nonetheless, she was also a sweetheart who always dropped off plates of cookies around the holidays.
"She never mentioned you either, but I wouldn't expect my mom to bring up her hot neighbor with beautiful brown eyes."
"Whoa, what?" She swiped nervously at the hair now tickling her nose, taken aback by the blatant interest in his eyes. Normally by two o'clock on a Tuesday the laundry room was a flirt free area.
"Sorry, sometimes I speak without thinking." He released a blinding smile, the type that charms black lace panties off unsuspecting gals.
That type of brilliant grin didn't occur on anyone who drank coffee. Not to mention the three gazillion cups of coffee she chugged to stay up late cramming for community college exams. Lucy kept her lips together in a tight smile. His charisma was a bit overpowering in the dingy laundry room. He was obviously the kind of guy who got away with outrageous statements like that. Hell, it probably worked for him in all sorts of fun ways.