His Five Night Stand by Emma Thorne

1260

Counting on Love Book 1

Callie is devastated after her boyfriend confesses he's in love with another woman. Her neighbor Billie promises that spending five nights with a gorgeous man named Theo will help Callie forget her ex and regain her shattered confidence. Theo has suffered loss before, so he knows how to help Callie repair her broken heart. After five nights together, she'll leave her heartache behind and be ready to find real, lasting love with someone new – just not Theo, as he has a rule against falling in love.

As Billie shows Callie the available apartment unit, they run into Theo leaving his place next door. Callie is immediately struck by Theo's jaw-dropping good looks – his wavy dark hair, piercing pale blue eyes, olive skin, broad shoulders and strong physique. Billie introduces the neighbor Theo to Callie, and there's an undeniable spark of attraction when they shake hands. Callie has to remind herself not to stare at the charming, gorgeous Theo with his British lilt.

Though Theo thinks Callie will like living in the building, Billie jokes suggestively about leaving the two alone together, hinting at a potential romance between the new neighbors. Despite Theo's rule against falling in love, there seems to be chemistry and a connection between him and Callie from the moment they meet. Callie is both flustered and intrigued by Theo and the prospect of them getting closer.

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Excerpt from His Five Night Stand © Copyright 2024 Emma Thorne

I followed Billie out of her office. There was no elevator in The Holiday, only wide carpet covered stairs. According to Billie, the laundry was in the basement and there were a few prized garages off the back alley.

“All garages are rented,” she said. “People tend to move in here and stay. We haven’t had a vacancy in over eighteen months.”

I suddenly felt like I’d stumbled onto some exclusive hideaway. Thanks to Henry, I knew vacancy rates were low in the city. I wondered how he’d found the time to do so much online research in between work and trying not to sleep with Sophia.

We walked up two flights of stairs. There was one unit on the left side of the hall which clearly had to be a large one or two bedroom. Two doors on the right, 302 and 304.

“It’s this one,” Billie said, sorting through her keys. “304.” As she fiddled with the keys someone opened the unit next door.

A tall guy wearing a black t-shirt and jeans stepped outside and turned to lock the door. He smiled as he glanced at Billie and me. I swallowed, my mouth immediately dry. This guy was jaw-droppingly gorgeous. He had wavy dark brown hair almost black, a strong jaw, and these amazing pale blue eyes that jumped out against his olive skin tone. He had broad shoulders, and strong biceps. When he turned away, I couldn’t help but notice that his backside was just as gorgeous. I had to remind myself not to stare again.

“Oh, that’s Theo,” Billie said to me softly. “Hey Theo!” she called a little louder. “New tenant, Callie. You should say hello. You two might be neighbors.” Her voice was a little sing-song as she fiddled with her keys.

“Oh, I don’t want to interrupt him,” I said, wishing I had bothered to brush my hair that morning. I didn’t even have on mascara since I’d cried it all off the night before.

Theo strode toward us smiling. His pale blue eyes were even more magnetic close up.

He held out his hand. “Pleased to meet you, Callie, or shall I say neighbor,” he gave my hand a firm squeeze. His voice had a lilt to it, British I assumed, though I’d never been really good with accents outside of knowing they made me melt.

His hands were large, strong and warm. I immediately liked the feeling of his skin against mine.

“Maybe neighbor,” I said, laughing as my cheeks burned. “I need to apply and see the place, but it seems nice. Like everyone I’ve met seems wonderful and so welcoming . . .”

His hair was slightly long so it hung in waves not quite hitting his shoulder or falling into his eyes. I had to fight the urge to reach out and brush the curls off his forehead. “Oh, you’ll like it here,” Theo said. “Billie runs a tight ship. Nothing but the most beautiful apartments this side of the University. Right Billie?”

“Got it!” Billie said holding up a key. I doubted she’d been listening to us at all. She’d fiddled with a series of keys before hitting pay dirt. “Almost thought I’d have to leave you here with Theo and who knows where that would lead.”

“Who knows?” he said, grinning at me.

“Right,” I said, smiling back thinking that being alone with Theo was not a horrible thought, not a horrible thought at all.

Billie opened the door and gestured for me to follow.

“I’ll leave you two to your tour then,” Theo said, nodding. “Later neighbor.” He turned and glanced back once with a smile before he walked down the hall.

“Bye,” I said, almost under my breath.

“Theo’s great,” Billie said, walking inside the apartment. “He and Odessa live next door.”

And Boom. Odessa. Of course.

I allowed myself a momentary pang of disappointment and then let it go. Of course the beautiful man in the black jeans would have a girlfriend. Billie had said mostly women lived here. He was gorgeous and he belonged to someone else which was okay. The last thing I needed was to complicate my life with a fling, or a relationship, right? Right. Good chat.

“So, what do you think?” Billie said, walking across the room to open a window.

Apartment 304 was a large square room with light hardwood floors. There was a tiny tile bathroom off to the right, a small closet, and a tidy kitchen that faced the house next door. “The rooms are big, kitchen and bath are small but it’s a pretty good space for a studio,” Billie said.

I walked across the hardwood and tried to imagine myself living here. The windows were tall and high, walls freshly painted white with a forest green accent. It was so simple, so classic. So different than the black and silver modern lines of Henry’s home, and the floor to ceiling windows that faced downtown.

He had a $1 million view, and this place faced an alley. His place was his, this could be mine.

I wanted it.

I wanted to live here with beautiful women who smiled and laughed and made out with men in broad daylight, and men who looked like Troy and Theo. Especially Theo. I wanted something different. I wanted this life.

“I’ll take it,” I said without hesitation.

“Great,” Billie grinned. “When can you move in?” “Today.”

I wrote a check and Billie handed me a set of keys. I had found a place to call home.

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