“Mi scusi, bella.”
“I'm so sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going.”
“It's alright,” a velvet, heavily accented voice told her as large, warm hands encased her upper arms to hold her steady. “Who are you running from, little one?”
Bella looked up to see the man from the bar standing in front of her. He was incredibly handsome, with these vivid green eyes that seemed to radiate warmth and protection. He smelled like masculine musk, hot and inviting, and she felt her mouth water slightly in his presence. She was stunned for a moment, her mouth unable to formulate words.
“You seemed in quite a hurry. Is someone bothering you?”
“N-n-no,” Bella stammered finally, taking a small step back away from him to gain the distance her rapid pulse desperately needed. “I'm fine. Just saw someone I didn't want to see.”
“Is this someone who will hurt you?” the man asked, his tone concerned.
“No,” Bella reassured. “Just an old boyfriend.”
“Old boyfriend?” he asked, emphasizing the first.
“Yes,” Bella replied. “He cheated on me with the girl he's with. Really don't want to see him right now, seeing as I'm pathetically alone.”
It was then that Bella began to chide herself. Why in the hell was she telling this beautiful stranger all of her dirty, boring business?
“What a fool,” he told her bluntly. “That man must be a complete idiot to let you go.”
* * *