The Playboy's Proposal (Sorensen Family)(2)

By: Ashlee Mallory

“Yes,” he said, looking her over, from the top of her hair to the slippers on her feet, before meeting her gaze. “I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage, though.”

Of course he wouldn’t have bothered to learn her name. Although to be fair, the only reason she knew his was because she’d already had three other residents—female residents—ask her what it was like living next door to the Henry Ellison. A quick Google search had shown her all she needed to know about her new neighbor. The man was trouble. A rich, entitled playboy who had more press covering his escapades than Justin Bieber. Okay, maybe not more, but close enough.

“Benny Sorensen. Your next-door neighbor, who, for the past couple of hours, has been trying to sleep despite the insanely loud music pouring from your unit,” she snapped. “Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“Sorry, I’m afraid I’m still a little jet-lagged. Just arrived from Paris this morning.” He looked at his watch. “Or I should say last night. But I’m guessing you didn’t drag yourself out of bed to come and ask me the time.”

She gritted her teeth. He knew why she was here. But he seemed to enjoy toying with her. Something she might find amusing in the light of day, but when she had to be up in less than five hours, it only served to seriously piss her off.

Flying off the handle, however, would only serve to amuse him further. She’d have to reason with him, tactfully. “I’m afraid not. You see, I have an early morning tomorrow. Patients who will want me to be awake and reasonably alert when I treat them, you understand. So maybe you’d consider turning the volume down a few thousand decibels so I can get some sleep and not have to come and rain on your party like this again.”

“Oh, believe me, honey, you’re not raining on my parade. Quite the opposite. I like your T-shirt, by the way.” His eyes lit with humor as he stared at her chest.

She looked down. He’d have to be blind not to see the outline of her boobs under her favorite—if threadbare—T-shirt. Especially when, thanks to the slight draft by the windows, she was on high alert. She crossed her arms before meeting his gaze again.

He was smiling smugly. Aware he’d thrown her off.

Her hands balled into fists. She wanted to punch him.

Henry Ellison knew he shouldn’t be smiling at his neighbor’s discomfort, but the situation was so bizarre he couldn’t help himself.

It had been quite a shock to look up and see a woman with dark brown hair poking out in every direction and wearing a T-shirt and purple flannel pajama pants storming toward him. Particularly in those clunky green dinosaur slippers. But it was her blazing blue eyes that completely enraptured him, despite the fact that she looked like she might try and kill him.

How could he not bait her, just a little?

She might have hissed at him as she narrowed those dark lash-fringed baby blues. “I’m afraid my invite for the black-tie event went missing and I threw on what I had available when you practically shouted come over with that blaring music.” She leaned forward. It was hard not to notice the bright pink earplug stuck in her hair, which served to take the bluster out of her caustic tone. “I’m going to ask you nicely this one time. Turn the music down. Next time it won’t be me breaking up your little party.”

He raised his brows. “Are you suggesting you’ll call the police? What, are we in high school?”

“That’s a question that I might ask.” She didn’t look away, meeting his gaze for a long minute. She was a fierce little thing, he’d give her that.

“All right, Ms. Sorensen. I’ll be sure to turn the music down, and I’ll remind the kids to stay off your lawn while I’m at it.”


Before he could make another comment, Benny Sorensen whirled around and stomped away. “Stomped” being the only appropriate term when she was wearing such awkward footwear.

He chuckled and took a sip of his almost forgotten drink. Tiffany or Tasha—he couldn’t keep it straight—returned to his side, a sultry smile on her full red mouth. “Friend of yours, Henry?”

He ignored the question. “It’s getting late. I should probably wind things down.”

“You read my mind. I was just thinking we could use a little alone time.” She licked her bottom lip—something that ordinarily should have been enticing to him, only now it seemed too practiced.

“Wish I could take you up on that, but I have an early morning. I’ll have to take a rain check.”

Tiffany-Tasha stuck her bottom lip out into a pout but, to his relief, didn’t try to change his mind, instead slinking away with the grace of a cat. A much different departure than Benny Sorensen, in her flannel pants and crazy bedhead. Aside from her lack of taste in sleepwear and complete distaste for him, he had to admit his new neighbor was interesting, to say the least.

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