“Hey, Mia Hamm,’’ a deep rumbling voice called from above me.
I turned in the direction of the voice. The handsome man I saw yesterday playing football with his son was calling to me from the second-floor balcony.
“Mia Hamm. The famous soccer player.”
“I know who Mia Hamm is. I’m not her, and you’re in Barbados where we call it football.”
“Well, I don’t know your name. Why don’t you tell me what it is so I know what to call you and then you can tell me where you learned to play football like that.”
“I think you’ll find that most people who grew up in the Caribbean can pass a football with some skill. I’m not special.”
“I don’t know if I agree with that.” He grinned, and I felt myself flush. “And you still haven’t told me your name.”
“Where are your wife and son?” I asked, deciding to nip this little game in the bud.
His brow furrowed in confusion before realization hit.
“What? No. She is not my wife and Philip is not my son.”
Something that felt suspiciously like hope caused my heart to flutter at his words, but he was probably lying.
“That little boy looked exactly like you.”
“Hey, I’m not saying he’s not a good looking kid.” His grin returned, and so did my flush. “He’s just not my kid.”
“Well, his mother seemed interested. Why don’t talk to her about soccer?”
“I’m not interested in his mother.” He gave me a pointed look, his grin still firmly in place.
My stupid heart fluttered again.
“I’m already taken,” he said.
The fluttering stopped.
“But the problem is, she won’t tell me her name.” He tucked his bottom lip between his teeth, still grinning.
And the fluttering returned. A deep breath helped me calm myself and regain focus before I pressed the elevator button again, knowing that it would do nothing to make the elevator come faster. I glared at him and rolled my eyes. He was leaning over his balcony waiting for an answer.
“No,” I said finally.
“No, what?” he asked.
“Whatever you want. Whatever you think this is. The answer is no.”
“It can be whatever you want it to be.” That line would’ve been incredibly sleazy from anyone else, but he made it sound so sincere and almost convincing that it was clear I needed to keep my distance from him, no matter how charming he was and no matter how long it had been since I felt a man’s hands on my body.
“Good,” I said. Mercifully, the elevator arrived at that moment, and I stepped inside. “Nothing it is.”