Home > Kiss My Giraffe (Boys of the Bayou Gone Wild #7)

Kiss My Giraffe (Boys of the Bayou Gone Wild #7)
Author: Erin Nicholas

 

Prologue

 

 

Be sure you’ve read the prequel to Kiss My Giraffe, Otterly Into You!

 

 

1

 

 

"Oh…um…" Fiona coughed. "I…damn."

Knox blinked at the petite brunette on his front porch. She was staring up at him, her eyes wide.

"Are you okay?" he asked. She looked nervous and a little dazed.

He was stunned to see her, but he was also immediately concerned. Confident and flirtatious was Fiona Grady's default mode. Anything else made him worry. As much as he really didn't want to.

"You just look so hot in those glasses." Her gaze tracked over him, from his untucked button-down shirt to his blue jeans, to his bare feet. "I wasn't expecting that," she told him when her eyes returned to his.

And she was not what he'd been expecting when he'd heard the knock on his door at nine o'clock at night. Now, having her in front of him suddenly after three months of no contact, he had a mix of emotions swirling through his gut. One, of course, was exasperation. That was always one of the primary things he felt when Fiona was involved.

He pulled his glasses off. "What are you doing here?"

She shook her head. "Sorry, that whole hot-nerd thing was really distracting. I always think about your long hair and tattoos and muscles and how big you are." Her gaze traveled over him from head to toe again. Slowly. She met his eyes and grinned. "I forget that you're a geek underneath it all."

He sighed. He'd missed her. Fuck. He didn't want to miss her. He didn't want to know what had kept her away from Autre, Louisiana, for the past three months when she'd been making trips to his little town at least monthly ever since the petting zoo-slash-park-slash-sanctuary had started growing.

"I didn't know you were in town," he said, trying for nonchalant.

"Just got here. Came straight over."

"Why?"

He liked that she'd wanted to see him first thing when she'd hit town.

But he didn't want to like that. He hated that he'd missed her, worried about her, actually felt hurt that he hadn't heard from her.

He did not want to be wrapped around this woman's little finger.

Yet he felt a distinctly unpleasant sensation of twisting whenever she was here.

"Oh." She frowned. "Right. There's a reason I came straight here. An important one."

He crossed his arms and propped a shoulder against the doorjamb. He should probably invite her in, but that was trouble because he wouldn't want her to leave. "I'm waiting."

And fucking worrying. She looked nervous. Fiona Grady never looked nervous. She was a ballsy, bold, do-gooder who always thought she was right and was willing to risk huge fines, jail time, and even bodily harm to save the animals she was so passionate about.

But she always knew what she was doing. She seemed to charge into situations, her passion turned up to max-level, her sassy tongue lashing whoever was in her way with statistics and laws and the names of people very high up in law enforcement and politics. But in the time he'd known her—almost two years now—she'd never looked nervous.

She absolutely twisted him up.

She wet her lips. "Okay. Remember that thing we talked about at Christmas?"

Knox felt his gut clench. They'd talked about sleeping together. And him becoming the temporary foster dad to three baby otters.

And they'd kissed for the first time. A kiss that had been causing annoying, unwelcome, frustrating dirty dreams for three fucking months.

"About having a salacious affair where we sneak around behind our friends' backs and sleep together whenever I'm in town?" she pressed when he didn't answer.

"Yes. I remember." Too well. He was incredibly pissed about how often he'd replayed that conversation and how restless he'd been waiting for her to call or come back to Autre.

He didn't pine for women. Ever. He did the opposite of that.

But now she was here. And Knox wasn't sure what he was feeling. Her showing up unannounced wasn't unusual. Fiona Grady rolled into Autre without warning more often than not in her grape-soda-purple truck that sent his heart hammering and cock hardening.

But it had been three months since he'd seen her. Since they'd talked. Since he'd had any clue what she was doing, where she was, how she was.

Suddenly, she was on his doorstep asking about their plan to bang whenever she was in town for a couple of days?

"Okay, well, there's something I need to tell you that will make you not want to do that anymore," she said. "So I was wondering if maybe you wanted to get naked together once before I tell you and ruin everything?"

He opened his mouth to reply. Then shut it without a word. What the hell?

He glanced over his shoulder. Three minutes ago, he'd been sitting at his kitchen table doing paperwork with a cup of coffee and listening to a podcast about new creative urban development ideas.

Now the woman he was low-level obsessed with was on his porch asking if he wanted to have sex before she told him something that would make him not want to have sex with her anymore.

He ran a hand through his hair. This was why Fiona Grady was no good for him. She came into his carefully controlled and organized life and made things chaotic and messy.

"Are you sick?" he asked.

"Sick? No."

"Dying?"

"No."

"Is anyone dying?"

"No."

"Are you married?" He braced himself. He knew very little about this woman, actually, and if she belonged to someone else, he'd…leave her alone. And hate that man. And never forgive her for stirring him up like this.

"Absolutely not."

"Engaged?"

"No."

Okay, that was all…way too much of a relief. He should not be this happy to hear that.

"Did you kill someone?" he asked.

She tipped her head, her mouth curling. "Is that a definite deal-breaker?"

No, probably not. Knox narrowed his eyes.

"No, I haven't killed anyone."

"Are the Feds looking for you? Or will I be implicated in some kind of crime if I let you in?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"That's not a no."

"I'm just being honest."

Fair enough. Fiona was a wild animal advocate. The type of person to show up at roadside petting zoos and “circuses” to monitor how the animals were treated and hand out literature to people attending the events, raising awareness about the poor conditions and treatment of those animals. She showed up to help rescue and care for animals, wild and domestic, after natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. She regularly lobbied local, state, and even the national government for animal protections.

The chance that she could have done something in the "gray area" for one of her causes was pretty good.

The problem with that was he knew that wouldn't keep him from wanting her.

She was precisely the kind of woman he should be avoiding.

He studied her face for another long moment, then gave in to the inevitable. He pushed his door open.

"Yeah?" she asked.

"Yeah."

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