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The heavy door to the lobby opens with a loud smack, drawing attention to those waiting to be seen. The counseling center is private and held in high regard. The majority of our clients come from money, but a few of our therapists work pro bono, counseling those from working class backgrounds similar to mine. Some are like Loretta, suffering from eating disorders and mild anxiety issues. But the majority are severely damaged individuals with suicidal tendencies. I catch sight of one of our more heartbreaking cases sitting in the corner beside his father. Poor kid, he can’t be more than fifteen. And there he waits with his wrists bandaged down to his elbows.
I want to walk over and give him and his dad a hug. Both look like they could use one. Those people on the street who offer free hugs to strangers? I’m one of them. I always have been.
Today though, I refrain, staying focused on Loretta. “Good job,” I tell her, knowing how hard she’s trying. “I’ll see you next week.”
I turn my head. I know that voice. Loretta doesn’t bother with a goodbye, leaving me instead with a “Mm, yummy” when she sees who called to me.
“Yummy”. Yes, that about sums up Finn.
Finn O’Brien, damn. You know those cute guys . . . those really hot kind of cute guys? Finn blows them away. I’m not typically attracted to redheads, but I make the exception for Finn. Oh, and Jamie from Outlander.
Finn has the whole bad boy thing going on, tats crawling along his muscular arms, hair buzzed on the sides and short on top. A modern Mohawk, it think that’s what it’s called. Oh, and don’t get me started on that dimple on his right cheek that appears when he grins, just like he’s doing now.
“Hi, Finn,” I say. His brother is with him, the one that looks the most like him. He’s older by a few years, handsome, polished, perfect. Well, if you like that sort of thing. Me? Did I mention how sexy Finn is?
His light blue eyes sparkle as I pass Zorina, the poor girl trapped in her own world following a brutal assault on the train. She pretends to play instruments that aren’t there, reality slipping so far from her grasp, it’s almost out of her reach.
I tilt my head in the direction of Finn’s brother because by now it’s obvious I’m gawking at Finn. “You’re Seamus, right?” I ask.
“No, I’m Declan,” he answers in a deep voice.
Oh, right. The district attorney. “Sorry. I know that Finn has a few brothers,” I offer. I should be impressed seeing how Declan has made quite a name for himself in the political arena, and I am. But Finn is who lures my attention and keeps it, despite my best efforts to appear more relaxed. “What are you doing here?” I ask.
He shrugs. “Waiting for you.”
Declan sighs, moving away from us and reaching for his phone. I grin even though I’m sure Finn is feeding me a line. The last time I saw him was at my cousin Sofia’s wedding. I’d brought my friend Alex as my date and Finn, well, he showed up with some girl with big breasts and very little clothes. And funny enough, I still had a hard time keeping my eyes off him.
“Really?” I ask.
“Yeah. Really,” he answers, leaning back on his heels and making a show of checking me out.
“Don’t forget, you still owe me a kiss.”
Pick up the Two RITA Finalists
ONCE PURE & ONCE KISSED