Xander's Chance (Chapter Five, page 2 of 11)

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As before, even seeing her, his extra senses didn't identify anyone stood before him until he was within three feet of Jessi.

"What's going on?" he asked as he approached.

"Ahh … we don't want any," she said quickly and shoved at a hand reaching through the open doorway. She slammed the door and locked it. "It's all good."

"What's all good?"

His gaze went past her to whoever was on the other side of the door. The middle-aged woman was furious and frustrated. She glared at the door for a moment before turning and stalking away, down the hallway.

She had warts. A quick peek into her mind informed him that April Madera - the personal assistant Ingrid hired - was storming off while the Natural Jessi remained.

Jessi was on her tiptoes, peeking through the peephole.

"They're selling popcorn."

She lied. Xander was instantly interested. So she did know what was going on, despite her sweet appearance. It struck him that she might be lying about the kids and her name to throw him off.

"Maybe I like popcorn," he replied and stretched over her head to unlock the door.

Jessi faced him and pressed her back to the door to keep him from opening it, gazing up at him. Her face was flushing again, and he saw the signs she wasn't as unaffected by him as he first thought.

His attention shifted to her, their bodies separated by less than two feet of space. His bite had the effect of enhancing anything he did to a woman. If he bit her, would he be able to read her mind finally?

"Not this stuff," she hedged. "It's, um, low fat."

She was a horrible liar, uncertain enough in her attempts that he assessed she didn't do it often. It only added to her mystery. He hated being off balanced and felt the need to poke at her, until he was able to figure out what made her tick.

She slid out from between him and the door, and he heard her sigh. She all but fled up the stairs to the kitchen, heading towards the iPad.

Xander trailed, watching her perfect, heart-shaped ass. He sensed secrets in people, and this woman had a ton of them, which was at odds with her clear gaze and the shimmer of innocence around her. He stood outside the kitchen.

He was definitely missing something. What was it?

"Do you want more coffee?" she called.


"Um, okay." She was fumbling with the iPad nervously.

He watched her drop it, the sound of metal on stone preceding her curse by a second. She picked up the tablet and set it on the counter. Restarting it, she rested her elbow on the counter and leaned her chin on her hand, her dark blonde curls sweeping forward. Relief crossed her features as the iPad started right up.

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