West (Chapter One, page 2 of 9)

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Déjà vu. I knew I'd never seen him before, but the sense we had met at some point was strong. Never one to pass up talking to a man stunning enough to be a Hollywood A Lister, I lowered the tablet and smiled.

"I'm not really into American history anymore. I was obsessed with the Old West when I was in high school, but I grew out of it," I answered. "I minored in European History in college."

"So you do like history?"

"Yeah. Civilized history, I guess."

"Civilized?" He laughed. "Tell that to Genghis Khan when you meet him! I mean … if you meet him." He blushed. "If you go back in time and …"

He reminded me of my youngest cousin, a super brain who was awkward around women. It didn't seem possible this man had issues with women, though, because he was absolutely hot. The fact I resembled the perfect blond haired, blue eyed, bubbly cheerleader drew all kinds of attention from men, but none had blushed quite like this.

"It's okay if you want to try that again," I said, struggling not to laugh.

"Thanks." His cheeks were almost purple with embarrassment. "I meant to say, I don't think there's such a thing. If we were to go back in time, I think we'd find the past anything but civilized."

"Good thing we're in the here and now." I glanced at his nametag. Carter, History Interrupted, Inc. "You're the one doing the survey?"

"Yeah. It's nice to meet you, Josie." He stuck out his hand.

"I'm …" I trailed off, realizing he'd already said my name. "… not wearing a nametag."

"Oh." He turned red once more. "You look like a … Josie."

"No one looks like a Josie," I said with a laugh.

"Fits the period." He appeared relieved I wasn't freaked out, his smile large and dimples larger. "Lucky guess."

This is strange. "Nice to meet you, Carter, I think." I picked up the tablet again. "Is this one of those surveys where you try to sell me a timeshare before you give me my gift card?" I was cute, petite and quick to smile; it was how I always managed to get away with talking to people the way I did.

"It's an absolute honor to meet you, Josie. And no, there's no timeshare involved. Can I at least give you my pitch?" he asked hopefully. "I've always wanted to talk to you. To someone like you. To someone who …" He was flustered again.

"Wait, stop there! Let me put you out of your misery." I smiled, taking pity on the socially awkward man. "Tell me about the survey or your project or whatever it is you're doing."

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