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Keeley just stared at him, her brain shutting down. He was here. He was actually here. She couldn’t believe it. After a whole week of not hearing from him, here he was, sitting in front of her, acting like he didn’t have a care in the world. Keeley opened her mouth to say something, but nothing came out. The words were stuck in her throat like a lump of coal.

“I see I’ve rendered you speechless,” Talon drawled. He uncurled his body and leaned forward in his seat, resting his arms on his knees. “Don’t worry. I seem to have that effect on a lot of girls.”

Keeley’s eyes narrowed. In the past week, she seemed to have forgotten how arrogant he could be. Well, it was all rushing back to her now. “The only effect you have on me is to my gag reflex.”

His smirk turned into a full smile. “Oh how I’ve missed your cutting words and thinly veiled insults. Life has been so dull without you.”

She eyed him suspiciously. “Is that why you are here? Because I add spice to your life?”

“You know, not everything is about you, baby doll,” he taunted in mock sincerity.

Her eyes flashed in irritation. As if he should be talking! He was practically the poster boy for narcissism.

“And a piece of advice?” he continued. “Arrogance isn’t a very attractive quality. It can really put people off.”

Keeley’s jaw dropped. Did he really just say that? Him? Of all people? He was the most arrogant person she knew! She gave him an icy glare before whipping around and plopping back down in her seat. God, he was so infuriating. Her eyes lifted to the heavens. “Why did I want to see him again? Please remind me.”

“Because of my chiseled body and boyish good looks?”

Keeley looked over her shoulder and saw him hanging over the seat next to her, his arms wrapped around the headrest. “I’ve seen better,” she responded tartly.

“Because of my charming personality and quick wit?”

“Don’t flatter yourself.”

He snapped his fingers. “I know. It’s because of my amazing sense of humor and unforgettable charisma, isn’t it?”

“Sit in your seat Talon,” she ordered.

“Aren’t you going to let me sit next to you?” he pouted, motioning to the jacket she had placed to keep people away.

“Absolutely not.”

“Sir?” A man dressed in a navy conductor uniform stood before them. “Please sit down in your seat while the train is in motion.”

“I’m sorry. It’s just that my girlfriend,” he motioned to Keeley, “refuses to let me sit next to her. She says she’s embarrassed by me.” Talon hung his head in shame. “All because I’ve started to let myself go this past month.”

Keeley’s jaw dropped. What the hell was he talking about? Girlfriend? Letting himself go? Out of the corner of her eye, she saw other passengers staring at them with vivid interest.

He turned to look at her, his face the picture of innocence and remorse. “Sweetheart, I promise I’ll start going to the gym again. I’ll even lay off the sweets and go on a liquid diet. Just please, let me sit next to you.”

The train conductor’s lip curled in disgust as he sent her a nasty glare.

“Sit down and stop making a scene,” she hissed through clenched teeth, snatching her jacket off the seat so he could sit next to her.

“Whatever you say, sweetheart,” Talon said dolefully as he moved to do her bidding.

“You should be ashamed of yourself missy,” the conductor scolded before marching away. Other passengers around them were staring at Keeley in the same way, with a mixture of contempt and disdain.

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