Grinning hugely, and ignoring his cousin’s impending nervous breakdown, he sauntered over to the front desk to put his game plan into action. Chapter 11 “Oh, damn,” Jodi muttered, trying to find purchase on the old metal cabinet, but there wasn’t any to be found. “Alien!” one of the girls currently trying to pull her down so that they could douse her with more paste and glitter, screamed somewhat hysterically. “Girls,” Jodi said, licking her lips nervously as she tried to pull herself up, but the small hands clasped around her ankles and the fact that she lacked any real upper body strength prevented her from doing that. “Matthew was only kidding,” she said, forcing a smile and trying to sound as nonthreatening as possible. “We need more glitter!” she heard one of them yell as the little nails dug into her skin, trying to yank her back down so that they could dump more paste and glitter on her in an attempt to destroy her powers, the powers that Matthew claimed she had. Man, when she got out of this she was going to- Scream her head off as two large hands cupped her bottom and pushed her up, giving her no choice but to scramble into a sitting position on top of the metal cabinet. As soon as her butt hit the top of the cabinet she pulled her legs up, a tad bit concerned that the little monsters hell bent on destroying her would manage to grab hold of her legs and pull her back down. She pulled her knees up to her chest, scooted back until her back hit the wall and- Frowned, as she looked down at the face of the obscenely handsome man, who up until two days ago she’d considered risking becoming Big Bertha’s bitch in order to wipe the smug smile that he was currently flashing her off his face, and wondered what he was doing here. “So, here’s what I’m thinking,” Danny lazily began, that smug smile of his becoming increasingly sexier with every syllable that left his mouth and distracting her a bit from what he was saying, “I’ll pick you up at seven, we’ll grab a bite to eat and then catch a movie afterwards.” She blinked, sure that she’d misheard him. He couldn’t have possibly just asked her out on a date. “Umm, I’m sorry, what?” she asked, shifting so that she could glance down and immediately regretting it when she saw how high off the floor she was. She moved back until her back was once again touching the wall. That killer smile of his became knowing as he said, “I’d like to take you out tonight.” “I see,” she said, simply to say something while her mind processed what he’d said and when it did, she said, “Oh, um, no thanks,” and moved to climb off the cabinet only to remember that she was afraid of heights and that there was currently an army of six and seven year olds waiting to attack her. “Why not?” he asked, leaning back against her desk, looking unfazed by her rejection. Instead of answering him, she asked, “Do you think you could help me down?” “No,” he said, his lips twitching with amusement as he studied her. “No?” she repeated, swallowing back a curse when she risked another peek over the edge only to find a small group of angry looking six and seven year olds glaring up at her, armed with paste and bowls of glitter. “Umm, why not?” she asked, moving back a safe distance from the edge and those rather frightening children. “Why won’t you go out with me?” Danny returned calmly. Because she wasn’t looking for another friend, another guy to look at her like a kid sister, and she sure as hell didn’t want to go through the motions of a date only to get rejected at the end with a barely-there kiss on the cheek and a few complimentary words about how sweet she was. She especially didn’t want to go through that with him. She knew that it was foolish, but after falling asleep in his arms the other night, she couldn’t stomach the idea of him looking down at her like she was the sweet baby sister that he’d never had and he would. There was just something about her, she didn’t know if it was her size, her looks, the way she smiled or spoke, but something about her made men view her as nothing more than a kid sister. She didn’t want Danny to see her like that, not when it meant that he’d start viewing the other night with horror. He’d held her all night, caressed her stomach, constantly kissed her and had refused to let her go. If she went out with him the illusion that a handsome man wanted her would be ruined. Within minutes of the date he’d start looking at her funny and start to feel uncomfortable, but he wouldn’t know why until the end of the date when he walked her to the door and stared down into her eyes. Then the realization would hit him and that would end any fantasy that an incredibly handsome man wanted her. “I can see that I’m going to have to do this another way,” Danny murmured and before she could ask him what he was talking about, he was back in front of the cabinet and pulling her off. “What are you doing? Let me go!” she said rather hysterically as he pulled her down into his arms, forcing her to wrap her arms around his neck in a desperate attempt to stay there when small hands made a grab for her. “Anything you want, Tink,” he said as he walked over to the checkout desk and plopped her down on the high counter right next to Matthew who was- “Is that my lunch?” she asked, frowning as Matthew popped what looked like the rest of her double fudge, buttercream frosting brownie in his mouth with a shrug. Danny sighed, as he gently cupped her chin and forced her to look back at him. “I’m going to need you to focus here, Tink.” “That’s not my name,” she murmured absently as she peered past him and what she saw had her swallowing nervously and trying to shift back on the counter, but Danny wasn’t having that. “Have dinner with me tonight,” he said, loosely wrapping his arms around her hips as he stepped closer, forcing her to spread her legs to accommodate the move. “I can’t,” she said, gasping in horror when tiny hands suddenly closed around her ankles and tried to drag her away. Danny’s large frame was the only thing that kept her from being dragged to the ground and smothered in paste and glitter. That triumphant look in his eye let her know that he knew it. “No?” he said, cocking a brow as he moved to step back. “Get her!” one of the normally docile children screamed excitedly as she found herself being pulled to the edge of the counter. Refusing to be covered in white gunk for a second time that week, she wrapped her arms and legs around Danny’s retreating form and held on for dear life. He simply stood there, his arms down by his sides as he stepped away from the counter, allowing the little demons to grab hold of her. Tightening her hold around him, she snapped, “Danny!” “Are you sure you can’t go out with me tonight?” he asked, sounding amused, the bastard! “Yes!” “Well, then,” he said, sighing heavily as he grabbed her hips and- “Wait!” she screamed a bit desperately when she realized that he was truly going to hand her over to the demons still pawing at her. “Yes?” he inquired politely as she tightened her hold around him, her face buried in his neck as she struggled to come up with a way to get out of this without needing to scour glitter off her body for the next two months. When it came to her, she quickly looked up and peered over Danny’s shoulder only to find Trevor standing next to Matthew, both males snacking on Matthew’s loot as they openly watched them.