It wasn’t just his good looks and his money and his charm. Okay, those things didn’t hurt. But the real appeal was his willingness to put himself out, the way he’d driven to the airport to pick her up or built that ramp for her mother, without looking for payback, without figuring the angles or calculating the cost. She liked that about him. She liked him a lot.
He had always been a friend of Matt’s, a friend of the family. There was no reason after all these years that Meg couldn’t count him as her friend, too. Her good, close friend.
But nothing more.
The clouds against the blue velvet sky were the colors of an oyster shell, purple, gray, and milky white. The last time she had been alone in the dark with Sam, he’d kissed her senseless. If he tried anything this time, she was ready. She would just say no.
But despite his words in the restaurant, he was being a perfect gentleman.
She shivered a little from the breeze and disappointment.
He slanted a look at her. “Cold?”
She wasn’t stupid. She recognized a line when she heard one. “Is this where you offer to put your arm around me to keep me warm?”
“No.” He slid out of his jacket. “This is where I give you my jacket to keep you warm.” He put it around her shoulders, smiling down at her, making her feel safe and warm and cared for. His jacket smelled like him, masculine with a hint of expensive soap. “Then I put my arm around you,” he said, suiting the action to the words.
Meg smothered a laugh. “Where did you learn this move, high school?”
He grinned back, not smug, just...Sam. “Why not stick with what works?”
from Carolina Girl, coming June 2013