MacNeill stayed out of her way. To reward him, she selected the two largest cinnamon buns and dropped them on a plate.
“Anything else?” She smiled at him.
Conn’s sexual response was instant and unwelcome. Holy saints. Val Cutler stood before him in jeans and a soiled cook’s apron, and he reacted as if she were naked. Above the line of the bib, he could make out the name of her restaurant, stenciled over her breast. She was flushed and messy, her braided hair springing loose around her face, a faint sheen of sweat above that full upper lip.
He wanted her mouth.
Dammit, the woman wasn’t even his type. He preferred them sleek and smooth and elegant. And right now, he’d prefer no distractions at all. He needed Edward Cutler’s recommendation more than he wanted his daughter.
“Something to drink?” he suggested levelly.
His mother Bridget sometimes drank tea, Irish Breakfast steeped strong enough to stain the cup. The MacNeill men all drank coffee. The one time Conn had tried the Southern brew—at a rest stop outside Petersburg, where he’d been forced to pour more oil into his thirsty car—it had coated his teeth like flavored corn syrup.
“The sweet stuff?” he asked cautiously.
“No. I use a herbal blend. Raspberry, mostly.”
Worse and worse.
“Fine. I’ll give it a shot.”
She busied herself with a glass and ice. “Here you go. Thirty-five gallons brewed fresh every morning.”
He could see the marks of her warm fingers against the cold, cloudy glass. To test himself, to test her, he deliberately brushed her hand as he took it from her. Her fingers were slim and wet.
She gave him a freezing look. Conn grinned at his own conceit. Apparently his libido was safe with her, after all.