Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"I’m here if you need anything," Sam said.

Meg narrowed those shining blue eyes. “Like what?”

He shrugged. “An ear. A shoulder.”

“Thanks, but . . .”

“A full-body naked rubdown.”

That choked a laugh from her. He watched, satisfied, as some of the tension drained from her shoulders. “I can do without the extraneous body parts, thanks.”

“Anytime,” he said sincerely. “You let me know if you change your mind.”

And tried not to imagine her tight, compact body, round and responsive under his hands. Under him.

“In your dreams, Slick.”

Probably. Tonight, for sure.

He shoved his hands into his pockets. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”

“Tomorrow?” She looked wary, like he was coming over to make good on that full-body naked massage.

“To work on the ramp.”

“Oh. Yes. Good idea.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “I’d take that as a compliment if you didn’t sound so surprised.”

“I meant it as one.” An actual smile this time. “I appreciate you doing this for Mom.”

“Not just for your mother.”

“And Matt.”

Matt was his best, his oldest friend. Sam shook his head. “Not only for Matt.”

She pressed her full lips together. “You’re not doing it for me.”

He didn’t answer right away. He owed the Fletchers, Tom and Tess, more than he could say. Their home had been his refuge throughout high school, an escape from his stepmother’s moods and his old man’s tirades. Tom had taught Sam to change the oil in his first car. Tess had taken him in and treated him as one of her own, equally quick with a cookie or a scold. He would have done a damn sight more for either of them than build a ramp.

But his feelings for Meg were mixed in there, too, a potent brew of attraction and regret.

He smiled at her with intent.

“Oh, no,” she said. “You don’t even know me anymore. There’s nothing between us but one lousy hookup and some memories.”

He took his hands out of his pockets. Nothing between them? “Let’s see,” he suggested and made his move.

Carolina Girl, coming June 4 from Berkley Sensation

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Teaser Tuesday! Carolina Girl

“Want to come?”

Meg’s heart gave an extra thud. She met Sam’s gaze as his question hung on the air, heavy with expectation. She wanted to say yes, she realized, dismayed. Yes, to the building supplies. Yes, to going with him. Yes, to pretty much anything he proposed that would get her out of this kitchen and away from the career coach’s stupid questions.

So take a break. You need a little fun.

No. The sooner she finished the assignment, the sooner she could begin the real work of finding a job. She wasn’t abandoning her schedule to go joyriding around the island with the Boy Who Had Everything.

She dug in her heels, resisting the tug of temptation. “I’m not scavenging materials off a construction site. I’m perfectly capable of buying what we need.”

“Think of it as close proximity sourcing. This isn’t about money, Meggie. It’s about time and energy. A trip to the mainland and back would cost me a couple of hours and half a tank of gas. This is quicker. Get in, get out. No problem.”

Okay, she could accept his reasoning. To a point. Time is money, Derek was fond of saying. In their relationship, household chores and errands were calculated and divided as neatly as the monthly utilities. So many minutes to unload the dishwasher or carry the trash to the garbage chute, so many hours to pay the bills or wait for the super or pick up the dry cleaning . . .

Sam wasn’t anything like Derek. Maybe, in this one instance, that was a good thing. “At least let me reimburse you for the cost of the materials.”


She was forced to be blunt. “Look, I don’t want to owe you any favors.”

“Consider it payback.”

“For what?” The instant the words escaped her mouth, she wished she could snatch them back. What did she want him to say? For being drunk? For taking everything you offered? For not calling you the next day or for weeks afterward? They were too old for any of that to matter now.

And if he apologized again, after all these years, she would hit him.

Carolina Girl, coming June 4 from Berkley Sensation