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Read, Write, Love at Seaside(13)

By:Addison Cole



He sat down at his computer and spent the next two hours trying to concentrate on something other than thoughts of Leanna. He’d just gotten himself centered when Pepper bounded onto the deck, barking.

He slid him a stare. “Hush.”

Pepper whined, then flopped on Kurt’s feet. Kurt kicked him off and Pepper crept right back. Great.

Leanna came up the deck with her hair a tangled mess, sandy from hip to toe, and dragging the sandy blanket and towel behind her.

“That was so much fun. You should have come. How can you sit there and not want to go in the water?” She ran her fingers through her tangles.

How can you not realize how incredibly sexy you are? “Salt water makes my skin sticky.”

She laughed and flopped into the chair beside him, leaving a sandy path in her wake. When she leaned forward and touched his thigh, he felt a sear of heat blaze a path through his body. Again. He couldn’t tear his eyes from the droplets of water slipping down her cleavage if his life depended on it.

“It’s supposed to. It’s salt water,” she said as if he were being silly. She leaned back and put one foot on his lap.

He stared at the tan, pretty appendage.

“How’d the writing go? Did you kill someone off?”

“Not yet.” He picked up her foot and held it away from his lap; then he snagged the towel from her lap and gently wiped the sand from her foot, and her ankle, and her knee. Sand piled up beneath her.

She popped a grape into her mouth and lifted her brows. “You planning on removing all the sand from me? Because I think I have some in my butt crack, too.”

He froze.

She laughed. “I’m kidding. Thank you for wiping me off. I guess you don’t like dirt too much, huh?”

He handed her the towel and became hyperfocused on her foot resting too close to his crotch. “I like things to be neat, I guess. But I’m not a neat freak.”

“Uh-huh.” She laughed.

“Why is that funny?” He grabbed a handful of grapes and popped one in his mouth to distract himself from her inviting, sandy thigh.

“Because you are a total neat freak. I think it’s cute.” She brushed the sand from her thighs.

He pressed his lips together. “Cute? I’m anything but cute. And I’m not a neat freak.”

She lowered her foot from his lap and leaned in close again. “Let’s see how long you can go without sweeping the sand from the deck.”

She smelled sweet and salty, and Kurt couldn’t help but wonder if she might taste that way, too.

“You, luscious—” Shoot. How did I let that slip? “Leanna, you don’t even know me.” But for some strange reason, I want you to.

They rose at the same time and bumped chests. She grabbed his arm to keep from falling over. Her warm, sun-kissed skin felt so good against him that he didn’t back away. Couldn’t back away. His hands found her hips, the ridge of her bikini bottom barely noticeable beneath his palms. The way she looked up at him, eyes full of wonder—and surprise—caught him off guard.

“Sorry.” He dropped his hands and stepped back.

She closed the gap between them and dropped her eyes to his chest, which was rising and falling with each embarrassingly heavy breath.

“So, big thriller writer, you’re not used to having a mouthy girl around, are you?”

“I have a mouthy sister.” Sister? At a time like this? She had him too befuddled to think straight.

“Does she make you breathe like this?” She pressed her hands to his chest again.

The little voices in his head told him to walk away. Get writing. Run like the wind. But his hands didn’t listen as they found her hips again and pulled her against him. The glint in her eyes, the way she slowly and sensually licked her lips, and the way her fingers slid down his chest told him that she had to know.

“No one makes me breathe like that,” he admitted.

Pepper barked at them, and this time Kurt didn’t give him a harsh stare or a command for quiet. Kurt lowered his mouth toward Leanna’s lips as she pushed away from him.

“I’d worry if your sister made you breathe like that,” she said as if she had no idea that she’d just driven him out of his mind or that he’d been about to kiss her. She picked up the towel and draped it over her shoulder. “I’ll help you clean up.”

He couldn’t move. He could barely breathe. She went inside, and he heard her opening and closing doors. He tried to force his legs to function and cringed thinking about the sand trail she was leaving on his floors. She returned a few minutes later with a broom and a dustpan.

“Finally found them hanging up behind the laundry room door. You are so organized.” She stood on her tiptoes and swept the broom back and forth fast and undirected, sending sand all over the deck. “If you didn’t kill someone, what did you write?” Sweep, sweep. Sand flew into the air and landed on his chair.

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