“What are you doing?” she repeated.
“What do you mean?”
“Seriously? The big, happy smile, the hug, the ‘let’s relive old times’?”
“What did you expect?”
Her eyes narrowed further. “You almost proposed to me. I didn’t show up. I didn’t come home for three years. And you’re happy to see me?”
Kyle felt emotions rock through him, and he fought to keep his expression neutral. “I wouldn’t say happy, no.”
She sighed, as if relieved. “Okay, that’s better. So what’s going on?”
He still held the hose, the water splashing softly onto the driveway. He looked her over. She looked…exactly the same. She wore a dress that hit just above her knees. It was white with tiny blue flowers. It had short sleeves and four tiny buttons up the front, cinched at the waist and hugged her breasts, but was completely modest and sweet looking. She was wearing blue sandals that, of course, matched the flowers on the dress perfectly. Her hair was straight and shiny. Her lips were also shiny, the pink gloss applied flawlessly. Her makeup was picture-perfect, looking so natural he could barely tell she had any on.
When they’d been together, he’d loved how put together she always looked.
Now he wanted her messy.
He wanted her dress wrinkled, her hair mussed, her lip gloss smudged. And he wanted to be responsible for all of it. He didn’t really understand what all of that meant. Except that neat and tidy were not words that accurately described anything he felt about all of this—her being here, all the feelings she stirred up, the complications she presented for Alice.
He moved the hose just slightly, the water splashing closer to her toes peeking out from her sandals.
She saw the motion, and probably felt a few cold drops. “Kyle.”
“You’re not going to get me wet.”
His eyes locked on hers. “No? You sure about that?”
She licked her lips and he felt a surge of satisfaction. He was affecting her. He shouldn’t like that so much. But he definitely did.
“Okay, why would you do that? I come out here to talk and you want to have a water fight?”
“Or maybe I just want your grandmother to see us having a water fight.”
She looked confused. That was okay, since her back was to the house—where Alice and Ruby were still blatantly watching from the kitchen window.
“Why would you want that?” Hannah asked.
“Because it will make her happy to see us getting along and being like we used to be.”
Hannah swallowed hard. “That’s…dangerous.”
“Oh? How so?” Would she find it tempting?
“I don’t want to get her hopes up.”
Okay, maybe not tempting. Or at least she wasn’t admitting that. But they were, actually, on the same page, even if she didn’t know it yet.
“Yeah, remember that,” he said.
“That you don’t want to get her hopes up.” Then he moved the hose, splashing water over Hannah’s feet.
She shrieked and danced from one foot to the other, trying to avoid the water stream. “Kyle!”
Yep, he wanted her messy. And wet. In so many ways. But he shut that thought down. Then started it up again. Wet. In many ways. Yeah, he wanted that. He wanted her affected. He wanted this, being here, with him, to do something to her. He followed as she started around the car, trying to get the vehicle between her and the water stream.
“Oh, come on, you always ended up wet when we did this in the past,” he said. And he absolutely meant the double entendre. It was an easy one, of course, but no way was he going to pass it up.
“Kyle!” she gasped, and he knew it wasn’t from the cold water that he managed to splash on the backs of her calves. She was surprised he’d said that.
And he could understand. It wasn’t like he’d never said anything dirty to her, but it was usually in the heat of the moment. And even then, it had been rare. Hannah just wasn’t the type of girl you talked about sex with in her grandmother’s driveway.
~ Return to Sapphire Falls in this new novel from the little town with lots of heat and heart ~
Only one thing has not gone according to Kyle Ames’ grand life plan.
She was his first love, the woman he planned to make his wife, the one that got away—all that romantic crap.
Two years ago, Hannah broke his heart and ruined all of his dreams… not necessarily in that order. Which has been, well, not exactly fine, but he’s handling it because he doesn’t have to see her every day.
In fact, Kyle had kind-of hoped to keep up with the not-seeing-Hannah thing for at least a couple more years. Or a couple more decades. Or forever.
But now she’s back in town to help her grandmother, Kyle’s patient and one of his favorite people, recover from hip surgery. Okay, so two things haven’t gone according to Kyle’s plans.
It’s only for six weeks. Surely Hannah can survive living in her hometown and helping her grandmother for six short weeks. If she doesn’t leave the house any more than absolutely necessary. And puts on the show of being the same girl they all remember. And absolutely avoids Kyle Ames.
But that plan evaporates the moment she sees Kyle again. And then things get worse—way worse. Kyle plans to also put on a show too. To make Hannah’s grandmother happy, he has to pretend that he completely forgives Hannah and wants her back. He doesn’t. But he and Hannah are the only ones who know that. And the pretend seduction quickly starts feeling far too real and Hannah’s having a hard time remembering that she’s supposed to be resisting the whole thing.
And then there’s the not-so-tiny complication of falling in love with Kyle all over again. And the fact that he’s falling for her too. And that they’re both realizing that maybe this time they’re doing it right.
About the Author:
I’ve been reading romance since my mom first let me into her book cupboard when I was about fourteen. LaVyrle Spencer, Julie Garwood, Debbie Macomber… they took my ‘happily ever after’ ideas from animated princesses to real people in the real world.
I’ve been writing romance almost as long. Many a family car trip was spent with my head bent over a spiral notebook in the back seat. I’ll confess that my very first attempts at fiction were fantasy and paranormals, influenced by my father’s love of the Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the original Alice in Wonderland. If Harry Potter had been around, I’m sure he would have been on the bedtime story shelf as well.
But it wasn’t long until I started writing about true love and that’s where I’ve been ever since.
I’m so thrilled to be able to share these stories with you! I hope that they make you smile, sigh, maybe even choke up a little. Most of all, I hope that they help you believe in magical things like first kisses, the spark of passion, and the power of true love.Author Links: