(#MF, contemporary, #eroticromance #secondchance)
Cody Marx had dated Jared Creed for a short time back in high school and she’d never forgotten him. But when Jared’s stepfather died and his half-brother, Kenny, got into trouble, they drifted apart. Years later they both are now professional subcontractors working on the same remodeling project–the old MacKenzie Homestead just outside Esmerelda, Massachsuetts.
Cody and Jared have both changed and matured since those teen-age years, but will the innocent spark of passion ignited long ago burst into the blazing flame of revitalized desire?
Two emotions warred inside Cody at the sound of Jared’s voice. Relief and acute embarrassment at him finding her in such a precarious situation.
The intrusion at least had the desired effect on Drew because he dropped his hands as though he’d been touching hot coals and stepped back. She let out a relieved sigh.
“Hello, Jared, how are things going?”
Cody noticed that Jared had a cloth in one hand and was wiping a sharp-edged tool he held in the other. His gaze locked with Cody’s and she couldn’t break the contact.
“Everything’s moving along pretty well. I don’t see any problem in getting the job done on schedule.”
Jared raised his gaze to meet Drew’s, and Cody saw his expression change to a fierce, granite-hard look. Although his stance appeared non-threatening, the look in his eyes was not. Surprisingly, Drew grew flustered.
“Yes, well, I better be going. I just stopped in to see if you needed anything or had encountered any problems.”
“Nothing here. How about you, Cody?”
“No, everything’s under control. No problem.”
Drew turned and walked toward the door. He paused and looked back at Cody. “What time do you want me to pick you up tonight?”
The sonofabitch! How dare he assume he could blackmail her because of her father.
“I’m afraid she’s already committed tonight, Evans,” Jared inserted smoothly. “She’s already agreed to go out with me.”
Cody tried to hide the surprise and shock she felt at his words. What date?
Drew looked first at Jared and then at Cody. “Is that so? Well, isn’t that an interesting development. I expect you both to keep your minds on the job and finish up on time.” He turned to face Cody. “We’ll talk later.” Then he slammed out of the house without another word.
Cody couldn’t quite find her voice. She heard Drew’s truck spin out as he drove away. She had a feeling their confrontation wouldn’t be the last. Clearing her throat, she turned to look up at Jared. “I’m sorry you had to witness that little scene.”
She walked to the entrance of the sitting room, clenching and unclenching her hands. This was a really awkward situation.
“I’m glad I walked in when I did. Does he make a habit of trying those kinds of strong-arm tactics often?”
She shrugged. “He thinks he’s God’s gift. I can handle him.” She couldn’t look at Jared. He’d just seen her at her worst, and she hated that it had happened. That Drew had put her in that position and thought he had a right to do it.
She heard Jared’s steps behind her and then his hands were on her shoulders as he turned her to face him. His hand cupped her chin and gently forced her to look at him. “I know you can handle him. The point is, you shouldn’t have to.”
Her body responded to his nearness, and she felt a fierce heat build inside. Her fingers itched to touch him, to feel his skin beneath her fingers in some very unprofessional ways, and she tried not to think about it.
“Thanks for stepping in, anyway.” She felt tongue-tied, at a loss for words. “It was sweet of you to try to defuse the situation.”
“You will go out with me tonight, right? I hadn’t meant to ask you in quite that way, but now that it’s out there—”
She licked her lips. “You don’t have to do that.”
“I know that. I want to take you out. Cody, we’ve lost a lot of time. There were reasons, but I really want to try again.”
She had to be hearing things. Or dreaming. Jared wanted to take her out? She was finally going to get the chance she’d been fantasizing about?
“Are you sure, Jared? I don’t want a pity date. You aren’t obligated, you know?”
Without warning, he leaned down and slanted his hard lips over hers, driving his tongue deep inside her mouth. There was nothing she could do but surrender. Nor did she want to do other than that. Tingles of desire raced through her, down through her body, not stopping until they curled her toes inside the steel-toed work boots she wore.
The world spun, and she reached up to wrap her arms around his neck, holding on for dear life, pressing herself close. His scent wrapped around her; she tasted him and wanted more. He lifted her, notching himself between her legs, and she curled one of her legs around his long hard frame, holding on for dear life as they tasted each other for long breathless minutes.
She felt his hard cock pressed perfectly against her center, felt liquid gush from her pussy, drenching her panties, as her insides spasmed with the need to know him in ways that had been thwarted long ago.
Finally, he pulled away and gazed down at her. His eyes were no longer hard granite but molten lava—intense and passionate, a hot, searing look. “Does that feel like I want a pity date?”
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