Falling for the Heiress. Christine Flynn

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Название Falling for the Heiress
Автор произведения Christine Flynn
Жанр Современные любовные романы
Издательство Современные любовные романы
Год выпуска 0

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counterpart to the pager he’d given her lay on the floor by the machine he was using. She noticed it only because it wasn’t far from his feet, which was where her glance landed after moving the entire length of his hard, honed body.

      The sculpted muscles of his shoulders and back gleamed with sweat as he slowly lowered the incredible amount of weight he’d loaded onto the machine.

      With Mikey heading for a big blue exercise ball on a yoga mat, she watched Parker rise from the black bench seat. Concern slashed his features as he reached for the blue hand towel on the arm of the machine and wiped it over his face.

      “Is there a problem?”

      She was staring. She knew that as she ventured into the mirror-lined room that reflected him from every angle. Yet she couldn’t seem to help it. She’d seen statues of magnificently sculpted warriors and gods in Rome and Florence. Perfect male bodies immortalized in marble and bronze. She just wasn’t accustomed to such a blatantly masculine male in the flesh. At least not a nearly naked one.

      From six feet away, she jerked her attention from his powerful thighs to his beautifully carved stomach and chest. Feeling strangely warm when she met his eyes, she swallowed and gave a small shake of her head.

      “Just a minor one,” she began, hugely relieved that she sounded quite normal. “I’m not sure how to use the coffeemaker. We’ve been up for a couple of hours and I could really use some caffeine.”

      “Jet lag?”

      “Major,” she murmured, remembering the elusive bit of warmth he’d allowed when they’d said good night. Or maybe what she’d glimpsed had been sympathy. “When you’re finished, will you show me how to make the coffee?” she asked, torn between wishing she could again see whatever it had been and knowing she’d only feel worse when that warmth was gone. “Or just tell me now and you can get back to what you’re doing. That way it’ll be ready for you, too, when you’re finished. If you drink it,” she hurried on. “Maybe you don’t put things like caffeine into your body. You obviously take good…care of it.”

      Seconds ago, her glance had moved from his stomach to his pecs. It now faltered and hit the floor.

      “I don’t abuse it,” he allowed, a little surprised by how flustered she suddenly seemed. “But I do allow certain indulgences.”

      She cleared her throat. “Like coffee.”

      “Among other things.”

      He couldn’t remember ever having seen a woman blush. But there was no mistaking the pink beneath the peach blusher on her cheeks. That provocative bit of innocence didn’t fit at all with her sophistication. Or her reputation. It seemed to him that a woman who claimed she could never be happy with just one man would be accustomed to variety at most or, at least, the sight of a bare chest.

      He wasn’t an immodest man. Or a particularly modest one, for that matter. But he was now conscious himself of his state of undress. Especially with her looking every inch the lady of the manor in a cocoa-colored sleeveless turtleneck, matching capri pants and touches of gold on her ears, neck and low-riding chain belt. There was a certain decorum to maintain between them. There were boundaries. Less than twelve hours ago he’d made a point of drawing them himself.

      Sweat trickled down his chest. Taking an absent swipe at it, he was about to tell her he’d be upstairs in a few minutes when he tossed the rectangle of terry cloth over the machine. It promptly slid to the floor.

      Swearing to himself, he bent to snatch it up. So did she. Her fingers had barely skimmed the terry cloth when his shoulder hit hers, she flew back and his hands shot out to catch her.

      With his fingers curled around her bare upper arms, he jerked her upright.

      He’d hauled her to within inches of his chest when he thought he heard her breath hitch. He knew for certain that his own stalled somewhere behind his breastbone. The breath he’d drawn had brought her scent, that combination of innocence and seduction that moved from his lungs to his blood at the speed of light, taunting nerves every centimeter of the way.

      Beneath his palms, her skin felt like velvet. Her slender muscles were as taut as bowstrings. But it was the confusion he sensed in her when his glance moved from the temptation of her lush mouth and his eyes met hers that told him she wasn’t immune to him, either.

      That was dangerous knowledge to possess.

      No longer fearing she’d wind up on her appealing little backside, he reminded himself of all the reasons he needed to keep his thoughts off her body and his hands to himself and slowly released his grip.

      The pink blushing her cheeks seemed even deeper as she crossed her arms and stepped back.

      “Are you okay?”

      “I’m… Yes, of course,” she assured him. “I’m…fine.”

      Seeing how her hands covered where his had been, his brow pinched. “Did I hurt you?”

      “No. No,” Tess insisted, suddenly conscious of what had his attention.

      Apparently aware that she was holding in his heat, she dropped her hands and picked up what neither of them had managed to get. As if utterly determined to appear composed, she rose with the rectangle of blue terry cloth. “You dropped this.”

      Impressed by her aplomb but not at all fooled by it, he lifted the towel from her hand and hung it around his neck. She’d already put another arm’s length between them.

      “Give me twenty minutes and we’ll deal with the coffee.” The job, he reminded himself. Just focus on the job. “What’s the agenda today? You said you want to look at houses. Do you prefer me in a suit or more casual?”

      “Casual. Thank you,” she murmured, then turned to collect her son from where the boy had draped his little body over the ball and coaxed him out the door.

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