Wedding His Takeover Target / Inheriting His Secret Christmas Baby. Emilie Rose

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Название Wedding His Takeover Target / Inheriting His Secret Christmas Baby
Автор произведения Emilie Rose
Жанр Контркультура
Серия Mills & Boon Desire
Издательство Контркультура
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9781408922989

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the window.”

      Her breath hitched. Wrapping her arms around her middle, she briefly glanced away. “That can wait.”

      “It’s the quickest job on the list, and with the temperature dropping it makes sense to fix the broken glass rather than lose heat. Show me which room.”

      She pinched her bottom lip between her teeth and shifted on her feet. “Pops can do it. Or you can tell me how and I will. It’s something I need to know anyway.”

      “It’s easier to show you. Sabrina, I’m here to work. I can either get on with it, or I can spend the afternoon sitting in the kitchen watching you cook and waiting for the weather to clear enough for me to tackle another job.”

      Wide-eyed horror morphed into resignation in her features. “This way.”

      He’d never encountered anyone so determined not to like him, and he had to admit the novel experience wasn’t an enjoyable one. He picked up the glass, points and glazing compound and shadowed her down the hall instead of upstairs as he’d expected. He took the opportunity to enjoy the angry sway of her hips. She had a nice butt—slender, but with just enough meat on it for a man to grip.

      She paused, puffed out a breath and then pushed open a door and motioned him to go ahead. He stepped through the doorway. A subtle, but unmistakably familiar scent filled his nose and stopped him in his tracks. Sabrina’s cinnamon, vanilla and flowers scent. This wasn’t a guest room.

      “This is your room,” he stated.


      His attention shot to the bed—a bed they would share in the near future because, damn it, he would not fail. He couldn’t wait to see her hair spread across those pristine white pillows and feel her naked body against his beneath the old-fashioned quilt. He might even shove one of those prissy lace pillows under her shapely behind to improve the angle when he drove into her. The pressure in his groin increased and his pulse pounded in his temple.

      He exhaled and examined the rest of the space, searching for clues about his mysterious bride-to-be. The furnishings were traditional and uncluttered, but feminine nonetheless with white painted furniture and a mostly white décor dotted with pastel shades. The only thing that didn’t fit the pale color scheme was the U.S. flag in its triangular glass and dark cherry wooden case sitting on a desk in the corner.

      He wouldn’t have pegged her as the patriotic type.

      A picture frame rested on each bedside table. Henry and a woman, presumably Colleen, smiled in the photo Gavin could see from his position by the door. The angle of the other concealed the subject. Intent on seeing who else Sabrina kept by her bed when she slept, he stepped deeper into the room.

      Sabrina moved between him and his goal. “The broken window is in my bathroom. That way.”

      Rather than reveal his curiosity, he headed in the direction she indicated. She followed him. Her bathroom seemed to shrink in size with the pair of them in it. They stood within touching distance, and he was tempted to reach out and stroke the smooth, flushed skin of her cheek. But she seemed on edge. There was a time to make a push for the finish line and a time to maintain the current pace. This was the latter.

      Rather than moving in for kiss number two prematurely and risking spooking her, he scanned the work space. A white claw-foot tub with brass feet sat in one end of the room. His mind instantly filled with images of Sabrina naked and wet with her damp dark curls streaming over the rounded tub edge as she waited for him there. His heart pumped faster.

      Hoping to derail the train of heat steaming south, he averted his gaze to the vanity which, like her bedroom, lacked the clutter of makeup, perfumes, toiletries and junk the women he’d known in the past deemed necessary for life.

      She pointed to the window. “I’m not sure what broke the glass. A bird, maybe. I didn’t find one outside.”

      A diagonal line, patched with wide clear tape, split the pane. But her rushed speech interested him more than the cracked glass. Why was she so uneasy around him if not for the sexual chemistry? She might deny it, but she felt it.

      “Should be a simple repair. I’ll talk you through it.”

      She backed a quick step. “No. Go ahead. I’ll leave you to it.”

      He caught her hand and she gasped. “I thought you wanted to learn how?”

      Her gaze flicked to his, then away. A line formed between her brows. She tugged at her hand and he let her smooth fingers slide through his. The rose of her cheeks darkened. “I—I need to start lunch.”

      “This will only take a few minutes. We can remove the sash and work inside rather than tackle the job from outside. It will take a couple of extra steps, but you can handle them.”

      “I’ll learn another time, and I’ll close the door to keep the cold air from sweeping into more than this room.” She left hurriedly, the door snapping close behind her.

      More curious now than ever, Gavin let her go. There was no doubt his touch affected her as strongly as hers did him, but she was resisting. The question was why?

      He quickly finished the simple job, then gathered the broken glass and tools and returned to her bedroom, determined to see whose face she looked at when she laid in bed.

      The photo frame was gone. Sabrina must have moved it.

      What did she have to hide? It was imperative that he uncover her secrets and get on with his plan.

      Sabrina tried to be as quiet as possible while washing the lunch dishes, but no matter how hard she strained, the men’s voices didn’t carry clearly enough from the living room for her to make out their words.

      Eavesdropping! How low was she going to have to go to get rid of Gavin Jarrod?

      She shouldn’t leave Pops alone with him, but until she made sense of her jumbled thoughts, she had no choice, and washing up was her first break away from Gavin’s intense scrutiny since he’d returned from fixing her window.

      Having him in her bedroom had felt like an invasion—but in an agitating way, not a repulsive one. Her skin had flushed and her pulse and respiratory rates had increased.

      Only because you haven’t had any man other than Pops in your bedroom since Russell.

      Right. She’d been uncomfortable, not anything else. She definitely had not been turned on.

      When Gavin’s gaze had looked toward the flag, then moved on to Russell’s picture, shock quickly followed by panic had seized and chilled her. She used to end each day looking at the flag and remembering her husband had been willing to die for a cause he’d passionately believed in. Every night before she’d closed her eyes she’d told the image of Russell’s beloved face good-night.

      When had she stopped? She couldn’t remember.

      Guilt poured over her. Shaken and weak, she’d hidden the photograph because she couldn’t bear Gavin asking about Russell. And he would, the nosy bastard. She hated that she’d been so rattled she hadn’t even been able to stay and learn basic window repair. How could she take care of the inn if she didn’t tough it out?

      And then Gavin had watched her throughout lunch with that wolf-like predator’s awareness of his. Her nerves had stretched to almost the breaking point as she’d waited for him to voice the questions in his eyes and rip the scabs off barely healed wounds. But he hadn’t. Instead he and Pops had discussed the dam Gavin had built in Namibia. If she’d been less tense she would have been fascinated by the stories Gavin told of his adventures. He’d worked in places she’d only dreamed of seeing and done things she couldn’t even begin to fathom. It must be amazing to look up at a massive dam or bridge and know you’d had a part in its creation.

      Pops shuffled into the kitchen, followed by Gavin. The men headed for the coatrack.

      She quickly dried her hands. “Where are you going?”