He’d sat across from her at breakfast, not daring to look at her, his senses finely attuned to the fact that she wore nothing under her dress. He drew his hands back through his hair. God, he had to get her out of the house. Today.
He returned to the kitchen and found her standing on a chair, rearranging the cupboards. His eyes caressed the smooth, round line of her bottom.
Today, he reminded himself.
She turned, saw him watching, and smiled.
“I had quite a time finding things this morning. If we’re going downtown tomorrow, I thought I should make a grocery list. You’re almost out of sugar, see?” She held out a sack and shook it. “Almost empty.”
She pulled out a can of shoe polish and almost dropped it.
“Shoe polish in with the spices? Who’d have thought?”
“If I got the cupboards organized, we’d have a better idea of what we need. Why are you looking at me like that?”
“You can’t stay here.”
Her hand froze, clutching the can of shoe polish, and a look resembling fear flickered across her face before she turned back to the cupboard.
“I’m sorry. It was presumptuous of me. I’ll put everything back the way you had it.” She quickly replaced the items in the cupboard.
“It’s not that.”
She turned back, her eyes pleading.
“Let me stay, Jake. Just until I get my bearings? I promise I won’t be any trouble.”
Trouble? Is she kidding? he wondered.
“I don’t intend to freeload, if that’s what you thought,” she said in a rush. “I could do things for you.”
Oh, Child. His eyes involuntarily traced the pleasant fullness of her breasts. I’ll bet.
Her face flamed, then her chin raised. “I can make beds, wash dishes, scrub floors, and I’m a pretty fair cook. You saw that yourself.”
He couldn’t bear it, because he wanted that--and more--so much, but
she didn’t have an inkling.
He crossed the room, took the can of shoe polish from her hands, and deftly lifted her from the chair. Their eyes locked. He heard a soft gasp just before his lips crashed down on hers. He drove his tongue into her mouth, demanding its sweetness. When she didn’t resist, he shoved himself closer, trapping her between the cupboards and the hard line of his body.
She pressed her hands against his chest and shoved hard. The kiss was worth every bit of anger he saw smoldering in her eyes.
“How dare you?” she hissed.
She was more beautiful than ever, just then, and he caught his breath.
“I’ve been a very long time without a woman, Tory. It’s best for both of us if you don’t spend another night under this roof.”