[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.Was he as affected as she was by their closeness? No.He didn’t like her or want her here.It was her imagination, or maybe wishful thinking.He ran his hands through his shortened locks, dislodging a shower of small hairs."It's short, I know," she said, biting her lip, hoping he didn't hate it."But I left enough on top so that once the stitches come out, you'll be able to comb over the bald patch."He didn't say anything, just brushed the hairs off his shoulders and chest, his gaze still on hers.It was like he could see right through her and suddenly she wanted to know what he saw.Her gaze dropped to watch the sweep of his large, confident hands, almost mesmerized.He knew how to touch a woman, she'd bet her best pair of SOMEHTING on it.Knew how to use his hands and his mouth.And he was so reserved, so contained, that when he did groan or grunt or shout his pleasure it would be that much more arousing.A woman would have no doubt that he was pleased, expression of any kind so hard won.She swallowed and forced a grin."Here," have a look, she said, handing her a powder compact she'd plucked from her purse.The small gold compact in his large hands looked ridiculous, but he dutifully opened the clasp and inspected himself in the tiny mirror.As always, his expression was carefully neutral, but after staring for a moment at his reflection and rubbing a hand idly over his beard, he closed the compact and handed it back.Patterson couldn't tell if he liked his new haircut or not."Is it OK?""It's fine." He reached for his shirt and started to turn to leave the room, then paused.He turned slowly to face her."Thanks," he said simply, and offered something that wasn't quite a smile, but wasn't a frown, either.Patterson felt like she'd been given the key to the city and smiled to herself as he left the room.She grabbed a broom and started to clean up the mounds of hair.He looked better, but she'd bet he felt better, too.She'd concussed him, given him stitches and then burned his lunch but she had been able to help him in this small way, at least.Patterson finished tidying the kitchen and glanced at the clock.It was late-afternoon and the shadows were beginning to lengthen in drowsy surrender to the dying day.Above her she heard the shower turn on and hoped Trent was following her directions as far as not getting his stitches wet.She imagined him naked and wet under the shower, his long, lean body glistening with hot water, steam swirling around him, soap bubbles sliding down the smooth wide expanse of his chest.God.Again? This was ridiculous.She did not want to nail Trent Ryder.He was her patient, her reluctant host, her victim.Not her love interest.She needed to get out of the house for a few minutes.She as sure Trent could shower safely by himself while she grabbed a breather and tried to clear her head.Patterson grabbed a Diet Coke from the fridge.She was headed outside when she saw Trent's iPad with a set of bright green earbuds plugged, in lying on the counter.She felt so disconnected since her phone had taken a dive into Hank’s swimming pool and killed it.She'd put the phone in a bowlful of rice over at Uncle Hank's, but didn't have a lot of hope the rice would be able to draw out all the pool water.Replacing her phone was another expense she didn't need, especially since her future was so uncertain at the moment.She had several freelance job graphic design jobs waiting on her that she'd work on later tonight or tomorrow.She had a week or so before the first was due—a demo album cover for a friend in LA.She was becoming known for her album cover design and with any luck, she would find some business here in Nashville.If she stayed, that was.Trent wouldn't mind if she jumped online to check her e-mail for any new potential work and see what her friends were up to on Facebook.What did Trent use it for, anyway? He didn’t seem like the social media type and she just couldn’t see him playing Flappy Bird.Music, she supposed, since he did have earbuds hooked in, but still.She’d borrow it and return it before he ever missed it.Patterson took the iPad and her drink outside to the pool deck.There was only one chair there, so Patterson scooted it closer to the edge of the pool.The late afternoon heat made her feel like she was in a sauna, but the cool blue of the water rippling gently with the light warm breeze, no doubt generated by the lake below.She could hear motor boats and under normal circumstances, the holiday weekend meant she would have been at the beach with her friends, drinking beer, getting tan, flirting with cute guys and maybe lining up a party to attend afterwards.Her relationship with X had always been casual and easy.They lived together, sure, but they weren't attached at the hip.She cared about him a lot, but she did her thing and he did his.It was easy and fun.No pressure.Well, until last week when X had rocked her world by pulling out a diamond ring and dropping down on bended knee.And then she'd panicked and hopped the next plane to Nashville.But she didn't want to think about that now.She needed a few weeks to figure all that out and today had just been too messed up to even think about anything more taxing than what color bikini top she was going to wear.She switched on the iPad and checked her e-mail.Nothing but spam trying to sell her diet drugs or a future as a paralegal.Been there, done that.She signed in to her Facebook account and smiled at the pictures her friends had posted from the beach, doing exactly what she'd predicted they'd be doing—laughing, drinking, flirting, having a great time, extending the weekend party one more day.She fingered the earbuds.What did Trent listen to? Classic country, she figured, since he was a songwriter and lived in Nashville.Hank, Willie, Merle, stuff Uncle Hank liked.She opened his iTunes his play lists and was surprised.The old-school country contingent was well represented, sure, but there was also a lot of new country.And pop and even a little heavy metal.Classical, jazz, new age.A music lover all the way around, then.There were some artists she hadn't heard of.After only a moment's hesitation, she put in the earbuds and hit the plug button.She laid the iPad on her lap, letting the music swirl around her, taking her far away.This was some sort of new agey type music with lots of harp, a touch of electronica and what sounded like acoustic guitar.A woman’s voice rose high and clear over the swell, weaving in and out of the music playfully.It was relaxing and Patterson’s stress and worry over her future swirled away on the tides of soaring Celtic bliss.Her eyes dropped closed.The warmth of the sun on her skin and the swirling music made her drop off into semi-sleep.She was hardly aware of the breeze on her bare skin or the sweating can of Diet Coke in her hands.She became vaguely aware of the shadow blocking out the sunlight over her, but it didn't register that she was no longer alone until a warm hand touched her shoulder.Patterson started and the iPad went crashing to the pavement.She pulled the earbuds form her ears and twisted around the see Trent standing over her."You scared the crap out of me [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]