She sobers and turns to me, presses her body to mine, from her chest to her knees, and loops her arms around my shoulders, staring up at me. “You say the sweetest things.”
“I’m just being honest, sweetness.”
She shivers as my lips meet hers, not moving, just resting lightly against hers. Finally, I nibble to the corner of her mouth and hug her close as the band begins to play a country duet. I slowly begin to sway back and forth, unable to stop myself.
Lo’s body was meant for mine, and when she’s pressed up against me like this and music is playing, I can’t help but move my body with hers.
“You must love to dance,” she murmurs softly.
“I never cared about it either way until you. Now I can’t seem to stop dancing. Or, maybe you just feel incredible against me and this is as close as we can get to sex with our clothes on.” I grin down at her. Her face is bathed in moonlight and soft light from the streetlamps, making her eyes and hair shine, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anything else so fucking beautiful in my whole life.
“This is a really great bridge,” Lo whispers against my neck as she rests her head on my shoulder and gives herself up to the song.
“Don’t you wanna stay here a little while?” The words float around us, and for now, on this bridge, in this moment, I feel Lo letting go. Trusting me.
No, I don’t want to stay here a little while. I want to stay forever.
I wake to loud banging and pounding coming from downstairs.
“Ty!” I reach for him, waking him up. “Someone’s trying to get in!”
“What?” He scowls as he jumps from the bed and pulls his sweats up over his naked hips, then pins me with his intense eyes and orders, “Stay here,” before jogging out the door and down the stairs.
I get out of bed and pull on my own jeans, a bra, and am pulling my shirt over my head when he saunters back in the room.
“The work crew is here.”
“No one is breaking in?”
“No, sweetness.” He pulls me into his arms and hugs me tight before patting my ass and letting go. “Looks like your pool house is being fixed.”
“Oh, thank God.” I slide my feet in my shoes and head for the door. “I’m going down to make coffee.”
“I’ll jump in the shower and meet you down there.”
Ten minutes later, the coffee is percolating and I’m leaning against the countertop, scowling as hammers and loud male voices come through my mudroom door.
“How am I supposed to concentrate like this?” Another buzz saw sounds as men walk around my windows, carrying wood and glass, as Ty walks into the kitchen. It’s now Friday, two days past when the windows were supposed to be finished, but because the glass was late coming in, and the window frames needed to be redone, a crew couldn’t come out until today.
Four days before my deadline.
“Go in your office, baby.” Ty kisses my head as he pours himself a mug of coffee. “Put your headphones on and ignore them. They should be done later today.”
“I don’t write with headphones on,” I pout. I know I’m being ridiculous, but I can’t help it. “Why did this have to happen so close to my deadline?”
“I don’t know why you’re worried,” Ty responds calmly. “You’ll finish on time.”
“We hope,” I mutter. The truth is, I’ve been too preoccupied with all things delicious lawyer and his friends to devote the time I should to my book. My deadline schedule is rigorous, but it’s always been manageable because I’ve never had this many distractions to deal with.
Not to mention, I haven’t been able to swim for almost a week, and it’s really put me off my game.
“You’ll be able to swim in the morning,” Ty reminds me, as if he’s reading my mind.
“Thank God.” I sigh and give Ty a kiss on the cheek. “Not swimming has been rough.”
“I know.” His gray eyes are happy as he smiles at me. “If you’d rather not go to the pumpkin patch tonight, we can do it another time.”
“I want to go. If I can get some words written this afternoon, it’ll be fine.” Just then the buzz saws fire up again, making me cringe. “Or maybe I won’t get anything done at all.”
“Go to your office.”
“I need coffee.”
“I’ll get it. Go.” He swats my ass as I scoot out of the kitchen to my office and drop my butt in the chair, resigned to being unproductive again.
Should I e-mail the editor now, begging for an extension, or spring it on her last minute?
I shake my head, determined that that will be a last resort and open my Word document. Just as I’m plugging my headphones into my computer, my phone buzzes with a text from Emily:
How many words so far today?
Emily: Get crackin’!
“Easy for you to say,” I mutter, and set my music. “You don’t have five million construction workers milling about your house, causing all kinds of distractions.”
The music helps to block out some of the noise, and before long I’m swept up into the story, my fingers tapping quickly across the keyboard.
Ty sets a steaming mug of coffee at my elbow and rests his hands on my shoulders, kneading them firmly and rhythmically. I lean back into his touch as I continue to type, his hands soothing rather than distracting me.
After a long moment, he pulls my headphones off my ears and says, “Did he really just spank her ass with a riding crop?”
“You’re reading over my shoulder?” I laugh as I look back at him.
“Of course. I’m standing right here.”
“Yes, he spanked her.” I move to replace my headphones on my head, but he grabs them and leans over me so he can see my face.
“Does that turn you on?”
“It turns her on.”
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
I lean away and watch his face. He’s not smiling, and his eyes are hot, almost like when he’s aroused.
“I don’t like to be hit,” I finally reply. “It doesn’t turn me on.”
“Okay.” He nods and begins to back away, but I stop him.
“Would it turn you on?” I ask softly.
He squats on his haunches at my side, turning my chair toward him so I have his undivided attention.
“The thought of striking you does nothing for me, Lauren.” He pushes my hair behind my ear and pulls his thumb down my jawline. “I might enjoy swatting your ass playfully while I fuck you from behind, but I’d never do anything to hurt you.”