When she turned around, Luke was standing in the doorway. “Oh!” she gasped, her pulse jumping. She’d forgotten to close the door. One of the hazards of living alone for so long.
“Sorry, Callie. I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”
“It’s okay. I guess I didn’t hear you, with the AC on.” She gestured toward the window with her head, suddenly acutely aware she was clad in only a towel.
He nodded, pushing his hands into his pockets. “How was your bath?”
“Good, thanks. I was hoping it would help me relax.” She shrugged, and the twist in her towel loosened. Clutching it to her chest, she managed a weak smile as she fumbled to secure it. She could feel the weight of his stare even as she bent her head to check the new knot, and warmth pooled in her belly.
“And did it?” he asked, his voice low.
“What?” She glanced up, and their gazes locked. The air crackled as the moment stretched out, and she recognized something in the depths of his eyes. Hunger. Could he see the same thing reflected back in hers?
His chest expanded as he pulled in a slow breath. “Did it help relax you?”
“Oh. Um, a little.” Desire burned through her, deep and insistent, and she suddenly wanted nothing more than to lose herself in his arms. To forget everything else in the world except for Luke. To forget fear and loss; to leave no room for anything but pleasure.
“Well, I just wanted to check in on you. To see if you…need anything.”
Yes. I need you. The bold words caught in her throat, and she licked her lips and tried a different response. “Do you?”
He cocked his head, his brows pulling together. “What?”
“Um. Need anything?”
He dragged a hand over his mouth, the muscles in his arm bunching with the movement. “That’s a dangerous question to ask when you’re standing there in a towel.”
A loaded silence hung between them, heavy with possibilities. Her voice trembled slightly when she finally broke it. “And yet I’m asking it.”
He entered the room slowly, shutting the door behind him with a soft click. “Are you sure about this?”
She swallowed. Was she? Her body certainly was. Every inch of her skin tingled, craving his touch. “Yes. I’m sure.”
He closed the distance between them in three quick strides, grasping the sides of her face with his hands. Tilting her head back, he anchored her in place as his lips crushed hers in a demanding kiss. The rough pads of his thumbs slid over her cheeks, and a groan rumbled in his chest.
She strained up to him, lifting to her toes, grabbing onto his shoulders. The hard muscles tightened beneath her touch. Heat flooded her veins, her heartbeat thundered in her ears. Luke.
The scruff of his stubble scraped against her cheek as his mouth moved across her jaw. He caught the tender lobe of her ear in his teeth, and she moaned.
Excerpt from The Haunting of Hillwood Farm
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