A Safe and Welcome Nest
Sometimes there's a reason why a guy acts like a jerk, but that doesn't mean a determined woman can't teach him better manners...
eBook ISBN 978-1-925191-20-2
Print ISBN 978-1-920741-66-2
"...a tale many women can relate to. It's all about what do you do when your children leave home and you have all this free time...a wonderful heroine who's strong and not afraid to take chances...a wonderfully passionate story with true-life characters."--Sime-Gen
Jake's heart—and other, less poetic parts—leapt when she wheeled into her campsite late that afternoon. He kept his face turned away, giving an outward show of nonchalance and disinterest that he hoped appeared more convincing than it felt. Nonetheless, he saw every move she made, unpacking groceries, starting a fire.
When she pulled a six-pack of carbonated apple juice from the fancy box behind her bike's seat, he knew his resolution was on the skids. When she lifted one bottle and an eyebrow in his direction—a blatant invitation if he'd ever seen one—lhe was lost.
"It should still be cold. I picked it up at Frenchglen," she said in a voice that seemed somehow less firm than last night.
Jake took a long breath, forcing himself to smile. His face didn't crack, but it felt as if it should.
"Since we're the only two singles here, it seemed a shame to drink alone." Again he heard the melodic echoes of wind chimes in her voice. But faint and trembling.
"Thanks," he heard himself say as he crossed the invisible boundary between campsites. "I've got some beer in cans, but it doesn't cut the dust like this does."
His voice didn't sound quite right in his own ears, either. Maybe it was his hearing that was bad, and not their voices. Could priapism affect one's hearing? Maybe when all the blood rushed to the groin, the eardrum lost its elasticity.
Crap! And he was supposed to be a scientist, too.
Yet from the first time he'd heard her voice, he'd felt a pull to her. Not just sexual—although that was a given—but something deeper, stronger. She beckoned to him, called him from his self-imposed isolation.
Come out. Come out. There's a marvelous, joyful world waiting for you!
She radiated warmth, walked in a cloak of serenity. She promised peace, simply by being....
Delilah felt herself caught like a rabbit in the headlight's glare. She looked into his eyes and saw his soul.
She saw blazing desire.
Unendurable hunger...vulnerable need.
And loneliness. Stark, barren loneliness crying out for mitigation.
Whatever else he wanted from her, whatever else he needed, this man was silently pleading for kindness and compassion. Somebody had flayed him alive and walked away, leaving him emotionally naked and vulnerable.
Delilah could no more disregard his need than she could fly. Some people drank, some gambled. Delilah took in strays—and the dirtier, the scruffier, and the uglier the stray, the more compelled she was to take them in, to feed and comfort them.
Get real, Delilah. This is not a stray puppy. This is a grown man, fully capable of taking care of himself.