Is being best in the world something to strive for—or someone to be? If Stell finds the answer, she could lose Adam's love.
eBook ISBN 978-1-60174-055-7
"...readers can't help but be caught up in the story to see if love has a chance...a wonderful contemporary romance that portrays the main characters realistically while at the same time illustrating that despite human foibles and real-life obstacles, love can be victorious. 5 ANGELS!"~~Amanda, Fallen Angel Reviews
Stell leaned against the wall, almost afraid to answer the door. All she had to do was pretend she wasn't home—stand him up—and he wouldn't break her heart in a few weeks.
No, because she'd do the breaking herself today if she did. It was too late to protect herself. She was already in love with Adam and nothing she could do was going to change anything.
After a few deep, steadying breaths, she swung the door wide. "Right on time," she said, her pulse accelerating at the very sight of him in khaki walking shorts and a khaki-and-red Madras shirt. "C'mon in. Everything's ready."
"In a minute," he said, pulling her into his arms.
Stell felt her body molding itself to him. How quickly it had learned to do that. She lifted her face for his kiss.
"Mmmm," he purred, his tongue flickering along her lips. "I've missed you forever."
She drew his lower lip into her mouth, bit gently. The effect was immediate. His instant arousal kindled a fire within her. Writhing against him, she murmured, "Are you sure you want to go on a picnic?"
"No, but I think we'd better, don't you?"
"Because you went to all that trouble to fix it." All the time he was spreading his kisses across her cheeks, her brows, her temples. The faint, woodsy tang of his aftershave reached her nostrils, carrying his own scent with it, so that she inhaled a part of him, drawing it deep within her. "All I did was go to the deli," she admitted. "And we can eat anywhere."
"You promised me a picnic," he said, releasing her, turning her with a gentle grip on her shoulders. "So take me on a picnic."
His smile promised her more than a picnic before the day was over. Stell walked ahead of him into the kitchen. "Okay, but if it rains, remember whose idea it was to go."
"It won't rain."
"We're in Oregon. How can you say that?" She handed him the cooler full of soft drinks, wine, and two decadent slices of cappuccino cheesecake.
He picked up the picnic basket she indicated. "Easy. I just open my mouth and the words spill out." He winked at her. "It's supposed to clear off this afternoon."
"That's what they always say. And you know how often they are wrong." Knowing he was behind her, she deliberately swung her hips in a sassy sway. She'd deliberately worn clinging knit shorts. "Would you like to make a bet on the possibility of rain today?"
"Not on your life!" Adam took the basket from her while she stopped to lock her front door. "Stay there. I'll be right back."
She didn't. As soon as the door was secure, she started down the front steps, wondering how long it would be before her hip didn't send harsh reminders that stairs were not its favorite things.
"I told you to stay there, dammit." He swung her over his shoulder. "Are you always this stubborn?"
"Put me down!" She pounded on his hips, gasping even as she laughed. "Darn it, Adam! Put me down!" Her middle was across his shoulder, the breath jolting out of her with each step he took.
He swatted her bottom. "Quiet, woman! Behave yourself."
"Adam, if you don't put me down this inst—" The world revolved around her as he swung her to the ground, held her for a moment while she caught her breath and the world quit spinning.
"You're down. Shall we go?" He bowed as he swung the door open for her. His eyes were gleaming and his mouth twitching. This was the same man she had, just a few weeks ago, thought of as being overly serious? He had to be a Gemini.
Once more Adam drove out the old Columbia Gorge Highway. Stell sat quietly beside him, watching the easy way he handled the powerful car, admiring the way his pale eyebrows caught the sunlight, studying the incredibly complex convolutions of his ears, liking everything about him. Taken a little at a time, his looks were unusual, but not spectacular, sort of a younger, softer Clint Eastwood. The indentations in his cheeks were too long to be called dimples, but they served the same purpose, making his smile heart-meltingly sweet. His eyes crinkled almost closed when he smiled, too. All in all, she thought he was the most handsome man she'd ever met.
The sexiest, too. She reached across the car and rested her hand on his bare thigh. Under her touch, the muscles tensed, tightened. She grinned at the twitch of his lips, knowing full well what she'd done to him. He couldn't touch her, either, without her body warming in anticipation. Leaning back, she almost purred with pleasure. Today she wouldn't think about the future. Today she'd simply enjoy Adam, live only for the moment. And whatever happened, someday she'd look back and be glad she had lived these wonderful hours, these halcyon days with him.