said, head down, hair falling in a waterfall over her face as she scuffed her
shoe against the step, ‘which of the bevy of beautiful blondes out there under
the stars is your arm candy for the evening?’
‘Who says I have any interest in arm candy.’
She lifted her chin, her mouth twisted as she pinned him with her
trademark flat, discerning, too smart for her own good gaze. ‘There is such a thing as email you
know. And from what I hear from those
who’ve used said email to tell me things about home, these days you’re a
regular hound dog.’
Caleb laughed. The sudden
explosive release of tension was such a surprise he let it rumble through him a
good deal longer than he’d normally bother.
And it felt good. Really
It was enough to make him glad he’d sought her out again. For one thing she didn’t seem to have an
inordinate interest in Roman blinds. And
for another he was definitely enjoying her attempt at being sassy. She honestly had no idea she looked like
butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.
‘And what makes you think you can trust such stories?’ she asked.
He glanced her way, eyebrow raised.
Caleb laughed again. ‘You can’t
be quoting your brother, I’m sure.’
Damien would have used far less ambiguous language.
‘I am,’ she said. ‘Or I
think I am. He may have put things
another way and I simply extrapolated that meaning. So you’re not a hound dog?’
The minx actually looked disappointed.
‘Honey, I’m not sure any man has been a ‘hound dog’ since the
‘But – ‘
‘But I understand your meaning.
And he was quite wrong. I’m
perfectly discriminating,’ he said with a devilish smile.
‘How’s that? No blondes
after Labour Day?’
‘I said I was discriminating, not an imbecile.’
This time Ava laughed. Her
eyes brightened, her hair shimmied, and those lips... Damn but she was one gorgeous creature.
Caleb’s extremities stirred as he wondered how long it might take
for butter to melt anywhere else on her body.
‘So anyway,’ Ava said, before he could sink too deeply into that
fantasy, ‘I was thinking of heading up to my old bedroom for a sticky
beak. See if my mother turned it into an
aquarium, or a gift-wrapping room, or a yoga studio. What do you reckon?’
‘Knowing your mother I’d say...trophy room.’
Ava clicked her fingers.
‘Right. Of course it is. So, do you want to come see if you’re right?’
Caleb waited for the other shoe to drop, but she merely blinked at
him, all ingenuous blue eyes.
Ava was inviting him up to her old bedroom.
It didn’t mean what the sudden surge of adrenalin throughout his
body indicated it meant. Or did it?
Only one way to find out for sure...