A tidbit from a new project tentatively called Whirlpool, the follow up to Tidal Wave. Yes, I have too many Works in Progress…
A shot of lust hit him hard as he looked down into the brightest blue eyes he’d ever seen. Clayton cleared his throat, striving to distract his body before his involuntary reaction became too noticeable.
“Can I help you?” The blonde held onto the door, blinking up at him, her soft voice tickling the nerves down the back of his neck.
Could she help him? Holy hell, he wished she were why he’d come here. “I’m looking for Ms. Colten. I had an appointment to categorize some artifacts her late husband had gathered.”
A confused expression crossed the young woman’s face before she blasted him with another earthshaking smile. “Oh, you mean Lady Victoria. She doesn’t live here anymore. She’s moved into an apartment in town. Ms. Alexia lives here now, and her husbands aren’t dead.”
Clayton dragged his gaze off her and the enticing objects he just visible in the background behind her. The house seemed full to overflowing with treasures. That must be why he’d misheard the girl. She must have said husband. “Could I speak with Ms. Alexia then?”
“She’s on her honeymoon. I’m watching the house. What’s your name?”
He stared into her pure sweet face, absolutely mesmerized. “Clayton Powell. I have ID if you’d like. I was hired to do an inventory and assessment on Blain Colten’s diving collection. Joshua Marley contracted me. Is he here?”
She hesitated for a second. “No, he’s gone too. Ummm, he’s…traveling.”
A door opened behind the woman and a man easily six foot four strode through. “Chelsea, did you want me to pick up any groceries while I’m in town? Oh, hello. Can I help you?” The soft expression on his face tightened, his voice sharpened, and Clayton wondered what he’d done to annoy the giant.
“I was looking for Joshua Marley or Alexia Colten. I’m supposed to work on her Grandpa’s collection.”
“They’re gone on their honeymoon,” the man answered briskly. He gently pushed Chelsea aside, prodding her in the direction of the sitting room. She wandered backward away from the door, her gaze remaining fixed on Clayton and his heartbeat increased. Her interest in him couldn’t be denied. He returned her smile before glancing up to see a disapproving glare drilling into him.
Clayton shook his head, partly to dislodge the images that had filled it—all involving him and the blue eyed beauty—and partly because he really was having difficulties hearing today. “I thought Ms. Colten was on her honeymoon and Mr. Marley was traveling?”
The giant stared at him. Measuring him. Clayton stood his ground and refused to fold under the intimidation. He hadn’t done anything wrong. Yet. Thinking erotic thoughts about the blonde didn’t mean he’d actually trespassed.
The giant thrust out a hand. “Braden Marley. I think I saw something about you on the schedule they left. Come on in and I’ll take a look.” He yanked open the door and gestured toward the living room. Clayton wandered in, his jaw falling open as he spotted the piles and piles of artifacts that lined the walls of the rooms and littered every available space. Barnacle encrusted trucks, shiny coins and ships ware. Books, boxes, Japanese glass floats and more. There was a literal treasure trove within the house walls. What he saw at first glance showed a potential fortune in amidst the usual garbage. He rotated in a circle, his mid racing to calculate where to start, how to best work through the sea of items. He rubbed his hands together, forcing down the laughter of delight rising from deep inside.
This was going to be a job he would really enjoy.
“Are you staying for long, Clayton?” He jerked in surprise to find Chelsea stood next to him, close enough the heat of her body brushed him, scalding his senses. She brushed his skin, her hand gentle on his and something powerful overtook him and wormed its way up into his brain. He wanted to grasp her and take her down on the nearest surface, burying himself in her warmth and softness. She smiled, a hot look of longing in her eyes before stroking her hand upward. Her arms reached out to enclose him and he involuntarily leaned closer.
Their bodies touched and a groan of desire escaped. Bright eyes met his and she lifted her chin in invitation before drawing their mouths together.
The taste of her shot through him like one hundred proof whiskey, his senses spun and his tongue darted out to dip again into the sweet nectar of her mouth. She kissed him back, their tongues dueling, her hands tugging them tighter until he knew there was no way she was unaware of his swollen erection pressed hard against her belly.
He clasped her close, feasting on her mouth, unable to stop the driving need that raced through him to consume her. She stepped backward and he followed her siren call, falling together onto the overstuffed sofa. She hummed with approval, nipping at his chin, licking his earlobe.
Clayton dropped his teeth to her neckline, sucking, biting, feeling the urgent need to mark her as his own. He tugged at the waist of her shirt, his fingers brushing skin that seared him with heat, the compulsion to join with her growing sharper, pulsing throughout his entire body.
“Chelsea!” Braden barked from across the room.
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