How about a little Daisy and Levi from SWAY?
Cherished featuring SWAY by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2012, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing in trade paper and all digital formats August 7
Cal interrupted. “He’s got to be forty or so. He was ahead of me at UW. He and I both went to law school there. What’s a forty-year-old man want with a twenty-four-year-old?”
Daisy indicated her body. “Dude. I mean, come on. Twenty-four-year-old boobs.”
Cal blushed furiously as Mary and Jules laughed.
“Look, it’s dinner. He’s not a creep. I’d know. I can always tell. He’s hot. We had chemistry. That’s all we’re talking about right now. And I need to run. He’ll be at my house in ten minutes.” She hugged and kissed everyone before heading out again and back home.
Truth was, she found herself deliciously intrigued by Levi Warner.
He was nothing like any man she’d been with before. Distinguished, she thought as she put her bags down in the kitchen and headed to her closet to find something to change into. He made her want to dress up to please his eye. Which was interesting in and of itself.
It was too late for a full new outfit and all that. But she could do better than yoga pants. She found some trousers and a shirt to wear over the tee she had on. A quick brush of teeth, some lipstick and a braid of her hair and she was ready by the time he knocked on the door.
She’d even had time to light some candles so the house smelled good when she opened her door to find him standing on her stoop with a huge bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine.
“Come in.” She took the flowers and led him to the kitchen, just a few steps away. “Thank you.” She loved that he’d chosen a bunch of colorful wildflowers. They went perfectly with the vase she’d finished up a few months ago.
“I brought wine.” He held up a bag. “And some beer too. I wasn’t sure what you’d be serving.”
“Put them here on the counter. Let me see what I’ve got. I just walked in. If you’d like, you can put some music on.”
He wandered off, looking around and probably thinking she didn’t notice it. The house was where her grandmother used to live and work after her grandfather had died. But she was in her late eighties now and lived in her parents’ house. She and Daisy shared a workspace out back.
So the little house had become hers.
Little Dragon began to play through her speakers. She watched him pause to listen and then nod to himself as if he found it acceptable. This was a good sign.
She pulled out the containers Mary had left, peeking in and taking sniffs as she peeled the lids back.
“Mmm, pulled pork. Do you eat pork?”
He moved to her and she had no choice but to freeze in place. He was too much and not enough all at once and she didn’t know how to process. So intense she wanted to run and rub herself all over him at the same time.
He was the most intense man she’d ever been attracted to. Though, attracted was a lightweight word for the way he simply assumed ownership of all her parts, leaving her mentally panting. And he hadn’t even touched her yet!
He got even closer to look into the container she held. “I do.”
Licking her lips, she stepped back to grab plates and put things into the microwave.
“Sit. I’ll get you something to drink. We’ve got pulled pork, which will go awesome with the brioche she put in with it. Shrimp salad of some kind. Don’t know what she calls it, but it’ll be good. Other little puffy things and some crunchy bits and bobs.”
He watched through hooded eyes as she moved around the small space and served him. Watched as she tipped the glass when she poured the beer. Watched as she automatically dished him up a plate and handed it to him along with a linen napkin she casually put on his lap.
Watched and fell under her spell.
“I meant to ask you last week when I ran into you. Whose artwork is that?”
“Did you like it?” She nudged some chili sauce in his direction.
“I did. I take it you work for the gallery next door? I’d like to speak with the artist. See if he’d be willing to donate something to a charity auction I’m working on.”
One of her brows rose. “I do work at the gallery next door, yes. It’s only open a few hours a week. And I’m sure she’d be willing to donate something for a good cause. What’s the cause?”
“Ah, sorry. I assumed and that was silly. I figured ‘Ramona’ was the name of the art, not the artist.”
She laughed and paused to hum in delight after she popped something into her mouth. “You need to try that pickled thing there.” She pointed. “Ramona is my first name.”
He sucked in a breath. “It’s yours then?”
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