Gideon is one of very lucky Juliet “Jules” Lamprey’s men in TART. He’s a man who spent part of every year of his life growing up on Bainbridge Island. He’s a friend of Cal’s and someone Jules has grown up knowing. So when he shows up again, having come back to Bainbridge Island to help his grandfather run the family farm after the death of his grandmother – he’s someone Jules knows and likes. But he’s grown up and so is she. Where Cal is smooth and GQ, Gideon’s handsome is a different sort. He’s a man who works with his hands. Eminently capable. He’s rough around the edges as well.
But it wasn’t until she’d parked and gotten out of the car, her arms laden with the pastry she’d brought, that she noted Patrick was sitting on his big front porch. But he wasn’t alone.
Both men stood as she headed up the steps and she realized the other was Gideon, Patrick’s grandson.
It was an unexpected pleasure to see him. Which was probably why just looking at him sent a little zing through her. That or the fact that he was ridiculously gorgeous. Either way, a zing was a zing and who was she to go looking any zing askance when she’d been sort of zing-less of late?
“Two Carter men in one place? I’m not sure Bainbridge Island is big enough to handle all this handsome.” She winked at Patrick, who kissed her cheek and grabbed the pastry box with a happy sound and a grin.
“If these have cherry turnovers in them, you can have whatever you like, girlie.” He indicated Gideon, who stood, smiling at her. “You remember my grandson, don’t you?”
Gideon’s gold-blond hair was to his shoulders. His beard was neatly groomed and framed a sinfully full mouth. Jeans and boots were part of his job, much like the ones his grandfather had on. But Gideon only made her think, “hot cowboy.”
“I do,” she managed to say instead of drooling. He’d been a cute older boy she’d crushed on growing up. But this Gideon was a man . Damn.
Before she could say anything else, Gideon stepped to her and pulled her into a hug. He smelled like sunshine and hard work and a hint of the shampoo he used.
“It’s really good to see you, Jules. Come sit. Granddad has made coffee. I told him we should have offered you food, but he insisted you’d bring it so why bother.”
Oh. His accent. Not pronounced or even that noticeable, but it was there. A general slowing of his speech. Sexy.
Things heat up quickly between them —
As he came up the block, he saw her inside, that pale fall of hair around her gorgeous face. He raised his hand in greeting and caught her eye as she stood at the door.
The smile she gave him as he caught her eye while she locked the door and then unlocked it to admit him was enough to soothe nerves frayed from rushing.
“Why hello. What brings you here?”
He drew his knuckles over her cheek. “Don’t you know by now?”
She blushed and he wanted her so much it was like white noise in his head.
“I . . . yes, I guess I do.” She’d never been one for playing at being coy. She went after things she wanted. And as it happened, she wanted Gideon. But this sort of attention, this courtly, mannered wooing was dizzying. She really liked it.
“Have you got plans for dinner?”
“Why, Gideon Carter. Are you asking me on a date?”
That sexy smile curved his mouth. “I am.”
She licked her lips and his pupils seemed to swallow all the color in his eyes. Her heart pounded as her skin warmed. Oh, good gracious, he did all the right stuff to all her best parts.
This . . . this moment when things were about to happen but hadn’t yet was one of her favorite things in the world. All that possibility laid out before her.
“Good. I’ve been waiting. I’d decided earlier that if you didn’t call me by the end of the week I was calling you.”
“I do like a woman who knows what she wants. I’ll pick you up at six. I know you have to be up as early as I do.”
“Yes.” She licked her suddenly dry lips again. “Though some things are worth losing sleep over.”
The way he paused, sharpened his focus, sent a shiver through her.
“Yes, they are, Juliet. Are you going to make me lose more sleep than you are already?”
He stood so very close that each time he took a breath he very nearly touched her, the heat of his skin brushed against hers.
It was broad daylight in the middle of town and yet it felt intimate between them just then.
“I make you lose sleep?” It had been a long time since she’d flirted with so much intent.
He nodded. “And even when I finally get to sleep I dream of you.”
She smiled, flattered and breathless. And then she wondered if there were other things he did thinking of her. Hot, masturbatory things. A flush went through her, leaving her sweaty at the thought of him, fist around his cock, her name on his lips as he jerked off.
“I’ll see you tonight.” He bent and slid his lips over hers. Just a breath of a touch and she arched to keep contact as he began to straighten.
Then his arm was around her waist, pulling her close to him and his mouth owned hers.
Her heart pounded as he flicked his tongue against her bottom lip, she gasped when he nipped it, pulling it slowly and then releasing it only to lave the sting.
“You’re a temptation, Juliet Lamprey.” He stood back, sliding his tongue along his lips as if to taste her one last time. She nearly leapt at him.
Instead she took a deep breath and got herself back under control.
She pulled a pad from the pocket of her apron and wrote her address down. “See you at six.”
He’s a man who cares about his family. Who keeps his promises and stands up for what he believes. He’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he loves Jules and Cal, he’s committed to them and their relationship and he’s the kind of man anyone would be pleased to have at their back and in their lives…