Today’s theme is Arrivals so I thought I’d put up a snippet from COMING UNDONE:
COMING UNDONE by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Group
Releasing January 5!
Brody rode his bike up the driveway and turned the ignition off. When he slid his sunglasses down his nose, he watched Elise get out of her car, and smiled at all the crap she wrestled from the trunk as the kid bounced around the yard.
He saw her trash cans at the curb and thought, Why not?
Hailing her with a call of her name and a smile, he took one can per hand and carried them up toward where she stood. “Can I put these somewhere for you?”
“Um. Yeah, the garage. Here.” She bent into the car and hit the garage door opener. He didn’t fail to see how flexible she was, and a
brief flash of what she’d look like naked, sweaty and beneath him, flitted through his brain.
He hurried past and put the cans inside, stepping out as she closed the door again.
“Most people park in their garage.” He grinned.
“I will soon enough. Pete and Emmabeth—the couple who lived here before? They’re friends of a friend. They sold me this house on very short notice and asked if they could leave their furniture here in the garage until the fall. They went on a trip to see their kids and then to Europe.”
“Oh. I was wondering what happened to them. They were nice people. I’m glad they sold their house to another nice person.”
“Wow. You’re really good, aren’t you?”
She cocked her head ,and he realized she’d relaxed around him enough to actually joke, partially even flirt. Christ, her mouth, those eyes . . . He swallowed back the tide of longing, the urge to lean down and brush his lips over the curve of her cheek.
Instead he struggled for nonchalance. “I do try.”
“Thank you for bringing my cans in. How are you feeling?”
“Much better. No soreness anymore. My brother finally went home, and he and my sister only call to check on me twice a day. The bruises on my side”—he raised his T-shirt to show her—”are all gone. They arrested the guy, by the way. The one who hit me. He confessed it to several people. They tell me he’s going to make a guilty plea and go to rehab.”
She touched his side, a quick breath of a touch, and pulled back, blushing. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to touch you. I didn’t think.”
“It’s okay. I’m pretty sure my innocence is unsullied.”
She grinned. “Oh. Well, good. Um, listen, are you hungry? I was about to make some dinner.”
The air between them charged, heated. He shoved his hands in his back pockets before he ended up reaching out to touch her like he really wanted to. By the look in her eyes, she’d have been just fine with that touch, and that drove him insane. Still, he liked that
expectation in the air, liked the way it felt before either person made that first move.
There would be something between him and Elise. There was so much energy between them in the brief meetings they’d had, it would only grow the longer they knew each other. When the time was right, it would happen and he’d enjoy every single moment.
She licked her lips and he swallowed, hard, suddenly feeling like he was sixteen years old. He took a step closer and she didn’t retreat.
Just then Adrian showed up, honking his horn as he pulled up to the curb in front of Brody’s house. What timing his brother had.
He managed to bite back his groan of annoyance. “I’d love to, but my brother has apparently chosen now to stop over. Checking on me, I’d wager. It was Erin’s turn yesterday. You know how family can be. I’m sure he hasn’t eaten yet, so . . .”
She licked her lips again and little zings of chemistry buffeted between them. He enjoyed the intensity of it, the chemical soup of their connection.
“I’m making spaghetti. It’s not like making it for two instead of four is a problem. I mean . . .” Again the blush as her pale blue eyes met his, cruised down to his lips and then away as she took a deep breath. “If you’re hungry, Rennie and I wouldn’t mind the company. We’re new to Seattle, so it’s nice to get to know our neighbors.”
Rennie scampered up and nuzzled into her mother’s side. Elise’s arm automatically went around her daughter’s shoulder, and it pleased
Brody to see the easy affection there.
“Plus, we know you’re not no mad killer or nothing. The lady next door to you, the one with the dog who has all the sweaters, told us you look scary but are sweet as pie,” Rennie said.
Elise’s eyes closed again as she fought a laugh. It wasn’t like Rennie could help it; she was a blurter, much like her grandfather, Elise’s father, was. “A mad killer or anything, darling. If you’re going to insult our neighbor, let’s use proper grammar to do so.”
Brody’s ridiculously big brown eyes danced with amusement.
The way his bottom lip slid against the line of his goatee made her sort of tingly. Sort of? That was a joke. The man had torched a freaking thousand-acre wildfire within her. Perhaps if she hadn’t been masturbating to Brody fantasies so much, it wouldn’t have made
her all achy to just stand there near him. Pathetic.
“That’s good to hear. Mrs. Cardini, the lady with the little dog—his name is Stoney, by the way—is a good judge of character. I also think Adrian, my brother, would love a home-cooked meal. Neither one of us is much for cooking. If you’ll give me a few minutes,
I’ll go grab him and be back. That is, if you’re sure it’s not an imposition.”
“No imposition at all. Go on. I’ll get started. Oh, I guess I should ask if either of you is a vegetarian. I got sausage for the sauce, but I can make it without.”
“Nope, we’re both meat eaters. Be back in a few. And thanks again, Elise.”
She pretended not to watch his ass when he walked across the street, but hello, the way his waist tapered down to such a spectacular behind, the way it all contrasted with the width of his shoulders and the powerful muscles of his thighs. The whole package was pretty stunning in that bad-boy-with-a-Harley sort of way.
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