With a couple of nineties rom-coms tucked inside my purse, and a fresh carton of Ben & Jerry’s in a bag hanging off my forearm, buried in the bottom of my purse, I was determined to make up for lost time.
I knocked twice, like always. Once to make my presence known, and the next to make sure Max wasn’t in there screwing one of his many flavors—though I didn’t see his car either. Unlike every other time I’d stopped by, nobody answered…at least at first. But then I heard it—a grunt, followed by a, fuck me and then an, I’m coming, hold on.
“Oh, God.” I took a step back, looking over my shoulder toward the driveway, more than ready to run.
No, no, no. I knew that voice.
There was no time to escape, though, because a second later he was there. And quite frankly, my legs weren’t capable of moving, either. Because the moment that door whipped open and I saw him standing there, I was screwed with a capital S.
“McKenna…” He said my name on an exhale, while his hypnotic green eyes raked over me in one long, agonizing swoop. His cheeks grew bright red—making him look bashful and, adorable, not the tough- guy like his friends tried to be. When he bowed his head, I took a second to look him over too, frowning when I noted a clump of black sticky, gooey stuff clinging to the ends of his lashes, and a smearing of something shiny and red on the corners of his lips and clinging to his beard.
“H-hi.” I cleared my throat, attempting to remember why I was there in the first place. His The intensity emitting from this man tended to make me forget pretty much everything.
“What are you doing here?” He folded his arms over his massive chest. The same chest I’d touched… The same chest I’d kissed…
I blinked. “W-where’s Addie?”
He frowned and that beard of his shifted, conforming with the movements of his jaw. “Grocery store. She asked me to watch Chloe for half an hour.”
“You? Watch Chloe?” I snorted.
“Yeah. Me.” His eyebrows drew together as he propped one hand against the door frame, a dare in his words that said, challenge Challenge me, and you will lose.
Except I highly doubted this man could ever beat me in a match of wits. Regardless, he did havehad me mesmerized, like as always. His hotness, his coyness, the vulnerability I knew he embodied… Total. Human. Catnip.
I swallowed, watching his forearm flex. Gavin was humongous in every sense of the word. I may might have been a little tipsy when we’d had sex, but the delicious soreness between my legs the next morning proved that big was so very worth it.
My face grew hot at the memory, my mouth opening and closing like a dunce’s. Who was I? Where was I? And why the hell did I have an unexplainable urge to drop to my knees before him?
Because you like him.
I frowned and held my chin up high. “Mind if I come in and make sure you didn’t tie the tyke up?” Without waiting for a response, I ducked under his outstretched arm, holding my breath as I did. Unfortunately, the air in my lungs did little to block the heavenly, masculine smell he emitted. Spice, pine, soap… The combination made my lady parts tingle and my head spin in remembrance.
I didn’t do men for more than a night. Not anymore. Not since Penis-head Head Paul. So, what was my issue? One and done, that’s the way it was supposed to be. Not third time’s a charm, damn it.
Ignoring his are-you-kidding-me- expression, I headed into the living room, finding the coffee table filled with all things princess. Crowns, feather boas, fake earrings, and… “Is that makeup?”
He cleared his throat. “Yeah, um, give me a second, would ya?”
I grinned at him, watching, yet again, as he bowed his head—this time rubbing at the clingy black goo on his eyes and, yes, the red lipstick on his beard.
Oh. My. God.
He’d let the kid put it on him?
Be still, my beating heart.
“Sure. Take your time.” My lips twitched as I watched him rush down the hall. The bathroom door shut a second later, followed by an explicit amount of cursing as the water began to run. I giggled, knowing exactly what he was doing. Washing it off.
Something tugged on the leg of my pants, forcing me to look down. I couldn’t help but smile wider when I found the little lady that who had enamored my bestie—and maybe even myself—standing at my feet.
Chloe was dressed in jammies, yet she wore a fancy crown with and that the same red lipstick and black mascara as that Gavin had on his face, painted mostly on her chin and cheeks.
“Hey, kiddo.” I crouched down in front of her, touching her shoulder. “Are you having fun with Uncle Gavin?”
She nodded wildly, her eyes bright and blue like her daddy’s. She pressed her tiny hands over her mouth a second later and giggled, looking over my shoulder. I stood and turned, finding Gavin shirtless, and using his T-shirt to dry his face, the abs of that gloriously, flat stomach making my throat run dry.
My knees grew weak at the image, and I plopped onto the edge of the chair, trying to curb the shaking in my hands. Jesus, I needed to get it myself together.
“Beaner. Grab your pretty princess stuff and put it back in the bag before Addie gets home, okay? Remember our secret? No telling her about the make-up .” She nodded quickly, hauling the stuff up into her arms.
With my bottom lip pulled between my teeth, I watched him sit on the coffee table in front of her, holding out the bag. As a team, they piled up all of the stuff and stowed it in the bag Gavin was holding. Seconds later, Chloe ran down the hall, her feet pattering against the floor.
I looked at his lap, briefly scanning his long legs tucked under a pair of mesh basketball shorts. They came just above the knee and were navy blue, the letters USMC were written along the edge. And like as if it called was calling to me, I saw the outline of his erection, growing harder with every blink of my eyes.
“You wanna sit on my lap?”
“Um…” Sweet Jesus, yes! Yes, please!
“You keep staring at my shorts.”
“Oh, uh, no. I was just…” I looked away and nibbled on my lip, the temptation far too…tempting. If I sat on his lap, then I might not be able to get off so easily this time. Not just in the sexual sense either—though Gavin was very skilled at making a lady come—but in the emotional sense too. Because, well, I wasn’t as strong as I wanted to be, and being in his arms was something I’d vowed not to do again. Mainly because I’d liked it so much.
Contemporary romance author Heather Van Fleet is a stay-at-home-mom turned book boyfriend connoisseur. She’s a wife to her high sch-ool sweetheart and a mom to three little girls. In her spare time, you can find her with her head buried in her Kindle, guzzling down copious amounts of coffee. Heather was born and raised in Moline, Illinois, where she lives with her wonderful family.