Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday's Hero - Steve from A Silken Seduction by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor

Steve sank into the wheelchair the attendant held.  His leg throbbed and the bruised and abraded shoulder, back and arm ached.  He felt drained.  Since the accident that had left him with a broken leg and other injuries he’d had little sleep.  A week had passed before he’d been cleared for travel.
The airline employee wheeled him past shops and a food court to an elevator.  “You being met?”
“My boss.”  They exited the elevator and turned toward the baggage claim area.  He saw her.  “No.”
The attendant let loose a low whistle.  “That your boss?”
“His sister.”  Steve swallowed.
“Man, she’s a babe and you’re helpless.  Shame.”
Steve grinned.  “Hardly helpless but I’m not touching her.”  He wanted to but he wouldn’t.  Megan Blakefield was trouble.  She was one woman who could make him forget he liked his freedom.
“You dead or is she taken?”
“Neither.  It’s complicated.”  That was the truth.  Much as he denied the attraction Megan was able to make part of him stand at attention in less than a second.  He reacted that way every time he saw her.  She also made him act as rude as a teenager with his first crush.
Steve shifted the camera case.  He wasn’t walking her road.  She was a forever woman and he was a today and maybe tomorrow man.  There was always a new place that cried to be photographed.  Have camera and love to travel was his way of life.
“Steve,”  she said.
He loved the prim precision of her voice.  “Megan, you’re looking … good,”  he drawled.  Slowly his gaze moved from her short blonde curls over her breasts and drifted lower before returning to her face.  As usual she blushed.  “Get a bit too much sun.”
According to her sister Megan had rules of life, a large dose of curiosity and a penchant for leaping then looking.  Could he push her into a more intimate reaction?
His gaze lingered on her mouth.  He wanted to taste her full lips and explore her taste.  He wanted to inhale the fragrance of her passion.
Wouldn’t happen.  She would jump to the wrong conclusions the way she had when she’d shouted her suspicions about the stolen exclusive.  When her voice had lost the crisp cool tones his interest had peaked but his anger had won.
Sure Simone had been his boss and his lover for a brief interval.  But he didn’t give secrets away.  Megan had apologized.  He’d told her the next time she jumped to aim for his bed.  Scarlet had been the color of the day with a touch of glacial glare from her blue eyes.  Did she remember?
The attendant dropped a duffle on the floor.  Steve slipped him a tip.  With the man’s assistance Steve carefully made the transfer to the wheelchair Megan held.  She fitted the duffle to the handles in the back and pushed him outside.  As they crossed the street and went down a ramp the sounds she made brought a grin to his lips.  “A bit out of condition, are you?  I can show you some exercises to build stamina.”
“Not needed.  You’re riding in a relic left from the days when my brothers were involved in sports.  Bet that cast weighs a ton.”
“Hardly.  It’s fiberglass.”
“Who’s taking care of you when you get home?  You are an invalid.”
“Care to see how much of one I am.”  He imagined the rosy hue of her cheeks.  “You driving back to the city after you leave me off?”
“Not tonight.  I left a message for Allie.  I’ll bunk on the couch in their home office.”
“Brave woman.  That pair can’t leave each other alone.  You’ll need blinders and earplugs.  They’re in lust.”
“That’s love.  They’re engaged.”
“When did that happen?”
“Last week.  They’ve set a date for December.  So I believe it’s love.”
“Guess so.”  He turned his head so he could see her.  “Why did Mark send you?”
“I live the closest to the airport and everyone else was busy.  I figure I was his last resort.”
Steve sucked in a breath.  Was his friend and editor of Good Travelin’ playing matchmaker?  Just because Mark had caught him closely observing Megan every chance he could didn’t mean more than an admiration of a pretty woman.  Not that being cozy with her for a month of two wouldn’t be great but for forever.  No way.
Megan halted the wheelchair beside a gray sedan.  She opened the passenger’s door and slid the seat back.  Once he was belted in she stowed the chair and bags in the trunk.
Steve had planned to stay awake and keep her company but the long flight, the pain pills and the two beers he’d drunk united.  The last thing he remembered was Megan promising to have him home in less than an hour.

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