Steve sank into the wheelchair with the attendant’s help. His leg throbbed and the bruised and abraded shoulder, back and arm ached. Since the accident had left him with a broken leg and the other injuries he’d had little sleep. A week had passed before the doctors had cleared him for travel.
The airline employee wheeled him past shops and a food court to the elevator. “You being met?”
“My boss.” They exited the elevator and turned to the baggage claim area. He saw her and groaned. “No.” He blinked but she didn’t vanish.
The attendant whistled. “That your boss?”
“His sister.” Steve’s hands clenched. Pain shot along his left arm.
“Man, she is one hot babe. Shame you’re helpless.”
Steve grinned as several X-rated thoughts arose. “Hardly helpless but I’m not touching her.” He wanted to do more than touch. Meg 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. She was a forever woman and he was a today man. There was a new place to photograph and a new woman to explore.
Have camera. Willing to travel. His way of life.
Steve shifted his camera. Much as he denied the attraction, Meg was able to make him stand at attention in less than a second. She also brought out the rudeness of a teenager with his first crush.
“Steve,” she said.
He loved the prim precision of her voice. “Meg, you’re looking good,” he drawled. Slowly his gaze moved from her short blonde curls, over her breast and drifted lower before returning to her face. As usual she blushed. “Get a bit too much sun?”
According to her sister, Meg had elaborate rules of life, a large dose of curiosity and a penchant for leaping before looking. Could he push her into a more intimate situation?
His gaze lingered on her mouth. He wanted to taste her full lips and taste her. He wanted to inhale the fragrance of her passion.
Wouldn’t happen. She would jump to the wrong conclusion the way she had when she had shouted her suspicions about the stolen exclusive. When her voice took on a cool tone his interest had peaked but his anger about the accusation had won.
Sure Simone had been his lover and boss for a short time. Once he’d stopped working for her their affair had ended. He didn’t give secrets away. The truth appeared and Meg had apologized. He’d told her the next time she jumped she’d better aim her delectable body into his bed. Scarlet had been the skin tone of the day, plus the glacial glare in her blue eyes. Did she remember what he couldn’t forget and fantasize about?
The attendant dropped a duffle on the floor. Steve slipped him a tip. With the man’s assistance Steve transferred to the wheelchair Meg held. She fitted the duffle straps around the handles and pushed him outside. As they crossed the street and down a ramp her grunts and groans made him grin.
“A bit out of condition are you? I can show you some stamina building exercises.”
“Not needed. You’re riding in a relic from the days when y brothers were involved in sports. Casts generally weigh a ton.”
“Hardly. It’s fiberglass.”
“Who’s taking care of you when you arrive at your apartment? You’re an invalid.”
“Care to see how much of one I am.” He imagined her rosy cheeks. “Are you driving back to the city tonight?”
“No. I left a message for Allie. I’ll bunk on the couch at their apartment.”
“Brave woman. I hear they can’t leave each other alone. You’ll need blinders and ear plugs. They’re in lust.”
“They’re in love. They’re engaged.”
“When did that happen?”
“Last week. They’ve set a date for December. See, love is the verdict.”
“Guess so.,” He turned his head so he could see her. “Why did Mark send you?”
“First I live closest to the airport. Second, I was the only family member without plans for this evening. Guess I was his last choice.”
Steve sucked in a breath. Was his buddy and editor of Good Travelin’ playing matchmaker? Just because Mark had caught him watching Meg every chance he had meant nothing more than a man admiring a pretty woman. Not that being cozy with her for a week or two wouldn’t be great, just not forever. No way.
Meg halted the wheelchair beside a grey luxury sedan. She opened the passenger door and slid the seat back. Once he was belted hi she stowed the chair, his duffle and a camera case in the trunk.
Steve had planned to stay awake and keep her company but the long flight, the pain pills, the two beers he’d drunk and the movement of the car joined forces. The last thing he heard was Meg promising to have him home in an hour.