As Meg drove across the
the dashboard clock registered eleven forty-five. Why hadn’t Allie returned her
call? Meg had kept her earpiece in place and the phone on waiting to hear her
sister’s voice. Was Allie tied up at Five Cuisines? On weekends she often
worked with Greg. As soon as Steve was settled Meg had to investigate. She had
to find her sister and a place to spend the night as far from temptation as
possible. Tappan Zee Bridge
Moments after exiting the bridge, Meg pulled into a visitor’s spot in the complex lot. Lights on poles illuminated the area. She studied her passenger. A lock of auburn hair lay on his forehead. Asleep he looked innocent, a state she knew he’d graduated from years ago.
She sucked in a breath. Her body screamed ’attack” while her head yelled “run.” Staring at his face didn’t remove the temptation to touch him and taste his lips.
Move. Don’t be a fool. Impulsive action means more trouble than you need. But she wanted him. Her hands hovered over his forehead. She jerked them back.
Meg left the car and popped the trunk. What would happen if she kissed him the way she’d dreamed of since he’d come aboard as a staff photographer.
Do not go there. Rule three – Resist the lure cast by dreamy eyes and a buff body.
She wheeled the chair to the passenger’s door. “Steve, wake up. You’re home.” She opened the door.
He reached for her. She ended up sprawled across his lap. Though his eyes were closed his mouth found hers. Heat sizzled from the touch and shot to her core.
“Danger,” a voice shouted.
“Enjoy,” another whispered.
His lips parted. His tongue brushed across her mouth. Heat increased.
She must resist. He would accept everything she had to give and walk away. She would be left with bruised and battered emotions. She pressed her hands against him and pushed away. “You don’t want to do this.”
“Seems I do,” he said. “You’re blushing. How far does the red extend?”
Meg nearly cracked her head on the car frame. “You’re not going to learn.”
He winked. “Is that a challenge?”
She pointed to the wheelchair. “Get in. I’ll deliver you and your things so I can check in with Allie. She hasn’t answered yet.”
“Try the restaurant. Better, we could check there.”
“I don’t think so.” Her object was to see him home and leave before desire changed her mind.
He transferred to the chair. She handed him the camera bag and her overnight bag. She fastened his duffle to the handles. She pushed him to the door where a guard let them in.
“Welcome back, Mr. Morgan. She do this?” The older man guffawed.
“Not her. A mountain.”
While Steve entered the closed mail room Meg ran down the hall to her sister’s door. Please be there, She pressed the buzzer, waited and pressed again. When there was no answer, her shoulders slumped. A series of yawns made her realize how tired she was.
Steve arched a brow. “You set?”
She shook her head. “She’s not at the apartment. Once I have you safely stowed I’ll call Five Cuisines.”
The elevator ride of a single floor lasted too long. Steve’s scent permeated the small space. She felt an urge to break all her rules of life. That could bring disaster or delight. Being torn between sanity and madness made her want to cry. Her lips still burned from the kiss. Her breasts felt full and the throbbing low in her belly reminded her of an urgent wish to be with Steve.
He handed her the apartment key. She opened the door and pushed him into the large living room. Moving the wheelchair across the plush dark blue carpet was a chore. She finally reached the hall and then his bedroom. As they entered she glanced through the large window and saw the moon reflected on the river’s dark waters and the distant lights of the bridge.
“Nice view. Almost like the one from Greg’s place.”
“Should be. His apartment’s just below.”
The bedroom wasn’t what she’d expected. The scene wasn’t set for seduction. Plain deep green drapes matched the spread and the carpet. The furniture was dark and masculine.
“Is there anything I can do for you?” Had she really asked that question? The gleam in his green eyes said she had. “I mean…to make you comfortable.” What imp had grabbed her tongue? She felt her face and neck heat.
Steve laughed. “Now there are several things but I won’t ask…yet. You need to make a call.”
Meg released a sigh of relief. She retreated to the living room and dialed Five Cuisines. “This is Meg. Can I speak to Greg or Allie?”
The words the woman spoke sent Meg’s thoughts crashing. “They left after second sitting was underway. They’re headed out of town for two days.”
Meg landed on the couch with a thud. Was this a joke or a stroke of fate? Now she had to drive back to the city something she’d hoped to avoid. She’d been on the move since five AM without a break. She was too tired to drive to the city. The temptation to stay here tugged like she’s landed in quicksand.
“Meg, could you give me a hand?”
Steve’s shout propelled her from the couch. Steve wheeled from the bathroom. “Can you undo the cast boot?”
“Sure.” She loosened the Velcro straps and slid the boot free. “Where do you want this?”
“By the bed. Hopefully I’ll be able to put it on during the night.” He moved from the chair and shifted his body on the bed. “Did you reach Allie?”
Watching the play of his muscles as he reached the bed held her attention. “What?”
She shook her head. “Seems she and Greg are taking the weekend off. I wish she had told me this morning. Let me settle you before I leave.” She paused. “Is there a hotel or motel nearby?”
"There’s a small motel but at midnight they’ll be full.”
“What about a B&B?”
Her shoulders slumped. “Guess I’m heading home.” She covered her mouth with a hand to hide a yawn.
“Stay here.” He grinned. “I won’t be jumping your bones.”
She caught his scent and turned away. Temptation held her in a vise. “I’d better go.”
“And have an accident. How do you think I’d feel? The guest room is down the hall.”
Her reason to escape vanished. She could handle being along with him. Right. Wrong! For better or worse she would stay. A problem rippled through her thoughts. Her rules of life were in danger of shattering.