Warm water cascaded over Greg. He quickly washed his body and hair. He turned the spray to cold. The impact of the chance meeting with a blazing hot woman remained evident. Hard and aching and he didn’t know her name. The more than six months of celibacy hadn’t bothered him until he looked up and saw her peering over the railing of the second floor balcony. Her smile had triggered an instant arousal. With luck before too many days had passed he would have her in his arms, his bed and a few other places he could envision.
With a wry chuckle he turned off the water, dried and dressed in shorts and a tee shirt. Who was she? How close were she and Steve? He knew the man upstairs in a casual way. Steve worked for a travel magazine and was always off on an adventure. He had never allowed anyone the use of his apartment before. Though Steve and the woman were blondes she certainly wasn’t Steve’s sister. Greg had encountered her several times.
What was the connection? Hopefully not romantic. He wasn’t a man to intrude on someone else’s relationship. This time he feared he might.
Damn, she was attractive. Her thick golden hair had brought an urge to thread his fingers through the silky mass. Her long legs had tantalized with images of beds and sex. Were her eyes blue? Was she as tall as she appeared?
He pulled his hair into a club at his nape. After slipping keys, wallet and cell phone in his pockets he headed for town. As he passed The Coffee Mug the entwined aromas made his stomach growl.
“Greg,” his senior sous chef called. “Join me.”
“Another time. I’m hunting.”
Mike laughed. “Could your quarry be a tall blonde with incredible legs? Saw her enter Peekaboo. Looks like your type.”
Greg slapped Mike’s hand. “I owe you one.”
“I’ll think of something. My anniversary’s next month.”
“You and Lisa want an evening off.”
“Something like that.”
As Greg sauntered down the street a plan unfolded. He recalled Peggy Lou’s habit of calling to a customer just as they exited the shop. Nine out of ten women turned but kept walking. With a bit of luck the intriguing blonde would do the same and end in his arms.
At the boutique he peered inside. His body vibrated with excitement. She was there and his timing was perfect. She held a pen and leaned over the counter. He admired the way her blue shorts molded her tight rear. He stationed himself near the door.
Moments later she lifted a huge ping canvas bag with the shop’s logo on the front. As she opened the door on cue, Peggy Lou spoke. The blonde turned her head and continued her escape. “I’ll definitely return,” she called.
Greg stepped into her path. When the collision occurred he caught her in his arms. She fit perfectly. “Sorry,” he said.
“My fault.” She turned her head. “You’re the man from the apartment below Steve’s.”
He nodded. “Greg. Can I interest you in coffee and a cinnamon roll?”
Her smile lit eyes as blue as he’d imagined. “Allie. Coffee sounds wonderful.”
He drew a deep breath. She smelled of vanilla and woman. He wanted her.
Whoa. Not so fast. Slow and easy is your style.
He felt like a recently ignited flambé. “The Coffee Mug it is.”
He released the hold that kept her pinned against his chest. The temptation to dive in for a heated kiss rapidly ended his good sense. Acting on a fantasy with a stranger on
Main Street wasn’t cool. He stepped away.
“Looks like you’ve been shopping. Research?”
She walked beside him. “In a way. Bought lingerie like a woman faced with a feast. That place is this junkie’s downfall.”
He winked. “Can I see your purchases?”
She laughed. “Maybe someday.”
He reached for her hand. Their fingers laced. The fire of a hot curry shot to his groin and returned his erection to active status. Someday had to be soon before he burst. In the past he’d been turned on by beautiful women but never with this intense desire to possess.
They reached the bakery. “Choose a table. Cream and sugar?”
“Any preference about the pastry?”
“Didn’t you mention cinnamon rolls?”
“I did.” He saluted. “At your service. Be right back.”
“I should go in. I want to buy rye bread, some sweet rolls and a pound of ground coffee.”
“I can do that and you can pay me later.”
Ten minutes later he returned with the coffee, two flaky cinnamon rolls and a bag with her purchases. As they ate; their conversation covered the town, the shops and restaurants. He gave her a rundown on what to order where, steering her away from his restaurant. He turned the conversation to books, movies and music. Their shared tastes pleased him and brought hope and desire to a peak.
She finished her roll and the coffee. “I’ve heard about a restaurant that’s supposed to be superb. At least a dozen gourmet eaters I know have mentioned Five Cuisines.”
Greg stared at the table. Great to hear a stranger talk about his restaurant. If he told her who he was how would she react? He wanted more than a one night stand. He wanted a chance to focus on them. If they headed for more he would confess.
“It’s unique and upscale. I’ve also heard a comment or two about the food.”
“Maybe we could have dinner there.” Her tongue darted to the corner of her mouth and removed a bit of icing.
Greg’s hand tightened on his cup. He’d been tempted by the dot of sweetness but he’d been too slow. He leaned forward and touched her hand. “I wish we could but I’m scheduled to work from this evening through Sunday. The restaurant is closed Monday and Tuesday.” Was that disappointment he saw in her eyes? “How long are you staying in town?”
“A week or so.” She finished the coffee. “I’d better go.”
He caught her hand. “I’ll walk back with you.”
“I would like that.”
He carried the Coffee Mug bag and she held the boutique bag. As he clasped her hand he felt the sizzle again. They entered the apartment building and paused at the stairwell leading upstairs. He had to kiss her. Instead of turning to his unit he walked upstairs at her side.
At the door of Steve’s apartment she put the key in the lock and turned to him. “We’ll have to do this again.”
“How about tomorrow morning? We’ll go to breakfast.”
She nodded. “Or we could eat in. Why don’t I do the honors since this morning was your treat?”
“Accepted.” He braced one hand on the wall beside her head. He brushed his lips over hers. One taste wasn’t enough so he dove in for another.
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