Special thanks to Sandra Bunino for rallying authors together to share teases every week.
© Kacey Hammell, 2015
“Hey, Mads, lookin’ good this morning.”
Maddy Evans raised her head, surprised by the voice above her. As she glanced up into the gorgeous face of her friend and neighbor of the last year, staring down at her over the fence that bordered their properties, a grin crossed her lips. The most handsome man she knew, Grey Burkhardt’s good looks never failed to stun her. She’d tiptoed around him this past year, scared of the heat between them, but she enjoyed their flirting and was in no hurry to end it.
He looked mighty fine today, too, dressed in a black tank top and red athletic shorts. She liked his short, dark military cut. It gave her the opportunity to see his enticing and rugged features and inviting eyes without any hindrance.
“Thank you, the carrots and cucumbers are coming along nice. I wish the lettuce was doing better, but this heat with no rain isn’t healthy for them. No amount of watering seems to help them out.” She wiped her brow carefully, mindful of the dirt coating her gloves.
Grey grinned and adjusted the ladder he carried. “So sorry to hear the sad fate of the lettuce. However, I wasn’t complimenting the greens in your garden.” He raked his gaze over her where she knelt on the lawn.
Damn, she forgot she’d wanted to work on her tan today, and had only dressed in a lime-green bikini top and black jean shorts. The lusty warmth in his eyes pleased her. She sat straight. “A girl has to take the time to work on her tan you know.”
He leaned the ladder against the fence then laid his forearms along the top. “I agree, but I hope you’ve put some screen on that delectable skin in the last hour.”
Embarrassed, heat swept into her cheeks. Damn it, she hadn’t.
“I didn’t think so.” He turned and strode the fence line and onto her side.
“It’s okay, Grey, I can do it.” She grabbed the bottle of SPF 60 from among the small shovels and rakes in her gardener’s basket. After wiping the bottle off with a cloth, she lifted the lid.
Grey dropped on his knees behind her. “Nonsense. What kind of neighbor would I be if I didn’t help out? And you’re baking in this sun, babe. You should take a break after I apply this, and come out when the sun goes down later.”
Maddy rolled her eyes. He was a computer geek who liked to mess around overhauling old cars and motorcycles. While she appreciated the work he did with the vehicles, and the physique he couldn’t hide under dress shirts and pants he wore to work, she hated being scolded. After all, who was the paramedic here? “I have a lot of weeding to do still. And I plan to watch the Jays game later.”
He poured the white lotion into his palm and chuckled. “You never cease to amaze me. A woman after my own heart. That you love dirt, sports and hot rods makes my heart skip a beat.”
Her own thudded hard. Damn, she didn’t know if she’d ever get used to his honesty. He’d complimented her a lot since they’d met and became friends. Always easy with sweet words and thrilling flirtations. She basked in the glory of seeming beautiful and special under a man’s watchful gaze. Not a lot of men appreciated her the way Grey did. He really listened to her when she talked and the attention he constantly showed her filled her with confidence.
The cold touch of sunscreen across her shoulders startled her and pulled her from her thoughts. She hissed out a breath.
“Your skin is burning,” Grey murmured near her left ear. Tsking, he poured more into his palm then spread it over her.
The chill of the lotion as he smoothed it into her skin did little to cool her down. Not with the scalding heat of his hands gliding over her, along her sides and down to the waistband of her shorts. Her skin tingled warmed. She wanted to stretch like a kitten getting massaged by its favorite owner. She fisted her hands in her lap, dropping her head forward as he applied the cream to the back of her neck.
“You’re a little tense back here.” Grey commented, his voice rough but gentle near her ear.
“Mmm,” she couldn’t gather anything else comprehensive to say. Mindless to his attention, she wanted to sit like this for hours and let him pamper her. Of course, if she remained under his masterful fingers, she’d need a cold shower. Her body tingled, his touch twisting around every nerve inside her, each one sparking hot.
“I think that should do it. You’re protected from the sun for about an hour at least.”
Despite his words, Grey’s touch never disappeared. He glided his fingers along her arms, then over her shoulders and back, down to her hips.
Lord have mercy. Heart thudding, Maddy glanced at him over her right shoulder. “Thanks for taking care of me.”
His gaze locked on hers. Desire, power and heat stared back at her. No one ever looked at her like that. She shuddered. Should she consider her ego a bit out of whack if she thought he stared at her as if she were the only woman in the world? As if he wanted to eat her alive?
Drawing in a deep breath, she tried to focus on pulling more weeds while her thoughts drifted.
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out more awesome teasers from these great authors…