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More pounding. “Saw you. Know you’re in there, Lucy.”
She drew the curtain back again.
He pointed to the handle and mouthed, “Open.”
She shook her head and planted her hand on her hip.
He rattled the door handle.
Safety chain in place, she opened the door a crack. When he pressed to enter, the chain caught.
“Lucy, I need to talk to you,” he said through the thin opening.
“It’s too early for conversation.” She ran a hand over her obnoxious morning hair.
“I need your help.”
“You said I’m not supposed to help you.” She tried to close the door, but he stopped it before the latch caught.
“Bridgett’s in the hospital.”
A knot formed in Lucy’s belly. She released the safety chain and opened the door. “What happened?”
“We’re supposed to leave for Twin Lakes today, but she ate something with peaches, and apparently she’s allergic. I just came from the hospital. She’s all puffed up.”
Peaches? That sounded awful. “Will she be okay?”
“They say she’ll be fine, but she needs monitoring. You have to be my wife.”
The knot in her belly tightened, and she stepped backward into the living room. “It is way too early to discuss marriage.”
He followed her inside. His gaze traveled over her, and the edges of his lips ticked up. “Please, Lucy. I need a favor. And you look like you need caffeine. Where do you keep the coffee?”
She crossed her arms across her chest. “At Starbucks.”
He tossed her an annoyed look and brushed past her to the kitchen.
Ugh. “Fine. To the coffee. Not the marriage.” She followed him into her kitchen where he snagged the tin of blonde roast off the counter.
“Coffee liners?” he asked.
“Use your sock,” she replied sweetly. She didn’t do controlling. Not with men. Not in life.
He dug through her cupboards. “You always this grumpy in the morning?”
She grumbled under her breath.
“I’ll tell you what. You go do whatever you do to wake up.” He turned and stepped toward her to trace his fingers intimately along her arms, leaving a trail of goose bumps behind.
Unable to move, she stared at his warm hands against her bare flesh.
He leaned into her, all sexy stubble and man. “I’ll make coffee.” His gaze rested on her mouth, which at some point had parted against her will. She promptly shut it.
“Then we can talk about our trip to Twin Lakes.” He gave a squeeze and released her.
Full-bodied with an extra shot of persistence was apparently on her menu this morning. “I have to work, I’ve got a cat, and there are three thousand other reasons I’m not going with you.”
“Let’s talk after you resurrect Happy Lucy. Shower, meditate, whatever you usually do…then coffee.” He returned to rummaging through her cupboards.
She stared at him, scruffy, delicious, and in her kitchen. The universe had a messed up sense of humor.
“You getting that shower going or are you waiting for me to take one with you?” he asked without turning around.
She scowled at his ridiculously attractive back for a beat. It wasn’t fair that even his back was sexy. Her gaze traveled lower to his shorts. Over his ass. His legs. His calves.
He cleared his throat. She glanced up quickly to meet his…dimples.
“I’ll come, too, then?” His lips formed the husky words, mesmerizing her.
He took a step forward, the tin of coffee still in his grip.
She froze, certain the look on her face must’ve mirrored an early-morning deer meeting the headlights of a Ferrari. Like, if she was gonna get hit by a car, might as well be a good one.
Oh boy, was she about to get run over.
She licked at her lips.
His gaze fell to them, mouth parted, eyes flared.
She noped right out of there. Turned and bolted for the bathroom, ensuring the lock on the door clicked behind her.
Head in her hands, she slumped against the thin wood panel on the wall beside the cracked tub.
She was officially hiding from William in her bathroom. Not because he recommended she shower. Nope, she needed to wake up. Her hair needed shampoo. And she had lusty irritation to rinse down the drain.
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