Celestial Desire(2)

By: Abbie Zanders

Maybe it was his lucky day after all.

* * *

From her chair beside the pool, Celeste watched the man walk away. The view from this angle was nearly as fine as the one from the front – a whole symphony of rippling muscles across his broad shoulders and back, tapering down into a lean, narrow waist that she now knew featured a six-pack on the other side. And his ass – it just might be the nicest one she’d ever seen on a man, blending perfectly into strong, muscular legs.

All of that was nice – really nice – but it was his roguish, youthful face that took her breath away. His eyes were the most amazing icy blue, surrounded by impossibly thick, dark lashes that were the same color as his hair – a rich, deep chestnut that captured the California sun and made it dance when he moved. His face was clean-shaven and looked baby-smooth but his lips were all grown-up. She probably shouldn’t have stared at them as much as she had, but as with his eyes, they had commanded her instant and complete attention.

Celeste sighed. Now that he was out of sight, her internal temperature was starting to return to normal levels and her logical mind was entering WTF mode. The last thing she needed was to become involved with someone. She’d moved into the gated community less than two days ago, and was hoping to stay long enough to fulfill her six-month condo lease.

The most womanly parts of her – the ones she’d neglected for far too long – reminded her that Zane probably wasn’t interested in a long-term relationship. Maybe they could just hook-up, satisfy each other’s curiosity, and be done with it. He certainly seemed like the type – gorgeous, sexy, a physique that gave women wet dreams, and playfully naughty. Definitely not the kind of man who would usually give her a second look, which made this possible opportunity even more tempting. Who knew when she might get another chance like this?

Celeste had never actually had casual sex before – her ex-husband was the only man she’d ever been intimate with – so she wasn’t quite sure how it worked. Did they have to go out first? Should she expect him to pay, or should they go Dutch? Would they go back to his place or hers, or maybe seek neutral ground?

The whole idea was as terrifying as it was exciting, leagues away from her usual routine of remaining quietly in the background, watching everyone else have all the fun. Then again, she had moved out here to make a fresh start, hadn’t she?

Celeste sat at the pool for a few minutes longer, enjoying the peace and quiet of the beautiful morning. It was still early, barely seven a.m., but she liked the emptiness and solitude for her morning workout swim. Once others began to arrive, she pulled on her beach cover up, gathered her things, and slipped back to her new place to start her day with a spring in her step that hadn’t been there before.

Chapter 2

“Damn.” The coffee shop was temporarily closed for renovations. Zane had never been there himself, but he’d overheard enough people raving about it in and around their gated community to think it might be a good place to try. Cupping his hands against the glass, he peered in. It did look like a nice place – warm and cozy and the perfect place to break the ice, get to know someone a little before seducing them.

Yeah, he liked a bit of verbal foreplay before the main event; he wasn’t a complete animal. Besides building the anticipation, it gave him a feel for what a particular woman might like. Some were wild and adventurous; others needed a gentler touch. Zane was flexible; he knew he’d be ending the evening on a happy note and liked ensuring his partner would, too.

“Hmm,” she hummed beside him. “That’s too bad. It looks like a nice place.”

Zane looked down (she barely reached his shoulder), slightly surprised that she had spoken the same words that had been in his head only a second or two earlier. “Sorry about that.”

Celeste tilted her head up, and he was stricken by her eyes. Fathoms-deep polished amber with swirls of mahogany looked back. She looked as disappointed as he felt. “It was a good idea. Another time, maybe.”

He’d been looking forward to spending some time with her all day; there was no way he was going to let her get away from him that easily. “We could go somewhere else. Are you hungry?”

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