Sunsets at Seaside(2)

By: Addison Cole



He looked back down at the phone and scratched his head. She wondered what he was thinking. That it fell from the sky? No one was that stupid, but she couldn’t own up to it now. She was in too deep. As he mounted the stairs, she got a good look at his chest, covered with a light dusting of hair, over muscles that bunched and rippled down his stomach, forming a V between his hips.

He stepped onto the deck and raked his hazel eyes down her body with the kind of smile that should have made her feel at ease and instead made her feel very exposed. And hot. Definitely hot. Oh wait, he was hot. She was just bothered. Hot and bothered. Up close he was even more handsome than she imagined, with at least three days’ scruff peppering his strong chin and eyes that played hues of green and brown like a melody.

“Hi. I’m Jamie Reed.”

“Hi. Jessica…Ayers.”

“How long are you renting?” He used his forearm to wipe his brow. She never knew sweating could look so sexy.

“For the summer.” She shifted her eyes to her phone. “What will you do with that phone?”

He looked down at it. “I guess that depends, doesn’t it?” The side of his mouth quirked up, making his handsome, rugged face look playful and sending her stomach into a tailspin.

Jessica needed and wanted playful in her too prim and proper life, but she needed her phone even more, in case her orchestra manager called.

“Let’s say it was my phone. Let’s say it slipped from my hand and fell over the deck, purely by accident.”

He stepped closer, and suddenly playful turned serious. His eyes went dark and seductive, in a way that bored right through her, both turning her on and calling her on her fib. He placed one big hand on the railing beside her and peered over the side. His brows lifted, and he stepped closer again. She inched backward until her back met the wooden rail. He smelled of power and sweat and something musky that made her insides quiver.

“That’s quite an accident.” His voice whispered over her skin.

Jessica could barely breathe, barely think with his eyes looking through her, and his crazy, sexy body so close made her sweat even more. The truth poured out like water from a faucet.

“Okay. I’m sorry. I did throw it, but it’s not my fault. Not really. It’s that stupid eBay site.” Her voice rose, and her frustration bubbled forth. “I don’t know how I could lose an auction in the last ten seconds. My bid held strong for forty-five minutes, and then out of the blue I lost it for five lousy dollars? And it was all because the stupid bid button was broken.” She sank down to a chair. “I’m sorry. I’m just upset.”

“So, let me get this straight. You lost a bid on eBay, so you threw your phone?” He lowered himself to the chair beside her, brow wrinkled in confusion, or maybe amusement. She couldn’t tell which.

“Yeah, I know. I know. I threw my phone. But it must be broken. I hate technology.”

“Technology is awesome. It’s not the phone’s fault you lost your bid. It’s called sniping, and lots of people do it.”

“Sniping?” She sighed. “I’m sorry. I know I sound whiny and not so nice, but I’m really not like this normally.”

He arched a brow and smiled, which made her smile, because of course he didn’t believe her. Who would? He didn’t know she was usually Miss Prim and Proper. He couldn’t know she never used words like stupid or even visited the eBay website until today.

“I swear I’m not. I’m just frustrated. I’ve been trying to find the baseball my father had as a kid. It was signed by Mickey Mantle, and somewhere along the line, his parents lost it. His sister had colored in the autograph with red ink, and I think I finally found it…and then lost it.”

“That’s a bummer. I can see why you’re upset. I’m sorry.”

“How can you be so nice after I beaned you with my phone?”

He shrugged. “I’ve been hit by worse. Here, let me show you some eBay tricks.” He scrolled through her apps, of which she had none other than what came with the phone. He drew his brows together. “Do you want me to download the eBay app?”

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