Read His Best Mistake Online

Authors: Kristi Gold

His Best Mistake (9 page)

BOOK: His Best Mistake
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He moved back, but still remained very close. If Leah owned even a wisp of wisdom, she would avoid looking at his eyes, but she didn’t. If she knew what was best, she wouldn’t dare stand up and get closer to him, which she did. If she had any regard for self-preservation, she’d be crazy to even consider what she was tempted to do next.

But she was considering it. More than that, she was going to do it, shirk all her good sense for one moment of pleasure. A moment when she could take the memories and turn them into reality.

She needed the intimacy, regardless of the consequences, and it was going to happen. She couldn’t stop it. She didn’t want to.

CHAPTER SEVEN

H
E COULD HANDLE
a simple kiss. A closed-mouth, chaste, hey-we’re-friends kiss. But an open-mouth, wicked, down-and-dirty kiss was just about more than Kevin could take.

If he didn’t bring this mouth action to an end right away, he was in danger of carrying Leah straight into his bedroom without a second thought. If he didn’t control his hands, which had somehow traveled to her butt, he might only manage to make it to the den. And if she didn’t stop pressing her sweet little body against him, they just might have to get reacquainted on the kitchen island.

But he wasn’t going to take her anywhere, and not because he didn’t want to. If he made a wrong move, he’d be compromising good intentions, as well as his newfound honor. And yeah, it sucked. In a massive way.

With what little resistance he had left, Kevin broke all contact and took a much-needed step back. And while Leah stood in stunned silence, he rounded the island, putting a solid mass of granite and wood
between them, in turn concealing the effect that incendiary kiss had had on his body.

He could barely catch a breath, but at least he’d kept his langer in his cacks. His dad would be so proud.

Leah braced her elbows on the island and momentarily covered her face before staring up at him. “I can’t believe that just happened.”

Kevin raised both of his hands, palms forward. “I didn’t do it.” He sounded like a college kid who’d been caught plagiarizing his mid-term paper.

“You should have said something to stop me.”

“Kind of hard to talk when you have your tongue in my mouth. And it’s real hard to think when you have your hands all over me.”

“I know, I know.” She slapped her palms on the counter and straightened. “I’ve done it twice now.”

Twice? Had he missed something? “Unless we made out when I was in a coma, it’s only happened once.”

“I meant I’ve broken the rules twice. The kiss and talking about the past, which led to the kiss. If you hadn’t started with that ‘I’ve missed you, baby’ story, then it wouldn’t have happened.”

“Oh, so now it’s my fault.”

“It’s both our faults, and it won’t happen again.”

If Kevin had his way, it
would
happen again. Several times. A day. And night. “Remember, I’m the one who stopped it before it went any further. And you and I both know it would have gone further if I hadn’t stopped.”

She frowned. “The Kevin O’Brien I knew before wouldn’t have stopped it. So why did you?”

“First of all, I’m not the same man you knew a year ago. Secondly, you didn’t have a boyfriend back then.” And that led to a question he’d wanted to ask for some time now. “That reminds me, why hasn’t he called you?”

She failed to look at him when she said, “He only has my cell phone number, and we’ve both been busy.”

Time for a little more necessary interrogation. “Exactly what does he do for a living?”

Her gaze came back to him. “Why do you ask?”

“Because I want to know a little bit about the man who could be raising my daughter in the future.”

“He’s a mechanic.”

That was totally unanticipated. “Oh, yeah?”

“Is there a problem with that, Kevin?”

Kevin had only one problem with the guy—his involvement with Leah. “I don’t have anything against mechanics. I’ve used them before. But didn’t you say he owned his own business?”

She sighed. “Yes. Anything else you want to know? Maybe his political affiliation or his shoe size?”

He’d been waiting for the right moment to pose the most important question, and that moment had arrived. “Does he know you’re living here?”

A flash of guilt passed over her expression. “No, but I plan to tell him soon. I just haven’t had the chance.”

Like he really believed that. “He’s not going to be happy about it, is he?”

“He’s not going to care. He trusts…” Her words faltered along with her gaze.

Kevin came upon an idea that could help. Help him figure out if he even liked the jerk. “If you want me to talk to him—”

“No!” The word echoed in the room like a gunshot.

“Fine. If he calls, I’ll pretend I’m the gardener.”

She pointed behind her. “I’m going to take a shower now.”

“What about your food?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“All signs point to the contrary. Or maybe I should say all mouths point to the contrary.”

She hinted at a smile. “Shut up, Kevin.”

“Okay, but first I have a request.”

She gave him a wary look. “If you’re going to ask me to—”

“It’s about Carly. I want to start picking her up from the day care at noon, beginning tomorrow.”

“You can pick up her at four.”

Not good enough, as far as he was concerned. “One.”

“Three.”

“Deal.”

Kevin was fairly surprised she hadn’t put up more of a fight. Either she was too tired to argue, or she’d decided to compensate him for the kiss.

When a whimper sounded from the monitor set out on the counter near the stove, Leah said, “I haven’t seen her all day, so I’ll take care of her. Unless you insist on doing it.”

Normally, he would. But if he moved from behind the island, he’d reveal exactly how hard it had been to
halt that little round of tongue tango. “Go ahead. I’ll take the next shift. Right now I’m going to stay here a few more minutes and calm down.”

Finally, she smiled. “Oh, that.”

“Yeah,
that
.”

And “that” could keep him awake most of the night.

 

P
RETTY BOYS
and their toys should be outlawed, Leah’s first thought when she entered the cabana midmorning and found Kevin lifting weights. Since the bench was turned horizontally to her, he didn’t notice she’d come into the room. And that gave her a few moments to engage in a little covert inspection.

She’d spent her medical training studying anatomy, not only that of children but also of men and women of all shapes and sizes. By now she should be unaffected by the human body. His human body. His very male, incredible human body.

Yet every sinewy muscle in his arms and legs exposed by the tank and shorts he wore, every prominent vein that showed when he raised the weights, every plane and angle of Kevin’s anatomical framework captured her fancy. Even when he was sweating and hissing out short puffs of air with his effort.

She needed to say what she’d come to say before she found herself lost in a pheromone fog. She’d already walked into that trap last night. And even this morning, when she’d handed the baby over to him so she could shower, it took every ounce of strength not to investigate his mouth again.

Just when Leah was about to clear her throat to garner his attention, Kevin dropped the weight on the bar, slid down the bench, sat up and swung his legs over the side. When she moved forward into his field of vision, he looked blatantly surprised.

“What are you doing here?” he asked as he stood and swiped an arm across his damp forehead. “Did you forget something?”

She’d forgotten herself last night. She could have a memory lapse right now if she didn’t stop staring at his rather well-toned thighs and an area not too far above those thighs. “Actually, I dropped Carly off at the day care and suddenly remembered we’re getting low on formula. After I finished hospital rounds, I dropped by the store and brought it back.” Only an excuse to return, and not a great one at that.

Clearly he saw through. “You could’ve called me instead of driving all the way back here.”

“Okay, that’s not the only reason I came home. I want to talk about what happened in the kitchen.”

“The coffee wasn’t that bad this morning. Maybe a little strong, but I’ve had worse.” His grin was teasing and so was his tone.

“That’s not what I’m referring to and you know it.”

He pointed at a shelf to her left. “Could you hand me a towel?”

Rather than risk coming too close to him, Leah retrieved the white terry towel and tossed it at him. After it landed on the floor about two feet in front of him, he raked it off the tan ceramic tile and rubbed it slowly
over his neck and the top of his chest. How much she wished she were that towel.

“As I was saying,” she continued, “I need to explain my actions last night.”

He draped the towel over the arm of the treadmill. “You don’t have to explain anything, Leah. I know what’s going on with you.”

She must be as transparent as gauze. “Oh you do, do you?”

“Yeah. Your boyfriend’s hundreds of miles away and you’re on hormone overload. It happens.”

He was so far off the mark it wasn’t even funny. Except maybe for the hormone theory. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“I know exactly what I’m talking about. When we were still together, for about three or four days out of the month, I couldn’t come within a foot of you without you climbing all over me. It didn’t matter where we were. In restaurants, you’d put your hand on my thigh underneath the table even knowing what you were doing to me a few inches above that. I remember one time in the movie theater when we had to leave because you got all hot and bothered over a love scene. We never even made it out of the parking lot before we got it on. Not that I’m complaining. I looked forward to those days.”

“That’s ridiculous.” But true. When she ovulated, she turned into a rampant, horny she-cat. Actually, she had very few days during the month when she hadn’t been like that around Kevin.

“Tell me something, Leah,” he said in his sexy I-dare-you voice. “Does your boyfriend have the stamina to handle you on those days when you’re so hot it takes hours to cool you down? Does he know precisely where to touch you and what to say to you to send you over the edge, like I do?”

A series of images from the past flashed in Leah’s mind, blanketing her entire body in heat. “That’s none of your business.”

He had the audacity to try on an innocent look. “Just wondering.”

“Well, you can quit wondering. I need to get back to work.” Before she found herself in another precarious predicament. “Don’t forget to pick up Carly this afternoon.”

“Don’t forget to put the formula next to the three cans I bought two days ago.”

She pivoted and marched out the door, the sound of Kevin’s laughter following her all the way back into the house where she made a decision to prevent resuming what she’d once had with Kevin—one rip-roaring sex life.

Maybe making the call wasn’t such a hot idea, but Leah felt as if she had no other option. She strode down the hall, stepped into her bedroom, pulled out her cell from her pants pocket and hit the number on the speed dial. The phone rang five times and just when she was about to hang up, a gruff voice answered, “Camp’s Automotive.”

“Hey, J.W., it’s Leah.”

A long paused followed before he said, “It’s good to hear from you, sweet britches, but I’m busier than a tailless donkey during mosquito season. Can I call you back?”

She hated the nickname he’d give her years ago, but she wasn’t going to correct him now. “As a matter of fact, I want you to call me back. But I need to give you my new address and phone number.”

“I didn’t know you’d moved.”

“As of last weekend. It’s a long story.” And that was all he needed to know at the moment. “I won’t go into any details right now, but call me this evening on the home phone. I’ll explain it all then.”

“Will do. I have a couple of things I need to tell you, too.”

“Do you have a pen and paper?”

“Right here.”

Leah dictated the information and then said, “Remember, call me on the home phone. It’s important.”

“Got it. How’s sweet-britches junior fairing? And didn’t she turn four months old yesterday?”

Lord, Leah hadn’t even remembered her own child’s birthday. Some mother she was turning out to be. “Yes, she’s officially four months old. And she’s growing like a weed. You won’t recognize her when we move back in August.”

“Probably not. Give her a kiss from her Uncle J.W., okay?”

“I will. Now get back to work and we’ll talk soon.”

After she hung up, Leah pocketed the phone and instantly felt ashamed. The significant-other charade was getting out of hand, but she didn’t feel as if she could make any revelations to Kevin. Especially not now. Not after that full-throttle kiss last night. Not after he’d admitted that the boyfriend factor had played a part in his ability to maintain control. Good thing he had retained that control because hers had nearly taken a cross-country hike in the cabana.

Admittedly, keeping up the deception until she departed could prove to be difficult. She feared she might eventually slip up. Maybe she should tape her mouth shut whenever she was around Kevin. That could be beneficial on two levels—she couldn’t spill the beans or engage in more mouth-to-mouth with him.

That flaming kiss had been the bane of her existence, both last night and all morning long. But duty called and maybe that duty would assist her in putting Kevin and the kiss out of her mind.

 

A
FTER SHE ARRIVED
at the clinic, Leah approached the reception desk to take a look at the upcoming schedule, but made it only halfway before Kathy, one of the nurses, prevented her progress. “Dr. Cordero, I thought you might want to see this.”

The way her day had been going, Leah wasn’t exactly stunned that something was wrong. “What is it, Kathy?”

“It’s the lab results for the Myesky boy.”

Brandon Myesky—a rambunctious four-year-old
who could charm the entire medical staff with only a dimpled grin. Only, lately, the little boy hadn’t been smiling at all, and Leah worried her worst fears were about to be realized. “How bad is it?”

“Most likely leukemia.”

Even though she’d expected as much, the confirmation took a moment to register. “Are you sure?”

The woman opened a chart, turned it around and pointed at the lab slip. “It’s right here.”

After she scanned the results, nausea settled like a rock in Leah’s stomach. “Are the Myeskys scheduled to come in soon?”

“I called them about an hour ago. They’ll be here in about two hours. I asked them not to bring Brandon so you can have their complete attention.”

A veil of tears clouded Leah’s vision before she closed her eyes for a moment and willed them away. “When they arrive, take them into a conference room and make sure I have enough time to answer their questions.”

BOOK: His Best Mistake
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