I've Been an Awful Good Girl (3 page)

BOOK: I've Been an Awful Good Girl
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In
the early morning, as the sun painted the sky with pink and gray, he lay in the
bedroom of his youth with a picture of Wayne Gretzky holding the Stanley Cup
over his head.

His
mother hadn’t changed a thing. Old posters still clung to the walls. Hockey
trophies crowded a shelf along with some old science fiction novels. He glanced
at the bedside clock. Only six a.m. but he couldn’t sleep late anymore if he
tried. Ten years in the army would do that to a man.

Cam
rose from the bed and peeked through the curtain to check the weather. During
the night, the wind had stopped howling and the snow had moved out. Now the sky
was a hard light blue with frost decorating the window pane. What he needed was
a long bracing run in the cold morning air to get Emma out of his mind. He
shrugged on a pair of gray sweats, shoved his feet into his favorite running
shoes and wrapped a towel around his neck beneath the hoodie for added warmth.

When
he stepped inside the house after his run, his head was clear, his body
relaxed. The scent of his mother’s coffee brewing and bacon sizzling made his
mouth water. After a hot shower, he put on jeans and a long sleeved shirt.
Halfway down the stairs, the doorbell rang. He opened the door and found Emma
standing on the porch covered to her chin in warm clothing.
Goddamnit
.
One look and
every drop of his testosterone saluted and started salivating. Too bad she
wasn’t still dressed in the sexy genie costume, with her eyes full of
let’s-get-it-on
.
She had bed head too, but in a good way. Her cheeks were rosy, her eyes bright.
She looked as though she hadn’t lost one minute’s sleep thinking about last
night. “Emma, what are you doing here?”

“I
came to tell you to stop worrying so much about me being Ryan’s little sister
because it doesn’t matter. I’m a woman, you’re a man and I see no reason why we
can’t have a brief, scorching affair. It would be fun. And when it was over
you’d go your way and I’d go mine. No harm, no foul.”

Cam
felt the blood drain out of his head and settle in his groin.
A brief, scorching affair?

No
way.

Yes,
way
,
his body argued back. Hearing those words roll over her tongue gave him some
serious wood. He shifted to the side to try to hide the tent in his jeans.
Sweet Jesus God he had to set this woman straight or they’d be getting a room.
“I thought we both agreed to forget it ever happened.”

“Forget
what
happened?” Cam’s mother said walking up beside him.

His
mother’s eyes lit up when she saw Emma.
“Emma, so nice to see
you.
You’re just in time for breakfast.” She gave Cam a swat on the arm.
“Cameron Fletcher, I taught you better manners than to leave a lady standing
outside in the cold.”

“She
was just leaving,” Cam said hoping Emma would take the hint.

“Nonsense.”
His mother
pushed past him, placed her arm around Emma’s shoulders and led her inside.

Cam
glared at Emma who smiled back at him and said, “I’d love some breakfast.”

Shit.

In
the kitchen, his father greeted Emma as if she were his long lost daughter and
helped her off with her coat. She wore snug fitting jeans that emphasized her
hips and butt and a form fitting black turtleneck that enhanced her blonde hair
and green eyes and made him want her even more. Damn it.

His
mother had made her typical Sunday morning feast of bacon, pancakes and
scrambled eggs, but he found himself wishing Emma were on the menu. If his
parents weren’t here, he’d sweep the dishes onto the floor and do her right
here, right now.

He
listened to Emma chat with his parents while she ate and she didn’t eat like
most women did, counting every calorie because they were worried about their
figure. She helped herself to some of everything and chowed down. He liked that
about her.

“So,
what were you two supposed to forget about?” his mother asked.

Emma
glanced his way. “Cam should explain. After all it was his idea.” She forked in
a mouthful of pancakes and chewed with amusement in her eyes.

He
decided to play dumb. “Forget about …?”

His
mother sipped her coffee. “I heard you say something about forgetting what
happened. Were you at the Cranford party last night too Emma?”

“Yes,
I was there.”

His
mother smiled. “It must have been fun. What did you wear for a costume?”

“A
genie outfit,” Cam said. “She looked really—uh, cute.”

“Did
something happen at the party?” his father asked.

“No,”
Cam said.

“Yes,”
said Emma at the same time.

His
father laughed. “Well, what was it?”

Cam
stared at his plate and pushed some pancake around. “We sort of
ID’d
a couple of people at the party, but with everybody in
costume no one was supposed to know anyone else’s identity. So we decided to
keep quiet and forget about it.”

His
mother leaned forward. “Who were they? Are they married to other people? Were
they old lovers reunited? I promise I won’t tell.”

“I
suppose you could say they were old lovers reunited,” Emma said.

Cam
cleared his throat. “Not really, Emma. They had been apart for a long time
that’s all and I’m pretty sure they were never lovers.”

Emma
studied him, her eyes innocent, her mouth in a half smile. “You never know.
Anything could have happened back in high school.”

“Yes,
but it didn’t,” Cam insisted.

“So
they went to high school together?” his father asked. “Were they in your
graduating class, son?”

“He
was but she wasn’t,” Emma piped in. “They could have been lovers though. I mean
it was a possibility, wouldn’t you say?” She asked the question with a smile
playing around her lips.

Cam
shifted in his seat. This whole conversation was getting damned uncomfortable.
“Well, maybe, I suppose but doubtful.”

Emma
chewed a bite of bacon. “I don’t doubt it for a minute. Don’t you remember how
they were looking at each other?”

He
remembered. The image of her slumberous eyes, kiss swollen lips and flushed
skin had been seared on his brain. “I remember.” He had to change the subject.
“So, Dad, what are you doing today?”

A
look passed between his mother and father. They knew. Damn it, somehow they
knew.
But how?

“Your
mother is checking out the church Christmas Bazaar so I’m planning to park it
in front of the fire and get acquainted with the new thriller novel I just
picked up. What about you?”

He
shrugged. What he really wanted to do was finish what he and Emma had started
last night, but putting his hands on her again was out of the question. Ryan
would flip if he knew the dirty thoughts he’d been having all night about his
little sister. “I don’t know yet. Might give Ryan a call and see if he wants to
come over and shoot some baskets. Weather’s supposed to be sunny today.”

“He
can’t,” Emma said. “He promised to help me hang some twinkle lights on the
spruce tree in the front yard. We could use an extra hand though if you’re
interested, then afterward you can shoot baskets.”

“Terrific
idea,” his mother said. “Later this evening we can meet at the Olive Pit for
dinner. I’ll give your mother a call, Emma and see if she and Ryan can join
us.”

Jesus
H. Christ, this meant he would be spending all day and part of the evening with
Emma. With Ryan there he was sure to pick up on the chemistry arcing between
them, but what could he say without being rude? “Sure, why not.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter
Five

 

Emma
helped Cam’s mother tidy the kitchen then she headed home to scrounge for the
boxes of outdoor lights down in the basement. She needed just a few minutes
alone with Cam to convince him the two of them hooking up for some
let’s-get-hot-and-sweaty
between the sheets was okay. She’d already spoken to her brother about how she
felt and he wasn’t bent about it. Her plan was to bring Cam over to her way of
thinking, have some sexy fun,
then
they could both
move on.

Her
stomach took a dip when she saw Cam drive up. He climbed from his car wearing
jeans, a baseball cap and a worn leather jacket. Bright winter sun washed over
him. The man defined the word
yum
. She had the box of lights and the
stepladder sitting at the base of the tree. She waved as Cam walked toward her,
his hands stuffed into the pockets of his jacket. He didn’t look happy to be
here, but she was certain she could put a smile on his face if he’d only give
her the chance. The front door opened and her brother walked out. His light
brown hair was still damp from his shower. “Hey, ready to get to work?”

“Yep,
then when we’re done let’s shoot a few,” Cam said.

Ryan
smiled. “No problem. I’ll be glad to whip your ass.”

“Good
luck with that. This time I’m stomping you until it hurts, brother.”

Ryan
chuckled. “Whatever.”

“If
you two are finished pawing the ground and snorting, I could use some help over
here.”

Cam
climbed the ladder and she handed up a strand of lights. He wrapped them around
the very top of the tree then lowered himself down a step on the ladder. After
taking the strand, Ryan strolled around the other side of the tree. Emma placed
her hand around Cam’s hard, muscular calf to steady him, letting the warmth of
his skin seep through his jeans and into her hand. Closing her eyes, she filled
her lungs with his scent of fresh laundry and soap. Her lips curved as she
imagined gliding her hand up his leg to the fly of his jeans and—

 “Emma,
stop that.”

Cam’s
voice shattered the tantalizing illusion and her eyes popped open. When she
noticed her hand curved over the bulge in his jeans, she jerked it away and
tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Stop what? I was just making sure you
don’t fall.”

“Trust
me, I’m not going to fall,” he said in a hoarse whisper. “Every part of me is
at attention.”

Ryan
came back around the tree with the strand of lights and handed them up to Cam.
A gust of icy wind shot up her coat making Emma shiver. “A couple of more times
around the tree should do it,” she said.

Cam
stepped down from the ladder and circled the tree, placing the lights on the
blue-green branches until the strand ran out. The front door opened and her
mother shouted, “Ryan, Cindy’s on the phone.”

Her
brother’s face brightened. “Be right there. You two finish up. This could take
a while.” He disappeared inside the house and Emma was left alone with Cam.

Now
was her chance.

His
jacket barely covered the tent in his jeans. “Cam, there is something I need to
tell you.” She told him about Ryan knowing about her feelings years ago. “I
told him about the kiss we shared in the kitchen just before you left town.”

Cam’s
face blanched. “What?” He rubbed his palms over his face. “Shit. He’s never
said anything to me.”

“I
asked him not to. Then you left and went into the army. I’ve always wanted to
follow up on that kiss and I thought now that it’s Christmas, the season of joy
and good will toward men—and women—maybe you might consider giving me some of
that good will by agreeing to just one night of unbridled sex. Then afterward,
I’ll have gotten it out of my system and can go back to being the awful good
girl that I truly am, and you can get on with your life. So what do you say?”
Uneasiness whipped her pulse into a frantic two-step. She swallowed hard
shocked that she’d gotten the words out and terrified of how he might react.

When
he still didn’t say anything she said, “I’m not asking for any kind of
commitment. All I’m asking is one night and I’d like that man to be you, but if
you refuse I suppose I could find someone else. It’s Christmas. Would you
consider helping a girl out?”

She’d
moved closer to him and placed her palms on his chest. His heart beat under her
fingers as she let her gaze drift over his face and down to his sensuous lips.

His
gaze shifted from hers to her mouth. Between one blink and the next she was in
his arms pressed shoulder to thigh against his hard body and her breasts mashed
into his chest. His mouth took hers in a hungry kiss and she melted into him.
She was on fire. He’d ignited every desire, every drop of lust and longing
within her. She held nothing back. His lips were cool and experienced as they
moved over hers. He probed her lips with his tongue, asking her to open and she
obliged him. His tongue swept in and danced with hers. Thank God, she thought
in the back of her fogged brain. He was going to give in. He was going to give
her the incredible night of passion she’d asked him for, the night she’d
dreamed about since high school.

“Hey,
Mom made hot … chocolate.”

At
the sound of Ryan’s voice, Emma and Cam jumped apart like a couple of kids
caught making out in the hall between classes.

BOOK: I've Been an Awful Good Girl
6.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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