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Authors: Jennifer Haymore

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BOOK: The Reunion
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“I’m sorry I was an idiot.”

He raised his eyebrows. “What do you mean?”

“You know. The riptide. Surfing on my stomach all the way to the shore. Jumping up and down like a…” She frowned at his smile. “What?”

His smile transformed into a low chuckle as he gently pressed the towel to her wound. “I liked watching you out there.” His laugh diminished and his face turned serious again. “Not many people are as enthusiastic as you.”

She snorted softly. “That’s a nice way of putting it.”

He shook his head. “No it isn’t. It’s the truth.” He glanced toward the window then back at her. “I’ve been surfing with Nalani since we were little kids, but I’ve never met a woman I—” Breaking off abruptly, he stood and raised the bloody towel in his hand. “I’m going to rinse this off.”

Celeste watched him walk over to the sink. With his back facing her, he rinsed off the towel. What had he meant? He’d never met a woman he…what? She was dying to know.

She couldn’t dwell on it. He was here now, and something was happening between them. The tentative first steps toward…something. What it could possibly end up being, she couldn’t imagine.

He wrung out the towel and headed back to the couch, lowering himself beside her. His expression was shuttered now—unreadable.

Impulsively, she reached out. Her hand hovered above his shoulder. Then she swept her fingers across the broad black stroke of ink just below his collarbone.

He drew in a sharp breath.

The hair on the back of her neck prickled. His skin was taut, warm, smooth. The air between them felt electric, charged with something she couldn’t define.

“What does it mean?” she whispered, continuing to trace the line across his shoulder.

“It’s a tapa design. For my family and ancestors.”

“What about this?” She trailed the path to the outside of his upper arm, circling a leaf inside the pattern. Kanoe drew the washcloth down her shoulder.

“The ti leaves are symbols of rank and power.” Was it her imagination, or was his voice hoarse? “They’re also talismans against evil, to encourage the favor of the gods.”

She exhaled. “Why do the arrowheads wind around the leaves?”

“They represent the path of my life.”

He hooked his finger under her bikini’s shoulder strap, caressing the flesh underneath. “You got blood on it.” It would only take a flick of his finger, and the strap would be down, exposing her breast.

She wanted him to do it. To strip her until she was naked, then lay her on the couch and— She swallowed that thought down.

“Ah, well. I have other bathing suits,” she said, trying to bring herself back to the realm of “light conversation with a guy I barely know”.

“Maybe a good idea not to wear this one again, anyway.” His fingertips stroked her collarbone.

“Why not?”

He stared at her mouth. “I think I like you. I don’t want you to get eaten.”

He thought he liked her!

“Eaten? What, is there a giant silver-bathing-suit-eating manta ray lurking in these waters?”

He laughed gruffly, showing off his dimples.

She couldn’t tear her focus from him. He was so sexy, he took her breath away.

“No. I mean, there are rays, but not the kind that like to eat bathing suits. The sharks, though—they’re attracted to shiny metal things. Makes them think of fish scales.”

She frowned. “Really?”

His gaze dropped to her bikini top. He rubbed the bloody strap between his fingers. “Yeah.”

“Why didn’t you tell me before?” Her cheeks were hot. She didn’t know why, really. She supposed she was angry. She could have been eaten, apparently, and he hadn’t told her. She should be angry.

He looked back up at her. “I didn’t want to scare you. Don’t worry, there hasn’t been a shark attack at this beach in…” he pondered a moment, “…two years, I think.”

“Two years? That’s not very long at all.”

“It’s long…” His voice seemed to come out in slow motion. The way his gaze had locked on to her lips sucked the air from her lungs. “Very…very…long.”

She stiffened. This guy was a stranger, she told herself. This wasn’t part of the plan. She didn’t want this.

But that was a lie. She wanted it. Bad.

His fingers closed around the back of her neck, drawing her close. His lips brushed against hers, feather-soft.

Then he kissed her.

 

 

 

About Jennifer

 

USA Today
bestselling author Jennifer Haymore is the author of sexy historical and contemporary romance.

You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.

 

Learn more about Jennifer at:

www.JenniferHaymore.com

facebook.com/jenniferhaymore-author

@jenniferhaymore
on Twitter

And please
join Jennifer’s mailing list
to learn about her new releases.

 

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

A Note from Jennifer

Excerpt from Never Let Me Go

About Jennifer

BOOK: The Reunion
9.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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