A Small-Town Reunion A Small-Town Reunion

"And this," she said, "completes the tour of the living room, dining room, and kitchen."

"I like it." He grinned and skimmed a finger from her shoulder to her wrist in a tingling path. And then he wrapped his hand around hers—a warm, solid weight at the end of her arm—and gave it a soft squeeze.

The simple, affectionate gesture moved her more than any of his seductive touches or smoky glances, and an elemental cadence began to throb deep inside her. Dev, Dev. It was happening again—the same impossible yearning, the same overwhelming temptation. He wanted her, tonight. He was making it clear in hundreds of ways. And she wanted him, too. In hundreds of ways. She wouldn't be able to resist him, not tonight.

She'd probably be sorry in the morning. But there was a chance she'd be sorrier still if she never shared this night with him. If this was all she could have—these few days, these few weeks with him-then she should take as much as she could get.

She shifted her hand, turning her palm up to lace her fingers through his, and squeezed back.

He shifted closer, leaning in to place another kiss along her jaw, and she moved her head to the side so he'd linger. "What's next?" he murmured.

"Everything behind the screen." She led him around the edge of the folding wooden frame and gestured with her goblet at her bedroom area. "The dresser. The armoire—standing in for the missing closet. The trunk that holds everything that won't fit anywhere else. The bathroom, behind that plywood wall."

"And the tub." He let go of her hand to skirt the foot of her bed and stare at the claw-foot tub angled across one corner of the room. Old-fashioned plumbing rose to shower height and formed one section of a ring supporting a plain white curtain. "Cool."

"Yes." She finished her wine and set her glass on her nightstand. "Very cool, after about fifteen minutes, when the hot water runs out."

"And this is the bed," he said.

"Yes." She raised her hand to her neckline and unfastened one button with trembling fingers. "And this is the end of the tour."

He emptied his glass, lowered it to the stack of old crates in the corner and stood, staring at her across the expanse of rumpled quilts and lace-edged sheets. She recognized the reflection of her own nerves in his jerky swallow and flickering gaze, and the thought that she'd unsettled him gave her the reckless courage to undo another button.

"What about dinner?" he asked, staring at the gap in her shirt.

"Are you hungry?"

She reached up to unfasten one of the clips in her hair, and he lifted his hands, palms out.

"Stop," he said. "Just...stop."

She froze, gripping a plastic butterfly, iced through with mortification. She'd known she'd be clumsy at this. She'd never seduced a man before, and it had been a major mistake to try the trick now, when every move, every word mattered so very much.

Dev moved around the bed and pried her fingers from the clip. "Let me do that," he whispered.

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Excerpt from: A Small-Town Reunion
Copyright ©2009 by Teresa A. McLaughlin
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