House Calls:Callaghan Brothers, Book 3(10)

By: Abbie Zanders

None of that, however, diminished the decided thrill she experienced at the feel of Michael’s clothes against her skin. She would have to be very careful with him, she realized. It would be quite easy to lose her heart to someone like him.

Michael returned as she was trying unsuccessfully to button the shirt. She was still seeing double and her fingers weren’t working the way they should.

“Here,” he said, kneeling before her once again. “Let me.” The sexy bartender/doctor brushed her poorly functioning hands aside and fastened each of the buttons for her as she gazed on, certain that she was hallucinating.

Maggie instinctively placed a hand on his shoulder for support as she felt herself leaning sideways – her balance was definitely off – and immediately drew in a breath. Beneath the cotton shirt was warm, solid marble, bunching and flexing as he worked his way upwards on the flannel. She couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to actually touch his flesh, then decided that such thoughts were not in the least bit helpful.

The room spun ominously as she tried to stand. Before she realized what was happening, Michael was wrapping the blanket around her, then placing one arm behind her knees and another under her arms and carrying her out the back way. Maggie thought briefly of protesting, but with Michael’s arms holding her and her face tucked against his collarbone, she couldn’t for the life of her remember why she should.

Chapter Four

It was a moonless, cloudy night, heavy with the threat of yet another snowstorm. Maggie gave him her address, then sat back and drifted in and out of consciousness for the half hour drive. The sleek black sedan drove smoothly, the seats were plush and oh so comfortable, the cabin warm and filled with Michael’s dark, sensual scent. Even feeling as miserable as she was, there was definite pleasure to be had in the experience.

When he finally pulled into the long drive, the single porch light she’d left on was enough to spear through her optic nerves, forcing her to shield her eyes with her hands.

“Here we are,” Michael said, his voice again like heavy but incredibly soft down as he pulled the black Jag as close to the house as possible. It was an old farmhouse, one that had definitely seen better days. Thankfully much of the disrepair was not easily visible in the darkness. The house, outbuildings, and secluded acreage allowed her the peace and solitude she desired. She had planned on restoring it after her grandparents passed away, but those plans, like so many others, had been necessarily placed on the back burner when she walked away from a decent, steady paycheck.

“Yes.” Infinitely glad she hadn’t yakked in his beautiful car, she placed her hand on the door handle and turned to thank him, but he was already outside and opening the door for her. He really was too fast. Or maybe she was just doing everything in slow motion.

“Thanks for the ride,” she said, accepting the hand he held out to her. “I’ll be fine from here.”

“Humor me,” he said, pinning her with a gaze that told her he knew she was completely full of shit. Of course, maybe the fact that his gentle but firm hold on her was the only thing keeping her from crumpling to the ground had given him a subtle clue. Go figure.

“Ah, you’re the chivalrous type then,” she said, leaning into him a bit as he slid one of those massive arms behind her and around her waist. “You think just because a woman nosedives off a stage and knocks herself senseless she needs a man’s help.” She stumbled across the gravel; Michael caught her before she hit the ground.

“Yes. Apparently it’s one of my more irritating qualities.”

He helped her up the couple of extra-wide steps to her large wraparound porch. She fumbled with her house key for a few minutes - she kept seeing two or three and couldn’t decide which one was the right one – before he took the keys from her hand and opened the door for her.

She paused at the threshold and tilted her face up to his, trying desperately to focus even as the rest of her began to sway backwards in response to the change in perception.

“I suppose you feel the need to see me safely inside?”

His mouth quirked at the corners even as his arm kept her from doing a Nestea-plunge back down the steps. “The thought did occur to me, yes.”