How to Love(2)

By: Kelly Jamieson


“That’s okay. I have to get to work.”

“Actually, me too. What is it you do?”

“We—Carlos and I—own an adventure tour company. Intrepid Adventures.”

“Cool. Here in San Amaro?”

“Just outside town. We take people on bike tours, kayaking, climbing, hiking…all kinds of things.”

She nodded, impressed. No wonder he had such a great body. Her gaze tracked down again over the wide chest and the flat abs. She licked her lips. Yes, there was professional interest in her study of him, but there was also…sex. Attraction.

Their eyes met again and the air around them heated. Wow. This time it was his gaze tracking over her, and her nipples tingled inside her bra at his perusal. She was used to men looking at her, hell, she liked men looking at her, but for some reason Mike’s appraisal of her made her really, really hot. There was something about him…the physicality of him, the boyish grin with sexy dimples, the intelligence in those steady eyes. It all made him crazy appealing.

“And you’re a photographer?”

“Yup.” She stepped back into her small foyer and retrieved a business card from the table. She handed it to him. “This is my gallery on Deep Sea Drive. I have a small studio there where I do portraits. I do some framing too, and sell some of my photographs. You should come see my work. It’s very tasteful.”

He took the card. “Ah. Okay. Maybe I will. Sometime.”

“My hours are on the card. Today’s Friday so I’m open until nine tonight, but I’ll only be there until about six. Tomorrow from ten to five.”

“Okay.”

“Well. I’ll see you around,” she said. “Thanks again for bringing this over.”

“You’re welcome. See you.” With a casual wave he turned and lightly ran down her front steps. She watched him walk down her short front sidewalk, his shoulders broad under the black T-shirt, his ass tight beneath the shorts, his calves tanned and muscled.

Mrs. Kedding had been a nice neighbor, but whoa, having this guy next door was going to be even better. Jules glanced at her watch. Nearly ten o’clock. She’d better get her butt in gear and open the gallery. Weekends in the summer were busy in San Amaro, with hordes of tourists arriving in town for the weekend to enjoy the pretty beaches for sunning and surfing, the high-end shops along Deep Sea Drive, the extensive selection of restaurants from fine dining to brew pubs to the best pizza in Southern California.

And apparently adventure tours.

Hiking, biking, rock climbing…not her kind of thing. She definitely enjoyed being adventurous in certain settings, but more so in the bedroom than the great outdoors. Although sex in the great outdoors could be good too. She grinned as she grabbed her purse and car keys to head to the gallery.

She parked in the space behind her building, let herself in the back door and walked straight through the framing room and gallery and out the front door onto Deep Sea Drive.

She paused briefly on the red brick sidewalk and inhaled the cool morning air. The salty tang of the Pacific Ocean, the damp scent of Mr. Gunn hosing off the sidewalk in front of the physical therapy clinic, the freshness of the flowers spilling out of planters lining the curb and baskets hanging from the pretty vintage-style lamp posts filled the air.

Across Deep Sea Drive, a broad, smoothly paved boulevard, people walked, jogged and biked in the soft morning sun along the path that followed the curve of the ocean shore. Beyond the path, a wide beach of pale-gold sand stretched down to the water’s edge, and beyond that, the Pacific Ocean extended all the way to the horizon, blue water meeting blue sky in a hazy blur. The sun glinted off waves and whitecaps, and the bright sails of a few sailboats travelled briskly across the water.

Jules loved San Amaro.

She started down the sidewalk, an expansive feeling of satisfaction and happiness growing inside her. She’d only moved there two years ago, because she’d wanted a place to start over. She’d visited the small beach city a few times and loved the relaxed atmosphere and the pleasing aesthetics of the city, important to her artist’s eye. Sure, there were some not-so-nice areas, the northeast corner of the city home to an industrial area with some small manufacturing businesses and warehouses, and the homes near that area not as well-to-do. But most of the city had been planned with careful attention to detail that put beauty everywhere a person looked.