It's in His Kiss(2)

By: Jill Shalvis


Problem number two. She was going to have to ask someone for help, which wasn’t exactly her strong suit.

It wasn’t even a suit of hers at all. She hummed a little to herself as she looked around, a nervous tic for sure, but it soothed her. Unfortunately, the only person in sight was a kid on a bike, in homeboy shorts about ten sizes too big and a knit cap, coming straight at her on the narrow sidewalk.

“Watch it, lady!” he yelled.

A city girl through and through, Becca held her ground. “You watch it.”

The kid narrowly missed her and kept going.

“Hey, which building is Two-Oh-Three?”

“Dunno, ask Sam!” he called back over his shoulder. “He’ll know, he knows everything.”

Okay, perfect. She cupped her hands around her mouth so he’d hear her. “Where’s Sam?”

The kid didn’t answer, but he did point toward the building off to her right.

It was a warehouse like the others, industrial, old, the siding battered by the elements and the salty air. It was built like an A-frame barn, with both of the huge front and back sliding doors open. The sign posted did give her a moment’s pause.


WARNING: PRIVATE DOCK

TRESPASSERS WILL BE USED AS BAIT





She bit her lower lip and decided that, after driving all day for days on end, her need to find her place outweighed the threat. Hopefully . . .

The last of the sunlight slanted through the warehouse, highlighting everything in gold, including the guy using some sort of planer along the wood. The air itself was throbbing with the beat of the loud indie rock blaring from some unseen speakers.

From the outside, the warehouse hadn’t looked like much, but as she stepped into the vast doorway, she realized the inside was a wide-open space with floor-to-rafters windows nearly three stories high. It was lined with ladders and racks of stacked wood planks and tools. Centered in the space was a wood hull, looking like a piece of art.

As did the guy working on it. His shirt was damp and clinging to his every muscle as it bunched and flexed with his movements. It was all so beautiful and intriguing—the boat, the music, the man himself, right down to the corded veins on his forearms—that it was like being at the movies during the montage of scenes that always played to a sound track.

Then she realized she recognized the board shorts, or more accurately the really excellent butt, as she’d only moments before watched it walk away from her.

Sexy Surfer.

Though he couldn’t possibly have heard her over the hum of his power tool and the loud music, he turned to face her. And as she already knew, the view of him from the front was just as heart-stopping as it was from the back.

He didn’t move a single muscle other than one flick of his thumb, which turned off the planer. His other hand went into his pocket and extracted a remote. With another flick, the music stopped.

“You shouldn’t be in here,” he said. “It’s dangerous.”

And just like that, the pretty montage sound track playing in her head came to a screeching halt. “Okay, sorry. I’m just—”

Just nothing, apparently, because he turned back to his work, and with another flick of his thumb the planer came back to life. And then the music.

“—Looking for someone,” she finished. Not that he was listening.

On the wall right next to her, a telephone began ringing, and the bright red light attached to it began blinking in sync, clearly designed just in case the phone couldn’t be heard over the tools. She could hear it, but she doubted he could. One ring, then two. Three. The guy didn’t make a move toward it.

On the fourth ring, the call went to a machine, where a recorded male voice said, “Lucky Harbor Charters. We’re in high gear for the summer season. Coastal tours, deep-sea fishing, scuba, name your pleasure. Leave a message at the tone, or find us at the harbor, north side.”

A click indicated the caller disconnected, but the phone immediately rang again.

Sexy Surfer ignored all of this.

Becca had a hard time doing the same, and she glanced around for someone, anyone, but there was no one in sight. Used to having to be resourceful, she let her gaze follow the cord of the planer to an electric outlet in the floor. She walked over to it and pulled it out of the wall.