It's in His Kiss(3)

By: Jill Shalvis


The planer stopped.

So did her heart when Sexy Surfer turned his head her way. Yep, Sexy Surfer was an apt description for him. Maybe Drop-Dead Sexy. Either way, he took in the fact that she was still there and that she was holding the cord to his planer and a single brow arched. Whether it was displeasure or disbelief was hard to tell. Probably, with that bad ’tude, not many messed with him. But she was exhausted, hungry, out of her element, and a little bit pissed off. Which made her just enough of a loose cannon to forget to be afraid.

“I’m trying to find Sam,” she said, moving closer to him so he could hear her over his music. “Do you know him?”

“Who’s asking?”

Having come from a family of entertainers, most of them innate charmers to boot, Becca knew how to make the most of what she’d been given, so she smiled. “I’m Becca Thorpe, and I’m trying to find Two-Oh-Three Harbor Street. My GPS says I’m on Harbor Street, but the buildings don’t have numbers on them.”

“You’re looking for the building directly to the north.”

She nodded, and then shook her head with a laugh. She could get lost trying to find her way out of a paper bag. “And north would be which way exactly?”

He let the planer slowly slide to the floor by its cord before letting go and heading toward her.

He was six-foot-plus of lean, hard muscle, with a lot of sawdust clinging to him, as rugged and tough as the boat he was working on—though only the man was exuding testosterone, a bunch of it.

Becca didn’t have a lot of great experience with an overabundance of testosterone, so she found herself automatically taking a few steps back from him, until she stood in the doorway.

He slowed but didn’t stop, not until he was crowded in that doorway right along with her, taking up an awful lot of space.

Actually, all of the space.

And though she was braced to feel threatened, the opposite happened. She felt . . . suddenly warm, and her heart began to pound. And not in a terrified way, either.

He took in her reaction, held her gaze for a moment, then pointed to the right. “The front of the building you’re looking for is around the corner,” he said, his voice a little softer now, like maybe he knew she was torn between an unwelcome fear and an equally unwelcome heat.

She really hoped the heat was mutual, because it would be embarrassing to be caught in Lustville by herself. “Around the corner,” she repeated. Did he know he smelled good, like fresh wood and something citrusy, and also heated male? She wondered if she smelled good, too, or if all she was giving off was the scent of confused female and ranch-flavored popcorn.

“What do you need with that place?” he asked.

“I’m the new tenant there. Or one of them anyway.”

His expression was unfathomable. “I take it you haven’t seen it yet.”

“Not in person,” she said. “Why? Is it that bad?”

“Depends on how long you’re staying,” he said. “More than five minutes?”

Oh, boy. “I don’t actually know,” she said. “It’s a month-to-month rental. Lucky Harbor is sort of a pit stop for me at the moment.”

His gaze searched hers. Then he nodded and moved back to his work. He plugged the planer in and flicked it on again.

Guess their conversation was over. She was on her own. And if that thought caused a little pang of loneliness inside her still-hurting heart, she shoved it deep and ignored it, because now wasn’t the time to give in to the magnitude of what she’d done. Leaving the warehouse, she turned right.

To her new place.

To a new beginning.





Chapter 2




Sam Brody lifted his head from the boat he was building and let his gaze drift to the north-facing window. The sky was a kaleidoscope of colors as the sun vanished, but he could still see the quiet, industrial street, and the backside of Tough Girl as she walked off.

And walking off was just as he wanted her, too. He turned his concentration back to the hull. He was good at concentrating. If his childhood hadn’t drilled it into him, then working on an oil rig for seven years—where paying attention meant the difference between life and death—had certainly done so.