It's in His Kiss(6)

By: Jill Shalvis


“Tanner’s ex-profession as a Navy SEAL.”

“Shit,” Sam said again, lowering the cannon. He was pissed, not stupid.

“Good choice.”

“Line one’s for you,” Sam said.

Becca wasn’t much for regrets so she decided not to stress over the fact that she’d rented a third of a dilapidated warehouse sight unseen. Thanks to Sexy Grumpy Surfer’s warning—I take it you haven’t seen it yet—she’d been braced.

But not braced enough.

The building was similar to Sam’s in that they were both converted warehouses, and had the same floor-to-rafter windows. But that’s where the similarities ended. Her warehouse hadn’t been nearly so well taken care of. According to the landlord—an old guy named Lyons—the place had once been a cannery. Then an arcade. Then a saltwater taffy manufacturer with a gift shop. And finally a boardinghouse, which had last been used for a bunch of carnies in town for a long-ago summer, and they hadn’t been kind.

At the moment the entire warehouse was a wide-open space divided into three units by questionably thin walls. Each apartment had a rudimentary galley kitchen and bathroom and was filled with a variety of leftover dust and crap from the previous renters—hence the furnished (sort of) part of the ad. In addition to beds and tables, this included some odd-looking carnival equipment and a saltwater taffy pull.

Or possibly a torture device . . .

Becca and Mr. Lyons walked through each of the apartments. The first unit was cheapest since it was the smallest, and also the coldest, as it got the least sun exposure.

Since cheap was right up her alley, and she didn’t have to worry about cold for another six months, she’d handed over her check.

“If you need anything,” Mr. Lyons said, “yell for the guys across the alley. Tanner’s almost always on the dock or their boat, but he’s a real tough nut to crack. Cole’s good for fixing just about anything. But Sam knows all there’s to know about these old warehouses. He’s your man if you need anything.”

Sam again. But she decided she’d need his help never. “Got it, thanks.”

“He’s not exactly shy, so don’t you be,” Lyons said. “Just don’t try to date any of them. They’re pretty much ex-hell-raisers these days, but still heartbreakers, each and every one of them.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Becca said, knowing she could and had handled just about anything a woman could face. She absolutely wouldn’t be needing help.

Not an hour later, she was in the bathroom washing her hands when she found a huge, black, hairy spider in her sink staring at her with eight beady eyes. She went screaming into the alley, jumping up and down, shaking out her hair, and jerking her limbs like a complete moron.

“You lost again?”

She let out another scream and whirled around to face—oh, perfect—Sexy Grumpy Surfer. He was in faded jeans, a white T-shirt, and mirrored glasses, looking movie-star cool and sexy hot.

He arched a single brow.

“There’s a spider in my bathroom sink,” she said, still gasping for breath.

“That explains the dance moves.”

Ignoring this and him, she checked herself over again, still not convinced she was spider-free.

“Need help?” he asked.

“No.”

He shrugged and turned to walk away.

“Okay, yes,” she admitted. Damn it. “I need help.” She pointed to the offending building. “First apartment, door’s wide open. The evil culprit is in the bathroom sink.”

With a salute, he vanished inside her building.

She did not follow. She couldn’t follow; her feet had turned into two concrete blocks. And if he came out without having caught the spider, she was going to have to move out. Immediately.

Two minutes later, Sexy Grumpy Surfer reappeared, the smirk still in place. She wasn’t going to ask. She refused to ask. But her brain didn’t get the message to her mouth. “You get it?” she demanded, and was rattled enough not to care that her voice shook a little bit.

“Got it,” he said.

“Sure?”

He gave her a head tilt. “Do you want me to swear on a stack of Bibles, or my mother’s grave?”