A Coral Kiss

A Coral Kiss by Jayne Ann Krentz Read Free Book Online

Book: A Coral Kiss by Jayne Ann Krentz Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jayne Ann Krentz
Tags: Contemporary Romance
bottom."
    Amy surrendered. "All right, all right, I give up. It's none of my business whether you see the doctor.
    And don't feel obliged to force yourself to eat the oatmeal. You can pick up a bag of doughnuts on the way back to your place."
    Jed looked startled. "Kicking me out just because I resist a little of your advice, Nurse Amy?"
    She smiled wryly. "Let's face it. Neither one of us is used to having a live-in mate. In a few more hours we'll probably be peeling long, painful strips off each other. Best to part while we're still on speaking terms." She hesitated, and then added impulsively, "You can come over for dinner this evening if you like."
    "You've got a deal."
    She saw the flickering trace of heat in his eyes and knew that this time it wasn't caused by fever. Some of the familiar, high-strung excitement she had learned to expect around Jed when he looked at her like that erupted in her bloodstream. The man did things to her senses she still couldn't quite understand.
    The problem was that they hadn't spent enough time together, Amy rationalized. Jed's frequent, extended trips had chopped up the relationship so much that each time he returned she felt as if they were meeting for the first time again. The primitive, very feminine uncertainty and wariness always returned in full force each time she saw him after one of his business journeys. But so did the compelling, indescribable attraction. Telling herself that this wasn't really the kind of man to whom she should feel physically attracted didn't help.
    Amy drove Jed back to his small, weathered house after breakfast. She watched a bit anxiously as he fumbled with the keys, flight bag and cane. Leaning against the car and having every intention of keeping her mouth shut, she heard herself ask, "Do you think you should spend tonight alone?"
    He glanced at her quickly and then focused on the front door. "I wasn't going to spend it alone. I'm having dinner at your place, remember?" He hauled himself up the steps and shoved the key into the lock.
    "I meant after dinner," Amy said stolidly. "I'm worried your fever might return."
    "I can't throw you out of your bed two nights in a row, Amy." He pushed open the door and limped into the plainly furnished front room. "Come on in and I'll make you a cup of coffee. It's the least I can do after all the hospitality you've shown me."
    Amy trailed after him, glancing around the familiar interior. Jed's house was the same ancient vintage as her own and the furniture had a similar seaside Salvation Army look. But Jed's home looked unlived in to Amy. There were no pictures on the walls, no plants, no cat.
    The only intriguing elements were the two bird cages that stood empty on one shelf. One was a fanciful Victorian design with looping gingerbread trim and a flight of wire steps. The other was another Baroque piece, this one, according to Jed, in the French style. Both cages were charming, but a little lifeless without either birds or plants to fill them. They looked as barren as bis house.
    By the time Amy had finished her coffee she sensed things between herself and Jed had returned to their familiar, careful equilibrium. She knew that she, for one, would chew a hole in her tongue before she nagged him about seeing Dr. Mullaney again. To be accused of nagging when she had always taken such pains to keep her distance annoyed her.
    On the way home Amy stopped at the small grocery store in Caliph's Bay, where she lucked out and found a supply of fresh clams and shrimp. Adding a sack of rice and some chorizo sausage to the rickety cart she was pushing, she mentally ticked off the items she needed to complete the paella. She still had a packet of saffron left from the last time she had prepares the dish for Jed. He had a weakness for it, she'd learned.
    On the way out to the car she eyed the health food store across the street and wondered if she could get her money back on the tryptophane. Probably not. Besides, in all honesty,

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