Built To Last (Saltwater Springs #1)

Built To Last (Saltwater Springs #1) by Elisabeth Grace Read Free Book Online

Book: Built To Last (Saltwater Springs #1) by Elisabeth Grace Read Free Book Online
Authors: Elisabeth Grace
    “Okay then, how do I look?” she said in a joking manner, pushing her chin up into the air and batting her eyelashes several times.
    “Perfect,” he said quietly. He paused for a moment before adding, “Like always.” Luke held her gaze.
    The smile fell from Scarlett’s face and he immediately regretted his comment. He didn’t seem able to help himself when she was around. This was going to be the longest damn project ever if he couldn’t get himself in check around her.
    Time to get things back on track. “Pick the saw up by the handle with one hand.”
    She did as he asked, seemingly happy to go along with the ruse that he hadn’t just been completely inappropriate with her. She winced when she lifted the tool’s full weight. “Oh my God, this thing is heavy.”
    “For a young thing like you? Give me a break.”
    “Says the big, muscular guy,” she retorted.
    “Seems someone needs to work on her fitness.” He winked at her before taking a step closer.
    After he’d gone through all the safety elements of the saw, Scarlett still looked petrified to touch the thing. He passed it back over to her anyway. She reluctantly took it from him and held it out from her body. He chuckled to himself because her stiff posture reminded him of the first time he’d held his niece. Gabbie had been so tiny, and he’d held her about as far away from his body as humanly possible. Oh, how times have changed. Now he coveted the times she would sit still long enough to cuddle with him.
    Luke placed the piece of wood across the sawhorses. “First thing you need to do is bend over and look down the right-hand side of the blade. See the notch on the left side?” Scarlett looked to the front of the saw until she found what he was referring to and then nodded. “Line up my pencil mark with that notch.”
    She did what he asked, taking only a moment to get the saw in place. “Okay, I think I have it.”
    “Place your left hand on the piece of wood away from where you’re cutting, but close enough that it’s comfortable.” She did as he instructed. “Good, just like that. Now you’re ready to cut.”
    Luke moved to stand beside her. Scarlett was nervously biting her lip. “I don’t know if I can do this.” She glanced up to him, her eyes almost pleading with him not to force her.
    He couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to the spitfire of a woman she’d been blossoming into before she left town. Not only had she lost some of her Southern accent during her time away, but apparently she’d also lost some of her “hear me roar” attitude. What had shaken her confidence so much that she questioned her abilities? His stomach twisted at all the different scenarios running through his mind that could have made that possible.
    “I’ll help you with the first cut.” Luke positioned himself behind Scarlett and leaned over her bent frame, placing his hand over hers. Her soft hand twitched underneath his for a second and then settled. “All right, the key is to keep an eye on the saw base as you cut and to push with enough force that the saw keeps moving through the wood, but not so fast that the saw seems to slow down. Sound good?”
    She nodded, the movement of her body shifting her hips ever so slightly—enough that he became painfully aware of his crotch’s proximity to the juncture of her thighs. He shifted his weight, trying to get comfortable in pants that were becoming more uncomfortable by the second. Scarlett’s whole body tensed underneath him.
    With a deep breath, Luke decided the best course of action was to ignore her response to being so physically close to him, even though her rigidity further twisted the knife she’d dug into him a decade earlier, leaving him wanting to question why he was never good enough.
    Scarlett cleared her throat. “Let’s get this over with.” Her words dug the knife in deeper. “Once I have the first one under my belt, I’m sure it will get easier.”

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