Cognac & Couture (The Passport Series Book 2)

Cognac & Couture (The Passport Series Book 2) by Celia Kennedy Read Free Book Online

Book: Cognac & Couture (The Passport Series Book 2) by Celia Kennedy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Celia Kennedy
embarrassment, I struggled to my feet. I needed
reprieve. And to get dressed.
    He spoke to my retreating back. “I
could go and get something to eat and bring it back.”
    Though my stomach revolted, I knew
food would help. I thanked him. “That would be nice. Anything would be fine.”
    ***
    When he
returned with a bag and two coffees, I was dressed and feeling a little better.
“Where did you get these?” He pulled a delectable assortment of pastries out of
the bag. All the boulangerie’s I knew were closed on Sunday.
    “I bought them yesterday, from Du
Pain et Des Idées, a boulangerie not too far from here. Have you been?” I shook
my head while eyeing a raspberry-filled mouna.
    With coffee and pastries in hand,
we dragged chairs in front of the living room windows. At first, I felt
awkward, but he seemed relaxed, so I perched my feet on the windowsill, letting
the late summer sun wrap me up in its warm rays. He scooted his chair closer to
mine, so we shared a puddle of sunlight but didn’t say a word. We just sat
eating in companionable silence.
    Feeling revived, I looked around
my apartment. “As you can see, there’s a lot to be done. Are you sure you want
to help?”
    He surveyed the scaffolding
erected between the kitchen and living room, paint cans of varying color
stacked neatly next to it, the partially removed wallpaper in the hall that led
to the bedrooms, and the piles of drop cloths and tools.
    Instead of answering, he asked,
“This is what you do for fun? One too many men stepped on your feet while
dancing?”
    “Something like that.” I smiled at
the image. “Would you like a tour? Frankly, most rooms are a mess.”
    “I would, and you can tell me your
plans.”
    “Well, that’s part of the problem.
My creative well has dried up. I want to try something new. What, though? I
have no idea.”
    He followed me as I led the way to
my bedroom, the furthest point from the front door and the most reasonable
place to start. It was unconsciously done, and the moment we stood inside the
intimate domain that smelled of sleep, I wondered what he might be thinking.
    The room was the palest lavender.
I hesitatingly explained, “The color reminds me of unopened flower buds in the
lavender fields outside Aix-en-Provence.”
    I watched him take in the space. To
me, it was an utterly feminine room—my rumpled bedding, my delicately
embroidered white nightgown and blue bathrobe hanging on a silver hook behind
the door. He looked so masculine standing inside it.
    He cleared his throat and walked
to the silver-framed photographs scattered across the top of my chest of
drawers. He squatted down and ran his hand over the surface. “Shells?”
    “Yes! I bought it in a shop just a
few streets over. I loved the texture.”
    Rising, he picked up a framed
photograph of me and my mother, taken the day I graduated from Oxford. “You
look just like her, except your mouth. Your father’s?”
    “I suppose.”
    I walked out of the room, hoping
he’d follow, and pushed open the door to the second bedroom. My closet. My
pride and joy. A room carefully organized with racks of clothes, shoes, and
accessories.
    He was stunned at first and then
declared, “Every woman’s dream.”
    As he peeked in the room, I
thought, He certainly is .
    When his eyes landed on my
lingering stare, I felt my cheeks flush as I quickly averted my focus. That’s
twice he’s caught me staring. You’re not twelve, Kathleen. “I think I can
move furniture around, if you’re still willing.”
    “Absolutely. Where else could I
possibly wish to be?”
    There was an intensity in his eyes
that caused me to blush a third time. I wouldn’t say that I prided myself on
being aloof, but that is more my normal state of being, so having my feathers
ruffled three times in such a short time was an odd experience for me. He was
definitely affecting my libido, which again was not something normal for me. I
wanted to walk up to him and wrap myself around

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