Magnolia Dawn

Magnolia Dawn by Erica Spindler Read Free Book Online

Book: Magnolia Dawn by Erica Spindler Read Free Book Online
Authors: Erica Spindler
Annabelle Ames. When she was angry, she forgot to be cool. Or haughty. Or stiff. She came alive with heat, with passion.
    That woman stirred his blood and his senses. She made him think about making love, had him wondering how she would move beneath him, if she would cry out his name, if she would lead or be led.
    Even as he acknowledged the lunacy of his thoughts, his body responded to them. Rush muttered an oath. This was crazy. He wasn’t an untried boy; she was neither overtly sexual nor traditionally beautiful. He wasn’t interested in her. She wasn’t interested in him. Hell, they could barely tolerate each other’s company. And yet…
    Anna paused in her hammering to wipe the sweat from her brow; as she did, the damp clingy fabric of her shirt cupped and outlined one breast. Rush gazed at the swell of cloth over flesh, awareness balling in the pit of his stomach.
    He swallowed, picturing her as she’d been that morning on the gallery, remembering his arousal. Wondering again what it would be like between them.
    Rush shook his head and dragged his gaze away. He picked up his drill and flipped it on. He needed to be smart. He needed to earn her trust, needed her to open up to him so he could question her. To do that he had to keep his wits about him. He couldn’t be thinking about soft, warm skin or eyes the color of lapis.
    Rush frowned, forcing his thoughts back to his reason for coming to Ashland. He was no closer to knowing who he was than the day he’d arrived. He needed Anna to open up, needed her willing to answer questions. He looked at her once more, frustration welling in his chest. She rarely let down her guard, he’d never seen her relaxed. And not once had she talked about herself or her family. The questions he’d asked as she’d shown him through the nearly empty house had been met with icy reserve.
    And yet he’d caught her looking at him from the corner of her eye, had sensed a curiosity, an interest, that went beyond casual.
    Rush made a sound of self-derision and frustration. Right. That’s why she jumped if his hand or arm happened to brush against her. That’s why she kept an arm’s-length distance between them at all times.
    â€œDammit!” Anna dropped her hammer and grabbed her thumb.
    â€œYou okay?”
    She yanked off her work glove and brought her thumb to her mouth, her eyes watering. “Fine.”
    â€œLet me take a look.” He squatted down beside her, and drew her hand away from her mouth. Already her nail was turning blue. After removing his gloves, he ran his fingers gently over hers. “It looks bad.
Better put some ice on it.”
    She jerked her hand away, her cheeks bright with color. “I told you, it’s fine.”
    He sat back on his haunches. “I don’t believe I’ve ever met a more stubborn woman.”
    She glared at him. “Down here it’s considered bad manners to be so pushy.”
    He laughed. “I’ll take that under advisement.”
    â€œI’ll bet.” She stuck her thumb back in her mouth and lowered her gaze to the roof. “Dammit,” she said again, this time around her finger. “I broke the slate.”
    He clucked his tongue. “Don’t worry about it, Anna. It happens to the best of us. Even those who aren’t so clumsy.”
    â€œI’m not clumsy,” she snapped. “I just slipped and—”
    â€œSmashed your thumb and a piece of slate to smithereens.” He shook his head, biting back laughter. “You’re right. How could I call you clumsy?”
    â€œIf you hadn’t been staring at me…” She bit the words back, flushing.
    Rush smiled, pleased that she’d been aware of his scrutiny. And he liked the way she puffed up with annoyance, like an outraged bird. “Watching me, were you?”
    â€œCertainly not! Just aware…” She caught herself again and arched her eyebrows

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