More, Please

More, Please by Kate Aster Read Free Book Online

Book: More, Please by Kate Aster Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kate Aster
designer.”
    “She’s talented. Does she live in
Newton’s Creek?”
    I suppress a laugh, trying to imagine
Maeve in a small Midwestern town like this one. “No, she’s in Annapolis, Maryland.”
    Her hand strokes the supple leather of
the couch and I notice she seems to be appreciating the woodwork I installed. There’s
dentil molding along the ceiling and built-in bookshelves around the fireplace.
I love books and I like to show them off.
    She walks toward them. “You must read a
lot.”
    “I try. I’ve only read half of these
though.”
    “You could get an e-reader and not have
to store all these,” she says, making me grimace. I like e-readers—don’t
get me wrong. When I was deployed, it was the only way I could read as much as
I liked since I couldn’t fill my rucksack with books. But given the choice, I
just prefer the weight of a good, heavy book in my hands.
    “I guess,” I reply. “But then what would
I put on my bookshelves?”
    She nods, her eyes wandering to the huge smear
of paint on my chest.
    I glance down apologetically. “Sorry. I
was painting next door,” I say.
    Her eyes are still on my chest, but she
seems to be staring at my pecs more than the paint. She bites her bottom lip
awkwardly. “So, Kosmo is in the car. Shall I bring him in?” she asks,
fluttering her lashes nervously as her eyes meet mine.
    “Of course. I was expecting you to.”
    “Yeah. I just have learned to always take
a quick peek at a house first. Sometimes applicants don’t tell me about other
dogs that might not get along with ours. Or once a house I visited had a
definite hoarder situation going on. And another time there was a guy who
greeted me at the door wearing nothing but a thong. I mean, who wants to expose
a nice dog to that?” she finishes, stifling a laugh, and I swear her eyes
glance down at my groin momentarily.
    This woman completely baffles me. I’m
getting the same vibe I did from her that night at dinner, the one that tells
me she’s attracted to me. But I’m still waiting for her head to start spinning
as she mutates into the woman who stared daggers at me the morning after.
    She heads toward the door, but stops
abruptly at a framed photograph of my team and me before my final mission with
the SEALs. It’s signed by all my SEAL brothers.
    “What’s this?” Her voice is faint and I
can barely hear it over the circular saw two doors down.
    “Just a photo of my team.”
    Taking two steps closer to it, she almost
looks pale suddenly, and I’m clueless why. I’m a little freaked out by the
expression on her face right now. She’s eyeing my picture in a way I can’t even
define.
    That photo means a lot to me and if she
does something weird like sending it crashing to the floor, I’ll be pretty
pissed off.
    “And that’s you. Second from the right,”
she notices.
    “Yeah.”
    She touches her fingers to her lips. “You
were a SEAL.”
    My eyebrows arch. I’m positive that I
told her that when we had dinner. “Yeah. We talked about that. Remember?”
    “But your application said you’re a
construction manager.”
    “Um, yeah. I separated from the military last
year. Got a little too banged up for it.” I’m vague like I always am. If pressed
for details, I tell people about my shoulder injury because it usually shuts
them up. It’s really no one’s business that I came back from my last couple missions
with moderate PTSD, as defined by the docs. I’m doing much better. And somehow
talking about having it now just doesn’t seem right to me since most the guys I
know who have it are a lot worse off than me.
    “Oh, no,” she says quietly, her lower lip
inexplicably quivering. “I really owe you an apology.”
    “Why?”
    “I assumed that you had been lying about
being a SEAL just to—um…”
    “Get laid,” I finish for her. I toss my
head back and laugh. “So is that why you suddenly disappeared that night?”
    “No. I didn’t think that till the morning
after when

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