Strolling toward her, he said, “Turn around.”
She presented him with her back.
“My goodness. No wonder you need help. There must be hundreds of these things.”
“I think Kim said fifty-three.”
“Well, it looks like more than that to me.”
The dress pulled gently against her cleavage and waist as he worked. With each movement of his fingers her breath shortened. If he didn’t finish soon she’d pass out. As the back opened, she had to hold the dress bodice in place so her breasts remained covered.
“Almost done.” Grant’s voice had taken on a husky timbre. His exhalations brushed against the skin of her bare back, sending tremors through her. “Finished.”
Neither of them moved. Grant’s body heat warmed her from behind. Seconds later the pad of a finger traced a line down the small of her back.
A gasp caught in her throat. Time stood still. Then coolness touched her skin.
Seconds later the front door of the cottage was opened then closed.
* * *
Grant sensed more than heard Sara join him on the porch. He was stretched out on one of the two matching loungers, trying to rein in his libido. Only with great control had he been able to leave her. He’d come close to slipping his hands along her creamy skin and under her dress until he could cup her breasts in his palms.
The temptation had been more than he could stand and he had touched her. Just an inch or two of that lovely skin but that had been enough to fire the desire he’d been banking since their kiss in his father’s den.
Now he was physically in a fix in two ways. One, he was stuck in a honeymoon cottage with nothing to do but pine for Sara. The other was his manhood, standing at throbbing attention with no release in sight. He’d meant it when he’d told her that he wouldn’t exert his husbandly rights unless that was what she wished. They had a marriage in name only. She’d given him no indication that she wanted more. As far as he could tell, nothing had changed except a few vows since she’d turned him down a week earlier.
He kept his eyes closed and his breathing even as Sara slipped onto the lounger next to his. “Why’re you watching me?”
She made a choking sound. “I wasn’t.”
“Yes, you were. I felt your eyes on me.”
The cushion on her lounger creaked as she shifted. “How do you feel someone’s eyes on you?”
“Now I know you were watching me, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking a question you already know the answer to.”
“I was trying to see if you were asleep. Obviously you weren’t.”
“I almost was.” That was a lie. How could he be when his body was hard as a rock for her? “Why don’t you take that nap we talked about then we can check in with Lily and take a walk around the pond.”
She didn’t say anything but every fiber of his being shouted that she was watching him closely. After a moment he opened one eye a crack. “What’re you smiling about?”
“You suggested checking in on Lily. I would have thought I’d be the first one to suggest that.”
“The kid is starting to grow on me,” he retorted light-heartedly.
“I’m proud of you, Grant.”
His eyes opened wide and he captured her gaze. Those simple words filled his chest to almost bursting. He’d rarely heard those words. What would it have been like to hear them from his father? Would he be proud of what his son was doing for Lily? He would like to think so.
Sara’s hand rested on the arm of her chair. Taking it, he kissed the back. “Thank you. I appreciate hearing that.”
She didn’t pull away. Instead, she settled more comfortably and closed her eyes. He watched her for a few minutes in wonderment. There was nothing flashy about her. She was nothing like the women he’d entertained himself with before. Sara was the type of woman he’d like in his life forever. Could he trust her with his heart? That was an idea he was better off not fostering.
Soon he drifted off to sleep with Sara’s fingers still firmly in his.
* * *
Sara woke to the squeaking sound of something swinging. She looked toward the pond. Grant was gently rocking on the swing, pushing himself with a bare foot. For once he seemed at peace. There was no hurrying out the door to a high-pressured job, brooding mood or anxiety over Lily. When he was off he should be able to enjoy downtime. Sara wanted that for him.
His shoes were sitting beside the steps. The grass was plush enough that she kicked off hers as well and joined him. As she approached he moved over in the seat only enough so that when she sat their thighs met. He ran an arm along the back of the swing. She sensed his fingers close by but he didn’t touch her. The man was making it hard for her to remain neutral around him.