An unusual ache in his shoulder and the scent of flowers woke him in the early morning hours. He felt her presence even before he opened his eyes. Sometime, somehow, in the middle of the night they had rolled together with only the wheelbase separating them from the waist down. She rested her head on his shoulder as though she belonged there. He inhaled the scent of her hair, an intoxicating mix of floral smells. His hands twitched with desire. Dear Lord, save me from myself.
He could move, should move, but he didn’t want to wake her, didn’t want to shift her at all. Fact was, he liked her there. The nearness of her filled him with a longing he hadn’t experienced before. He lay there for nearly an hour listening to her breathe, trying to make out the features of her face in the dim, early morning light.
A strong breeze sent a shiver through her and had her reaching for a cover. She searched with her right hand, still sleeping, still unaware where she was. She unknowingly ran her hand over his shirt, down his chest. He sucked in his breath, tensing every muscle in his body.
He felt her stiffen, and then watched her eyes open slowly. He tried not to chuckle at her shocked expression, which immediately turned to anger. “What are you doing?” she hissed, her indignant tone unmistakable even at hushed levels.
“I would think that was obvious, Madam. I have been waiting for you to awaken so I may have the use of my shoulder back.”
He was certain she was blushing. She opened her mouth then hesitated. He couldn’t help but smile. “I . . . well . . . I must have rolled over in my sleep.”
“’Twould appear so. Were you comfortable?” he asked with laughter in his voice. He knew he was baiting her, but he was enjoying himself far too much to stop.
He watched her ponder his question. A furrow appeared in her brow, a spark flashed in her eyes. “You are a little lumpy.”
“Lumpy?” He stammered. “I have never been called lumpy in my life.”
He could have sworn she grinned before laying her head back down on his shoulder. When she ran her fingers over his white linen shirt, across his chest and down his stomach he had all he could to do to remain still. Every fiber in his being was screaming. The woman could not know what she was doing to him. Then she frowned, yes, frowned at him before replying: “Yup, definitely lumpy.”
She withdrew her hand and attempted to roll away. He captured her wrist and grinned at her sharp intake of breath. He wanted to kiss her soundly. Neither moved. He couldn’t tell whether his heart had stopped or was racing so fast he couldn’t distinguish a beat. He turned slightly onto his right side, drawing her closer, taking in the beauty of her face as the first rays of sunlight danced over her skin. Her eyes widened.
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