Since this seems to be a week for kisses, I thought it would fit right in to announce the release of my October Christmas novella A BABY BLUE CHRISTMAS with a kiss teaser for you. Look for it in stores near you!
Gabby furrowed her brow with a quizzical frown. “Will I still be here next week?”
Confident and capable were attributes he’d hang on her, but he’d caught her at a completely vulnerable moment. She needed to feel safe. He’d brought her here. He was responsible for setting her mind at ease. “Let’s say you’ll be here and make a plan.”
She raised her eyebrows in concern. “They don’t know what I am or who Willow is, do they, Turner?”
What she was? She was a caring unselfish person trying to do the best she knew how for two helpless children. “You’re a widow who was passin’ through and needed a place to stay.”
She searched his face as though hoping to find assurance. “And the truth is our secret?”
She made it sound clandestine, intimate…and he reacted to her words and trusting expression in a physical way that caught him off guard and delivered a sucker punch to his lungs.
Her gaze fell to his mouth.
Turner had to concentrate just to breathe again. When he did, her clean soap-and-talc scent washed over him.
“Our secret,” he agreed and the word made his body tingle. She’d raised her chin, and her lips were so near that he could…had he leaned over that far without intending to?
Turner lowered his mouth the last few inches and rested his lips against hers. Her surprised sigh fluttered against his mouth, sending sensory signals to his brain. He added slightly more pressure and tasted the sweetness of her sugary tea and the essence that was uniquely hers. For an endless moment there were no other distractions, no past, no future, and he was free to experience the softness of her lips and the pleasure of unhindered discovery.
The gentle touch of her fingertips against his cheek startled him. Embarrassed him. Brought reality into acute focus. He opened his eyes and drew away.
Her eyelids fluttered open. “Oh,” she said on a sigh and touched her fingers to her lips.
He hadn’t done anything that reckless for a long time. Maybe not ever. He’d guarded his heart so carefully. Turner backed away. “You won’t be of any use to those babies if you don’t take care of yourself. Go get some sleep.”
She watched him retreat, uncertainty in her eyes now. She nodded, set her cup aside and stood. “Yes.”
Without another word, she hurried from the room, the swish of her skirts loud in the silence.
He kept his gaze on the chair where she’d been.
No arguing, he had tender feelings for the woman. For her plight and that of the babies. He’d felt protective toward her from the first. Gabrielle and her tiny wards were ripping open wounds that had never properly healed. Being back in this house, being near her, smelling her, holding those babies…his defenses had been relentlessly bombarded. Now what was he to do?
The thought of anything happening to any of them was unbearable. Her obvious unhappiness and fearful uncertainty tore at his conscience.
Turner picked up her cup and looked at the dark liquid in the bottom. He had the power to do something about her situation. He’d been powerless over the things that had happened in his past, but he could do something about this.
Fierce determination rose inside of him.
He would do something about this.