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He stood quietly, a few feet from the shore ... watching. His right hand was wedged into the front pocket of his snug faded cutoffs while the long fingers of his left hand slowly pushed his aviator sunglasses to a perch atop his thick dark brown hair. A wolfish grin creased his handsome features. His amber eyes narrowed, then widened with appreciation as golden sparks lit their depths. Obviously, he liked the view and was enjoying his voyeurism immensely.
The object of his fascinated study was the shapely posterior of a young woman who stood knee-deep in water a dozen feet from the shoreline of the lake. She was bent over at the waist, her skimpy cutoffs riding high over her bottom as she methodically chopped away at water reeds with a dangerous-looking machete. To the steady rhythm of her work, her knees alternated to the beat of a Willie Nelson song. The rowdy melody issued from a little black radio buckled to the back of her minuscule shorts. Her body movements provoked outrageous responses from the man's libido. He could feel the twitching of her limbs wash over his flesh in sensual patterns of delight. Then she joined Willie in a lusty duet, plopping each severed bunch of reeds to the beat of the song into a canoe floating nearby. The man actually growled softly. His grin changed to a predatory smile as one of his eyebrows rose in approval.
He sucked in his breath and felt the heat rise in his shorts when he caught a glimpse of her thin white shirt tied tautly around her middle. No bra! He'd bet all last year's salary that she wasn't wearing panties either. All this and the next three months off! In a daze hebegan to compose an adult version of "What I Did on My Summer Vacation." Yet he didn't move a muscle. He just stood mesmerized, absorbing her performance.
She sang the chorus, punctuating each beat with a chop of her mean-looking blade and a shake of her well-rounded bottom. Her uninhibited rendition finally drove him to action. Wrapping his sweaty fist around all the change in his pocket, he took careful aim and heaved the coins in a concentrated shower around her undulating form. She stopped singing and whirled around in one motion. She turned so quickly that her firm, unfettered breasts swayed and shuddered; her gold streaked topknot lost its fastener and long silky strands of hair tumbled around her face and shoulders. Her pink mouth was open in surprise, and he had the sudden urge to suck on her full lower lip. Her eyes grew large, but not with fear. Silently, she reached to the back of her shorts to turn off the radio; her breasts strained against the thin fabric of her shirt. The man stood transfixed, continuing to smile as he ground his teeth for control. Oh, man! he thought feverishly. Blue eyes fringed in black bedroom lashes, and a wet white shirt. He couldn't help himself as his smoldering gaze devoured her figure. Something almost snapped inside him when he realized that the heat of his visual exploration was causing her shadowed nipples to harden and become blatantly aroused, seemingly beyond her conscious awareness. Without a word, he knew--and more important, he knew she knew--there was a physical attraction between them. Sexual chemistry was working its magic!
"I'd offer you all the funds in my bank account, but once the check hit the water, it'd be worthless," he said softly. He hesitated for a moment, speaking with his golden gaze, telling her she was priceless in his estimation. "You see, I left my indelible pen at the office," he added, lifting his hands and shoulders in an expression of remorse.
Wordlessly, she accepted his explanation. But she was forced to duck her head to hide the grin of appreciation tugging at the corners of her mouth and dancing in her wide blue eyes.
Casually, she unknotted the shirt and used the tail to wipe the blade of her machete. She gave an inordinate amount of attention to the simple task, not realizing she was supplying the man's overworked libido with yet more provocation as the wet fabric pulled away and then resettled on her full breasts.It had been several months since the last trespasser had stumbled upon her land. And certainly none had been as handsome and inventive as this man. His coin-throwing attention-getter would have been insulting had he not vindicated himself with the verbal compliment. She had felt something when their eyes met, a power and a heated response she hadn't experienced in years. Chemistry! It was clear she'd been alone too long, she warned herself.
Although she kept her eyes focused on the blade of the knife, her mind supplied a vivid image of the interloper: Not quite six feet tall, lean and muscled, thick dark hair trimmed neatly, broad shoulders, and a pleasant smile. But it was his amber gaze that had reached into her soul. His eyes held pain and suffering as well as humor. He was too young to have eyes like that. She wondered what in the world could cause that much pain in one so young. He couldn't be more than twenty-five or -six.Finally she raised her eyes to meet his again. Her voice held only quiet authority when she spoke. "Do you know you're on private property?"
His gaze skimmed to the left and then to the right over his shoulder to the log cabin on the point of land beyond. Was he in the wrong place? Had he taken the wrong turnoff? Oh, God, no! he thought. This was the most right place in the world. "Who owns it?" he countered.
"All of it?"
"I own this whole point up to the rail fence. That belongs to the Westons," she replied, not sure why she bothered to name names.
"Whew! That's a relief." He whistled. "I've been given permission to use the Weston place for the summer. For a minute there, I wasn't quite sure I'd followed the directions correctly."
Suddenly, her face was wreathed in a smile of recognition. "Why, you must be Dr. Jon McCallem. Welcome to Minnesota. Mrs. Weston wrote to tell me you were coming. I'm sorry they won't be able to be here this year. Is Mr. Weston recuperating well from his stroke?"
"Very nicely. His paralysis is almost gone and his speech is improving with daily therapy." His response was automatic because he had become fascinated with the glow of her smile. He was not a trespasser; therefore, he was welcomed. An almost miraculous change had come over her features, and he liked what he saw--quality! She was a very attractive woman, about his age, he guessed. Clearing his throat, he brought the conversation back to their meeting. "I-ah, seem to be at a disadvantage here. The Westons didn't mention anything about a sprightly neighbor."