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I pulled my Lexus into the grocery store parking lot and found a spot. The only available space was at the back. Figured. Not that it mattered. I needed the extra exercise. Being a writer, sitting for hours a day, usually meant a little extra to love, especially in the rear. I turned off the engine and checked my hair and makeup one last time, then left the car.
Ever since the phone call with Blake, he'd been in my head. Invading my dreams. Slipping in under the cracks when I least expected it. Two days after that call and I could still feel his deep voice in my ear. It was crazy after all these years, carrying a torch for a guy who threw me away without so much as batting an eye. Dumb. I'd already given myself a stern lecture--several of them. It wasn't doing any good.
As the doors slid open, a draft of cold air hit me, cooling my overheated skin in an instant. The dog days of August were in full swing. The overbearing heat made me glad I'd worn shorts and a tank. I grabbed a cart and forced my mind on my mental list of foodstuffs. It was Thursday and tomorrow Heather was flying in for a visit. Since she lived in Florida, most of our visiting was done through email and phone calls. As wild as Heather was, her trip to Lancaster was bound to wake up the sleepy little town. Hard telling what she'd get into. Already I was getting jazzed. It was a rare treat for me to play hostess, and I was aching to cook up something fun in the kitchen.
As I imagined the dishes I planned to prepare, I wasn't watching where I was walking and smacked my cart into a wall. When I looked up, my mouth fell open. Not a wall.
I tried to swallow, tried to speak, but there seemedto be a rather large rock wedged into my throat. Finally I managed a squeaky, "Blake?"
We both just stood there, staring. It seemed neither of us knew what to say. My heart sped to a wild gallop. Every feeling I ever had for him came back like a monsoon. A floodgate tore open and the emotions poured through. And, oh wow, he'd definitely aged well. Blake was gorgeous as a teenager, but as an adult, he was delicious.
My body liquefied as I took in his long, muscled legs and massive shoulders. His six-foot-plus frame filled out the charcoal-gray suit like nobody's business, too. I noticed his hair hadn't changed much. It was still the same dark shade of espresso and tossed about as if he'd just stepped off a motorcycle. Knowing Blake, he probably had. Damn it. Pornographic thoughts slid around in my brain. I felt like a total perv.
A wave of self-consciousness came over me as I imagined what he'd think of the way I'd aged. Would he like what he saw? I watched him blink his sexy blue eyes several times, then look me over. Slowly. When his gaze rested once more on my face, I spoke.
His voice sounded hoarse, like a man turned on. I crushed that thought and stepped forward, took him into my arms. "It's good to see you again."
Blake's arms came around my waist as he hugged me tight. Really tight. Almost as if he didn't want to let go. I didn't want to think of that right now, so I pulled away.
"Parents got you grocery shopping already?"
He rolled his eyes. "Mom's been cooking up a storm. I'm going to get fat if I don't find an apartment soon."
"You have a ways to go before you have to worry about that." He looked so damn edible I wanted to scoop him up and purchase him for dinner tomorrow night!
He laughed. "Thanks, but between the errands and the dinners, I'm starting to feel like I'm back in high school again. I'm waiting for Mom to give me a curfew."
The mention of high school was what did it. I didn't want to think about the last time we'd been together. "Well, good seeing you again. I better get moving." I grabbed the handle on the cart and started to move around him. He placed his hand on my forearm. My gaze darted to his.
"You sure you don't want to have dinner with me?"
God, this was too cruel. Seeing him. Wanting him. Walking away from him. No woman was that strong. But I surprised myself when I said, "I'm sure. Take care of yourself, Blake."
Then, before I could rethink my decision, I moved off, leaving him standing there. My legs felt like rubber. My stomach ached. Being the one to walk away wasn't as satisfying as I'd thought. In fact, it sucked.
As I ticked off the last item on my list, I went to the checkout. I needed to escape. When I reached my car, Blake called my name. I popped the trunk and turned around to see him sprinting toward me, two bags in each hand.
Without preamble, he said, "I couldn't let you leave without this..." He leaned down as if to kiss me, and I gave him my cheek. He stopped an inch from my skin. I could feel his hot breath, and desire rushed through my body. He smelled the same. His scent threw me back in time. I shuddered. He chuckled, kissed me briefly and straightened. "You always were a temptation."
I wanted to protest that ridiculous statement, but he looked me over one more time and growled, "You look good, Ally. Real good." Then he walked away.
He was several feet across the lot before my heart started back up. Oh, God. This denial business was going to be a lot harder than I'd imagined.
I finished putting the groceries in the trunk, slammed it closed and got in behind the wheel. It was his kiss that did it. An idea had started to take shape the instant his lips touched my skin. Maybe I could give Blake the date he so badly wanted. Only with a twist.
I smiled and reached for my purse lying in my lap. I found my cell phone beneath a few receipts and a pack of gum. I hit speed dial two.
"It's your dime."
"Heather, it's Ally."
"Oh, hi, sweetie. I'm packing for my trip, can't wait to see you!"
"I can't wait to see you, either. It's been too long."
"I know. I love living down here, but I hate being away from all my old girlfriends."
I dove right in, aware I'd lose my nerve if I didn't cut right to the chase. "Hey, Heather, do you remember that time in Myrtle Beach when you and I drank that bottle of tequila?"
Heather's soft laughter reached my ears. Heather had a sexy siren's voice and a body to match. It didn't matter if you were a woman or a man. One look at Heather and you thought about sex. Hot, sweaty sex. It was that simple.
"How could I forget?"
"That was one wild weekend, wasn't it?"
"It was the one and only time I could get you to let me play with that voluptuous bod of yours."
My face heated at the forbidden memory of that wild summer night. Unlike me, Heather was bi-sexual and not afraid to shout it to the world. In fact, she took great pleasure in shouting it to the world.
"I was thinking maybe you'd like a repeat." Did I really just say that aloud?
Heather's excited voice nearly had me backing out. She might be used to having sex with both sexes, but I wasn't. Still, I forged on. "I was thinking maybe we could add a man to the equation this time."
"You have someone in mind, sexy?"
If any other woman had called me that, I would have felt really weirded out, but Heather was different. Besides, when you've tasted another woman's pussy, it sort of tore down a few barriers. "Yes, Blake Steele."
Heather whistled. "He's back?"
And you want to exact a little revenge, is that it?"
Putting it like that, I started to feel guilty. "Do you feel terribly used?"
"Sweetie, you can use me any time. Count me in."
"You're sure? Because if you don't want to, I'll understand."
"No way am I passing up another chance to get in your panties."
We both laughed. Right there in the parking lot of Save A Lot, Heather and I began to hash out a plan. Once we were finished, I felt ready to call Blake.