Caleb by Cindy Stark

Book: Caleb by Cindy Stark Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cindy Stark
along with an old gray t-shirt, and she realized she enjoyed the fact they could both be comfortable around each other.
    As he reached for the items on the top shelf, his shirt lifted, exposing a few delicious inches of skin on his lower back. A faded tan line hinted at time spent shirtless in the sun, and she hoped for an early summer.
    “Any of these?”
    She jerked her guilty gaze toward him and then quickly to the bottles he’d placed on the counter. She scanned through the labels and then gasped with relief. “Yes, thank God. This one.” But when she opened the lid, the bottle was empty. She shifted her gaze back to Caleb and tipped the container upside down as she frowned.
    “That’s not good.” Caleb searched the top shelf again, but came up empty handed. “Ibuprofen will help some.”
    “Yeah, but it’s not the same as the good stuff.” She grimaced as she grasped the white bottle of pain relievers from a lower shelf.
    He reached over her and pulled a glass from the cupboard. “Let me get this for you.” Not only did he remove the glass, but he filled it with water, too.
    She slipped the small brown-coated pills between her lips and washed them down with several swallows. “Thank you.”
    “No problem.” He eyed her. “I could rub it again if you’d like. It would be much easier here in the house, and I promise relief. It will help you sleep better, too, and give the meds a hand up.”
    She blinked as she considered his offer. His hands on her bare skin and the desires his touch would stir, or this insufferable pain until she fell asleep and possibly more again in the morning. “That’s a pretty bold claim. What if I can’t be fixed?” The pain was certainly strong enough.
    His sexy grin turned her all mushy inside. “You can question my ability after I finish.”
    She closed her eyes for a brief second. The carrot he dangled was too tempting to resist.
    “Rachel,” he said in a stern voice. “You have pain, and I can help relieve it. Surrender to your stubbornness. You’d be crazy not to.”
    She inhaled, ready to argue with him, but then realized he was a hundred percent correct. Arguing would be idiotic. “Okay. Thank you. That would be so nice.”
    He looked happier than he should have. “Finally, a little common sense.”
    She shot him a look, but he only smiled.
    “Out of all my clients, you’re the most stubborn. Good to know you can see reason at some point.”
    “Is that so?” She tossed his tease back at him, enjoying their banter. “Are you saying your way is the only reasonable way?”
    He slid a slow gaze down her body, and her nipples involuntarily tightened at his visual exploration. “I’m saying you won’t regret doing things my way.” He captured her gaze, drilling his meaning home.
    She lifted a brow, unable to respond in any way that would keep her out of trouble.
    He grinned, obviously enjoying the effect of his words. “Wait in the living room while I get my lotion.”
    Once she entered the adjoining room, she perched on the edge of the couch next to the fire. She couldn’t believe how in the blink of an eye everything in her life had changed. One minute her uncle was alive and thriving, the next gone. Up until that point, her life had been quiet and predictable. She hadn’t had time to grieve his death before she was forced to fight for what was hers. Now, she lived in close quarters with a stranger who heated her blood and haunted her thoughts most minutes of the day. It was as if the gods or whoever had taken her life like a snow globe and shaken the hell out of it.
    She had no idea where she’d be when everything settled again.
    She startled and twisted her head toward him. The sudden movement shot a fierce pain up her neck. “Son of a…”
    He shook his head, scolding her with a look. “You need serious help, girl.”
    “No kidding.” She pressed on the aching area. “You said you needed to be needed, so here I am. I need you, and

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