Christmas at Twilight

Christmas at Twilight by Lori Wilde

Book: Christmas at Twilight by Lori Wilde Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lori Wilde
Christmas holidays, but what was he going to do after that if Ashley decided to make her wild adventure permanent? He gritted his teeth. Who was the son of a bitch she’d run off with?
    He closed his eyes, tried to will himself to sleep, but his mind was racing with dark thoughts and horrible what-ifs. Maybe he shouldn’t have gone off the benzos cold turkey, not with all this shit getting dumped into his lap. Gupta had warned him to taper the drugs. He should have gotten that prescription filled.
    He was not going to think about Ashley. That led him down some ugly rabbit holes. Think about something else.
    His mind complied and produced the image of how Jane had looked when their hands brushed and their eyes made sizzling contact.
    Man, what was that all about?
    Even now, he could still feel the power of that single touch, and he shook his head in amazement. Whatever it was had triggered primal cravings in him, and he found himself ensnared in a swift current of stark electricity.
    She had sucked in her breath and those glorious tits had risen under that faded, worn sweater. God help him, he’d tried not to stare, but he could not fight off the impulse. Could not stop thinking about what color of bra sheathed those boobs, and that had set off a whole fantasy of just how quickly he could unhook the bra and get his bare hands on her soft, pillowy flesh.
    In that moment, his brain figured out what his dick had already known in the bathroom when she’d undressed him.
    He wanted her.
    A lot.
    And even though he knew she would rather die than admit it, she wanted him too. He’d seen it her eyes, in the way she’d licked her lips and leaned in toward him. Why else make up rule #4? She needed the rule to keep her own desires at bay.
    The temptation to kiss her had been ass-kicking strong. Every cell in his body hollered at him to kiss her. In the old days, he would have done it. Shown her exactly what she was missing by holding herself back.
    But she was scared.
    Underneath that sassy bravado, she’d been through some serious shit. He wasn’t forgetting the pepper spray and how frightened she’d looked when he’d come up to the window of her minivan. She was broke and living with his sister when she was a mom who should have a place of her own. There was a story there, and his gut told him it was anything but pretty.
    So what? You’ve got enough problems of your own. Last thing you need is to shoulder her baggage.
    He thought about her, lying in the bed across the hall, and his dick hardened.
    She was right, of course. Being in close quarters together, especially with this underlying sexual chemistry, was bound to stir up trouble. Keeping their distance was the safe choice, the right choice.
    But could he keep his promise?
    He had to keep it. For Kimmie’s sake. His niece had had enough disruption in her life. It was his job to make her feel safe and loved and cared for, and that was a tall order for a soldier who could barely take care of himself. He simply couldn’t do it on his own.
    Not yet. Not until he got his voice back.
    If what Gupta and Jenner said was true and his loss of speech was strictly psychological, he was pretty screwed up.
    Before he could fully function as Kimmie’s guardian, he had to deal with his issues, and the last thing he needed was the attraction between him and Jane muddying the water. He vowed to stick to Jane’s rules.
    Every last one of them.
    T he bed was empty.
    Meredith blinked fully awake.
    The bed was empty and the children were gone.
    Adrenaline shot her off the mattress. Panic flared. She’d let down her guard. Slept too soundly, and now the kids weren’t here. What if he had come into the house and kidnapped them?
    She was on her feet, knees quivering, body reacting before her mind could reason out the situation. From downstairs came the sound of children’s voices.
    It was okay. Ben and Kimmie were here. They were

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