Saving Laurel Springs

Saving Laurel Springs by Lin Stepp

Book: Saving Laurel Springs by Lin Stepp Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lin Stepp
Rhea knew where Carter headed now. And they had not learned this game together. Carter had learned this with Judith.
    She stiffened. And began to push and pull away.
    â€œNo, Carter. No.” She struggled under him.
    â€œOh, Rhea.” His words were husky and raw. “Don’t push me away. It’s been so long. I have missed you so much, been so lonely for you.”
    She pushed his face away from hers and glared at him. “You had Judith. You haven’t been lonely. You’ve had no need to lie alone at night.”
    His dark eyes looked down into hers, and he smiled one of his slow, sensual smiles at her. “Judith said it was your name I called out the first time.”
    Furious now, she pushed Carter off onto the floor. “How dare you tell me something like that? How dare you!” She slid out of the bed and stomped around to kick him as he started to get up. “Did you think it would please me to hear that? Well, it doesn’t, do you hear? It makes me feel sick and angry.”
    Carter’s eyes were heated now, too. “Watch yourself, Rhea Dean. You’re always so quick to judge without knowing all the facts. It’s not one of your nicer traits.”
    â€œAnd it’s not one of your nicer traits to climb up into my window and to try to seduce me with all your newfound skills learned with another woman. Don’t you have any shame? Have your lost your morals? Don’t you have any respect for me anymore—when you claim to still care so much about me?”
    Surprise touched his face as he stood up to face her. “You haven’t been with anyone else,” he said at last, slowly shaking his head.
    A gradual, smug smile spread over his face. “I just assumed you would have after all this time. . . .”
    She kicked out at him again. “Get out of my bedroom, Carter Reagan Layman. I’m sick of you and all of your games, do you hear? And I wish you’d never come back! You’re turning my life upside down and making my days a wreck. I hate you!”
    Carter threaded his hands through his hair, his eyes studying her thoughtfully. “It will all come right, Rhea. You’ll see.”
    She shook her head, tears threatening somewhere deep inside.
    He reached out a hand to brush back a wisp of hair from her face, but Rhea backed away from him as his hand lingered on her face.
    â€œGo home,” she said between clenched teeth.
    He nodded and started toward the window. “I didn’t mean to come on too strong or to disrespect you. But feelings have always escalated so fast between us. They tend to override my reason.”
    She stood there, hugging her arms tightly around herself, not wanting to hear his words or to make a response. He was right that passion had always escalated between them rapidly like fireworks, consuming them and wrapping them in a whirlwind of feelings. Spiraling them into a wonder of sensory ecstasy.
    Her heart wrenched inside her. Had it been the same for him with Judith, she wondered? She wanted to weep as the thoughts came to her. Thoughts she could never put into words or ask. But thoughts that tormented her.
    â€œThere has never been anything like the wonder of you,” Carter whispered to her before he opened the window to climb out.
    She glared at him, hating how he’d always been able to pick up on her thoughts. Even after all this time, he still knew her all too well.
    He dropped out of sight onto the roof, but his voice called out softly from below the window. “See ya later—and love you forever, Rhea Dean.”
    Rhea slammed down the window on his words and then crawled into her bed to finally weep with outrage.

    C arter heard Rhea slam the window as he climbed from the roof into the branches of the oak tree growing beside the Dean house. Dropping to the ground, he followed the well-worn path through the back property, skirting under the trees out of sight of the house

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