Summer at Seaside Cove

Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D'Alessandro

Book: Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D'Alessandro Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jacquie D'Alessandro
have an extra you’re welcome to borrow.”
    She blinked. “Oh. Well, thanks. That’s very, um, nice of you. Very neighborly.”
    â€œI’m guessing you meant that as a compliment, but since you sounded so shocked that I’d do something nice or neighborly, it kinda lost some of its charm.”
    â€œI wasn’t shocked.”
    Nick couldn’t help but grin. God, not only could she not sing, but she was a horrible liar, too. “Yes, you were.”
    Her lips twitched. “Okay, maybe I was a little shocked.” She hesitated, then said, “I’m dying of thirst. In keeping with this neighborly thing, may I offer you a cold drink?”
    He had his own cold drinks at home—the place he couldn’t wait to return to. To take a shower. To get away from her. Yet when he opened his mouth, the words, “Sure, that’d be great, thanks,” came out.
    He watched her dig her key from her beach bag, then followed her to the stairs so he could again check out the two new bottom treads. Yup, he’d done a really good job. He looked up from admiring his handiwork and stilled.
    As far as he knew, he’d never been the guy who ogled a woman wearing a short dress as she climbed stairs—until right now, when a freakin’ nuclear blast couldn’t have unglued his eyeballs from her shapely butt as it swung from side to side with each step.
    Damn. He needed more than a cold drink. He needed a damn cold shower.
    After she disappeared into the house, he released a breath he hadn’t even realized he was holding. Her voice wafted down from behind the screen door, and he found himself cocking his head to better hear her.
    â€œHey, Cupcake, how are you, sweet girl. Did you miss me?”
    Apparently Cupcake performed some sort of cat maneuver that indicated she had indeed missed her, because Jamie laughed and said, “I missed you, too. Are you hungry?”
    Cupcake let out a meow Nick bet was heard in the next county.
    â€œLet’s see what we have . . . Okay, would you prefer the tender turkey Tuscany with long-grain rice and garden greens, or the wild salmon primavera with garden veggies?”
    Nick rolled his eyes. Sheesh. No wonder cats were so prissy.
    â€œHere you go, baby,” Jamie crooned. “I’m going to bring a drink to that pest Nick, then I’ll be back. And you can tell me all about your day.” The screen door opened and she stepped outside, carrying two bottles of water. And halted when she saw him standing at the bottom of the stairs. Nick liked that she wasn’t wearing sunglasses and he was—definitely put him at an advantage as she couldn’t see his eyes, which he knew held a combination of irritation, amusement, and worst of all, an avid interest in watching her descend the steps.
    He settled one booted foot on the bottom tread, then braced his palms on the banisters. “ ‘That pest Nick’ ?” he repeated, looking up at her. “And here I thought we were being all nice and neighborly.”
    Her cheeks turned bright red. By God, that absolutely fascinated him. Made him want to tease and embarrass her for three days straight just so he could see that wash of brilliant color stain her skin.
    She hoisted her chin up a notch. “Eavesdroppers never hear good of themselves.”
    â€œI wasn’t eavesdropping. I was standing.”
    â€œListening to me talk to Cupcake.”
    â€œHow was I supposed to know you were going to chat with your cat?”
    She started down the stairs and his attention was riveted on the way the hem of that short orange dress flirted with her thighs. The next thing he knew she was standing on the next to the last step, there was less than two feet separating them, and his eyes were on the same level as her chest.
    And speaking of chests, she slapped an ice cold plastic water bottle against his. “Here’s your drink.”
    He lifted one hand from the

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