Torrid Nights

Torrid Nights by Lindsay McKenna

Book: Torrid Nights by Lindsay McKenna Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lindsay McKenna
    An overwhelming sense that she was well protected washed over Mackenna. Brock held her tightly, his strong arms encircling her body. His breath, warm and moist, fanned across her cheek.
    “Better?” he inquired.
    She nodded, closing her eyes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to go rattling on like—”
    Brock laughed softly. “Honey, you were scared and you’re in shock. Adrenaline affects all of us differently.” He pressed a kiss on her hair. “To tell you the truth, I was rather flattered you cared enough about me to show such concern. Remember, don’t ever apologize for being yourself, Mackenna.”
    The words were like music to her ears and heart. This was a new and surprising side of Brock. The gentle man. The one Mackenna had sensed existed all along. Joy and elation exploded through her being. She and Brock. They fit so well together. The curve of her breast and torso molded to the length of his chest and hip. Her head, nestled under his jaw, fit perfectly in the hollow of his shoulder.
    The operator of the destroyed bulldozer shouted outside the entrance, calling out in a high-pitched, nearly hysterical voice. Brock raised his head to answer in Javanese. Mackenna started to pull away, but his grip tightened momentarily.
    “Stay,” he whispered.
    She relaxed, feeling the exhaustion pull at her. Within minutes Brock had issued instructions to the driver. He returned his attention to her.
    “It’ll be at least a couple of hours before they can get us out of here. Let’s take stock of our cuts and bruises.”
    She obeyed wordlessly, allowing him to inspect her arms, neck and face. His touch was soothing. Quieting. “Well?” she asked.
    He frowned, worry clearly written in his expression. “You’ve torn the hell out of your elbows. Damn, I’m sorry. I just didn’t have time to explain before it happened. Your skin’s too beautiful to be marred like this.”
    She offered him a weak smile, sitting up. “What happened, anyway?”
    “Something must have gone wrong with the steering mechanism. I saw the Cat turn sideways suddenly, on one tread. Then it started to turn over. The driver jumped free.” He shook his head. “We were damn lucky. If this culvert hadn’t been here, we’d both be dead.” His voice grew hushed. “And just when I’ve started to discover that maybe life isn’t so sour after all.”
    Mackenna said nothing, unable to meet his warming gaze. A shiver of longing coursed through her. Something intangible had changed between them. A subtle shift. A tenuous new beginning.

Chapter Six
    More than a week had passed since the bulldozer accident, and Mackenna had been amazed at the gradual change in Brock. Both of them healed rapidly, although her arms, especially her elbows, would probably bear the scars from their brush with death forever.
    At close to three in the afternoon, the island of Java slowed to a halt. Yet even in the heat and humidity of midafternoon, the workers continued to lay ax and shovel to the road. Graders roared along the bed, smoothing and leveling the gravel for the final pouring of asphalt, which would be the next step in the building phase. Shimmering curtains of heat rose skyward, and the crew consumed water at an incredible rate. Mackenna made sure the gang boss of each team distributed the daily ration of malaria tablets to protect them from the dread disease borne by hoards of mosquitoes.
    Brock stood by her side, assessing the performance of the work gangs, watching the operators handling the monstrous Cats, graders and trucks, and scribbling notes on the clipboard he always carried under his left arm. Mackenna felt even stickier and dirtier than usual. At this time of day she often felt like driving back to the plantation to take a cooling shower and scrub her skin free of the grime and sweat. A sudden idea came to her, and she turned, smiling broadly.
    “How about a swim?” she challenged him.
    “There’s a lovely lake nearby.

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