The Army Ranger's Surprise(4)

By: Donna Michaels


Big mistake.

Before, at least a wet shirt had separated their skin. Not now. His palm covered her hand, and the feel of her soft, warm skin kicked his pulse into gear.

Once again, their gazes met, but this time mortification and teasing were no longer present, just a raw, untamed attraction. It posed a danger big enough to rival her lethal dance moves.

Her gaze dropped to his mouth, and Leo’s heart rocked in his chest. A sensation he hadn’t felt in years. Leave it to Kaydee to induce the movement. It was strange. He knew he should back away, but he didn’t. Couldn’t. It felt as if his whole body was coming alive, and until that moment, he hadn’t realized how truly out of touch with life he’d been the past few years. Perhaps always.

Would he wake up even more if they kissed?

Ignoring the red flags going off in his head, he lifted his other hand to cup her chin and slowly lowered his mouth.

“Is everything all right?” his gram called out from the other room. “I thought I heard Kaydee scream.”

The startled woman in his arms jumped back and turned to face the sink. “Everything’s fine. I just didn’t hear Leo come in, that’s all,” she called over her shoulder before returning her attention to the dishes. Too bad she didn’t save some for the sprayer, because she fumbled with it, and this time, she managed to get herself wet. “Dammit.”

Leo handed her the towel, but kept his mouth shut. Mostly because he was trying to keep from laughing.

“Thanks.” She mopped up her shirt and glanced at him. “Shut up. Not a word.”

Then she burst out laughing.

He joined her. It’d been a long time since he’d laughed with pure abandon. It felt good. Kaydee always made him feel good, and he was finding it harder and harder to fight his attraction to her.

It was a sobering thought. He didn’t want to be attracted to her or anyone. And yet he was, and he was beginning to realize he had no damn control over it.



Kaydee Wagner was laughing on the outside, but on the inside she was trying very hard not to give in to the urge to snuggle against her hot friend. Again. It hadn’t been her intention earlier, but when she’d stupidly drenched the poor guy with hot water she’d forgotten to keep her distance. Just thinking about it now sent another wave of heat into her face, and it burned as she recalled how her embarrassment had turned to bliss. When she’d set her head against Leo’s wet chest, she couldn’t stop from melting into his incredible, hard, sexy body.

A treat for sure. She’d always had sort of a secret thing for Sebastian Stan in the Marvel movies, but Sebastian had nothing on Leo Reed. The handsome former Army Ranger had starred in her fantasies ever since they met. But he was so out of her league. Guys like him only wanted to be friends with girls like her. A fact he’d proven several times over the past few months, even though she’d caught him looking at her with interest in his gorgeous blue eyes.

That was okay, though. Thanks to growing up an army brat, Kaydee had learned early in life how to adjust and move on. She was far from good girlfriend material anyway. Thanks to that army brat lifestyle, “restlessness” was her middle name. She never stayed in one place more than two or three years. Putting down roots was not in her wheelhouse.

Besides, she didn’t have a lot of free time, between her long list of household repairs, part-time job at the salon, and helping her friend find a location to open a beauty shop. Yeah, she was too preoccupied to date.

Still, there was something about this man that made her want to hug him and never let go. It was a new and peculiar feeling.

The moment Leo had appeared from out of the blue in her yard and offered to help when she and her grandfather had been struggling to carry a couch into her grandfather’s side of the house, Kaydee was smitten. She knew right then that he was different. Between his generosity, good manners, gorgeous blue eyes, and panty-melting smile, she was never the same.

“Want some help with the dishes?” he asked, bringing her mind back to the present.

See? Most men would’ve made fun of her startled reaction, scarfed down their food, then handed her their dirty dish.

Not Leo.