Authors: Amie Nichols
Tags: #romance, #love, #suspense, #mystery
“The chandelier fell when I was trying to fix
some of the loose wiring.” He looks up, then down, and I see all
the glass on the floor with the ladder off to the side. He wraps a
towel around my foot and disappears out of the kitchen.
I just sit wondering what I should do. I
can’t move, and even if I could I am surrounded by glass. Just as I
think I should work out some kind of a plan here, he’s back with a
first aid kit. Of course, did I really think he was just going to
leave me here? He crunches on the glass as he makes his way back to
me. The glass is nothing for his thick-soled work boots. There must
have been a look of relief on my face because he looks at me with
that wicked grin that makes my core tighten.
“Did you think I left you here to bleed to
death?” He has amusement in his low sexy voice.
”No!” I exclaim shyly, the words not coming
as freely as they did last night sitting in the dark. He cups his
hand around my heel again, this time he looks up at me before he
lifts my leg. I push the hem of my t-shirt between my thighs again
and he lifts my leg to doctor up my cut. I grab his arm to steady
myself. His strong jaw is tense, but then his mouth twitches in a
smile when I touch him. He glances up at me and gives me a quick
“It’s a superficial cut, you won’t need
stitches,” he says and applies some antibiotic cream on it followed
by a bandage.
My heart is racing again. I look at his mouth
that I’m sure has soft lips. He has such a strong jaw line and is
clean-shaven. His hair is shaggy, like when he stepped out the
shower he shook it dry. I really want to kiss those lips. What am I
thinking? Get it together Lilly. I shake my head trying to calm
He lowers my leg and pats my bare knee, “All
better!” He smiles.
My hand is still on his arm and I can’t seem
to move it away. I slide my hand to his chest feeling his pounding
heart. “You forgot to kiss it.” Oh my god did I just say that?
“I’m sorry,” I whisper suddenly mortified. I
remember that day when he left and he kissed my bruised cheek
gently telling me it was all better. I feel his warm hands on my
knees. He starts to slide them up my thighs and as they reach the
hem of my t-shirt I look up. He’s smiling and raises his
“You remembered,” he says, his eyes soft as
he starts to lean forward. He moves his hands from my thighs and
takes my face in his strong hands.
I feel his soft lips touch mine then his kiss
deepens. His tongue pushes my lips open and it enters my mouth. My
stomach tightens and I feel something deep down. Pain that is
tugging me from deep within and it feels so good. I place my hands
around his neck curling my fingers in is hair. I feel him come
closer, my legs being pushed apart by his body.
We are startled apart by a loud, “Hmmhem!”
Jeffrey is standing at the door clearing his throat to let us know
of his presence. Luke pushes away from me and his face goes flush.
He lifts me up under my arms and sets me down in a glass free zone.
I stand there, my knees weak, as Jeffery walks into the kitchen
seeing the glass on the floor.
“What happened?” He barks looking at his son
then up at me. He turns his head away from me when he sees that I
am half naked, wearing only my t-shirt. I start to back away not
able to mutter a word. As I turn the corner out of view, I rest up
against the wall of the entrance to the great room. I try to catch
my breath and I overhear their conversation.
“Luke you have to be careful with her, she is
very inexperienced,” Jeffrey scolds his son. “She’s getting better,
but you need to take it slow. She has a very low-self esteem,” he
explains sounding protective of me.
“Don’t you think I know that, Dad?” Luke
shouts defending himself. “I would never hurt her and you know
“It’s just that she’s got living to do,” his
dad says. “I know how you feel about her, and I know you would
never hurt her. I guess I just feel a little protective of her
right now,” he admits.
“Dad, I am not going to hurt her. All I’ve
ever wanted is to be with her, protect her, and love her. You know
that, that’s why you sent me away!” Luke shouts at his dad.
I slap my hand over my mouth, and run up the
stairs to my room shutting the door. I lie on my bed, burying my
head in my pillow, and scream. Scream with joy, with excitement.
All he wants is to be with me. I pick up my cell phone to call
Emma. I need to talk to someone now. I see that I have a text from
her before I am able to call.
*Hey something came up. I won’t
be over, but I will call you later. Love Ya.*
I dial her number anyway hoping she’ll
answer, but it goes straight to voice mail. “Damn!” I say aloud to
myself then jump off the bed and head to the bathroom.
After I shower and dress, I pull my hair up
in ponytail. I search my closet for something to wear, and decide
on a short, light blue flared skirt with a white tee.
The kitchen is empty when I walk in. The
glass is all cleaned up and the ladder is gone. I walk to the
French doors to look outside and there is no one in sight. I shrug
wondering where he went when Jeffery walks around the corner of
utility room in the back of the kitchen.
I look at him and go flush thinking that he
just saw me making out with his son in nothing but a t-shirt.
Jeffrey is very handsome also. I know where Luke gets his good
looks from. His graying hair makes him look distinguished and his
tan skin is very leathery from years of working outside.
“Sorry about the chandelier,” he apologizes
as he is grabbing a glass from the cupboard. Now that Jane is gone
I have insisted that he comes in the house to take breaks and cool
off, and that he is to make himself at home. He was never allowed
in the house when Jane was alive. It took him awhile to do this,
but now is very comfortable rummaging in the kitchen for snacks and
drinks. “You’re like family to me,” I reassured him after the
funerals of my father and Jane. “I want you to think of this as
your home, too,” I told him.
“Don’t sweat it Jeffery,” I say about the
chandelier as he takes a pitcher of sweet tea from the fridge
pouring some in the glass. “It was Jane’s Idea to have a chandelier
in kitchen,” I scoff at the ridiculous taste my adopted mother had.
“I was going to change it to something else anyway,” I reassure
He smiles at my comment knowing that I am
telling him the truth, and not just saying it to make him feel
better. “How’s your foot?” He says taking a drink.
“It’s fine, just a small cut. I think I’ll
live,” I giggle as I hop up on the barstool at the end of the
kitchen island. I want to ask where Luke is, but I am too
“He went to the hardware store to get
something temporary for the light, until you decide on what you
want,” he states as if he read my mind. “So what are you going to
do today, Lilly?” He inquires raising one eyebrow.
He has become more concerned with my
day-to-day activities since daddy and Jane died. I know he feels
like he needs to look after me.
“I’m going to go through some stuff in Dad’s
study. I need to see all the properties I own and figure out what I
want to sell and what I want to keep,” I shrug. Emma’s dad,
Elliott, is still my lawyer and has been after me to get this done.
“Mr. Williams has asked to make a list of assets I want to keep,” I
“Well, that my dear, might take you awhile,”
Jeffrey expresses as he finishes his tea and puts the glass in the
sink. “Ted owned half of Louisiana,” he says and starts walking
back to the utility room. “Well, back to work,” he waves and is
into my daddy’s study putting down my PB&J sandwich, which I
made for myself with a glass of sweet tea, on the desk. It is so
warm and inviting in here. I inhale deeply still able to smell his
cologne. I look at the massive mahogany desk, which daddy always
sat behind when he was actually home, and over at the matching
mahogany file cabinet against the wall. It’s so big with wide
drawers. I open the top drawer. It is full of manila folders
categorized by Parishes. I pull out the one labeled ‘Vermilion
Parish’ first since it is just west of us here in St. Mary’s
I turn to walk toward the desk, when the
folder slips from my hand and falls to the floor underneath the
file cabinet. I get down on my knees to see if I can reach it, but
it’s too far. There is not enough room from the floor to the bottom
of the cabinet for me to get my arm under there. I stand back up,
putting my arms on either side of the wooden monstrosity, and try
with all my might to move it. It doesn’t budge, not even a little
bit. Then I move up against the wall, and slip my hand behind it
thinking if I push it might be easier. I feel cold metal on the
back of my arm where it brushes against the wall behind the
cabinet. What’s back there? All the walls are wood. I go to the
desk and look in the top drawer to find a flashlight. I shine the
flashlight behind the cabinet and strain my eyes to see what is
behind it. All I can make out is black. As I move the flashlight
down, I notice a round silver dial. It’s a safe! I didn’t know
daddy had a safe in here. What could be in it? It is about the same
size as the file cabinet. It’s so big and it is built into the
wall. I have to get this cabinet moved.
I walk into the kitchen hoping Luke is back
to help me move the file cabinet. He’s on the ladder in the kitchen
wiring the replacement light. He looks down at me and smiles.
“Hi!” he says sweetly, “You look beautiful.”
His eyes look me up and down as he climbs down the ladder.
My stomach does that all too familiar flip,
and my heartbeat picks up, “Hi yourself.”
He steps off the ladder and steps in front of
me. I can smell the delicious smell of him. I don’t even know what
it is about his scent, but it makes my heartbeat quicken. He’s
about a foot taller than me and is standing so close to me that I
have to look up to see his face. “I’m sorry about earlier, I
shouldn’t have been so forward with you,” he says about the kiss. I
don’t even know what to say. All I can think about is being in his
arms kissing him again.
Without another thought, I put my hands on
his sides and stand on my tiptoes so I can reach up placing my lips
on his. I move my hands up behind his neck so I can pull his lips
harder into mine. He responds by meeting my pull and moving his
tongue into my mouth as he grasps my face in his large strong
hands. I move my hands down to his shoulders and I can feel the
hard muscles beneath his shirt. His kiss deepens more and I can
hear a low groan come from his throat. This makes my stomach
tighten and I move closer to his body. He wraps one arm around my
waist picking me up so we are more level, and puts his other hand
flat on my back pressing me into his chest. His tongue invades my
mouth with a forceful desire and I respond the same. I feel hot all
over again, my whole core on fire. He pulls his lips from mine and
rubs my nose with his. All I can do is moan as my lips ache for
more. The electrical current racing between us is so intense that I
want to rip off all his clothes.
“Well, I guess you feel the same way I do,
Lilly flower.” He gives me a half-smile and a raise of his
“It would appear so.” I gasp for air, my feet
still off the floor, and I wrap my legs around his waist moving in
for another kiss. This time my tongue moves into his mouth first
and I can feel him grinning against my lips. I push back from him
wondering what is so funny. I look at the smile on his face and
“I am just really happy,” he says still
grinning. “I wasn’t sure if you would still feel the same way,” he
admits. I start to squirm so he knows I want down. He sets me down
gently looking wounded that I want out of his arms.
“Well, you would have known if you had
contacted me at all,” I say feeling a little betrayed all of the
sudden. “I understand why you left, don’t get me wrong, but why did
you wait so long to come back?” I don’t know why, I just felt like
he would come rush to be by my side.
He grabs my face in his hands kissing my
forehead sweetly then kisses each of my eyelids and my cheeks. “I
wanted to, believe me. I wanted you to have some time to live your
life and didn’t want to mess with your feelings. I wanted to make
sure that I wouldn’t be a crutch. Dad wanted me to stay away a
year, but I couldn’t stand it another day,” Luke says looking me
straight in the eyes. I can see his pain.
“I know you have been on a few dates,” he
says to me and I look away. I didn’t want him to know that.
“They didn’t mean anything. Emma set them
up,” I defend myself to him but I don’t know why. I had every right
to go on as many dates as I wanted. For all I knew, he was married
“It’s okay. You wouldn’t have done that if I
were here. That’s what I wanted, for you to have the chance to
experience some life. That’s why I asked Emma to set you up,” he
confesses rubbing my cheeks with his thumbs.
“You wanted me to go on dates with other men?
You had Emma do that on purpose?” I’m stunned by the admission and
step away from his grasp.
“What would you have done if I fell in love
with one of those men?” I ask stepping back so we are farther
“I don’t know honestly, but I want to spend
the rest of my life with you and I wanted to make sure that you had
a chance to see what else is out there,” he says with so much
longing. I can hardly keep my distance.
“The nights you were out with those guys,
those were the worst nights of my life. You have no idea what I
felt like when Emma would call me and tell me that you weren’t
interested,” Luke says. This also shocks me. Emma and Luke did a
lot of talking that I had no idea about.