Lindsay's been hired by Jared to renovate his kitchen. He never expected her to renovate his heart and life as well.
A week later, Lindsay had a rough plan drawn up for Jared’s renovation. Held down on the counter with soup cans on each corner to stop the edges from rolling back up, they both studied the design outline.
“We agreed to take out this wall.” She waved in the direction of the wall separating the kitchen from the living room. “I’ll lay an ‘I’ beam to support the second floor, or if you like, I can put some type of decorative column for load bearing.”
“I like the idea of columns, but whatever you think is best for this space.” He speculated what kind of shampoo she used. Something with citrus, he was sure of it.
“What kind of cabinets do you want?”
“Hmmmm?” A little bit of floral, or was that her perfume?
“Cabinets. What type of wood do you want?”
The look on her face made him wonder how many times she’d asked the question while he’d day dreamed about her hair, her body.... Pierre was right. He was acting like a ravenous wolf, but in her denim shirt, figure-hugging blue jeans and steel toed boots, she looked almost good enough to eat.
Just a taste. He only wanted a taste of her sweet lips.
A hint of pink began to slide up her neck from beneath the collar of her shirt and he realized he’d been staring at her mouth.
Pull it together Kane. She isn’t Red Riding Hood, but her lips would probably taste like...
“Did you just call me ‘honey’?” The pink darkened and her cheeks began to take on a rosy hue.
“Maple. I’d like honey maple for the cabinets.”
Inside his head he cringed. He hated honey maple, preferring a richer wood color. Now he’d have to live with the yellow toned wood forever. All because his hormones were taking a walk through the enchanted forest.
Her eyebrows raised a notch and she said, “Maple is great for kitchens, but a honey tone wouldn’t match the décor of the rest of your house.”
“You’re right. Let’s scrap that suggestion.”
That was close.
She scribbled in her notebook and then set it down. Immediately, he recognized the coil bound book and remembered the checklist. ‘As creative in the bedroom as he is in the kitchen’, came to mind and given where his mind had just been that was a dangerous path to tread.
“I thought we’d go with a dark cappuccino for lower cabinets, and a soft cream for the uppers. That would keep the room bright, yet elegant,” she said, making a small notation on the design.
He ran an experienced eye over the plans and mentally envisioned what she suggested. He liked the concept for his new kitchen, without honey maple cabinets. She had talent and DeVane would be a fool not to hire her for his development, although he didn’t like the idea of that randy Irishman anywhere near her.
“What about the island? Do you have any suggestions for that?” He brought his mind back to the task at hand, which was renovating his kitchen. Not worrying about DeVane. Not fantasizing about kissing his new contractor. And especially not about fulfilling a few items on her checklist.
“Keep the base dark, with a light counter to contrast and two squared columns, here and here.” She pointed out where she’d outlined where the columns would be placed. “If this were my kitchen, I’d have granite counter tops.”
“I like the idea of this whole space being opened up.” He shifted the plans so he could look at them closer. “I could place some under counter bar stools at the island for when friends come over.”
“That’s the whole idea. While you’re busy in the kitchen, you can still visit and not miss all the fun.” She turned to face him, her eyes bright with enthusiasm.
“By the time this renovation is completed, I might have someone in my life. Maybe a wife and the little woman would do that for me so I can stay out of the kitchen. Remember. I’m the barbeque guy.”
A look of fake horror broke out on her face at his sexist remark. He loved the fact she had a sense of humor.
“Ha! If you’re a good husband, you’d help your wife in the kitchen.” She poked him on the shoulder. “It takes two to make a marriage work—” Abruptly, she broke off in an awkward silence.
He had an instant vision of him and Lindsay, working side by side, making sure their guests were having fun. He waited for the kernel of panic to set in whenever he thought about his future being tied up with one person, but it never came.
She started to back away and without hesitation he reached for her. Her eyes had an endearing edge of vulnerability to them and his heart squeezed. Oh yeah, this one was definitely trouble.
He invaded her space, closing the distance between them, lifting his hand and taking her chin in his fingers. “Trouble”, was the only word she heard before his mouth claimed hers. The kiss rocketed through her body all the way down to her toes.
She curled her fingers into his shirt, intending to push him away, but somehow, they spread open and moved up to his broad shoulders. He pulled her close and changing the angle of his mouth, deepened the kiss. His fingers tangled in her hair and she heard moaning.
Her moans. When had she ever moaned while being kissed?
Never, but then she’d never been kissed like this before. Slowly he pulled back and touched his forehead to hers while they both caught their breath.
“I’ve wanted to do that for days,” he said, his voice as gravelly as a dirt road.
“Only days?” she murmured and looked up. She’d wanted him to kiss her for weeks.
“I lied.” His eyes glittered darkly. “It’s been months.”
He swooped in for another hot kiss. When his hands began to roam across her body, touching her in places that ached for more and turned her blood into molten lava, for one teensy moment she considered letting go.
“Wait,” she mumbled against his lips, pushing gently away from him.