Author: Jill Shalvis


“I know you like him.” Grace wished Anna would open up to her so she could try to help—although she knew how everyone in the Scott family felt about accepting help. Stubborn to the end, the entire lot of them. “And I know that the way you feel about him means that you don’t want him feeling it for someone else.”


Anna shook her head but didn’t speak as she turned away so Grace couldn’t see her face.


Grace’s heart squeezed tight. She knew damn well that Devon had been pushing Anna for sex. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if Anna wasn’t ready, then Devon had gone after it somewhere else. “I’m proud of you for not caving to the pressure.”


“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Anna shot back.


“So explain it to me.”


“I want to cave to the pressure. I want to…”


“Have sex?”


Anna didn’t answer, and Grace sighed. “Honey, if you can’t even say the word, you’re so not ready.”


“I am,” Anna said unconvincingly, and began wheeling toward the house.


Grace sighed. “If you need anything—”


“I won’t.”


“If your brother needs anything—”


Anna let out another rusty-sounding laugh, this one with a hint of tears in it, but she stopped at the door, her back still to Grace. “He won’t.”


“He had a rough evening,” Grace said quietly.


“Yeah, because he called me earlier to check in and told me I needed to stop seeing Devon. I read him the riot act.”


“Actually, I didn’t know that,” Grace said. “I meant that Anderson nearly drowned tonight at the festival, and Josh had to perform CPR to save him.”


Anna turned to her, eyes hooded. “That’s what Josh does. He saves people.”


Grace paused, wondering at the bitterness in Anna’s voice. “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”


Anna was quiet a moment. “Do you think everyone should be saved?” she finally asked.


Okay, they were definitely not talking about Anderson. Grace moved closer. “Anna—”


“I’m fine. We’re Scotts. We’re always fine. Haven’t you learned that yet?”


When Anna had rolled into the house, Grace pulled out her cell phone and called the hospital, inquiring after Anderson. She was told that no information could be given out about a patient, so she went to the next best source.


Facebook.


Luckily, Lucille was already on the case:


Thanks to the swift, heroic measures of Dr. Josh Scott, one of our very own was saved tonight.


Anderson, manager of Anderson Hardware Store, fell off the pier, hitting the water and his head. He’d have drowned if not for the three men who dived into the dark ocean after him: Sheriff Sawyer Thompson, flight care paramedic Ty Garrison, and Dr. Josh Scott.


And, oh my, can I just say how incredibly handsome these three hunks looked all wet and sweaty from their efforts?


Anderson’s at General, suffering a mild concussion, broken ankle, and probably a few sore ribs.


Thanks, Dr. Scott. You are one Hunkalicious Doctor.


Anderson, get well. And stay off the pier!


Grace logged off, crawled into bed, and hoped that wherever he was, Josh had at least gotten some dry clothes.


She had no idea how long she’d been out when she awoke suddenly, heart pounding in the dark. She peered at her cell phone on the nightstand.


Midnight.


She sat up just as a soft knock sounded on her door. Padding barefoot across the room, she peered out the peephole.


Dark, disheveled hair. Dark and shadowed eyes. Scrubs. Grace’s heart kicked hard as she opened the door to one clearly exhausted Dr. Josh Scott.


Chapter 19


A chocolate in the mouth is worth two on the plate.


Josh had told himself he was going straight to bed. He needed the sleep. But his body got its wires crossed, and he ended up at the guesthouse instead.


Grace answered his knock with a sleep-flushed face and crazy hair, wearing a little tank top and boxers—emphasis on little.


Cute.


Hot.


“Anderson?” she asked, brow furrowed, eyes concerned.


He didn’t want to talk about Anderson. He wanted Grace naked and screaming his name. But if there was a way to say that without sounding like a complete asshole, he didn’t have the brain capacity to find the words. “He’s got a hell of a headache and sore ribs, but he’s going to be okay.”


“That’s what Facebook said too,” she said. “Are you okay? You must be dead on your feet. Come on, come in and take a load off. My bed’s warm.”


He raised his head and looked into her sweet baby blues. “Anyone here?”


“No.”


“Anyone due to be here?”


“No.”


“Are you planning on starting a fire with the heater and toaster? Is anyone going to call you and need you to count their money?”


“No.” She bit her lower lip to hold back a smile, the sexy witch. “Why? Do you have nefarious intentions?” she asked with a soft hopefulness that had lust and amusement warring for space within him.


He took a step and bumped into her, crowding into her space. “Yes. I have nefarious intentions. Lots of them. You should be running for the hills, Grace.”


She held her ground, sliding a hand up his chest, hooking it around his neck, not speaking.


Josh didn’t remember moving, but then he had her up against the wall, his arms tight around her, her legs around his waist. “The whole fucking place can come down,” he said against her mouth. “We’re not stopping.”


“Show me,” she said.


Grace hadn’t meant the words as a dare but Josh appeared to take them that way. He lifted his head and held her gaze, one hand on her ass, the other reaching out to hit the lock on the door. “Phone?”


“On the counter.”


Still holding her, he walked over to her phone and shoved it inside the fridge.


“Yours?” she asked.


“DOA from the ocean. Again.”


“What if someone needs you?”


“Fuck the rest of the world,” he said, his voice thrillingly rough.


She cupped his face and offered him a slow smile. “How about just me?”


His eyes darkened as he backed her to the bed and nudged her onto the mattress. “Tell me you still have condoms.”


She rolled to her hands and knees and crawled to the nightstand. He groaned, making her realize the sight she’d just presented. Deciding to own it, she wriggled her hips and was rewarded with another rough sound from him, inherently male, as she yanked open the drawer to reveal a full box of condoms.


“That’s a good start,” he said, setting a knee on the bed. He moved so fast she didn’t have time to react before his warm hand wrapped around her ankle and tugged.


She fell flat, facedown on the bed, laughing when he yanked her toward him, giving her a world-class wedgie. Then he flipped her over to face him. Her cami had risen up a little, and his gaze swept over her body, heating every inch it touched. His deep, rumbling groan was low and possessive, and everything within her quivered.


“Your shirt,” she said. She needed it gone, yesterday.


He impatiently tore it off and tossed it behind him.


Oh, that was better, she thought, taking in his broad, sculpted chest, feeling herself go damp at the sight of all those muscles bunching as he moved. Much better.


As if reading her mind, his lips curved, sending more heat through her because she knew exactly what those lips could do to her, the places he could take her. He had a way of making her feel sexy, beautiful. Like she was special. He had a way of sending all her doubts scattering, of reinstating her confidence.


Her parents had educated her and made sure that her horizons were broad. But Josh had given her something new.


He made her feel.


The soft material of her cami gave him no resistance when he lifted it over her head and sent it sailing somewhere in the direction of his discarded shirt. “Mmm,” he said, bending to kiss a breast as he hooked his fingers into the silk boxers low on her hips. They hit the floor next. “Christ, you’re beautiful,” he said as he stroked a hand up her leg, settling it low on her belly. “And wet.” His thumb glided over her, spreading her a little on each pass, making her moan and shift impatiently. But he simply continued to tease and torment, that knowing finger nearly driving her right over the edge. “Please…” she finally gasped.


“After you come.”


“But—”


“Shhh.” Then he dropped to his knees beside the bed, pulled her to the edge, and put his mouth on her. The first stroke of his tongue shot her heart rate to the moon. “Did you just…shush me?” she barely managed to ask.


He pulled back just enough to blow a breath over her, making her shiver and moan and pant. “There’s a code,” he said. “A guy code.”


Her only response was a throaty moan because his tongue was back. And good Lord, she could no more ignore that tongue than she could have stopped breathing.


“The guy code says you get yours first,” he said.


She opened her mouth to say something to that, she had no idea what, but all that came out was a low, desperate cry as he very gently nibbled at her.


And then not so gently.


And in less time than it would take to make toast and screw up the electricity, she nearly burst out of her skin. “How do you always do that?” she gasped.


“I know your body.” He climbed onto the bed, caressing his way up her thighs, wrapping her legs around his hips. “I love your body.”


And she loved his. “I hope the guy code says it’s time.”


He smiled as he cupped her butt in one hand. Leaning over her, his other hand slid up her back and into her hair as he whispered, “Yeah, it’s time.” He pressed a kiss at her damp temple, her cheek, her mouth, while she lay still trembling in little aftershocks from the orgasm. Lacing their fingers together, he slid their hands up over her head, and then executed a slow grind against her that had her eyes closing from the pleasure of the friction.

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