“You can’t,” Jane answered firmly. “He doesn’t want his picture in the article. He said he prefers to keep a low profile, and he definitely won’t sign a photo release. Don’t worry, though, I’m working on the first draft, using my interview with Liz, and it’s pretty good. I don’t think we even need Thomas Becker.”
“What about the other members of the team? Can you speak with them?”
“I could try, but I was hoping to get the one who led the rescue.” Jane chewed on the inside of her cheek. “I think Liz’s firsthand account will be enough, Maureen. It’ll be an emotional piece, trust me.”
“Fine,” her editor said. “Try to talk to the other men if you think you need to, otherwise email me the story by the end of the week. You may as well stay there, since the hotel is already paid for, so enjoy the vacation.”
Jane flipped the phone shut and tossed it into her green oversized beach bag. She leaned back in the chair, which caused the big straw hat on her head to shift. She hated the damn hat, but if she didn’t shade her face, she sunburned like crazy. She’d slathered the sunblock all over her body too, but already she could see her skin turning pink. Time to get out of the sun, she decided with a sigh.
She started to gather up her things, tossing the romance novel she’d been reading into her bag, then picking up her towel and fanning the sand out of it. She’d just slung the bag over her shoulder when a familiar voice sounded from behind.
She whirled around, eyes wide. Thomas Becker stood a few feet away, looking as perplexed as she felt. He wore a pair of long khaki shorts and a pristine white T-shirt that molded to his chest, and he looked so sexy she wanted to rip off her bikini and throw herself into his powerful arms.
“What are you doing here?” she asked in surprise.
“I’m staying in one of the cottages until I find a house.” He gestured to the beachfront suites she’d been admiring earlier. “Are you staying at this hotel too?”
She nodded. “I’m here ’til Sunday, then I’m driving back to LA.”
Becker shoved his hands in his front pockets and walked toward her. “How’s the article going?”
“Good.” She grinned. “My editor is a tad upset that we won’t be able to print your handsome face, though.”
He grimaced. “You’re doing the public a favor. No one wants to see my face.”
Jane rolled her eyes. “Don’t tell me you think you’re unattractive, because that’s just silly. You’re a hottie, and you know it.”
His mouth twitched. “I’m a hottie, huh?”
“Yep. Deal with it.”
There was a short pause, and their gazes locked again. A streak of awareness sizzled between them like lightning. What was up with this chemistry? Jane couldn’t figure it out. She’d dated other men, slept with other men, yet being around Becker made her body burn in a way it never had before. There was a relentless throbbing between her legs, which deepened when she swept her eyes over his rock-hard chest. He caught her staring, his breath hitching.
“Are you undressing me with your eyes?” he asked gruffly.
A smile crossed his face. “You really are the bluntest woman I’ve ever met, you know that?” He let out a sigh. “Are you hungry?”
She blinked. “Hungry?”
“You know, requiring nourishment,” he said dryly. “I was about to head back my cottage and order some room service. Want to join me?”
He was inviting her to dinner? After he’d told her he wasn’t interested in dating? She wanted to ask him what changed, but then realized this wasn’t the time to look a gift horse in the mouth. Because this was definitely a gift she’d been given. Another chance to get naked with Thomas Becker? Oh, yeah.
She looked up at him from under the brim of her tacky hat and said, “I would love to.”
Becker spent the walk back to the cottage wondering what the hell was wrong with him. Why had he invited Jane Harrison over for dinner? He’d meant every word he’d said to her yesterday when they’d parted ways. He didn’t want a relationship. He didn’t want to date.
And he especially didn’t want either of those things with a woman who reminded him way too much of Alice.
But the second he’d laid eyes on her on the beach, he’d thought of nothing but being with her again. She looked so f**king sexy in the bright pink bikini that clashed with her shocking red hair, and that grandma straw hat, which should have looked wrong on a woman as wildly attractive as Jane, but, well, the hat was pretty damn sexy too.
What was the matter with him? Why was he so drawn to this woman? He’d only spent an hour with her yesterday, ten minutes of that had been spent with his c**k shoved inside her. Yet that was all the time he’d needed to know that, while they were explosive in the sex department, she wasn’t his type. At least not anymore. He wasn’t into bold, ambitious women any longer. He wanted someone…wholesome. A woman he could start a family with, who’d have dinner waiting for him when he got home, who wouldn’t argue with him about every goddamn thing. Fine, so it was old-fashioned of him to long for a Suzie Homemaker, but after the fourteen years he’d spent with Alice, he wanted old-fashioned. He wanted safe.
And Jane Harrison was not safe.
Oh no, everything about her screamed danger, from her pouty red lips to those mouthwatering tits to the sass that came out of her sexy mouth.
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