Lindsey's always had a crush on Richard, the kind and dashing widower who lives next door. Of course, Richard also happens to be her best friend's father… The two of them have always been flirtatious, but when an accident on a hiking trip forces them to share a sleeping bag, they can't keep their hands off each other!
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
"Rich." I took his hands in mine. I was shocked to feel them trembling. I looked up into his deep, brown eyes. "I. Will. Be. Fine."
"You could have a concussion," he murmured.
"Well, and you can occasionally ask me to name the state capitals if you think I'm getting fuzzy."
"What's the capital of South Dakota?" he asked.
"I have no idea."
"Good," he said, returning to my leg. "That's the right answer."
I couldn't suppress my giggle. Satisfied, he went back to cleaning the wound. It didn't take long, and then he was wrapping it in the gauze.
"I feel like a little girl again," I said, somewhat ashamed. "I can't believe it took less than a day before I got my butt handed to me by the great outdoors." Richard laughed. It was gruff, almost to himself, that dopey wolf sound. "What?" I said. I bounced my leg in frustration.
He reached with a firm hand and set my thigh back on the rock he'd propped it up on. I felt that hand in the small of my back, on my neck, all over me. He poured his water on my palms next, then went over them with an alcohol swab.
I watched him finish wrapping my knee. "What were you laughing at?"
He shook his head. "Lindy, you and Beck have been like sisters from the very beginning. But you were never a little girl." He cut the bandage and unrolled a measure of tape. "Beck lets me forget sometimes, but you're both women. You wouldn't even be living next to us if you didn't want to take care of your mom."
"That's not true," I said.
He pressed his fingers into my leg to secure the tape. I winced but stayed silent. "You really want to stay up in NorCal and work in the city like her? You used to talk about Chicago non-stop.”
"Someday," I said. "Where's this coming from?"
"You're worried about your mom. You've worried about your mother since before Beck and I knew you. You've been taking care of her a long time. That's what an adult does, takes care of others."
"And here I thought you were telling me I was beautiful."
He stood up. He snapped the First Aid kit shut and held out his hand to me. "Of course you are," he said.
"You must think you're some kind of gentleman.” I took his hand and stumbled to my feet.
He kissed the bandage on my hand. "You want me to carry you?"
I smirked at him and shouldered my bag. "I'll manage, Lancelot."
"As her majesty insists." And he went off marching into the forest, singing some stupid medieval hymn. I know this because I looked it up afterwards. It was in Middle English and it sounded horrendous. I like to think he did it to take my mind off the pain, but it's probably because he's just a huge cornball.
A lovely cornball.