Temptation in Texas: A Christmas Special
Excerpt: With the contractor gone from his house, Logan turned back to Lauren, who was avoiding eye contact with him as she wiped the dust from her hands onto the back of her blue jean shorts. Shorts, for god’s sake . . . which she’d probably put on that morning, not giving a single thought to the strange man she was about to let enter the house. This just kept getting worse and worse; he felt his temperature kick up another notch as disbelief at her actions held him in its grip. Jesus Christ, did she have to have such a trusting nature? Would she never learn? Did she think the world was one huge, safe playground? Somewhere in the furthest recesses of his mind, the knowledge that he wasn’t giving her enough credit entered his head; his wife was incredibly brilliant and capable, but he refused to allow the thought to soothe him. He was angry, probably more angry than he’d ever been in his life, and the reason was because she had scared him half-to-freaking-death, and that was the only thing he could concentrate on at the moment.
While he held himself still, trying to breathe evenly, trying to get his raging emotions under control, he ran his gaze over her, up and down, just to make sure she was all in one piece.
Her tongue shot out to lick her lips and despite his anger, he felt a bolt of white-hot lightning pierce his guts. He could clearly see that she knew he was angry; her lips quivered before she spoke. “Hi, babe . . . you’re home early.”
Ahhh…so his little wife was feeling a bit apprehensive at this point and well she should be. His lips flattened as he took a single step toward her. “Sure am. What ‘ya doing, hon?” he spoke the words way too innocuously, allowing his tone to ring with sarcasm.
He took another two steps forward and she quickly stepped back, bumping the back of her head on the slanted beam behind her. He winced for her and came to a halt; no matter how furious he was, he didn’t want her to hurt herself. “It didn’t look like ‘nothing’, babe,” he replied slowly.
“No, it’s just the . . . just the—” her words trailed off as she motioned behind her toward where she’d been on the floor only moments ago.
Logan didn’t take his eyes from her to see what she might be indicating. “Just the what?”
She shook her head, as if she had no idea what to say.
He took a deep breath and blew it out. “Lauren. Come here.”
She glanced away before looking back at him. “No, I’m good.”
At her denial, he felt his insides electrify with aggression, but he attempted to keep a cool head, even as the heated blood roaring through his veins reminded him he was on a short leash. “Come here, baby.”
She licked her lips. “Are you mad?”
He took another slow, deep breath. Yeah, he was mad. “Why would I be mad?” he asked a little too sarcastically as he placed his hands on the rafter above his head, feeling his biceps bulge against the short-sleeve t-shirt he was wearing.