Cooking Up Trouble(8)

By: Judi Lynn


She tore her gaze away from awesome nakedness and glanced at his clothes, folded on top of the toilet tank. His jeans hung half-on, half-off. He’d obviously reached for them, taken his cell phone from the pocket, and then lost his grip on the shower doors.

She tried not to notice the tanned skin and taut muscles that strained against the glass. A six-pack, maybe eight. My, oh my. She especially tried not to let her gaze roam farther south, but she was only human. And oh goodness, every part of Ian was impressive, smashed against the glass. Lots better than her bakery showcase. She cleared her throat. “Can I help?”

He jerked, and she was worried he’d lose his grip on the metal frame, but he tightened his fingers and said, “If you could slide a couple of chairs close to the tub, I think we can scoot the whole thing on those for support.”

She ran to grab two kitchen chairs, and with some grunts and finagling, they got the doors balanced on them and leaned the glass unit against the sidewall. Ian grabbed a towel the minute he could let go of the doors and wrapped it snugly around his waist. Even then, the man’s body proved a distraction. How could he be so fit when he was clearly not an outdoorsman?

He ran a hand through his damp hair. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know who else to call. I didn’t mean for you to come. I didn’t want you to see . . . well, what you saw.”

“I called around, but couldn’t get anybody.” Tessa should glue her eyes shut so her gaze didn’t roam to the gap the towel didn’t cover in back. Ian had a great ass.

He sighed, frustrated. “The work crew came from out of town. The doors were supposed to be solid, but when I tried to get out of the tub, the whole thing started to fall on me. They’d have never gotten back in time. I can’t believe you had to see me buck naked.”

Had to? She’d have paid the price of admission—even if she had to break her piggy bank. Tessa had to force her gaze to stay on his face. He was so upset, she felt sorry for him, but his muscular torso deserved another look. She shrugged, trying to play off the situation. “It’s no big deal.” Nervous laughter spilled out before she could stop it. “I’ve seen a naked man before. I have an older brother, and I was engaged for three years. I won’t die of shock.”

His broad shoulders relaxed. Oh, lordy, it was getting steamy in here. Or maybe it was just her. Tessa had to get away from him, at least until he got some clothes on. She started toward the great room, Ian close behind her, when she stopped so suddenly, he ran into her. She’d have fallen over if he hadn’t reached out to grab her.

“Tessa?” His worried look darted from her face to what she was looking at.

A petite, curvy woman jutted out her hip and raised a blonde eyebrow.

“Oh, lord. Lily! It’s not what you think! My shower doors—”

She cut him off. Her blue eyes danced with amusement. “I can’t leave you alone for one minute, Ian McGregor, before you get yourself in trouble.”

Ian’s entire face flushed brick red. He stammered, then sputtered, “I was in the shower when the glass doors started to fall. Tessa tried to call for help, but had to come over to rescue me herself.”

Lily’s lips curved into a smile as she held out a hand to Tessa. Dimples came and went. “Thanks for saving my beau here. I’ve never met a man who can find trouble like he does.”

Tessa smiled, too. Would she have handled this situation so well? Hell, no. “Ian talks about you all the time. He’s waiting for the day this place is ready so you can move in with him.”

Lily turned to survey the room. “It’s clean and painted. That’s a start.”

Gripping his towel firmly, Ian said, “Tessa volunteered to help me decorate. I love her house, and she knows where to find good antiques for our place.”

Our place. Tessa hoped Lily realized how lucky she was. Ian lived, breathed, and adored his fiancée.

Lily waved away his plans and said, “I can only stay till Saturday afternoon. I have to drive to the city to be at the airport early Sunday morning. So you don’t have much time to show me around.” Her eyebrow rose as she looked him up and down. “You might want to get dressed first.”

Ian hesitated and turned to Tessa. “Do you mind if I stand you up for supper tonight? I didn’t know Lily was coming.”

Lily gave a playful tug on his towel. “I wanted to surprise you.”

“It’s a great surprise.” Tessa started to the door. “I’ve worked all day, and I’m beat. I’m going to grab some leftovers and veg in front of the TV.”

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