Home > September is for Shaw(6)

September is for Shaw(6)
Author: Dylann Crush

“Shaw? The pump?” She gestured toward the cabin.

I refocused, feeling like a complete jackass. She brought out a side of me I wasn’t used to handling, along with some primal instinct to tame her, toss her over my shoulder, and claim her like an animal might claim its mate. Fuck that. I could control myself. Eden Sugarman wasn’t the only woman gorgeous woman I’d ever met.

But—an annoying voice popped into my head—she was the only woman who made me feel like I was lost by just looking at her.

“The pump needs to be turned on to get any kind of water pressure in the house.” We’d made it back to the cabin. I wrapped my fingers around the door handle and glanced at Eden for a sign that it was okay to enter the cabin.

She nodded, so I held the door open and let her go first. Immediately, I regretted it. The scent of vanilla flooded my nose. She smelled good enough to lick from top to bottom. My mouth watered as I imagined what she would taste like—or even better—what she’d look like straddling my face and riding my tongue.

“Where’s the switch?” She stood in the middle of the small family room, her clothes abandoned on the couch, her hands on her hips.

The sooner I got away from her, the sooner I’d reclaim my self-control. “It’s on the electrical panel in the bedroom.”

“Will you show me?” She padded across the hardwood floor on bare feet.

I couldn’t think of a reasonable excuse as to why I couldn’t follow, so I reluctantly entered her bedroom. My gaze swept over the full-size bed. The covers were pulled back and the pillow still held the indent from her head. Being in this room felt too intimate, like I was invading her privacy by seeing her personal space.

“It’s probably in the closet.” I crossed the room and stepped into the small walk-in. The scent of vanilla was even stronger here. I closed my eyes and breathed it in.

“Is that it over there?” Eden followed me, so close that her breath brushed over the back of my neck.

Dammit. I fumbled with the latch to release the panel. Leroy’s shaky handwriting indicated the breaker for the water pump. I reached out and flipped it.

“Want to go check the water to make sure that was the issue?” I asked. My pulse raced at having her so close. I didn’t trust myself to brush past her to go check the faucet myself. She darted out of the closet, leaving me alone with my inexplicable and unwanted reaction.

“It works!” Excitement over running water raised her voice a whole octave. “Thank you so much. I can take a bath now.”

Thank fuck. I shut the panel and retreated out of her bedroom as quickly as I could.

Eden met me by the front door and threw her arms around my neck. “Thank you! You have no idea how much I’ve been craving a long, hot shower.”

I caught her against my chest. Even through the thick robe, I could feel her curves mold to my body. Her scent surrounded me, tempting me to lower my mouth and capture her lips in a hungry kiss. I was too damn old to lose my self-control around a woman. With my hands on her hips, I nudged her backward, desperate to put some distance between us.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Her eyes flashed with regret. That tiny wrinkle appeared between her eyebrows again.

I hated being the reason to make her frown, but I didn’t have a choice. If she’d spent another second pressed up against me, I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself from plunging my hand into her hair and tilting her head back so I could suck that full bottom lip into my mouth and…fuck! What the hell was wrong with me?

“Nothing to apologize about. You just caught me off guard.” I rolled my shoulder, wincing at the sharp pain that sliced across my back. Chopping wood hadn’t been the best way to take out my frustration, but I’d needed some kind of outlet.

“Hey, let me get that liniment for your back.” Eden spun around and disappeared into the kitchen.

“No need. I’ll be fine.” I reached for the door, eager to put some distance between us.

“Hold on a second.” She caught me halfway out the door. “It’s the least I can do. Obviously, it’s bothering you.”

Before I had a chance to blow her off, she popped the lid off the metal tin and scooped out whatever was inside.

“Turn around.” She didn’t seem to be asking. It was more like she was issuing a command she expected to be obeyed.

“I told you, I’m fine. It’s just an old football injury that pops up every once in a while.”

She cocked a hip. The robe opened in front, revealing a length of leg. Dammit. Rather than wait for my cock to strain against my zipper, I wheeled around.

Her finger skimmed along my shoulder blade. “Tell me where it hurts the most. Here?”

“Yeah, sure.” I couldn’t focus on anything but the feel of her touch.

“It won’t help unless I rub it exactly where you need it.” She rested her entire palm on my back.

Damn, I wanted to tell her exactly where I needed her to rub me. Instead, I shifted so her palm rested under my right shoulder blade. “Right there.”

She rubbed the liniment into my skin, her fingers gently working the muscles underneath. I bit back the urge to groan. It had been years since someone had touched me like that. I closed my eyes and focused on the pressure of her fingertips on my skin.

“How’s that feel?” The warmth of her breath sent a chill down my spine.

“Amazing.” Immediately, I wished I could swallow my response. I didn’t want to risk her thinking she had any kind of hold over me. I’d spent my whole life making sure I didn’t allow myself to get into anyone’s debt. Even though I could have stood there for hours, savoring the feel of her hand on my skin, I forced myself to step away. “Thanks. I need to get going. I’ve got a lot of wood left that I need to handle.”

Her eyes widened and she bit back a smile.

Jesus, I was a moron. “I mean, that wood pile isn’t going to chop itself. I’m glad you’re okay. Let me know if that pump gives you any trouble.”

“Here, take this with you.” She put the lid back on the metal tin and held it out to me.

“That’s okay, I can’t reach that spot under my shoulder, anyway.” There was no way I’d ask Caden to do it. He’d never let me live it down if I told him the goat stuff really worked.

“I’ll stop by tomorrow to help you, then.”

Fuck. The last thing I needed was to have Eden come over and start rubbing my back. I’d barely survived it once.

“That’s not necessary. I’m not even sure it helped.”

She rolled her eyes. “I know my stuff is good, Shaw. But if you want to tell your grumpasaurus self that your back doesn’t feel better, go right on ahead. Good luck with your wood.”

My face burned. Everything about our interaction was fucked up. “See you around.”

Her fingers fluttered in a feminine wave.

I turned my back on her, leaving her standing on her porch in that bathrobe that left little to the imagination. Hell, I didn’t need to imagine what she looked like underneath because I’d seen her. The memory would be seared on my brain for eternity. Thanks to Eden, I knew exactly what I’d be doing for the rest of the night—beating off to that vision of her floating on top of the water.

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