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Stirring Attraction

By:Sara Jane Stone

Stirring Attraction - Sara Jane Stone
Prologue


“YOU PAINTED YOUR toenails pink.”

Dominic Fairmore stared at Lily’s bumble-­gum-­colored nails. He didn’t trust himself to look up. Downstairs, his dad’s dogs made the familiar trip to the water bowl and back, probably stopping to sniff the bag of Chinese takeout he’d abandoned on the kitchen table. The animals’ nails tapped against the hardwood floors, but otherwise silence filled the farmhouse. His little sister was at the beach and his dad was pulling a double at Forever, Oregon’s woefully understaffed police station. And yeah, he kept track of their locations because at twenty-­two he still lived at home.

Lily raised one perfect eyebrow. “I have two hours before my mom expects me home and you’re looking at my toenails?”

Her ironic tone pushed him damn close to his breaking point. He’d take her. Here. Now. Against the wall, pictures falling to the floor. Because he knew she reserved her humor for him. The rest of Forever saw a blond-­haired, blue-­eyed woman who charmed a roomful of five-­year-­olds day after day. A girl who’d been born here, grown up here, and put herself through the local university while still living at home to care for her wheelchair-­bound mother and alcoholic father.

But Dominic saw the only girl he’d ever loved. If he closed his eyes, he could still picture her walking down the halls of their high school. She’d been one year ahead of him. She’d graced the dreary high school halls with her sunshine smile and confidence. And yeah, her short skirts.

He’d memorized the way her cheerleader’s outfit teased her thighs while she led the squad her senior year. He’d been a junior, but already shepherding the football team to one victory after another. And sometimes it felt like he busted his ass on the field and won the game just to see her smile . . .

But he couldn’t close his eyes and block out the way Lily looked right now. His gaze drifted up her calves. Every inch of bare skin wrapped around his heart like a noose. He took in the curve of her thighs and tried to go slow. His jaw tightened and his eyes disobeyed.

Fuck slow.

His gaze locked on the slip of fabric disappearing between her legs.

“Your panties match your toenails,” he growled. There wasn’t a hint of humor in his voice. He couldn’t picture laughing now. In two days, he’d wreck her heart. He would shatter their love and leave her with nothing but memories and the promise that he’d come back.

I swear I’ll come back for her.

But so much could change while he was on the other side of the country training to be all he could be. And later, once he deployed, on the other side of the world.

Two more days. Two more nights. How many times could he make love to this woman before they ran out of time?

“Are you sure they match?” she teased. Her fingers brushed the waistband of her panties and then her thumbs slipped beneath the pink fabric.

His hands formed tight fists at his sides, watching as she drew her underwear down to her toes. Her upper body stole away his view of the blond curls, instead offering the sight of her full, bare breasts hovering in front of her legs. Long locks of blond hair drifted down as she compared the color of her underwear to her nail polish.

“Lily,” he growled, and stepped closer.

She glanced up at him slowly, as if she knew every movement of her body turned him on and pushed him closer to that place where he lost control. But hell, after five years together, Lily Greene damn well knew how to drive him crazy with lust and longing.

“My nails are a light pink. I think the bottle said ‘Ballet Slipper.’ But my underwear is closer to fuchsia.” She tossed her panties at him. “See?”

Years of training on the football field kicked in and he caught the slip of fabric in his right hand. “You’re right,” he said and he took a step forward. He threw her underwear down to the carpet without bothering to study them.

“You need to be home in two hours?” he asked.

Her teasing smile faded at the reminder of the reality beyond the bedroom walls. “You know I do.”

“We might not have time for the Chinese food.” He momentarily blocked his view as he drew his “Go Army!” T-­shirt over his head. He discarded the reminder of where he was heading in two days’ time. He wanted to leave this town and the dead-­end future it promised, but not Lily.

“I hate Chinese,” she said.

She reached forward and grabbed on to the belt buckle his father had given him after he won the state championship with his high school football team. He pressed his palms flat against the wall, one on either side of her head. He couldn’t touch her. Not yet.

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