The Ultimate Treasure

By: Melody Anne

But if she wanted to keep things professional between her and Lance, she wouldn’t be able to do things like that. She didn’t want the man to think she was a tease, or something even worse. On the other hand, he had seen her fully naked, so a towel was a lot of covering, considering.

She heard no sounds, so she creaked the door open and peeked out. He was nowhere to be found. Her heart pounding, she opened the door and made a mad dash to her bedroom, her heart not slowing until she was on the other side of the closed door, her towel still in place.

What a way to start off the day. She wasn’t going to last a month like this. She was sure of it. But she couldn’t imagine the very spoiled Lance Storm surviving in what she assumed he’d think was a lesser place than he was used to.

The house was ideal to her, more than she could have ever expected; her own apartment was so small she could practically reach her arms out and touch each wall. Maybe that was a slight exaggeration, but Lexie was used to living meagerly, and she didn’t mind it one bit. She had a strong work ethic, and paid her own way, and that said something about a person, she’d decided long ago. Maybe she had commitment issues, but everyone had to have at least a few skeletons in their secret closet.

Getting dressed, Lexie made her way to the kitchen, thrilled when she found a fresh pot of coffee. She didn’t want to admit her disappointment in finding the kitchen empty. The last thing she needed was to grow attached to seeing Lance. They were doing a job together and that was all. She didn’t want, nor need, to see his face, especially first thing in the morning.

Sitting down with a fresh cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese, she was startled when Lance joined her, turning a chair around and straddling it like she wouldn’t mind straddling him. Shaking her head, she pushed that thought right back into the gutter where it belonged.

“Good morning. Are you looking forward to the day?” he asked as he sipped his coffee.

“Yes. I didn’t find the schedule though, so I have no idea what we’re doing,” she pointed out. She’d lost her appetite but forced herself to eat anyway. She wasn’t sure when she’d get a chance for more fuel, and she planned on working hard so she’d definitely need the energy the food would provide.

“I’ve got the schedule right here,” he said with a smile as he pointed to his head.

“I would prefer it on paper,” she said, not amused.

“What fun would that be? Waste not, want not,” he told her.

“I’m here to do a job, Lance, not play games with you,” she huffed.

“Why can’t we do both?” he asked with dripping innocence.

“Can you at least tell me when we’re going?” she said, her own voice sugary sweet. Two could play that game, she decided.

“As soon as you finish your meal,” he told her.

Though the bagel now tasted like sawdust, Lexie washed it down with coffee. She normally wouldn’t mind another cup while she sat back and looked through her phone, but she feared she’d go a little insane if she stayed in the house with Lance for too long.

“Ready,” she told him after she got up and rinsed her cup. “Are these clothes okay?”

Lance took the opportunity to look at her from head to toe and she regretted her choice of words as his intense stare caused her to heat up in all the wrong places — okay, the right places, wrong man, she corrected.

“You look perfect,” he said in a low purr.

“This isn’t a fashion statement. I need to know what I’m doing so I can be prepared,” she told him.

“Today, we’re going to the village to meet the kids,” he said. “Comfort is what you want to dress for. You’re going to be on your feet a lot, and we’ll be doing many different tasks.”

Lexie really wished the man wouldn’t smile so much. It was so much harder to resist their chemistry when he looked at her like she was his next meal. And the open smile that said to the world he was a happy-go-lucky kind of guy was nearly her undoing.

“Good because that’s the sort of clothes I brought,” she said. “I looked up the temps and knew it would be warmer here.”

“I wouldn’t mind getting you a bikini or two if you want a day off at the beach,” he said with a waggle of his brows.

If they were at the beach together, that would mean he’d be wearing shorts — and nothing else. Damn, she wouldn’t mind that. Nope. Shaking her head she gave him what she hoped was a friendly smile.

“I’m good. Let’s go,” she said as she walked to the front door.

Lance led her from the house and instead of getting in the vehicle he grabbed her hand and led her down a dirt road. She tried tugging free of him for a few seconds, but gave up when it was obvious he wasn’t unhanding her.

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