The Ultimate Treasure

By: Melody Anne

“It’s never too warm for a fire,” she countered.

He grinned at her, desperately wanting to walk over, push her down, and climb on top of her. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to hold himself back — especially after being with her night after night.

“You really don’t have to stick around. You can just tell me where I’m supposed to be at what time, or leave me a schedule like the board told me I would get, and then you can get settled,” she said. “We both have to unpack.”

“I don’t have far to go,” he told her, his voice a bit tight. He wished she’d either get off the damn bed she looked ready to make love to, or strip and let him in with her. His voice must have alerted her because her grin fell, and she gave him a wary glance.

“Where exactly is not far?” she asked.

He leaned in the doorjamb as he smiled at her.

“About two feet,” he said, watching for her reaction. He had to give her credit because he might not have noticed how affected she was if he couldn’t read her eyes so damn well.

“Like right next door?” she asked, with what sounded like hopefulness in her tone.

“Next door to your room, yes,” he answered.

She opened her mouth like she wanted to say something, and then she shut it again. This happened several times before words actually came out.

“You’re staying in the same house?” she squeaked.

“Yep,” he told her. “I better unpack.”

He didn’t give her time to respond to that little piece of information. He just turned and walked the couple of feet to his own bedroom, shut the door, and leaned on it. He was putting himself through hell for this woman. Yes, he’d stayed in this place before but never for more than a couple days, and certainly not with a beautiful woman who was completely unattainable — or so it seemed.

The bedrooms didn’t even have their own bathrooms. He hadn’t wanted to make something lavish in the impoverished area, so he’d kept it simple. It was still nicer than a lot of the places large families lived in. He’d gone as small as possible without hitting his elbows and knees on the walls. The bathroom did have a large shower. He couldn’t give up that luxury, but at least there was no tub. There weren’t a lot of extras. Lance considered the place to be a camping adventure, making him realize he was a lot more spoiled than he had thought.

Lexie was enthralled with the place, and he wanted to get out of it as quickly as possible. There was a nice hotel he stayed in about an hour away. But when he came into the village they were rebuilding, he always felt guilty about living a life of luxury while the children he’d gotten to know were so grateful for something as simple as fresh bread.

Still, the house could be five thousand square feet and feel like a tin box as long as he was alone with Lexie but unable to touch her. He might have put himself into a situation he would forever regret.

Lance had often been told a person should never regret a decision they’d made, that everything had a reason behind it, and even failures were there to make you a stronger person. He might be repeating that sentiment to himself a lot over the next few weeks. He certainly would as he took a shower every day, knowing Lexie had been in the same place — naked, soapy, and wet.

With a groan, Lance threw himself down on the bed and closed his eyes, his body throbbing and fully aware that relief was only one door away. He hoped for both their sakes she didn’t resist him too long.

If so, he might have to kidnap the woman and sex her into submission.

Chapter Five

One night down, twenty-nine to go, Lexie assured herself as she exited the shower and wrapped a towel around her freshly washed body. She’d been frustrated to find out she’d be sharing the same small house with Lance and felt she’d been set up. Then she felt guilty about having those thoughts.

They were in an area that had been ravaged by storms. She couldn’t expect each of them to stay in big houses while islanders were sleeping in tents. How selfish could she actually be? She’d just have to suck it up. She’d had many roommates during college. It made living so much more affordable.

Of course she hadn’t had an incredibly sexy roommate she wanted to be tied to a bed by before, but she would just have to get over those thoughts. Lexie stood with her ear pressed against the door for several moments as she waited to see if she could hear Lance. She hadn’t even thought about bringing her clothes into the bathroom; at home she always showered, then went to her room to dress. She didn’t have to worry about walking around with only a towel on. She often wore it into the kitchen while she put on a fresh pot of coffee.

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