There’d been something brewing between John and Sammy twenty years ago when they were teenagers. Only good-girl Sammy had been too afraid of John’s bad boy image. Besides, in those days all he’d wanted was sex. She opted for his safer and more predictable brother, Pat. And when they got married, John disappeared.
They’re reunited during a family reunion, and the years disappear in the blink of an eye. Seeing him now, as the successful, sexy man he’s become, reminds Sammy that they’re both free to pursue the attraction for each other that had never been fully extinguished. Only giving in to a weekend of hot, anything-goes sex isn’t the only thing Sammy faces. She has to come to terms with loving him.
Sammy opened a bright red cooler, grabbed a bottle of water, and continued toward the edge of the lake. She scanned the area, seeing some familiar faces, some not so familiar. Pat and his new wife were relaxing on inner tubes, holding hands to keep from drifting apart no doubt. At least one of them was getting some. She was actually glad her ex was happy. Taking a drink of water, she turned and froze.
John O’Malley was standing in the open doorway of his cabin, his tall body braced by one arm against the jamb, while he took a sip from a brown bottle. As he lowered the bottle their eyes met, and the crooked smile Sammy remembered slowly spread across his rugged features. The years had been good to him. There didn’t seem to be an ounce of spare flesh anywhere on his forty-four-year-old frame, but there was gray in his black hair, which was shorter than she remembered.
She smiled at that. It was hard to believe it had been almost twenty years since she’d seen him last. He was far removed from the lanky, cocky teenage boy with long hair and a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. And he was probably thinking something similar about her. Back then, Sammy had been short and a tad heavier than she would have liked. And she’d lacked the self-confidence to accept that a boy like him could really be interested in her.
She realized she was staring at him. God, I hope I’m not drooling! He looked simply delicious, and a heat began spreading over Sammy at this awareness. What was he thinking? He had yet to take his brown eyes off her.
He finally acknowledged her with a slight nod of his head, and Sammy was undecided on whether to ignore him or approach him. After all, he was family. But, in spite of the changes in his appearance over the years, he still reeked of a dangerous attraction that spelled trouble. On the other hand, they were adults now and she was suddenly curious beyond belief to know what he had been up to since the last time they saw one another. Had he remarried? Did he have children? What did he do for a living?
Before she knew what she was going to say, she found herself walking in his direction.“Well, well, well. If it isn’t good-little-girl Samantha O’Malley.”
John called her Samantha because he knew she didn’t like her name.“Well, well, well. If it isn’t bad-boy Johnny O’Malley. And you know I don’t like Samantha.”
“Sam.” He took another sip of his beer.
He knew she didn’t like that any better, but she decided to ignore it. “Come home for the reunion?” She stopped at the bottom of the steps and smiled up at him. She caught a whiff of something mild and pleasant, manly. “I’m surprised.”
He shrugged. “Figured it was time.”His gaze slid over Sammy like warm chocolate, making her squirm inside.“You’ve changed.”
Oh my God! The same exact thing he’d said in her dream the night before. “I’ve lost a pound or two.” More like forty.
“You look damn good.” He took a swig of his beer. “Guess the single life agrees with you.”
Is that his way of finding out if I’m still single? “Doesn’t it with everyone?”
Without warning, the dream came back to her. Damn! A furnace ignited within her and she was sure fire replaced the blood in her veins. Her nipples tingled, which wasn’t a good sign because it usually meant they were turning hard. It was all she could do not to cross her legs to squash the sudden tingling there, too.
“It sure does with me.” He finished his beer and tossed the bottle into a trash can next to the cabin.