A Seductive Fortune
By Anne Kane
Genres: Contemporary romance
Natalie had spent one amazing weekend with Jacob McKinley two years ago. When she awoke the next morning, he was gone. What were the chances that he’d turn up next door to her new home? Or that the mutt she’d rescued would conspire with his bouncy little spaniel to throw the two of them together?
The fortune teller at the local fair tells Natalie that she and Jacob are star-crossed lovers, and warns Jacob that Natalie needs a knight in shining armor. There is something bad coming her way. Can Jacob convince Natalie that he cares, and convince her to give him another chance, to trust him to keep her safe?
Opening the cottage door, she stepped outside and inhaled a deep lungful of Cape Cod air. The smell of fresh green foliage tinged with a hint of salt water assailed her.
Winston took care of making sure that the old tree stump by the edge of the driveway was suitably watered while she did a few warm up exercises. Satisfied that she wasn’t going to do any major damage to ligaments or muscles, Britney headed down the long driveway at a slow jog.
The fact that her chosen route would lead her directly past Jacob McKinley’s house was purely coincidental. They were neighbors, after all. She was bound to pass his house any number of times in the course of a day.
Her breath started to come in labored gasps by the time Jacob’s house came into view. In hindsight, planning her route to swing past the gorgeous hunks’ place when she was hot, sweaty and red faced might not have been such a good idea. She could just see him, standing on his porch doing some kind of morning exercise. Motioning Winston to follow her, she changed direction, heading along a barely worn path through the woods.
She let out a low groan of frustration. When was she ever going to learn? Men were trouble, especially the ones that sent flames of desire licking through her body.
* * * * *
Jacob finished the last moves of his morning kata, bringing his feet together and bowing to the sun rising in the east. Stooping to pick his shirt up off the ground where he’d tossed it, he pulled it back over his head.
He couldn’t stop his thoughts from turning to his new neighbor. Oh yeah, he remembered her! How could he forget that one night they’d spent together? The way her laughter had lit up the night? The way her body wrapped around his own, pulling him into a vortex of such incredible pleasure that he’d been hard put not to drag her back to New York with him when the call had come? But that wouldn’t have been fair. Not to either of them.
Luckily she didn’t seem to recognize him, which meant he had a second chance, one he didn’t deserve, but hey. Who was he to question the capriciousness of luck?
Trixie came to her feet, padding over to brush against his thighs. He reached down to scratch her behind her ears. A fluffy little puppy had been the last thing he’d wanted, but when the waif had shown up on his front stoop, looking so lost and forlorn, something in his heart had shifted. It had been so long since anyone had shown him such simple unquestioning devotion that he’d almost forgot it existed. She’d reminded him of the simple joy his sister had shown before addiction had taken over and robbed her of her love of life.
“Okay, girl. Time for some breakfast, and then we’ll see what we can find out about our new neighbor.”
* * * * *
Britney let go of Winston’s collar and got slowly to her feet. Spying on the cute guy next door at her age? Really? But when she’d spotted him outside doing his morning forms, something had urged her to detour into the bushes rather than come face to face with him. That same something, which she was beginning to suspect might be insanity, urged her to sit still and watch the beautiful flowing forms he had performed for the past twenty minutes.
It looked like T’ai Chi but she wasn’t sure. Asking him the next time they legitimately ran into each other was definitely out of the question! Whistling softly for Winston to follow, she angled up the deer trail and emerged just past sight of Jacob’s house.
Time to get back to the cottage and have a cold shower!
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