Embracing Her Heart

By: Melissa Foster

“Maybe so, but I don’t have a look. If anything, I’m just tired and maybe a little cranky from being woken up at four thirty in the morning by the Pop ’n’ Fresh girls.” Grace arched a brow at Sable. “And then again at God-knows-what-time by him.”

“Mm-hm,” their mother said, exchanging a look with Amber that Grace couldn’t read. The two of them were putting away groceries shoulder to shoulder, and Grace swore she heard them whispering, too.

“Right,” Sable said sarcastically. “And I don’t have a look either.” She snorted a laugh and popped a piece of a cinnamon bun into her mouth.

“Oh my,” their mother said. “I can only imagine what Morgyn would say to that. She thinks you have a look, a laugh, a line, and anything else a woman might need to snag a man.”

“You don’t need a look, Sabe. You’re not exactly shy about letting guys know what you want, or who you want it with,” Grace said. “I, on the other hand, am a little less obvious and much pickier. Although not nearly as picky as Pepper, so don’t even go there.”

“Oh, please! Picky?” Sable narrowed her eyes, pointed at Grace, and said in a singsong voice, “Ice queen.”

The sound of a man clearing his throat sent them all spinning in the direction of the doorway, where Reed stood looking mildly embarrassed and wickedly hot. He’d put his shirt back on, but it clung to his athletic frame. His hair was tousled, and his skin glistened with perspiration, which for some reason made him look even sexier. Grace tried to ignore her quickening pulse, but it was hopeless with the sensual heat rolling off the man she’d once known so intimately.

Reno bounded toward him.

“Settle!” Amber said.

Reno skidded to a stop in front of Reed, a bundle of fluffy energy, his tongue hanging from his mouth as his eyes begged for attention. The dog’s reaction told Grace how well Reno already knew their visitor. She silently repeated the command to her own libido—Settle. Settle. Settle—but unlike the well-behaved dog, it didn’t listen, and lust simmered deep in her belly. From the look Sable was giving her, and the devilish grin spreading across Reed’s lips, everyone in the room could see it.

Chapter Three

REED TRIED NOT to let the way Grace was staring have an effect on him, but he knew the fiery passion she was capable of, and the ravenous look of desire in her gorgeous green eyes was impossible to ignore. The chip on her shoulder she’d flaunted earlier gave her an edge that made her even more appealing. Surely if she knew her defensive attitude only made her hotter, she’d do what she could to temper it, and for that reason alone, he’d never clue her in.

He cocked a smile and hiked a thumb over his shoulder, trying to remember why he’d come into the house in the first place. “I knocked, but you probably didn’t hear me.”

“Reed, come on in, honey.” Marilynn lifted a coffee mug. “Would you like a cup of coffee?”

“No, thank you,” he said as Amber crouched to love up Reno.

Sable leaned her hip against the counter, her eyes dancing between him and Grace. As if Grace had just realized she was staring, she shifted her gaze away. Reed wasn’t sure if he was relieved or disappointed.

“I wanted to show you what I’ve found outside. Do you have a moment? And is your husband around? I’d like to show him, too.”

Sable pushed away from the counter. “What’d you find?”

“Something bad?” Amber took a curious step closer.

It didn’t escape him that Grace had not made a move to get closer. If anything, she’d retreated a step or two.

“Cade is out, but you can show me.” Marilynn set her coffee cup on the counter and headed out the door. Amber, Sable, and Reno followed her.

Seeing Grace’s close-knit family magnified how much Reed had missed his own family while he’d been in Michigan. And just seeing Grace made him realize how much he’d missed her. He hesitated at the door, unwilling to let this morning’s encounter be the last thing said between them. Grace crossed her arms, the lust in her eyes cooler now but still there. Has it remained for all these years, or is this new?

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