Sweet little lies, p.27
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       Sweet Little Lies, p.27

         Part #1 of Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis
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  tell him so. Absolutely not. “I have a secret fantasy about doing it somewhere where we could maybe get caught,” she said. Dammit, mouth!

  His grin was fast and wicked, assuring her he was absolutely up for the challenge. She laughed again, nervously now. “But I’m pretty sure it’s just a fantasy,” she said quickly, putting her hands on his chest to keep him at arm’s length.

  Or to keep him close. She hadn’t quite decided.

  The hand on her ass shifted up a little and then back down, slipping inside the back of her pants. “How sure is pretty sure?” he asked, his fingers stroking the line of her thong, but before they could slip beneath, she laughed again and pulled free.

  “Pretty, pretty sure,” she said shakily.

  His gaze slid down her body. “I suppose you’re cold again.”

  Well aware that her greedy nipples were still threatening to make a break right through the material of her shirt, she scooped up Thor and clutched him to her chest.

  Thor seemed to give her a long look like please don’t make me wait while you two do disgusting things to each other. “Don’t worry,” she muttered to the dog. “I’ve got a handle on things now.”

  “I’ve got something you could get a handle on,” Finn said.

  She rolled her eyes. “Weak.”

  “It’s not weak.”

  She laughed. “I remember.”

  “So if we’re not making fantasies come true, how about dinner?” he asked.

  Dilemma. She couldn’t take him home, she’d sleep with him again. “Pizza,” she said, thinking a crowded Italian joint should be safe enough.

  “Sold,” Finn said.

  They left the cave and walked along the rocky beach for a few minutes. The tide was out, the water receded a hundred yards or more it seemed. Pru managed to trip over a rock and then her own two feet, dropping Thor’s leash to catch herself. So naturally Thor took off directly toward the waves at the speed of light, barking the whole way.

  “Thor!” she yelled. “He can’t swim,” she told Finn. “Sinks like a stone.”

  “Trust me, he’ll swim if he has to.”

  But she couldn’t be so calm. Her baby was racing right for the waves. She started after him much slower, having to be careful on the rocks.

  “Don’t worry,” Finn said. “He’ll be back as soon as his paws get wet.”

  But Thor hit the water and kept going, right into a wave. And then the worst possible thing happened.

  He vanished.

  “Oh my God.” Pru took off running down the rocky beach, heading directly for the spot where Thor had vanished. She kicked off her sandals and dove in.

  The next wave crashed over her head and smashed her face into the sand. Gasping, she pushed upright, swiping the sand from her face to find . . .

  Thor sitting on the shore staring at her, his tail whipping back and forth, his mouth smiling wide, proud of himself. Dripping wet, he barked twice and she’d have sworn he said, “Fun, right?”

  Finn laughed and picked the dog up. Thor wriggled to get free but Finn just tucked the dripping wet, very-proud-of-himself dog beneath one arm and reached for Pru with the other, a wide smile on his face.

  Pru went hands on wet hips. “Are you laughing at me? You’d better not be laughing at me.”

  “I wouldn’t dream of it.”

  She narrowed her eyes.

  Finn did his best to squelch his smile and failed. “I told you he’d be fine.”

  “Uh huh.”

  His laugh drifted over her. “I’m guessing that this time you really are cold instead of just pretending to be.”

  She looked down at her shirt. Yep, plastered to her torso and gone sheer to boot, making her look more naked than she would be without a stitch of clothing. She narrowed her eyes at him but he just kept smiling. So she took a step toward him with the intention of wrapping her very wet self around him until he was just as wet as she.

  But he dodged her and held up a hand. “Now let’s not get crazy—”

  She flung herself at him. Just took a running step and a flying leap.

  He was a smart enough man to catch her, and in spite of the fact that it meant she drenched him with seawater, he hauled her in and held her close.

  “Got you,” he said, and melted away her irritation in a single heartbeat. Because he always did seem to have her, whether it was soothing her after she’d hit him with a dart, or when she’d been upset about her grandpa, or sick with food poisoning . . . He had her. Always.

  It was as simple and terrifying as that.

  Chapter 28


  Finn bundled both the wet dog and the even wetter woman into his car. He pulled a blanket from his emergency kit and tucked it around them.

  “I’m f-fine,” Pru said, teeth chattering, lips blue.

  Uh huh. In other words, “back off, Finn.” Not likely. But he wasn’t surprised at the attempt. Every time they got too close she seemingly regretted their time together.

  He regretted nothing. Not the way she’d felt in his arms and not the way he’d felt in hers. From the beginning, there’d been a shocking sense of intimacy between them, one that had momentarily stunned him, but he’d gotten over it quickly.

  He wanted even more but he was smart enough to know a reticent woman when he saw one. She was still unsure. She needed more time.

  And he’d already made the decision to give it to her. “Your teeth are going to rattle right out of your head,” he said, cranking up the heat, aiming the vents at her.

  Clearly freezing, she didn’t utter a word of complaint. Instead she seemed much more concerned that he would skip the afore-promised pizza. “It takes calories to keep yourself warm,” she said. “Pepperoni and cheese calories. A lot of them.”

  “I’ll call it in and have it delivered while you shower,” he assured her.

  “No!” She paused, clearly searching for a reason to ditch him. “Lefty’s won’t deliver.”

  “Then we can call Mozza’s,” he said.

  She managed a derisive snort in between shivers. “Mozza’s isn’t real pizza.”

  “Okay.” He pulled into the back lot of Lefty’s. “Stay here, I’ll just run in and get it real quick.”

  But she was right behind him, emergency Mylar blanket wrapped around her and all.

  Waiting in line, he slid her a look. “You didn’t trust me to pick the right pizza.”

  “Not even a little bit.”

  Lefty was taking orders himself, he loved people. Smiling broadly at Pru, he said, “Hey there, cutie pie. What happened, you get pitched overboard? Not a good day for a swim, it’s kinda brisk.”

  “Don’t I know it,” she muttered. “I had to save Thor. Life or death situation.”

  Finn grinned and Pru turned a long look his way, daring him to contradict her story.

  Finn lifted his hands in surrender and Lefty went brows up. “Sensing a good story here. Someone start talking.”

  “Would love to,” Pru said. “But you’ve got a long line waiting, so—”

  “They’ll wait.” Lefty set his elbows on the counter and leaned in. “Is it as good as you trying to kill our boy here with a dart?”

  She whirled on Finn. “You know that was an accident! You’ve been telling people I tried to kill you?”

  Lefty laughed. “Nah, he didn’t say a word. Never does. Willa told me. Oh and Archer’s guys too, Max and the scary-looking one with the tattoo on his skull.”

  Pru smacked her forehead. “How is it possible that the people in our building gossip more than a bunch of guys in a firehouse?”

  “Don’t you mean a bunch of girls in junior high?” Lefty asked.

  “No,” she said, glowering. “Girls have got nothing on guys when it comes to gossip.” She sent a long look at Finn, daring him to disagree.

  “One hundred percent true,” he said and paid for their food. And then because she seemed skittish about going back to her place, he brought her and T
hor to his.

  As they got out of the car, Pru muttered something that sounded an awful lot like “just keep your clothes on and you’ll be fine.”

  Finn hid his grin. “Problem?” he asked her.

  She scowled. “Just hungry.”

  He let them inside. His phone buzzed an incoming call from Sean and he turned to Pru. “Help yourself to my shower to get warmed up.”

  When she’d shut herself in his bathroom, he answered his phone.

  “We’re filled to capacity,” Sean said.

  “Great. And?”

  “And,” Sean said, sounding irritated. “We need you.”

  “You’re fully staffed. The pub doesn’t need me.”

  There was a silence, during which Finn could hear Sean gnashing his teeth together. “Okay, I need you,” he finally said, not sounding all that happy about the admission. “There’s a bachelorette party here and the bridesmaids are insane, man. They’ve pinched my ass twice. I’ve also got a birthday party for some guy who’s like a hundred and he’s got a bunch of old geezers with him and they’re doing shots. What if one of them ups and croaks on us? And then there’s the fact that Rosa’s sick and says she has to go home early. Code for her boyfriend doesn’t have to work tonight and she wants to go see him.”

  Finn heard the shower go on down the hall. He hadn’t had a woman here in this house . . . ever. Not once. The relationships in his life had all been short-lived ones, all existing away from home. He tended to keep his personal life out of his sex life.

  And his personal life hadn’t been a priority, in any sense of the word. His brother and the pub had been his entire world for a damn long time, which meant that Pru had been right when she’d told him that first night in the bar that he hadn’t been living his life. It had been living him.

  He wanted to change that. He wanted what he’d been missing out on. He wanted a relationship.

  And he wanted it with Pru.

  “Are you even listening to me?” Sean asked, clearly pissy now. “I need you to get your ass down here and help me with this shit.”

  “No,” Finn said. “You’re in charge.”


  “Figure it out, Sean,” Finn said and disconnected. He filled a bowl of water for Thor, and since the little guy was looking a little waterlogged, he wrapped him up in a blanket and made him comfortable on the couch.

  Thor licked Finn’s chin and closed his eyes, and was snoring in thirty seconds flat.

  “If only your owner was as easy to please,” Finn said.

  Thor smiled in his sleep and then farted.

  Pru stood under Finn’s heavenly shower until she’d thawed. Then she wrapped herself up in one of his large, fluffy towels and went looking for him, hoping he had a pair of sweats she could wear while her clothes dried.

  She found Thor asleep in the middle of Finn’s comfy-looking couch. The sliding glass door was open so she left the dog to his nap and poked her head out. The deck there was small and cozy and completely secluded by the two stucco walls on either side.

  There was a tiny table, two chairs, and an incredible view of Cow Hollow, and beyond it, the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.

  Finn came out. She heard him set the pizza and drinks on the table and then he came up behind her where she stood hands on the railing staring out at the view. His hands covered hers. She could feel the warmth of his big body seeping into her. And something else. Hunger. Need. He always invoked those emotions in her, and if she was being honest, far more too. “I was hoping to borrow some of your clothes,” she managed.


  He had her caged in and she liked it. When he lowered his head to nuzzle the side of her throat, she nearly turned into a happy little kitten and began to purr.

  “I like you like this,” he said huskily. “Just warm, soft, delicious, naked woman in my towel.”

  “How do you know I’m naked under here?” she heard herself ask daringly.

  Taking the challenge, he slid a hand up her thigh, letting out a low, sexy, knowing laugh when she squeaked.

  “Clothes,” she demanded.

  “Sure.” But instead of backing off, he lifted a hand to point to Fisherman’s Wharf, where if she squinted, she could just make out Jake’s building. “Sometimes I stand right here and look for you,” he said.

  She closed her eyes and let her body follow its wishes, which meant she rested her head back against his chest.

  Finn brushed the hair from the nape of her neck and slid his mouth across the sensitive skin there, giving her a full body shiver of the very best kind.

  “You always smell so damn good,” he murmured against her skin, his mouth at her jaw now while his hands slid over her body, revving her engines, firing up all her cylinders. “And now you smell like me. Love that. You make me hungry, Pru.”

  “Good thing we have pizza,” she said breathlessly.

  “It’s not pizza I’m hungry for.” His hands skimmed over her towel-covered breasts, skipping her nipples which were dying for his attention.

  She made a little whimper of protest and felt him smile against her neck.

  “You’re teasing me,” she accused.

  “No, if I was teasing you, I’d do something like this . . .” And he dragged hot, openmouthed kisses down her throat, his hands continuing to tease until she whimpered in frustration. “Finn.”

  “Tell me.”

  Stay strong, Pru. “I need you,” she whispered. “I need you so much.”

  “Right back at you, Pru.” And then he whipped her around and lifted her up onto the rail. “Hold on tight,” he said against her throat.

  Not having a death wish, she threw her arms around his neck. This had the towel loosening on her. But left with the choice of holding onto it or Finn, she did what any red-blooded, sex-starved woman would do—she let the towel fall.

  Finn kissed her and then pulled back just enough to take a good, long look at her, letting out a rough groan. “You take my breath, Pru. Every fucking time. You’re so beautiful.”

  She opened her mouth to tell him ditto but his mouth covered hers before she could speak as his hands began a full assault on her now naked body. It took him only a few beats to have her writhing under his ministrations, straining for more, and his hot gaze swept over her, heating her up from the inside out. “You’re not cold?”

  He was really asking this time and she managed to shake her head. “Not even a little.”

  With a smile, his mouth worked its way southward. As for Pru, she kept a monkey-like grip on him, her head falling back. “Oh my God,” she whispered. “We’re outside.”

  His mouth curved against her bare shoulder. “Do you want me to stop?”

  “Don’t you dare—” She broke off and sucked in a breath as he gently captured her nipple with his teeth.

  Mindless now, she rocked up into him. “Please don’t let go of me.”

  “Never.” He sucked her into his hot mouth making her moan and clutch at him. He had one arm tight to her back while his free hand danced its way up the inside of her thighs. The flat of the railing that she was balanced on wasn’t quite as wide as her ass but he had her, and in spite of joking that she didn’t trust him to pick the pizza, she did.


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