A humble heart, p.10
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       A Humble Heart, p.10

         Part #1 of Hollywood Hearts series by R. L. Mathewson

  louder. She felt him wake up and freeze. He pulled away from her and sat up.

  She turned over and sat up as well. “Good morning,” he said sheepishly.

  Dana sighed with relief when she realized they were both completely dressed. “What happened?” she asked as she ran her fingers through her hair, hoping she didn’t have bed head.

  “I moved you in here last night and I guess I fell asleep, too.”

  “Thank you,” she mumbled, trying to figure out why he joined her in the bed. “Do you want breakfast?”

  He smiled. “That sounds good.” His eyes lowered to her mouth. “There’s just one thing I have to do first.”

  “Oh, what’s that?”

  “This.” He leaned in and kissed her mouth softly. His hand went behind her head and tilted it to the perfect angle to deepen their kiss. She was too stunned at first to do anything. Then she slowly melted into his touch and returned the kiss eagerly.

  Her arms wound around his neck as he moved closer to her. Dana wasn’t aware he was lowering her until her head was gently placed on the pillow. Edward moved over her body, using his legs to spread hers. He kissed her deeply, enjoying the feel of her mouth against his. He began to slowly grind himself into her. The moment she moaned, he groaned loudly and instinctively thrust against her harder.

  “I want you,” he growled against her mouth.

  Panic took over. She moved her mouth away from his.

  He kissed down her chin to her neck where he suckled and nipped at her skin, never stopping or slowing the movement of his erection against her.

  “Edward,” she said breathlessly.

  “Yes?” he said against her neck.

  “Edward, I can’t do this. It’s too fast!” She panicked. He could hear the fear in her voice. He stopped what he was doing and looked at her, studying her face. She looked so beautiful and so frightened it tugged at his heart. “How long has it been?” he asked softly.

  She swallowed nervously. “About four years.”

  “Four years? But Cole is three,” he said, not understanding, because she’d only been divorced for a year.

  Dana nodded. This was embarrassing. “The last time was when I conceived Cole. He was planned.”

  “Ah,” he said, adjusting himself on her. She only had sex with Jeff to get pregnant with Cole. After that there hadn’t been a reason, for some reason that made him happy.

  “I’m sorry,” she said, trying to look away.

  He kissed her cheek softly. “Don’t be. I don’t mind taking it slow.” Edward moved to his side of the bed and sat up. Dana climbed off the bed and ran her fingers through her hair, feeling awkward.

  She gestured towards the bathroom. “I’m going to take a shower before the kids wake up. If you’re still around afterwards I’ll make you breakfast?”

  “I’ll be here,” he said, looking around her room and back at his clothes. They were wrinkled and he felt grungy. “Any chance I can take a shower, too?”

  Her eyebrows pulled together, making him back track. “I meant in one of the other bathrooms,” he amended.

  She smiled. “I knew what you meant. I couldn’t help messing with you.” She winked at him.

  “Brat,” he said teasingly.

  “Hold on,” she said, walking into the bathroom. She came out a moment later and tossed a new toothbrush to him.

  “Thank you,” he said, bowing theatrically before leaving the room. Edward made his way to the guest bathroom and locked the door. No need to scare the six year old after all.

  He jumped in the shower and cleaned up. It was hard focusing on the task at hand knowing Dana was close by, naked in the other shower. He imagined hot water running down her body and then had to immediately cool the water off before he got too carried away.

  “Come on, guys, sit down,” he heard Dana say as he came around the corner into the kitchen. The smell of pancakes, eggs and bacon hit him hard. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was until that moment. The kids were sitting at the kitchen table and Dana was loading platters with food.

  “Uncle Edward!” Cole said.

  “Sorry I’m late, Dana. I got held up. Amy called me looking for Edward and I had to tell her I had no idea where he

  ” Deana’s words trailed off when she saw Edward standing in the kitchen with damp hair. Her eyes moved from him to Dana who also had damp hair.

  Dana put up a hand. “Don’t even go there. We worked last night and we both fell asleep.”

  Deana studied her for a long moment. Nothing was out of place, but there was something different about Dana.

  She put her bags down and grabbed the house phone and tossed it to Edward. “Call your sister before she sets the cops on you.”

  Edward sighed, “Fine.” He walked over to Cole and gave him a kiss on his head and one for Elizabeth. Then he walked up to Dana and gave her a slow serious kiss before she could protest.

  “Oh. My. God,” Deana said, stressing each word.

  Dana pulled back quickly to look at her friend and children. Elizabeth and Cole seemed perfectly content.

  They didn’t react in any way, but Deana was leaning against the wall, hyperventilating.

  “Deana, are you okay?” Dana asked, coming to her side.

  Edward seemed relaxed, more than relaxed. He ignored the drama and started getting two plates together for the kids. “Do you guys like syrup?”

  “Yes, Uncle Edward,” Elizabeth answered. Her eyes were fixed on her Aunt Deana. “Mommy, what’s wrong with her?”

  Deana pushed off the wall and sat down next to Elizabeth. “I’m fine, sweetie. Just got the shock of a lifetime, but I’m fine,” she said, trying to control the smile that was threatening to break free.

  “Ah, maybe you shouldn’t do that in front of her, Edward,” Dana said nervously as she watched Deana toy with a nervous breakdown.

  Edward placed the plates in front of the kids. Dana noticed that he cut the pancakes for the kids and gave them each a cup of milk. She smiled at him. “Thank you,” she said softly.

  “You’re very welcome. Now what can I get for you, beautiful?” he asked, clasping his hands together.

  “Mommy, doesn’t eat,” Cole said, munching away on his pancakes.

  Edward’s brows shot up.

  “I don’t eat like this.” She pointed to the plate. “I’m on a training regimen. I usually have a bowl of oatmeal on Saturday and then I’m out of here.”

  “Mommy’s training for a

  a triaphalong,” Elizabeth said.

  “That’s triathlon, baby girl,” Dana said, caressing her daughter’s long blonde hair.

  “Really?” Edward asked surprised. Not entirely surprised since she had a great body, but he was pleasantly surprised that she was deeper than he thought.

  She had her own world, her own interests and wouldn’t be dependent on him for everything. It would be a nice change.

  All the women he took out over the last few years were too clingy and wanted to be around him twenty-four seven.

  Suddenly his likes were their likes. They never seemed to have an opinion of their own or got over being star struck.

  None of them were like Dana that was for damn sure.

  “Yeah, I train twice a week hitting all three challenges.

  The rest of the week I run and lift,” Dana explained shyly.

  Edward’s eyes instinctively moved over her body. Dana folded her arms under her breast and cringed into herself.

  She was embarrassed about her body that much was clear.

  “What are the three challenges?” Edward asked, snagging a piece of bacon from the platter and eating it.

  Dana smiled. She liked cooking for a man and boy was he a man. She had to do a mental check to make sure that she wasn’t drooling or staring. She wasn’t, thankfully. He didn’t need to know how much she liked him.

  “The first part is a bike race for two miles. Then we run cross country for five. After that we swim for twenty to thirty min
utes. I’m never sure how many miles we do, I’ve only done three. Each triathlon is different.” She was embarrassed, because she didn’t like to talk about herself.

  It always sounded like she was bragging.

  “Mommy won the last race!” Cole said cheerfully.

  “No kidding?” Edward asked. He looked at Dana.

  Damn she was a force to be reckoned with. He found himself suddenly picturing what her body looked like beneath that tee shirt and the cargo khakis she was sporting. Well, it wasn’t the first time, but it was the first time he wondered how fit she was. The glance a week ago in the trailer wasn’t enough to give him the full picture.

  “Did you call Scott to let him know you had a free day?”

  Deana asked, forcing Edward to pull his eyes away from Dana’s body. Who the hell was Scott?

  Dana looked at the clock over the stove. “Yeah, I really need to get ready,” she said, looking at Edward. “I’ll be right back.”

  He waved her off as he loaded a plate for himself and Deana. “Go, don’t worry about it.”

  Edward pushed a plate in front of Deana. “Thank you,”

  she managed to say. She looked at her plate as if she was hallucinating.

  “So, what are you guys doing today?” Edward asked the kids. He hated when Deana looked at him like that like he was a god. The kids were great. To them he was plain old Uncle Edward.

  “Play and then we meet Mommy and Scott at the beach where they finish their race,” Elizabeth said, attacking her bacon now.

  “They race?” Edward asked surprised.

  “Yes, Mommy wins a lot,” Cole said.

  “That’s only because your mother is a big cheater!” a man announced.

  Edward looked back to see a man wearing only a pair of shorts and sneakers stepping into the kitchen from the garage. “Hey Scott, are you hungry?” Deana asked.

  Scott stopped at the counter and inspected everything.

  “Lots of carbs. Please tell me Dana ate this,” he said, sounding hopeful.

  “Nope,” Deana said, making the word pop. “She’s grabbing an energy bar this morning. Sorry to wreck any hope you might have, but it looks like a fair race today.”

  It took a few seconds for Edward to realize who this was, Scott Henderson, a goddamn heartthrob. He was abnormally handsome and built with a perfect tan to match.

  He seemed extremely relaxed in Dana’s house. Not sure how he felt about that, not that he had any real claims


  Plus he wasn’t one of those possessive jerks that would try to step in between her friendships, far from it. He just liked to know who the competition was.

  “Edward Pierce?” Scott said, holding out his hand.

  Edward shook his hand, trying not to squeeze too tightly.


  “How’s the book coming along?” Scott asked, leaning against the wall.

  “Really good.”

  “Hey, Scott, ready to get your butt kicked today?” Dana asked. Edward watched as she stepped around the corner and his eyes damn near jumped out of his skull. Dana wore a black sports bra, leaving her delectable firm stomach free for him to admire. His eyes moved down to take in small grey cotton shorts over bicycle shorts. Damn.

  Scott rolled his eyes. “In your dreams, sweetheart,” he said playfully.

  “Then I must have been napping the last few times because I believe you were eating my dust.”

  Scott jumped onto the counter and sat down. He looked at his nails. “You want to make this interesting?” he asked casually.

  Dana walked past him to the fridge and grabbed a sports bottle. “What were you thinking?”

  Scott waved a finger back and forth. “Uh uh, can’t discuss this bet in front of the kids.” He grinned hugely.

  Dana stopped and looked at Scott. She returned his grin. “If it’s the bet I think it is, the one you’ve been pushing for the last six months then fine. I would love to see your face when you lose.”

  “Uh, Dana-,” Deana started.

  “What bet?” Edward asked. He grabbed the kid’s empty plates and his own and brought them to the sink, trying to act casual.

  “Just a friendly bet between two consenting adults.”

  Scott wiggled his eyebrows.

  Dana threw a dish cloth at him. “Stop that, you little trouble maker.”

  “Oh no! Dana’s getting tough,” he said mockingly.

  Dana placed her hand softly on Edward’s arm. He was tense, very tense. “Do you want to meet later tonight and work on the book?”

  He turned around. “I’ll try to get away tonight, but I have plans.” With his family, but no need to tell her that. He didn’t want to come off too desperate or eager. No need for her to know how lame his social life was. It was his father’s birthday and he was going to a family dinner at his parent’s house.

  She smiled. “That’s okay. If you get away I’m going to be working on a book so just knock.”

  “Or walk around the back,” Deana said. “She works outside near the pool most nights.”

  “You have a really big mouth.”

  Deana smirked. “Don’t I know it.” She winked at Scott who laughed.

  “I have to get going, Edward. This race takes three hours,” she said, looking at her watch.

  “Three hours in this heat?” he asked, shocked.

  “Yes, the real one will last twice as long. Starting next week we kick it up a notch,” Scott explained.

  He leaned in and kissed the tip of her nose. “Be careful.”

  She winked at him. “Always.”

  “Care to walk me outside to the start of the race?” she asked, giving him a sensual smile.

  “Of course,” Edward said, taking her hand. “I’ll see you guys later.”

  “Bye Uncle Edward, bye Uncle Scott, bye Mommy,” they said.

  Scott fell in behind them, grinning as he watched them walk ahead. “Looks like I might have the upper hand today.”

  “What?” Dana asked.

  He pointed to their hands. She rolled her eyes. “I’m not going to be too distracted to kick your ass, Scott,” she said in the garage. She released his hand and walked over to the bicycle leaning against the wall. Scott opened the garage. His bike was waiting for him outside the house.

  Edward took her into his arms and hugged her. “What’s this bet?” he whispered into her ear.

  She laughed. “It’s really juvenile, Edward. Don’t worry about it.”

  “Skinny dipping,” Scott said brightly.

  She sighed. “Thanks a lot, Scott. Always helpful.”

  “I wasn’t trying to help.” He stuck his tongue out at her.

  Dana placed a hand on Edward’s chest. “If he wins, which will not happen, he’s challenged me to do the mini naked triathlon. It occurs once a year. He’s hoping the embarrassment and emotional trauma will give him the upper hand to kick my ass in the real race.”

  “And if you win?” he pressed.

  She smiled. “Well, then next week Scott races me in this outfit.” She gestured to her clothes. Edward smiled. “Well, then I wish you luck and if you lose I would like tickets to this naked triathlon.” He wiggled his eyebrows, earning a playful slap from Dana.

  “You and me both, brother,” Scott said, trying to egg Dana on.

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