Logan answered the phone on the fourth ring, having rushed straight from the shower. Water ran off his skin and hair in rivulets, dripping on the carpet. “Ross here,” he barked, irritated because he’d recognized the number on his Caller ID.
“I know you’re off duty,” the dispatcher, Nancy Sessions, said, “but we’re sending you on a call.”
Logan heard snickering in the background and nearly hung up the phone in her ear. He’d been teased mercilessly when he’d let slip about his date that day at work. Seemed his buddies thought the match a bit odd.
“Since you know I have plans for tonight,” he gritted out, “why the hell are you calling me?”
“Um…” She broke off, and more muffled snickers sounded on the line. “We’re short-handed…besides we knew you’d want to handle this one…p-personally.” The last word sounded as though it had been squeezed through an accordion she was laughing so hard.
Logan never liked to let anyone get to him, proving a lack of self-discipline, so he took a quick breath and tightened the towel he had wrapped around his hips before he responded. “Okay, I’ll bite,” he said evenly. “What’s the emergency?”
“Seems your pretty little neighbor…has gotten herself into a p-predicament…,” she said, her voice tight, laughter edging every word.
Amy? His heart stopped. He dropped the phone and rushed to the door, pausing only long enough to slip on a pair of flip-flops before running across the grass separating their houses.
Moments later, he pounded on Amy’s door. “Amy? Are you all right? Open the door!”
“Oh my freaking God,” came a faint mournful voice. She sounded near to tears.
“Amy!” he shouted. “Open the door if you can.”
“I can’t,” she groaned.
He backed up, preparing to kick it in.
“It’s open. Don’t bust it down for God’s sake!”
He turned the handle and entered, his gaze panning a living room, then narrowing on the opening into the kitchen where the sounds of soft shuddering sobs emanated.
Jesus, had she injured herself? Was she bleeding out? He rushed through the doorway, and then skidded to a halt on the tile floor when he saw her. She was backed up to the kitchen sink, her body bent unnaturally. Her hands clutched the edge of the counter beside her hips—her narrow, but nicely rounded hips.
“You’re not hurt?” he asked softly, noting the tears welling in her eyes.
“Just stuck,” she said, her voice sounding thick and raw.
Relief, poured through him, and he nearly smiled at her predicament, but he knew she already felt humiliated. Her face and the tops of her tiny breasts were flushed a deep rose.
His gaze snapped back up to hers. “I’m here to help.”
“I called 911,” she said softly, then sniffed. “Wasn’t sure who I reached when I called. Had to hit speed dial with my toes.”
His gaze dropped to the phone on the floor, and he realized she must have had to reach those long, long legs up to the opposite counter to reach it, toppling it down before she nudged the button with her toes.
“They called me since I’m right next door.” And because they knew darn well he was excited about his date. He strode toward the telephone, picked it up and set it on the counter, hanging up the handset to cut the connection, knowing he’d just spoiled the rest of Nancy’s fun.
“I couldn’t reach a knife or scissors,” she said, sniffing. “The strings got caught up in the garbage disposal.”
“I see,” he said softly, turning back to her. No wonder her back was arched so sharply. And beautifully. Her body was bowed; the bottom edge of the corset had risen to bare a pale ribbon of flesh above the silky material of her thong panties.
Logan slammed the door on the arousal creeping into his sex. As much as he was tempted to take advantage of a situation any man would enjoy, he had another agenda to advance.
She needed him.
“There are scissors over there,” she said, lifting a hand from the counter to point to a cup filled with pens.
Logan shook himself, knowing he could get lost staring. He retrieved the scissors and walked slowly toward her. He had to stand close to see around her. Black silk cords, stretched taut, disappeared into the garbage disposal.
He snipped them, and then caught the ends as she pulled away from the sink. “Let me,” he said, “You still have plenty left to tie a bow.”
“I feel so foolish. I never wear anything like this…”
“I never would have pictured it either,” he murmured.
“Should have stuck to white panties and bra.”
He finished the bow and cupped her shoulders from behind, then leaned forward to breathe in the scent of the soft brown hair she’d twisted into a messy knot at the back of her head. “I think you’re lovely.”
Her head angled sharply toward him, and he drew back. “Really?”
“To tell you the truth, I’ve been picturing you in granny panties. That image in my head has kept me hard for weeks.”
Her eyes widened. Her teeth nibbled at her bottom lip. “I can change.”
“Don’t. I think it’s sweet you wanted to make an impression. But did you really expect me to see this, tonight?”
Her blush deepened, and her glance slid away. “I shouldn’t have assumed you wanted me…that way.”
His hands tightened. “Oh, I want you, all right. But not before you’re ready. I don’t want to rush you. We’ve got plenty of time to get to know each other.”
Her gaze slid away. “What if I don’t want to wait?” she whispered.
Logan’s plans to woo her slowly crumbled at the hint of longing in her tone. Logan cupped her cheek with his palm and turned her face back toward his. The stark hunger he saw in her hazel eyes was all he’d hoped for. “Since we both know you’re going to need help getting out of this thing,” he said softly, squeezing her shoulders, “keep it on and go finish dressing.”