Excerpt from “In Need of Repair”
Biceps Boy started extra early the next morning. The compressor roared to life and her eyes flew open. Slam-bang from the hammers. To top it off, one of the geniuses brought a radio and the serenade of some country boy done wrong sent the hair up on her neck. She grabbed her bedside clock. Six freaking thirty.
Samantha leapt out of bed, pulled on cutoffs and slid a t-shirt over her head, and barely blinked the sleep out of her eyes before stumbling down the stairs.
She spotted Biceps at the table saw and marched over, her flip flops snapping against her heels. “How long are you going to make my life a living hell?” she shouted over the noise.
He looked up at her with a shocked expression. Damn, he had the most incredible green eyes. Fringed with dark lashes and set in a face worthy of the gods, his eyes slowly crinkled as he grinned and looked her up and down. “Where did you come from?”
Of course. A fucking redneck construction guy who couldn’t see past her breasts. “I live right there,” she said, jamming her thumb toward the garage apartment.
“Nobody told me,” he said mildly, looking back at the saw. He turned off the spinning blade and picked up a battered travel mug. “Sorry about the noise, but we’re going to be here a while,” he said, taking a drink.
Against her better judgement, her gaze drifted. She was helpless to stop herself. Much as she wanted to be furious with this guy, she couldn’t ignore his appeal. Under that faded navy blue t-shirt, his shoulders stretched almost wide enough to block a doorway. Sprinkled with sawdust, his tanned forearms rippled with corded muscle. As if he could pick her up. Or hold himself over her for hours…
Everything about him made her think of sex. How fucking long had it been since she thought about sex? How completely inappropriate could this be?
She stopped herself before her gaze wandered past the tool belt and brought her attention back to his face. Big grin, all white teeth and dimples. A look that said he could eat her alive and make her like it.
Worse, he didn’t hide the fact that his gaze kept wandering down the front of her t-shirt which she realized, now that she’d come half awake, did nothing to hide her failure to put on a bra. Or the fact that her nipples reacted to his stare. Her bare toes curled.
“That’s just not acceptable,” she said, planting her fists on her hips. She considered taking a swing at that jaw. “You’ll have to wait three weeks to resume work here. I have a deadline.”
He laughed. “You’re kidding.”
She huffed. “I’m not kidding. I have to finish this project. There’s no way I can work with all this noise.”
“Lady, we have a deadline too. We’ve got more work to do than we’d planned and not enough time to do it. I’ve had to hire more guys. If anything, it’s going to get a lot noisier around here.” He studied her from under the brim of his battered ball cap. “Close your windows.”
Her teeth clenched as she resisted the urge to curse out loud. “My windows are closed. I can still hear every hammer strike and every note blaring from that damn radio. There’s got to be a law or something.”
“Sorry,” he said agreeably, adjusting his hat over his short sun-bleached hair. “Not.”
How could he be so nonchalant? Her entire future was at stake. “What about common decency?”
She looked up as three men rounded the corner.
“Hey, boss, that scaffolding…” one of them said, breaking off when they saw her.
The heat of their scrutiny swept up her face in a hot flush. What the hell had she been thinking, coming out here half dressed? These cutoffs weren’t fit for public view and she never went anywhere without a bra. She hadn’t had coffee, hadn’t even brushed her teeth. She crossed her arms over her chest, trying to disguise the condition of her breasts.
“Give me a minute,” Biceps said, jerking his head sideways to send them away.
His eyes settled on her again. She didn’t like what she saw, this mixture of sympathy, curiosity, and lust. Was it just in this redneck’s DNA to make her feel helpless? She looked away.
“Go work at my house,” he said. “You’ll have the place to yourself. I promise, it’s quiet.”
She stared at him. He couldn’t be serious. “That’s absurd.”
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About the Author
Lizzie Ashworth lives in the wilds of the Ozark Mountains with her cats, hound dogs, and whichever child has taken up temporary residence between grad school and relocation. She’s been writing her entire life and can’t express how wonderful it is to share stories with readers like you. Every book comes from the heart in the hopes that readers will find a bit of pleasure within those pages.
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