Meant to Be | Chapter 21 of 37 - Part: 1 of 5

Author: Terri Osburn | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 7466 Views | Add a Review

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Joe spent the drive to his parents’ house trying not to rip his steering wheel off the column. The moment he saw Wilson grab Beth, a primal instinct took over. The instinct to break the creep’s arm just for touching her.

His reaction to the “keeping her warm” comment bordered on homicidal.

The anger should have been aimed at himself since Joe wanted nothing more than to keep Beth warm. More than warm. He wanted her hot and moaning in his bed or wherever he could get her out of that damn skirt. To hell with his brother.

The growl escaped before he could catch it, breaking the silence in the vehicle. Neither of them had spoken since leaving the library, and the few times he threw a glance her way, Beth looked to be processing her own thoughts. Probably trying to get the stench of Buddy Wilson out of her brain.

“Are you okay?” she asked as he pulled into the drive and cut the engine.

He hadn’t been okay since he’d found her scared to death on that ferry, but he’d never tell her so. “I’m good.” Resisting the urge to take her arm and check for himself, he said, “I should be asking you that question. Did he hurt you?”

She rubbed her wrist absently. When she didn’t answer, he looked to her face and saw green eyes staring back with the same sexual heat currently coursing through his veins.

Son of a bitch.

“You’d better get inside.” He rolled out of the Jeep, desperate for distance.

“I don’t have a key.” She remained in the Jeep as if intending to stay there. “I didn’t think to ask Patty for one. If you don’t have one, I’ll have to wait for them at your place.”

Oh, hell no. “I have a key. Come on.” Joe crossed in front of the vehicle and headed up the porch steps. By the time he’d opened the door, Beth stood close behind him, her arms crossed, giving him a glimpse of cleavage in the soft porch light.

A cold shower wouldn’t be enough tonight.

“You’d better go in.” Before I carry you in and we find out how sturdy that kitchen island is. “Thanks for coming to the meeting.” He kept his eyes focused on a moth hovering around the spiral bulb. “I guess this vacation isn’t turning out the way you thought it would.”

“No, it isn’t,” she said, her voice little more than a whisper. “Nothing seems to be what I thought it was.”

His eyes caught hers then dropped to her mouth. Sweet vanilla filled his senses and every nerve in his body vibrated with need. Her tongue darted out, leaving a sheen of moisture along her bottom lip, and he was lost. Leaning in, Joe felt her breath mix with his own. So close now he could almost taste her.

But before he could breach the last centimeter between them, a shrill ring cut through the thick night air.

Beth jerked away, the screen door straining on its hinges as Joe jumped back in the opposite direction. A finger against her lips, Beth stepped into the house, looked at the ID on the phone, then turned her back as she answered. “Hello, Lucas.”

Joe let the screen door slam behind him. He’d thought the day Cassie’s engagement ring showed up in the mail had been the lowest he’d ever feel.

Not even close.

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If the ringing of the phone had felt like a bucket of cold water, the slamming of the screen was a punch in the chest. A punch of guilt. She could still feel Joe’s breath on her lips. Her body still hummed with anticipation. For her fiancé’s brother. How had things gotten so out of control?

“Beth? Are you there?”

“Yes,” she said, working to keep her voice level. “I’m sorry. What did you say?”

“I asked how your week has been. I didn’t realize what day it was until our usual Friday night dinner reminder popped up on my calendar.” The fact Lucas kept reminders about her in his calendar had seemed endearing once upon a time. But not tonight. “How is the Cassandra situation?”

Beth shrugged, then remembered Lucas couldn’t see her. “I haven’t seen her for a few days, but we know she has eyes and ears on the inside.”

What sounded like a sporting event blasted over the line, then faded. “Sorry. Just turned on the television. What do you mean ‘on the inside’? You make this sound like some undercover assignment.”

His words were meant as a joke, but Beth wasn’t in the mood for joking. “We had a small meeting last night to get the initial group on the same page and somehow Wheeler found out. By the time the Merchants meeting started tonight, they’d doubled their offers to several business owners.”

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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