Ten Fantasy Wishes












Page Count: 47
Word Count: 0


(MSRP: 3.0000)

New in San Antonio, Ali Conrad is determined to find an intellectual man. When her dates turn out less than exciting, she emails her sister a list of ten wishes her fantasy man could provide. Her wishes start appearing, but anonymously. Ali caught apartment manager Cole Hayden's eye the day she rented the apartment. Through his computer support business, he spotted her wish list and hopes by fulfilling them he?ll convince Ali to accept a date. But life keeps getting in the way and he's not present when the wishes arrive, and Ali assumes the wishes are coming from another man. How far will Cole go to convince Ali he's her secret admirer?

Miniature
(47 pages)Sweet/Sensual

Excerpt:

Cole set down the toolbox and, resting his hands on his hips, surveyed the water stain. "Sure looks bad."

"Like I told you." Her gaze strayed to the way his shoulders filled out his denim jacket. And how his worn jeans clung to muscular thighs and a tight butt. A physically fit man who was easy on the eye. She steered her thoughts back to the problem at hand.

Since leaving Hillside, she'd sworn off athletes and their singular focus on their sports. San Antonio was where she would find an intellectual.

His boots squelched on the soggy carpet. "Can you get towels to soak up the water?"

Ali dashed into the adjoining bathroom and grabbed several. On her return to the bedroom, she held them out. "Here."

A quick glance over his shoulder at what she offered and then he looked back to the ceiling. "Just lay them flat on the wet carpet."

Wasn't this his job? She laid a hand on the wooden bookcase. "I'm concerned about my furniture. I tried moving this bookcase but it's too heavy."

He squinted at the stain and then at the bookcase. "Looks okay there." Raising a hand, he tested the wallboard in the corner, pressing and poking with two fingers.

To fight back a curt remark, she pressed her lips tight. This man was being too casual for her taste. "Mr. Hayden, this is a valuable antique. I would like it further away from the water." With effort, she forced calm into her voice. "Please help me move it."

"Okay." He ran a hand over his stubbled jaw and shrugged. "Where do you want it?"

By a wave of her hand, she gestured across the room. "Next to the bathroom."

Before she could move close enough to help, he'd spread his arms, spanned the width of the bookcase, and lifted it to the spot she'd indicated. Oh my. Able to lift bookcases with a single movement. She pushed away the errant thought. "Anything else I can do?"

Cole turned and met her gaze, a frown wrinkling his brow. "Do you have somebody you can sleep with tonight?"

Barely registering his question, she studied the intense blue of his eyes. Were they normally so blue or did the jacket highlight them? With a jolt, another meaning of his question hit and her cheeks flushed. "Mr. Hayden, I don't think--"

"Sorry, I'm tired." He stepped closer, a grin spreading on his mouth. "Let's start again. First, call me Cole. Second, I meant, is there somewhere else you can go?"

Ali shivered. Tingles shooting along her skin warned her about being alone in her bedroom with a tall, rugged stranger. Why did he suddenly appear dangerous? "Do you really feel that's necessary?" She hadn't yet made the kind of friends she felt comfortable calling at two a.m. and asking to camp out in their living room.

"This repair is larger than my ability to handle. I'll have to call in a roofer. Once that's done, the wallboard will need replacing." Shaking his head, he ran a hand through his hair. "The job's big and sloppy, miss."

"Miss' was better than 'lady'. She bit back a smile. "My name's Ali. And the carpet?"

"Ali." He nodded, a grin played at the corner of his lips. "A wet vacuum will remove most of the water. Then a big fan runs to dry it out. Noisy and messy."

"How long do you think it will take?"

"Four or five days. A week at most." He kneaded his neck with a hand and leaned back against the wall. "Living here through the repair will be inconvenient. You should go somewhere else."

This sleepy-eyed man seemed out of place outlined by her peach and terracotta walls. Although the colors made a nice contrast for his dark good looks. "Just let me know when to expect the workers."

His eyebrows rose and he pushed off from the wall. "You're staying?"

One thought of the condition of her bank balance settled the matter, and she nodded. "I'll sleep in the living room. The bathroom won't be affected, will it?"

"Shouldn't be." He bent to stow away his tools.

She couldn't resist a peek at how his worn denims clung to his tight butt. Mercy, she must be tired if she was ogling this man. The week she moved in, she'd turned him down when he asked her for a date. Something about the setup of a bachelor apartment manager with access to the residents of his building didn't seem right. Besides, she'd had her fill of blue-collar workers and athletes in Hillside.

With a shake of her head, she walked to the door and waited to let out Cole.

He glanced around the living room and stopped, leaning close. "Ali, a word of advice."

Her hand on the doorknob tightened. Listening to other people's advice was one of the reasons she'd left home. She lifted her chin and met his gaze. "Yes?" The scent of woodsy cologne drifted to her nose and she fought against taking a bigger breath.

"Next time, make sure you know who you're letting into your apartment in the middle of the night." He winked and eased the door shut behind him.




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