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Excerpt: Just Say Yes

Excerpt: Just Say Yes

Book 10: Escape to New Zealand

So—two months with her new neighbors. She’d put a good face on it and meet them. She was composed. She was elegant. She was serene.

She was a woman who was losing her beautiful top-floor tower apartment.

Pity it was easier to be serene from a stage, too. Wearing stage makeup, for preference. Instead, her face was bare except for lip gloss, and she was wearing navy leggings, an ivory camisole trimmed with lace, and a tiny ice-blue cardigan. Lounging clothes. Lazy clothes, because she’d strip off the leggings and cardigan and be ready for bed.

Before she could contemplate changing, she thought, New neighbors. And that’s all. What does it matter?With that, she grabbed the baby monitor and began to run down the narrow, steep flights of wooden steps at the far side of the house that were her own private access.

She very nearly cannoned into Kevin. He came around the landing for the second flight at a run himself, and only his arm, thrown hastily out around her waist and lifting her straight off her feet, averted the collision.

The shock of it took her breath, and he didn’t let her go straight away. He set her down, but kept holding her close on the tiny landing. “All right?” he asked. “Sorry.”

“Nice … welcome,” she got out.

She wasn’t breathless from shock, or from fright. It was something else. He’d lifted her like a dancer. Like a partner. Swinging her down, away from danger. As soon as his arm had closed around her waist, she’d felt that strength, that certainty. She could still feel it, for that matter, because he hadn’t gone anywhere.

It was what was in his eyes, too. Warm. A little chagrined, a little amused. Green eyes vibrant under the dark brows, over the broken nose. He seemed to realize he was still holding her, that she was pulled tight against him, because he finally dropped his arm and said, “Tell me you’re coming down to join us. Should’ve asked you myself, I know. I was putting beds together. I was coming upstairs to fix that. Ah … not the beds. To ask you.”

Her hand wanted to go to her hair, or to check how low her camisole was dipping. She didn’t do either thing. Instead, she regathered her composure and said, “I was just coming down. I’ll be your neighbor for another few weeks, anyway. I should meet your … your sisters, right?”

If he noticed how close he still was, he didn’t let on. He certainly didn’t move. “Where’s the baby?” he asked. “I didn’t mean I didn’t like babies. You can bring him. You don’t have to leave him upstairs.”

“He’s asleep. And not a baby, really.” She held up the gadget in her hand. “Monitor. Do you think we should go downstairs now?”

“Oh.” Now, he grinned at her, and the ferociousness of eyebrows and nose changed again. “I should stop keeping you trapped on your landing, you mean? I could do that.” With that, he turned and led the way downstairs, still running, giving her the feeling that he didn’t do much at a walk, and that he’d always rather be moving than sitting still.

Exactly like her.

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