Single Man Meets Single Mom(5)

By: Jules Bennett


Cassie settled her hands on her hips, cursing herself when his gaze followed her movements. Great, now she’d drawn his attention to her hips...not an area a woman wanted a man looking.

“I thought you went to see Max,” Cassie said, refusing to acknowledge his request.

“I saw him for a brief moment to let him know I was here. He actually was talking with Grant and Lily.”

Cassie cast a glance at her sister, whose face had split into a very wide grin. Darn her.

With a gracefulness that would’ve pleased their late mother, Tessa turned, extended her hand and smiled. “I’m Tessa Barrington, Cassie’s sister. We’re so glad to have you here at the farm.”

Ian shook Tessa’s hand as the two exchanged pleasantries. He finally settled his gaze back on Cassie. Did those eyes have some magical power? Seriously, why did she have to feel a jolt every single time he looked at her?

“Go ahead and show Ian around, Cassie. I’m fine here.”

If Cassie could’ve reached out and strangled her sister with the lead line she so would have, but then Ian would be a witness.

“It will have to be tomorrow or later this evening.” No, she wasn’t too busy right now, but she wouldn’t allow Mr. Hollywood Hotshot to hold any control over her. “I’ll come find you when I’m ready.”

“Well, I’m going to walk Don Pedro out,” Tessa said. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Ian. Cass, I’ll see you later.”

Great, now they were alone. Cassie would definitely kill her sister for that little stunt.

Ian stepped closer, and Cassie held her ground. This was her property and no matter how charming, how sexy and how...

Damn, he smelled good. She lost all train of thought; Ian’s masculine scent was enough to render her mind blank. How long had it been since she’d been with a man, felt his touch?

Too long. So why did this man with an inflated ego turn her on? Could she not attract the right kind of guy just once?

“I can wait till tomorrow,” he told her. His eyes searched her face as a hint of a smile played around his lips. “I’m a pretty patient man.”

Placing a hand on his chest to stop him may have been a mistake. A jolt of awareness tingled up her arm. The strength, the chiseled pecs beneath her palm... Yeah, she was very aware of the sexiness that encompassed Ian Shaffer.

“I appreciate the fact you’re taking the time to use your charm on me, but I’m too busy for games. Besides, I’m pretty sure I’m a lot older than you.”

Ian shrugged. “Age hadn’t entered my mind.”

Cassie laughed. “I’m pretty sure I know what entered your mind.”

He stepped forward again, giving her no choice but to back up until the gate to a stall stopped her. Ian put one hand on either side of her head, blocking her.

“Then I’m sure you’re aware I find you attractive.” His eyes dropped to her mouth, then traveled back up. “I can’t wait for that tour, Cassie.”

He pushed off the stall and walked out of the stable. When was the last time a man had caught her attention, inspired her sexual desire so fast? The danger of falling into lust scared her to death.

But she had to be realistic. There was nothing special about her. And if she did allow herself to act on these very new, very powerful emotions, she highly doubted he’d remember her name in a few months.

No way could she succumb to his charms.





Two

Cassie’s parents had been married nearly twenty years when her mother was killed suddenly in a car accident. She’d always admired the love her parents had for each other, always wanted a marriage like that for herself.

Unfortunately, a happy, loving marriage wasn’t in the cards for her. And hindsight was a harsh slap in the face because Cassie realized she’d probably married Derek too quickly.

She’d craved the love her parents had had and thought for sure Derek—the Barringtons’ onetime groom—had the same outlook on marriage.... As in, it was long-term and between only two people.

How could she trust her feelings for a man again? Cassie swiped the tear from her cheek as she headed back toward the stable. The sun was slowly sinking behind the hills surrounding the estate. Spring was gradually turning into summer, giving the evenings just a bit more light.

The day’s filming was complete and the scene she’d just witnessed had left her raw and hopeful all at the same time.

Max Ford and Lily Beaumont had beautifully reenacted Cassie’s parents’ proposal. Cassie had heard stories, had seen pictures of her parents’ early love. But to witness that moment in person... Cassie had no words for how precious the experience had been.