Tempt (Take It Off)(4)

By: Cambria Hebert

I needed a drink.

A stiff one.

I pushed my raging thirst and apparent horniness to the back of my mind to say, “How did you know what was in there?”

“Was it a secret?” he asked, a little smile playing on his lips.

“Are you a psychic?”

He laughed. It was a warm, rich sound that reminded me of brewing coffee on a cold, early morning. “No. I’m not psychic. I’m just your ride.”

“My ride?” I won’t even describe the vision that floated through my mind when he said that.

He nodded like I was two. “Yes. Me, pilot. You, passenger.” He pointed between us while he spoke.

“You’re a pilot?”

He fished a pilot’s license out of the back of his pocket and held it up. “That’s what it says.”

I scoffed. “I’m surprised that didn’t fall out of the pocket of those holey pants.”

His smile spread across his face like a slow, contagious disease. A disease that people would actually line up to catch. “My jeans hold in everything that’s important.”

I blushed.

Like, seriously.

To cover up my juvenile behavior, I squinted at the name on the license he was still holding up. “Nash Prescott,” I read.

“At your service.”

“You don’t look old enough to be a pilot.”

“You don’t look old enough to travel alone.”

I rolled my eyes.

“I’m twenty-three. I’ve been flying since I was a teenager. I’ve got more flight hours than you have hair on your head.”

“Doubtful.” I had really thick, long blond hair.

He cocked his head to the side and studied me. “Anyone ever tell you that you look like Kate Hudson?”

The actress? Daughter of Goldie Hawn. Actually, yes, they had. “Nope.”

He smiled like he knew I was lying.

There was no way I was getting on a plane with him. “I’m sorry you had to come here all the way from… well, from wherever you came.”

“Puerto Rico,” he said, and when he did, his accent came out full force. It made the place sound exotic and enticing. “I flew here from Puerto Rico.”

“You flew here to pick me up?”

He nodded.

“But why?”

“Our abuelas were great friends.” He explained. “When your family called to arrange for her ashes to be scattered, my abuela offered for me to come and pick you up.”

“So they volunteered you to come here like my family volunteered me to go there.”

He smiled. “I guess both our families are loco.” He used his pointer finger to draw circles around the side of his head.

I giggled. Then I sighed. “Look, I’m sorry you had to come here. I’ll just go to the ticket counter and get a commercial flight and let you get back to your… whatever it is that you do.”

“Right now my job is to take you to Puerto Rico, where you will stay with my grandmother and then be escorted to the place where you are to spread these ashes.” He gestured toward the case in his hand.

“I’m supposed to stay with you?” I asked, feeling my eyes bug out of my head.

“Not me. My abuela.”

“Abuela? That’s Spanish for grandmother, right?”

He nodded.

“You don’t live with her?”

He chuckled softly. “I think that would cramp my style.”

Exactly. And why was I still here talking to him? I started to walk away. He stopped me. His hand was like a rope wrapping around my wrist. It was like a handcuff trapping me to a jail cell, a vise around my heart.

“Esperate,” he said softly. The word literally rolled right off his tongue.

I turned back. You would’ve too.

My eyes locked on his, searching their translucent depths. “I really hope you didn’t just insult me.” Even if he did, I really didn’t care. It was the sexiest insult I’d ever heard.

His smile was lopsided. I thought I might faint. “I said wait a second.”

I glanced at his hand wrapped around my wrist, then back up. He saw me looking. He didn’t let go. “There’s no need for another ticket when I can take you.”

I hesitated. What excuse could I give? I couldn’t exactly say, “I’m sorry, but you are way too sexy for me to have to sit alone with on a plane for any amount of time.” It wasn’t like he drove a couple hours to pick me up. He freaking flew a plane to get me. He was doing it as a favor for his grandmother.

“How do I know you aren’t really a kidnapper?”

“Two reasons,” he said, releasing my arm.

I lifted an eyebrow.

“One,” he said, holding up a finger. “I don’t have to kidnap women. If I want one, I get one.”