Whisper of Attraction(9)

By: Melanie Shawn

When she stopped, she was facing him. Her head had to tilt up to meet his gaze and for the first time she understood the phrase “bedroom eyes.” She’d read the term in her books more times than she could count, but she’d never had a frame of reference for what that looked like.

Now she did.

And those bedroom eyes had seen her naked.

I can’t believe he saw me naked. I can’t believe he saw me naked. I can’t believe he saw me naked.

She inhaled slowly, trying to calm her frazzled brain. When she did she was overwhelmed with his very male scent.

She tried to remember the last time she’d had this kind of a reaction to a man. She’d had a couple of crushes as a teen, but she didn’t remember any physical symptoms.

This was the kind of over-the-top response that happened to the people in her books. Not in real life. She’d never experienced this in real life.

Maybe it was because he’d seen her naked. Maybe there was some kind of instant intimacy that had formed.

Oh lord. He’d seen her naked. It’d been years since a man had seen her naked.

It’s not a big deal, she assured herself.

Her mom had always said that Brynn reminded her of Lucy from I Love Lucy. Not just because she was a redhead, but also because she was prone to finding herself in embarrassing situations, although unlike the character, they were not of her own making.

She’d embraced her proclivity to humiliation even going so far as to name her pug after the iconic television character. Her pug, who earlier had contributed to her most embarrassing situation to date when she pulled off her robe in front of the man that had flipped every switch in her body to on.

So yeah, she was just going to chalk it up as another “Lucy moment.”

She could feel her cheeks warming at the memory and knew that her face was going to turn bright red if she didn’t make a quick exit. “Right, so, here’s the key.”

Brynn lifted the ring in her right hand and the key and crystal dangled in front of her before slipping from her fingers. She automatically reached out to grab them with her left hand at the same time that Axel took a step and reached out to do the same. Their simultaneous motions ended up with her hand cupping him.

Between his legs.

They both froze as her eyes shot to his.

She gasped in horror as she jerked her hand back.

As she bent down to retrieve the fallen keys, she began apologizing profusely. “I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to…I just…”

“It’s not a big deal. I was just waiting for you to ask me to turn my head and cough.”

A high-pitched sound that turned out to be a nervous giggle filled the silent space as she straightened and offered him the key ring. When their gazes met she could feel her cheeks flaring with heat. “Sorry,” she heard herself apologizing again.

“It’s fine.” His deep voice rumbled as he took the key from her hand and a warm, comforting smile spread across his face. “Really.”

His fingers grazed hers as he cradled her hand in his. His touch felt strong, safe, and super-charged. Just like their handshake, except even more intimate and connected.

Brynn sucked in a startled breath at the electricity that sparked between them. She pulled her hand away and tried to shake off the feeling of familiarity that was there. Her body was responding to him as if he weren’t a stranger, but her brain was doing its level best to remind her that that’s exactly who he was.

His pants buzzed and her eyes shot down to the same area where her hand had been just a few moments before.

She watched as he removed the phone from his pocket and her palm tingled at the memory of what it had just touched. His hand wasn’t the only thing that felt strong and super-charged…

Axel lifted the phone to his ear. “Let me call you back in—”

He was cut off by a sound that Brynn was very familiar with. Hysterical teenage girl. She couldn’t make out what the girl was saying but she knew from the pitch and tone that it wasn’t good.

Figuring Axel would probably like some privacy, Brynn started toward the door. He quickly held up his hand indicating for her to stay.

She remained in place, easily held captive by the depths of his stare.

As a person that studied people and their behavior for a living, she’d always believed that there was some truth to the saying that the eyes are the window to the soul. From a purely anthropological perspective, eye contact had always fascinated her. How long people held it. What their body language was like during contact; did they look away or maintain a constant stare? These were all things that revealed personality traits.

It wasn’t an exact science, but there were commonalities in behavior that rang true more often than not. From what she was seeing with Axel, her mother might’ve just been on to something in her reading of him. Brynn was definitely picking up confident, strong-willed, protective, and grounded.