Landscape Lover, Pt 4

“You ARE single, aren’t you?” Kerri looked at him with concern. Her head tilted in ‘don’t you dare lie to me’ sort of way.

“I am.”

“Good. So, no hidden wife or children then.” Her smile deepened, revealing the deep precipice of a single dimple. It wasn’t enough to stop the souring of his mood and anger in his expression. No. No children. Over Sally’s dead body, he thought.

“Definitely, not.” His stare bore into her, hard and cold. Her smile disappeared.

“What?” she asked.” What did I say?”


He spun on his heel and headed to his bedroom. That’s what you get, fool, for even thinking about anything with this girl. What would you do, sleep together and then what? From what he saw, Nick treated the girl as though she’s his daughter. He wouldn’t take kindly to Ian looking at her and thinking about her the way he does. He stopped abruptly, placing his injured hand on his hip and crushing his eyes with the other. His motion had barely begun when he felt her crash into him. Breif though it was, he felt the softness of her breasts pressed into his back amd his body jerked in response.


“Sorry. You stopped so suddenly.”

He narrowed his eyes at her. Still bitter from the surfacing of the memory of his dead wife, his words stung more than he intended.

“Christ, you really are a child. Stay out my way will you?” He regretted the way the words sounded the instant they left his mouth. He saw her face register the shock and hurt, but he didn’t stay to watch it. He strode to hid bedroom and slammed the door. He paced the room, talking to himself.

That was unnecessary. Go apologize, dick! Nah, maybe if she’s mad, she’ll back off. After five minutes of warring with himself, he heard the unmistakable sound of the front door being slammed. What the…

Ian walked out into the foyer, calling her name, half knowing she wasn’t there. The shirt he had given her to wear was folded neatly over the sofa. She had left.

Without thinking, he went after her, seething. The rain beat painfully on his head, with every step he sank further. The cold slammed into him as he was instantly drenched. It was dark and he just barely made out her form. She fell and struggled to get up.

“Dammit, Kerri! Where the hell are you going?! The rain drowned his voice and he knew she hadn’t heard him. Moving faster, his bare feet slipping in the knee-high waters as they gushed by; he picked up speed. When he was close enough he reached out and grabbed her jacket. She jumped and screamed, frightened by his appearance.

“Where are you going?!” Half drowning in the downpour, he strained to hear what she was saying.

” None your damn business. Leave me alone and go home!” She plucked her jacket from his grasp and attempted to continue on. He grabbed her again.

“Let’s get out of the rain. I’m sorry, but where are you gonna go? You’ll freeze in the car without heat.”

“Wouldn’t be the first time. I’ll manage.” Kerri again wrenched herself from his grasp.

What? What does that mean?

Ian followed Kerri for a few minutes and realized he had caught up with her. She had stopped and was staring in simple defeat. He saw the car, about 100 yards perched against a wall. The water had risen high enough to move it and it was nearly submerged. The water where they were began rising rapidly. Ian grabbed Kerri and headed back in the direction they had come.This time she complied.

Once inside the house, they collapsed unto the floor, silently grateful for the altitude and warmth of it.

“Are you trying to get us both killed?!” Ian blazed once they both recovered.

“Who asked you to come?!” Her large eyes bored into him. Judging him, challenging him. “I was getting the hell out of your house like you wanted.”

“I’m sorry if I offended you. That wasn’t my intention.”

“Hmm, whatever. I’ll be out of here  as soon as I can, if you’ll permit me to stay till the rain is over.”

“Kerri…” Ian sighed heavily. How he managed for her to hate him already he didn’t know. And though it was just as well that she was angry with him, he didn’t like the feeling.

“No. It’s okay. It was my mistake believing the interest was mutual. That’s been  corrected.” She got up, stalking off in the direction of the bathroom. He got up too, kicked her soaked jacket and boots in the corner, and stripped off his t-shirt, adding it to the pile. After a series of sneezes, he stripped out if his pants too. Ian hurriedly walked across the room, but she opened to door as soon as he reached it and stepped out, bumping into him.

She jumped as if he’d burned her, mumbling again that she was sorry.

“You keep doing that, I’m going to think it’s on purpose, you know.” His voice was unintentionally low, his eyes roaming her face. He licked his lips and swore he tasted hers. His arm rose, and he pinched her chin. She was wearing his shirt again, as much cleavage as was showing, he was barely just able to tear his eyes away, fighting the urge to pull her into his arms.

“You keep sending me mix signals. It’s giving me a whiplash.” She breathed.

Jesus, this girl is blunt.

“What mixed signals?” His finger traced the outline of her succulent pink lower lip. His natural response was obvious between them.

“You keep looking at me and talking to me like you’re interested. Yet, if I encourage or flirt, you act as if you want nothing to do with me.”

“I’m 36, Kerri. What would you want with me?  How old are you? 21, 22?”

“20. Why is my age such a big deal?”

“Shit.” He dropped his hand, then brought them up to rub his eyes in an increasingly familiar gesture. “Sixteen years is a big gap.”

She stared at him, her eyes nerves of steel, scarring him. “Women date older men all the time. It’s not a big deal.”

“Is that what you want? To date?”


He chuckled, shaking his head and looking at their feet on the floor. Her toes are pretty. She stepped closer. He looked up and was greeted with her hands cupping his face, and her sucking on his lower lip. His while body betrayed him. His heart hammered violently, in a way he couldn’t recall ever experiencing before this moment. He felt something curl and settle in his belly. He groaned in protest, yet not actually moving. She was tentative, calculating, teasing. Rubbing her nose on his. Pressing her breasts against his chest, gently swaying her hip across his erection. How much more could he take? He rested his arms on either side of the bathroom doorway, willing himself not to touch her.

Kerri… no.” He begged, even as he followed her mouth as she teased him.

“Yes.” She whispered. “Say yes”. She wrapped one arm around his neck and guided one of his to the small of her back. As she pressed up against him, pursuing the impossible task of getting closer, she deepened the kiss.

His hand pressed her into him. His other hand joining the ceremony sliding over her bottom, past the length of the shirt and back up under it. He hardened even more at the feel of her nakedness.

Ian broke the kiss to ask, “Where are your panties?”

“Wet.” She responded breathing hard, tilting her head and giving him better access to her neck.

His roaming hand crossed the threshold of her hip high, lowering down her thigh and slipping into her folds.

“Mmmm…. you’re right. Wet,”

The words seemed to trigger something inside her and she moaned and wrapped her long leg around his waist, opening up for him, asking for more. He obliged. Shifting from the doorway to the wall, his hand held her head in place as he kissed her with wild pressure, stroking and rubbing her, willing her to join his rhythm.

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