Wild About You

Wild About You by Kerrelyn Sparks

Book: Wild About You by Kerrelyn Sparks Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kerrelyn Sparks
considering. “I never thought about it that way, but it’s true. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a family settled into one of the houses we renovate. If we can give them a good solid home, then it seems like we’re doing something really special.”
    “You are.”
    Her gaze met his, and instantly he felt the connection, the pull. Would he be able to touch her again without hurting her?
    Alastair cleared his throat, and Howard wondered how long he and Elsa had stared at each other. The waitress brought their food, and they busied themselves eating.
    “How did you learn to do woodwork?” Howard asked.
    Elsa swallowed her bite of hamburger. “I learned from my uncle Peder. It was his hobby.” She sipped some more water. “He passed away about a year ago.”
    “I’m sorry.”
    She shrugged. “I miss him, but I’m forever grateful to him. He was a builder by profession and taught me so much. My aunt is an interior designer, so I grew up surrounded by sawdust, paint and carpet samples, and swatches of fabric.”
    Alastair wiped his mouth with the paper napkin. “My family was into construction, too. It gets into your blood.”
    Elsa nodded. “I became fascinated with the whole process of turning a few boards and brick into an actual home, a place where children could play and couples grow old together.”
    Howard smiled. This was the Elsa he’d fallen for on television. She was genuine. Real. And he was going to pursue her in earnest. If he could touch her without hurting her.
    After paying for dinner, he followed them outside.
    “I’ll go get us some rooms.” Alastair headed across the street to the motel office.
    “He’s leaving me alone with you?” Howard smiled at Elsa. “I must have passed inspection.”
    She snorted. “Alastair considers me his little sister. A rather big little sister.”
    “Not too big to me.”
    She gave him a puzzled look.
    He stepped closer. “Can I see you again?”
    “I’m sure we’ll see each other often at the house.”
    “That’s not what I meant.” He reached out to touch her arm, but she moved back. “Does your shoulder still hurt?”
    “A little. I should go to my room and put some of that ointment on it. Thank you for dinner.” She stepped off the sidewalk to cross the road.
    “Elsa.”
    She glanced back.
    “Aren’t you curious? Don’t you want to know what will happen?” He extended a hand toward her.
    Frowning, she turned to face him. “Why would I ask for more pain?”
    “Maybe it won’t hurt this time.”
    “It hurt before. It’s too big a risk.”
    “It’s too big a loss if we give up on our future.”
    She scoffed. “What future?”
    “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. I really want to see you again.” He was tempted to tell her they were somehow connected, but he didn’t want to frighten her.
    She groaned with frustration. “I’m not sure I can trust you.”
    He turned his hand palm up. “Try me and see.”
    After a moment of hesitation, she extended her hand and gently tapped his fingers with her own. Her gaze lifted to his. “It didn’t burn.”
    With a grin, he took her hand in his. “Then I’ll see you tomorrow?”
    She nodded, her cheeks blushing. “Good night, Howard.” She let go and dashed across the street.

Chapter Seven
    E lsa wiped a circle of steam off the bathroom mirror so she could get a better look at herself. After a hot shower, she felt more capable of dealing with her life.
    She gathered her long, damp hair into a towel turban on top of her head, then peered at her shoulder in the mirror. It was an odd birthmark—an ugly splotch on her upper arm with four clawlike marks extending over the curve of her shoulder, as if some sort of wild beast had grasped her and refused to let go. It had returned to its usual dull maroon color, but earlier, when she’d examined it in the restroom at the diner, it had glowed a brighter red.
    The mark had always embarrassed her, especially in her teenage

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