Morgan Galloway made the mistake of allowing Kaelyn Reynolds to slip through his fingers. Both too young, and too many years between them, he didn't know just how precious love was until it was gone. Fate had finally brought Kaelyn back to Pandora's Landing. When a winter snowstorm sends Morgan to playing 'Welcome Wagon,' he plans on making this a Christmas to remember.
As Kaelyn stared unspeaking into Morgan's countenance, it was clear he bore the stamp of both parents. Mason's Black Irish coloring mixed with Dora's loveliness and her fey eyes to produce a son who was beautiful, yet in a way that was pure male. Totally unprepared to face the man who had haunted her dreams throughout her life, she couldn't function. Suddenly, nineteen years ago was only yesterday. Her blood sped through her, burning like fire, hitting her heart to where it was painful. The memories rushed back, flooding through her entire being, their power paralyzing her. "Kaylee." His sensual mouth spread into a smile, it reaching those pale eyes. Morgan had always persisted in teasing her by calling her Kaylee girl, one of the few things which told her that he even knew she existed. She always assumed it was his way of taunting the doe-eyed kid who followed him around, just hoping he'd look at her.
Pretending she didn't recall, she corrected, "Kaelyn."
"Yes, I remember. But I called you Kaylee girl to get your dander up." Seeing she had her footing back, he finally released her. "Are you spending the holidays in your aunt and uncle's cottage?" "It's mine now. I guess I'm trying to decide whether to keep it or not." Kaelyn wanted to run away from all these raw emotions, sort out what she was feeling, convince herself it was merely seeing him again that brought out the old love. Feigning interest in the small hand basket which she had dropped, she knelt and started to gather the items that had spilled out. Morgan squatted and snagged the rolling can of oysters, a brow arching as he read the label on the side. His mouth quirked up sexily at one corner, silently remarking on the seafood's aphrodisiac properties. "You do remember me, Kaylee, don't you?"
She was pretending to ignore him as she collected the supplies, but his words caused her to glance up and their stares collided. He held her spellbound, breathless. Morgan had changed from the young man of twenty-five who'd stolen her heart. Only now, gone were those safety cushions she'd conjured over the years¯no potbelly, no balding head, and while she couldn't see his arse from this angle, she figured that it didn't sag, judging by the rest of him. Age, if anything, had only made Morgan Galloway more devastatingly attractive. His body carried more weight, muscle not fat, that masculinity which hits men when they reach their middle thirties, leaving the boy behind and moving to M-A-N. The change imbued them with a raw sexuality they lacked before. There was a harder edge to Morgan's face, as if life had put marks on his soul, a face still too damn beautiful. A knife to her heart, she knew it didn't matter. He was still out of reach for her. And only now did she recognize she had never stopped loving him.
Kaelyn swallowed hard. "Yes, Morgan. I remember you." They seemed stuck in an awkward staring contest, old friends, and yet never really friends. The whole situation was embarrassing, made more so because she could merely gaze at Morgan and want him with the same old longing, only worse now¯she desired him as a woman. Nevertheless, all the yearning in the world wouldn't make it so¯and she knew it.