How many things can go wrong at one time?
That question plagues feisty divorcée Sharlene Mouton. The banking department she heads takes a trip overseas. She pounds the pavement—and the keyboard—with resumes for ninety-nine weeks. Going home to regroup lands her in the middle of an ecological disaster that threatens her rural Louisiana community. What else can happen? How about repeated run-ins with suave Drake Cormier, the oil company’s liaison officer.
Jobless, yet, not hopeless. Oil spill fiasco. Mouton-Cormier feud. Suitor not much older than her daughters.
Sharlene now wonders—how many wrongs make a right?
A horn tooted.
It was Drake. The passenger-side window of his car glided down. “Hop in.” Amusement crossed his face at her perturbed expression. “Come on, Sharlene. I don’t bite.”
She rolled her window down.
“Let me try it once more.” The rain nearly soaked her. So, she took cover behind the glass once again. Sharlene’s insides quivered as her wrist twisted to turn the key. “Shoot!” Could she bear the ride beside him? She lowered the window again. “I’ll just wait at Clyde’s for Uncle Moot.”
Woman power sent the window flying back up.
Drake was out in the downpour and next to her door before her lips shut. “That’s crazy. You don’t know how long he’ll be gone.”
She gazed through the glass.
“This liquid sunshine is mighty wet.” He opened the door without her permission. “Grab your things.”
Here she was—acting like a bashful schoolgirl. The insistent hand on her elbow goaded her out of the truck. She held on to all of her paraphernalia as she made the dash from plastic to leather. Sharlene peered at Drake’s profile when he joined her and took off.
The rain didn’t let up during the twenty-minute ride. As a matter of fact, the sky opened up, pouring out buckets of water. Drake parked across the walkway directly in front of the steps. Sharlene took that as her cue and bailed from the car.
“Thanks, Drake.” She hustled up the steps trying to dodge the wet drops. “See you later.” Sharlene heard the motor purr as he headed off. Then the slam of his car door jerked her around. Big mistake, for her foot skidded on the slippery surface.
His rush to the rescue landed both of them on his back, flat out in the mud. Air whooshed from his lungs as he squeezed out, “Are you hurt?”
Her breath caught in her throat. But it wasn’t from the blow of the landing. She lay spread-eagle on his rock solid frame. Every time his chest rose, her intake of breath failed from the force.
However, she managed a breathy murmur. “No. Are you?”
Neither moved a muscle as the rain continued to pelt them. “You forgot your purse,” he explained as the reason for his delay.
Sharlene relished the feel of his taut body as her softness draped all over him. She delighted when his muddy hands cupped her cheeks to draw her lips to his. Offering no resistance, she first tasted the watery grit before the sweet flavor of his seeking tongue. She lost herself in the moment, reciprocating his actions with fervor. There was no doubt about it. He broke down barriers she’d erected to maintain her sanity after her divorce. So what was she to do now that the natural urges suppressed for an eternity were unleashed?
The question rattling around in Sharlene’s head soon had an answer. Drake’s hands slid from her face to her shoulders, from her shoulders to the small of her back. He cradled her gently while shifting his weight until they lay side by side on the saturated earth. The kiss shared got longer—deeper. She didn’t shy away from feelings heated to the boiling point. The loud thunderclap warned of lightning that struck too close for comfort. The sky briefly illuminated. Yet, that was no comparison to the explosions she experienced.
Water poured from the sky like the clouds ripped open at the seams.
She couldn’t help herself. He filled her to capacity as she wallowed in his masculine hold. The only reason she broke away was to allow space due to the unexpected, heady contact. And—also, she had to give her body time to recover from the obvious distress of being so close to him.
The torrential rainstorm nearly drowned them.
Now untangled from his body, Sharlene endured Drake’s grip under her arms that lifted her to her feet. She started up the steps to the porch at his nudge. Debris was flicked from her hands before she nervously searched her purse for the keys and unlocked the door. A look over her shoulder at the clapping sound Drake made as he shook off the excess mud let her see him begin to retrace his steps to the yard. Her voice stopped him.
“Where’re you going?”
“Get out of these wet clothes.”
He was filthy all because of her clumsiness. “I caused the mess. I’ll clean it up.” She opened the door wider. “Come on in.”