In Hanna's worst nightmare she never imagined her bath-mate would be her belittling ex-boss, or that he'd be so—well, so conspicuously male. Her problems began when she returned from a midnight sojourn in the garden, worn out and ready for a long soak in the tub. When she started to open the door, she heard the shower running. Darn the man. Why couldn't he have showered in the hour he'd had once he left her alone?
Though she preferred to think she and Roth had nothing in common, the next morning things were shaping up to appear that they shared an identical sleeping, waking and hygiene schedule.
She had just hung her robe on a hook on the back of the bathroom door that led into his bedroom, when she heard a knock. Being so close to the booming sound, she jumped and gasped. Never in her life had the simple act of taking a bath caused her so much anxiety. She stood there naked, her nerves raw, one step away from climbing into the ancient claw footed tub. “What?”she asked, stress ripe in her tone.
“Are you about done?”
“No,” she said minimally, preferring not to give him a mental picture of her nudity. “It'll be at least fifteen minutes.”
A pause, then, “Would you mind if I came in and got my electric shaver?”
“I would mind very much. I'm not—decent.”
A moment passed before he responded, then, “Could you get decent? It'll just take a second.”
Her impatience rose. “We're going to have to work out a schedule so this doesn't keep happening,” she shouted.
“Good idea,” he said. “So, is that a yes or a no?”
“A yes or a no about what?”
“About coming in?”
This guy's pushiness was enough to give any sane person the screaming meemies. She wanted to tell him exactly where he could go, with her blessing, but decided not to fight it. He'd only keep knocking and harping on his dratted shaving kit until he got his way. Heaving a groan, she called, “Just a second.” She unlocked the door that led to his bedroom, then stepped into the tub and drew the plastic curtain around her. “Okay, come in and get it over!”
“Thanks.” His door opened. “I appreciate it.”
“Whatever! Just hurry.” As she wrapped herself more securely in her green, plastic cocoon, she looked at him and her eyes went wide. “You're not decent!”
He was about to retrieve his shaving gear from a drawer under the sink when she spoke. He stilled and glanced in her direction. “The hell I'm not.” He straightened and spread his arms, displaying his bare upper torso, which, she was sorry to notice, showed off fantastic pectorals and a shamelessly trim and sexy stomach. His hip area was covered, barely, by a towel that started too far below his navel and ended provocatively high on the thighs. Roth Jerric had a decidedly cruel streak.
“Okay, you're minutely decent,” she said grimly.
His forehead crinkled as though he'd been slapped. “For the record, Miss Hudson, men have a particular aversion to being alluded to as minute.”
“Your glaring male insecurities are not my problem, Mr. Jerric.” She freed an arm to indicate his 'minute' attire. “What is that thing, a hankie?”
“Funny.” He gave the shower curtain she'd wrapped up in a slow perusal. “Now I have a question for you.” When he returned his attention to her face he watched her with eyes that missed nothing and revealed less. “You're wrapped in plastic.”
“That's not a question.”
“Okay. Let's try this. ” He indicated her with flick of his hand. “That's your idea of getting decent?”
“At least I'm covered.”
“Yes.” He nodded. “You are.” He crossed his arms with languid, muscled grace she wished she could dismiss without a foolish increase in her heart rate. “There's one flaw in your fashion statement, however.”
“Really?” She clutched the curtain more tightly around her, hating being put on the defensive, especially by a man who thought of her as inferior. “What might that be?”
“I can see through the blasted thing.”
From the book Blue Moon Bride, by Renee Roszel
Published by Harlequin books S.A. Copyright © 2006 by Renee Roszel
Publication Date (USA), June 2006, ISBN # 0-373-03898-4
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