Caylie Abrahms bad day gets worse when the teen brother she's responsible for proudly hands her a gift. Just wanting to show how much he appreciates all his sister does for him, Kyle steals what he believes is an ornate glass vase. The gift is anything but however, and now Caylie has to find the owner of an urn. Worst yet, she has to explain her dear brother stole someone's loved one.
Against all odds she learns the urn belongs to Rick Marshall, her best friend from college, the man she'd poured her heart out to and been rejected by. She never thought she'd see him again, let alone have to hand him back his father in glass. Will her resolve remain strong in his presence, or will she suffer another broken heart?
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In silence, they walked the corridor flanking the stairs to the second story. Kyle stayed behind, digging through the plate of refreshments. They passed two doors and Caylie began to wonder just how large his home was. She dared not look around too much, afraid she'd grow jealous and feel even more insignificant than she already did. There were no disillusions in her life, she knew she was poor. Never before though had she felt impoverished. Until now. However, she did keep a roof over hers and Kyle's head and they never went without a meal. Those were at least things she could be proud of. He opened a door to the left and motioned inside.
ʺOn the desk. May I ask first though, who you're calling?"
With a sheepish smile, she held up the card. ʺA cab, I... accidentally locked my keys in my car this afternoon."
He stepped inside and closed the door. ʺI can give you a ride home."
Shaking her head, she took the card between both her hands and stared down at it. Anything not to look at him and his way too
handsome face and the body that proved he did hard labor. A few strands of gray stood out in his dark brown hair, slight lines appeared when he smiled, but other than that, the man was still dangerously good-looking. Only now he had a few years that took away that fresh-from-school look and a filled out frame that came with manhood. Alone in a room with him was so not where she wanted to be.
ʺI couldn't possibly ask for anything more from you. We have done more than enough."
ʺNo," he said softly and the light, musky scent of his cologne filled her nose as he moved closer. ʺYour brother has done enough.
You did nothing but return what was stolen, hours after it happened, I might add. You did me a huge favor, especially since my mother happened to show up to get a good look at the urn."
ʺSomething you wouldn't have even had to worry about if my brother hadn't taken it in the first place." She shook her head and put some distance between them, moving towards the phone. ʺI'm sorry, I can't accept anything else from you. Agreeing not to press charges and then giving my brother an opportunity to do some good...it's more than enough, more than I could thank you for."
Before she could reach the phone, his hand wrapped around her upper arm. His touch sent waves of longing through her body. Not wanting to feel anything stronger, she brushed his hand away, thankful he released her without hesitation. His eyes darkened with anger and something she couldn't place and wasn't sure if she wanted to.
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