Exhausted and anxious to return home, Leigh wasn’t paying attention as she stepped out the door of the small law office at the end of the row of storefronts. Leigh went down hard on the cement, her skirt flying up, her brochures flying. A shook-up Leigh assessed the damage and caught her breath. Her dignity was beyond repair.
Leigh was brushing the dirt from her palms, scraped from trying to break her fall when a shadow blocked the sun, and a large, dirty hand, attached to a long, strong arm reached down to assist her. Leigh’s gaze followed the flannel covered forearm up over a muscled bicep and continued until her scrutiny was arrested by a pair of coffee-colored eyes surrounded by the deep laugh lines of an outdoorsman. He was staring vast expanse of creamy thigh and more than a hint of her magenta panties. His expression told Leigh that he liked what he saw.
Leigh clumsily scrambled to lower her dress, gather the brochures fluttering in the breeze, and take the proffered hand all at once. Several pamphlets escaped down the sidewalk, but she quickly forgot them as she was lifted like a feather against her mountain’s chest and too swiftly placed gently on her feet. She winced when the blisters made contact with the hard surface beneath them and the lumberjack buried behind a grizzly bear beard reacted.
“Injured, little lady?” he asked with concern. “Let me help you get you to urgent care.
“That won’t be necessary,” Leigh responded, smoothing her dress to cover her embarrassment and interest.
“Then at least let me help you to your destination.”
“I was just heading to my car, down the ways,” Leigh tried to gesture with the arm the man still held. “But, I’m fine. Really. I can take it from here.”
“Fine, indeed,” Grizzly Adams replied in a sarcastic, deep baritone.
He was tall, covered in a subtle sheen of dirt and sweat, but Leigh quickly realized the shirt under her fingertips was the finest wool and his boots, caked in an inch of dried mud, were Scarpa Phantom 8000’s. He was a very wealthy Grizzly Adams, and a dedicated hiker too. Those boots were featured in the mountaineering store up the road for over $1000, way too rich for Leigh’s blood.
He stood still, his smile twitching as caught Leigh checking him out. Then, without warning, he swept her into his arms, carefully adjusted her dress to modestly cover her behind while managing to slide his hand all along them. The man was a pro. Leigh couldn’t fault his effort, even as she realized he was copping a feel. Carrying her easily, he began taking long strides in the direction she had pointed.
“This is completely unnecessary,” Leigh repeated more than once, interspersed with “put me down, please” and “Really I can walk.” He ignored them all, speaking right over her repeated and flustered objections.
“You took a nasty fall there. People are always missing that last step.” His face was too close and too handsome. He smelled of the outdoors – pine, sweat and sunshine. It was intoxicating.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer I took you over to the doc’s office or the urgent care?”
“Just to my car, thanks,” Leigh requested, done trying to argue with the hard-muscled man. Who was she kidding? It felt incredible to rest against his broad chest, his arms holding her securely and his minty breath blowing on her face. He may have been filthy, a bearded mountain man who was certainly not her type, but he was sexy as hell. Leigh wished her car was miles away. ,
“Will you be ok to drive, Miss…”
“Miss Leigh,” he repeated, caressing her name. “Are you sure you’ll be alright to drive?”
Leigh bobbed her head in the affirmative. She loved resting her head against the power of this man’s chest, secure in his firm grip. Leigh looked up at him from under her eyelashes, admiring what she saw. She could tell that under the caked on mud and scruff, he was handsome, with a cocky smile and those laughing eyes. She wished she could see more.
“This is my car,” she finally motioned. “Thank you, Mr…”
“You’re certain you can drive?” he asked in his slow, smooth drawl, ignoring her question.
“I’m not going far,” Leigh reassured him. “I’ll be fine.”
The mountain man placed Leigh on her feet, holding her by the waist as if waiting for reassurance that she was solidly standing. Leigh looked down as if to assure herself both feet were there and with a deep breath made eye contact. The man was a head taller, broad and powerful, and staring at her as if he wanted to devour her. A hot flush filled Leigh’s cheeks, and she extended a hand to shake his.
“Well, thank you again. You certainly turned out to be my knight in shining armor today,” she jested.
“Well, Miss Leigh, then I guess I get my knight’s favor,” the man responded with a devilish grin. Leigh was still registering his warning when he lowered his head to hers and placed his warm lips upon her cooler ones.
Other Books in the B&B Billionaire Romance Series:
About the Author:
Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.
A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.
After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.
Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally iil or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?
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