Worth The Fall
Interview Friday 7pm PST
She’d needed to get away from him yesterday, away from his slow, sexy smile and knowing eyes. The intense way he held her gaze and her hand. However unwanted, her attraction had evidently multiplied overnight. But there was no mistaking Matt’s tall form striding toward her before she dropped her bags on the sand.
He waved and smiled, and she waved back, then turned to raise her umbrella. His deep voice vibrated through and around her as he greeted the children. That alone caused a flutter in her stomach.
Settle down. He’s only a man.
Using the upper body strength she’d honed at the gym, she strained to crank the stubborn umbrella. She could do it. She’d done it yesterday. For God’s sake. Don’t look completely incompetent.
“Need some help?”
“No, I’ve got it.”
He moved in behind her until he stood so close she felt the loose strands of her hair catching on his chest. Abby inhaled hot skin and male deodorant—a heady, masculine combination that had her struggling to focus.
“Let me help you.”
“I can do it.” She tried to sound forceful and confident, but it came out breathy and—
“I know you can, but I can help.” His words whispered against her cheek. His arms came around her and he easily raised the umbrella, his body brushing hers with each turn of the crank. Then his arms were gone, leaving a strange void.
She turned to face him. He was so close. Nothing between them but the warm breeze. His sunglasses hung around his neck, revealing chocolate-brown eyes. Beyond beautiful, deep and rich, fringed with black lashes. A strong man with soft eyes. Eyes that could talk a girl into anything.
It was unnerving, being this close to him, especially wearing nothing but a bathing suit. Trying to imagine what he saw, she fought the urge to tug her top higher. Breasts on the small side—barely a C-cup when she was pregnant. Her straight dark hair hung in its usual ponytail, rebel pieces already flying free. A bit of tinted sunscreen was all the attention her face had received. Not what he was used to.
Needing a reprieve from his hot gaze, she looked straight ahead. Big mistake. Fine black hairs feathered across sculpted pecs, swirling around dark nipples.
Lord, she needed water. To drink or splash on her burning face, she wasn’t sure. She forced her gaze up and found him watching her intently.
He raised his hand slowly toward her face, brushed his thumb lightly across her temple. “Sand.”
Her lips parted and she stood blinking up at him like a complete ninny, his smoldering brown eyes melting her into a puddle.
“Hey, Matt. Where’s our castle? I brought my football. Can we throw in the water?” Jack shot off his questions, oblivious to the fact the two adults in front of him stood like frozen statues.
Matt’s eyes held her captive another long second before he turned his attention to her son and she let herself breathe.
“Yeah, sure. One sec.” He walked the few feet to where he’d left his beach chair and came back with two. “There.” He set up the chairs under her umbrella. “You’ll like it better with a chair.”
“Thank you. If you tell me how much, I’ll—”
“Matt—” She reached for her beach bag, but he stopped her with a hand on her arm.
Her mind went blank at the feeling of his hot hand on her skin and the sensation he was touching her everywhere.
“Matt!” Jack was about to burst a blood vessel he was so excited.
Abby tried unsuccessfully to unglue her eyes as he walked down to the water. Matt’s sleek body dove through the waves as he played with Jack, and each time she held her breath, waiting for him to resurface. When he did, he burst through the water looking like a Greek god, chiseled out of smooth stone and coming to life right before her.
But the way he smiled at her son and gave him high fives made him even more beautiful. And the way she’d felt standing between his arms . . . Ridiculous, but still the word “safe” came to mind.
He stood in front of her, drops of water clinging to his arms and chest, dripping down the ridges of his stomach.
Jack ran up beside him. “We’re swim buddies. Right, Matt? Matt says you should always swim with a buddy.”
Matt’s raised eyebrows and the smirk he was fighting told her she’d been busted for gawking. “Do you want to come out? The water’s great.”
“Um, no. No, thanks. I’m not a strong swimmer. I mean I can swim, I just—”
“I’ll be your swim buddy.” He grinned and she caught a hint of dimples.
“The ocean still hasn’t grown on you, huh?”
She swallowed hard. “It’s growing.”
Claudia’s Choice for Movie Theme Song:
1. All The Stars-Ed Sheeran and Christina Grimmie.
2. Arms- Christina Perri
3. One More Moment- Mindy Smith
5. Wait For You-Mumford And Sons
Rad-Readers Choice For Movie Theme Song:
Switchfoot: “Love Alone is Worth the Fight”
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