Lowell looked across the chopping block at her as she worked. She’d piled her wavy hair atop her head, but a few black curls had escaped to ring her face. The scoop neck of her pink T-shirt was modest, but nothing could hide those curves of hers, he thought. Her cleavage deepened with each shove of her hands into the dough, and he could just detect her heartbeat in the divot above her sternum. She wore a knee-length full skirt that was decorated with cabbage roses ranging in hue from baby pink to magenta to fuchsia. Her expression was peaceful—she was fully absorbed in her task. Lowell stilled his kneading hands as he let his eyes wander over the front of her leaf-festooned smock. Barely veiled by the ruffle of her apron, the sides of her breasts grazed the sides of her upper arms. Through the layers of her bra, T-shirt and apron, he detected the bumps of her erect nipples. Lowell swallowed.

Beds and Blazes

Beds and Blazes

“Don’t neglect your dough,” Dora scolded. “We’ve only got a couple more minutes to go, then it will rest for an hour.” She glanced at the front of his tan rugby shirt, now smudged with flour. “You should have worn an apron.” She let her gaze drop to the front of his kilt, where once more the fabric didn’t hang straight down to the floor. Her lips parted and she looked back up at him. Lowell’s heart quickened, but he didn’t turn away.

“Isn’t this stuff done yet?” he asked gruffly. “If it’s not ready for a rest, I know that I am.”

Dora took out two clean bowls. She coated the dough balls in oil, placed them in the vessels, and covered them with clean kitchen towels. “Okay, they get an hour to rise,” she said as she placed them on the counter next to the sink. She started to turn, but Lowell was at her back, holding her in place.

“I enjoyed that, Dora,” he whispered in her ear, “but I’ve got more on my mind than rising bread.” He pressed his erection into the small of her back and brushed his lips on the side of her neck. “Am I alone in that? Tell me so, and I’ll walk out the door, but…” he exhaled warmth on her skin. “Oh, Dora, I can think of nothing but touching you.” He brushed one dark curl from the side of her forehead and ran his fingertip down the side of her face. “Maybe it’s wrong, maybe it’s too fast, but woman…“ He turned her slowly to face him. Light as a feather, Lowell traced the outline of her body from collarbone to the swell of her breast to the gentle curve of her hip. “You make me forget everything,” he murmured. Dora took his hand in hers as he spoke. “I feel stupid, ridiculous, bumbling. Should I just go?” She lifted his hand to her lips and kissed one dough-covered knuckle.

Dora shook her head. “You should stay right here.”

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