Sleeping with Greg hadn't changed anything. She still wanted Sam. She realised this as he stood on his verandah, stroking his hand across his scalp and making her stomach lurch. Every time he moved his arm, his grey T shirt would lift and reveal an inch of perfectly toned brown skin. She couldn't help staring at the line of dark hair that snaked up from the waistband of his jeans. It made her want to lick her lips.
JD was sitting in one of the verandah chairs, leg on a stool, refusing to look up from his Nintendo DS.
Grace pulled herself together and stared at Sam's bare feet instead. They too were brown, and his nails were perfectly trimmed and a healthy pink. He even had sexy feet.
"How's the leg?" she asked JD, dragging her attention away from his brother. "Can you put weight on it yet?"
"No," he said grumpily, thumbs moving.
"The Doctor says another week," Sam said. "It can't come quick enough," he added, grimacing at Grace over JD's head. "I need to get back to the shop full time. Can't trust my staff to keep it going on their own."
"And your Grandparents can't help?" she asked.
"They help out a little, but they're 70 and I can't expect them to do too much." Sam dug his hands into his pockets and looked out over the dunes to the sea. He was lonely, Grace suddenly realised with a pang.
"Why don't you stay for dinner?" he eventually asked. "I'm firing up the barbeque."
"Sam's burgers are awesome," JD said without looking up.
"OK," Grace said knowing she shouldn't, but what could happen with JD as a chaperone?
Sam's burgers were indeed awesome. JD wolfed down two of them and then was helped to bed by Sam.
"He gets wiped out pretty easily, " Sam said as he came back out onto the verandah. It was dark now, and Grace could hear the distant sound of the waves gently breaking on the shore. The nights were getting cooler and she wrapped her arms around herself.
"Shall we go inside?" Sam asked, but Grace shook her head, she really ought to be going now JD had gone to bed. Sam took a step nearer her and said in a low voice, "thanks for coming to see JD."
Her breath caught in her throat as he fixed her with his dark eyes. His face was lit up from the light in the living room and his long eyelashes fluttered slightly. She really should go.
He reached out and touched her arm and she nearly jumped out of her skin. "Grace," he whispered, moving even closer, but she interrupted him before the magnetic pull could grab hold of her again.
"Greg and I are getting more serious," she blurted out.
Sam took a step back. Shit, she'd slept with him. He was so tempted to grab hold of her and kiss her hard anyway. Absent boyfriends never usually got in his way, but there was something about the guarded look on her face that stopped him. His balls just couldn't take rejection again.
"OK," he said wearily. "Then I guess it's good night."
She slowly walked to her car. Was she hoping he'd stop her? Was she hoping he'd grab her and push her against the car? He stood his ground and clenching his fists watched her go. This time he was going to protect himself.
Grace sat in the car and stared back at Sam for a moment. He looked angry. His whole body had gone tense and he was glaring at her through the dark. When he was angry like that she wanted to wrap hersef around him and kiss away his tension. She gripped the stearing wheel, willing herself to leave. Just as she was on the verge of giving into temptation and getting back out of the car, there was a sweep of headlights behind her. A car stopped and she heard a door slam, and then looking back at Sam saw his face completely transform. His eyes lit up and a broad grin spread across his face as he leapt down the steps. A woman threw herself into his arms, laughing. She was tall and slim with long dark hair. Her narrow hips and long legs were squeezed into skin tight low slung jeans and her strapless top revealed the intricate tattoos covering her shoulders.
"Shannon!" Sam was laughing as he spun her around.
Grace maneuvered out of the tight space and drove off, leaving Sam laughing in the dark.