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Home > Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(10)

Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(10)
Author: Melody Anne

“Change your mind?” he said with a laugh.

“I figure you’re the lesser of two evils. I didn’t want to hang out at the cabin alone, and . . . I just don’t know what to do.”

“There are all sorts of things to do, Taylor. But you won’t figure it out if you’re acting lazy and sitting around.”

“I’m not lazy, Travis!”

“I haven’t seen much movement from you today.”

“Why do you always try to get a rise from me?”

“Because it’s so easy to do.” He kept a fast pace as they went through the forest.

“Maybe that’s why I can’t stand hanging around you.”

“Now that’s a lie, Taylor. You’ve always been my shadow.”

“I was a kid then, Travis. I may not be as ancient as you, but still, I’m all grown up now.”

He stopped walking and basically undressed her with his eyes, making her shift on her feet. “Yes, Taylor. You certainly are all grown up now. And I wouldn’t say thirty is exactly ancient,” he pointed out.

“Just keep walking, Travis.” She began moving again, but her breath was more uneven than before.

They soon reached a large pond about half an hour from the cabin. With the sun high in the sky, the water was more than appealing, but Taylor hadn’t even thought to bring a swimsuit. That didn’t seem to be stopping Travis. He pulled off his shirt and let his impressive tanned chest soak in the sun’s rays.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m taking a swim. You’re more than welcome to join me.” He began undoing the buttons on his jeans, showing the black band of his underwear.

“I don’t have a suit.”

“Neither do I,” he said with a wolfish grin before his thumbs reached inside the top of his pants and underwear. She barely had time to turn around before he pushed them down.

“What if someone happens by, Travis?” she snapped, refusing to face him.

“There’s no one for miles, Taylor, and it’s not like you haven’t seen me naked before.” His voice grew farther away as he moved toward the water. Then Taylor heard a splash and knew he was covered.

Still, she took a few more seconds before turning back around. “That was a long time ago.”

“Ah, I could never forget how great our night was,” he said as he swam away from her.

“Well, I suggest you erase it from your mind,” she told him, moving over to sit on a rock, with the hot sun beating down on her. “Besides, you said it was a mistake,” she added with a pout. Sweat began to gather on her forehead and neck, and the water was looking more and more appealing.

“I stand by that. It was a mistake at that moment. But times are different now, and we’re both in a different place in our lives. Besides, why would I erase you when I plan on adding more to the treasure house of memories?” He was now moving closer to her, and the way his muscled arms slid through the water was mesmerizing.

“It’s not going to happen, Travis. Our time has passed.”

“We’ll just have to agree to disagree.”

Nothing seemed to faze him as he moved through the pond, taking easy laps and obviously glorying in the coolness of the water while she baked on the damn rock. After about twenty minutes, she was really regretting not having her suit.

When he came close to her, a mischievous grin on his face, she glared down at him. “Don’t even think about it,” she warned him, but it was too late. While he treaded water, he brought his arm back, and then a large wave splashed over her.

Unwilling to let that go, and tired of roasting anyway, Taylor yanked off her soaked shirt and shoved her jeans down her slender legs. She had a measure of satisfaction in seeing his eyes widen as she stood there for a moment in her bra and panties.

Yeah, look all you want, Travis, ’cause you’re not touching, she thought before diving into the water only two feet from him.

When she came up for air behind him, she didn’t give him a chance to turn before her arms slid around his neck and she dragged him beneath the water. When the two of them came up, he was coughing up water, and she sported an expression of utter satisfaction.

“Take that,” she said, before plunging back beneath the water and disappearing. She was a strong swimmer, and though he was stronger, she certainly had more agility.

For the next hour they splashed, chased each other, played Marco Polo, and, unbelievably, they laughed nonstop. By the time the two of them climbed out of the pond, Taylor had forgotten all her reasons for keeping her distance.

Lying back on the hot rocks, she turned toward him, making sure to keep her gaze above his waistline. “Why are you staying out here?”

Travis looked at her for a minute before his arm came up to shield his eyes. They both had to let the hot sun dry them off.

“My career suddenly ended in the blink of an eye—literally and figuratively—and I needed a quiet place to regroup.”

There didn’t seem to be anger in his voice, only resignation. She felt a lot more bitter about the possible ending of her own career.

“What happened?” She wanted to stop herself from asking, but she was too curious. She actually did care, even if she didn’t want him to know it.

“We were on a mission and an IED exploded. I was lucky, much luckier than many of the men, but it permanently messed up the peripheral vision in my left eye. I can’t do my job now.” He’d never really talked about what he did for the military, and Taylor was sure she didn’t want to know the details. But, again, she was curious.

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