Gabe Preston watched as the ice cream left a tantalizing trail down the smooth skin he’d been checking out for the last ten minutes. The woman savored her treat with a childlike intensity, that pink tongue darting out and taking smooth licks. Now and then, her tongue would dip down and gather any stray drops before they could escape.
His gaze roved over her. Lord, there was nothing childlike about her figure, though. Tight black jeans and a little t-shirt hugged her lithe frame, reveling curves in all the right places. He stifled the urge to unfasten the top button of his polo shirt. What was she doing to him? This was a café, not a bar to trawl for women.
The lady tilted her head, and her eyes met his. A broad smile covered those delectable lips, stealing the breath from his lungs. She peered up through long lashes that he knew covered sparkling blue eyes. Her arched brows resembled the wings of--
He scoffed at himself. What was he? A poetic teenager? Gabe had long stopped being swayed by a pretty face after he’d seen how the size of his wallet could influence women. Some modicum of intelligence and kindness were essential. He didn’t know if she had either in abundance.
The ice cream cone wavered in her hand, and as it fell, alarm flared in her eyes. Her long auburn hair covered her face as she dove after it. The ice cream landed with a splat or the floor. Before he knew what he was doing, he was out of his seat and across the aisle to her table.
She glanced up, and her mouth trembled into a pout. “Oh dear, I lost my ice cream.”
Her voice flowed over him like a waterfall’s caress. Her accent--why couldn’t he place it? He’d traveled the world on business and pleasure enough to recognize most people’s.
Gabe reached into the pocket of his chinos and redrew a folded handkerchief. “We can get you another one.” He held out the piece of fabric.
She followed his gaze down to where her ice-cream covered fingers rested on the table. Rubbing her fingers together, she seemed fascinated by the melting substance.
Gabe narrowed his eyes. What was she doing? Wasn’t she a bit old to play in her food?
He cleared his throat and offered the handkerchief again. “Ahem.”
The woman tore her eyes from her hands and stared at him, her face glowing. “Would you?”
Confusion hit him. Would he what? “I don’t know what--”
She interrupted him. “Get me another one?” The woman clapped her hands together and cast him a hopeful glance.
Doubts about this lady’s eccentricities crept in. Was she all there? “Er, yes. Don’t you want to wipe your hands first?”
She inclined her head regally. “I think I will.”
As he handed her the handkerchief, her fingertips brushed his. Electric sparks zinged up his arms, cascading down to his toes. The woman froze, and then the moment passed.
Gabe crammed his hands into his pants pockets.
After wiping her fingers meticulously, she sat the fabric down on the table. “Thank you, Mr…?”
She folded her hands primly together. “Thank you, Mr. Gabe.”
He shook his head. “I go by the first name of Gabe. The last name is Preston.”
“I am Anha.”
A grin curved his lips. “Just Anha?”
A mysterious smile floated over her face. “Just Anha.”
Check out my newest release published by Astraea Press:
Through the Rabbit Hole
Social worker Natalie Danvers never thought she would fall head first into her very own dimensional tear — straight into a fey lord’s lap. The handsome but infuriatingly vague Lorh insists she’s stuck in his land for three weeks and that only she can discover the reasons behind her appearance in TirAnn. Natalie’s convinced this is all nonsense until forgotten memories of Lorh and his siblings resurface and collide with reason. Just who and what is she to Lorh and his family?