You want me to what?” Charlie knew she sounded like an idiot, yet she couldn’t help it. Maybe she needed to have her hearing checked. Jake couldn’t have just asked what she thought he did.
Jake leaned his shoulder against the doorframe near the stairs heading up to the attic, his arms crossed over his chest. Everyone at the bed and breakfast was gathered downstairs waiting to eat. Everyone except them. She’d gone upstairs to check her cell phone messages and when she came down Jake stood leaning against the wall waiting for her.
“Come with me to Newport this weekend. I’m the best man. It wouldn’t be right for me to show up without a date.”
Okay, maybe she hadn’t misunderstood. “Isn’t that what the single bridesmaids are for?” Charlie walked down the last few steps stopping in front of him. Sure they’d shared some amazing kisses but going to his sister’s wedding was out there. Especially this wedding. The media was calling it the wedding of the year.
Shrugging Jake gave her a lazy smile. “One’s my sister, Sara, and the others just don’t do it for me.”
She wanted to ask him what he meant by ‘do it’ but if the way he looked at her was any indication, she didn’t have to. A heady combination of desire and curiosity sprang to life. The men she came in contact with on a daily basis never looked at her the way Jake was. Most viewed her as nothing more than a doctor and Naval officer, they seemed to overlook the fact that she was also a woman. Jake’s red-hot gaze told her that he not only noticed that she was a woman, but that he wanted her. And the attraction wasn’t one-sided. She wanted him with a ferocity that she’d never experienced before.
“We’ll only be gone a few days.” As he spoke, Jake straightened and closed the gap between them. “You can meet my family. I think you’ll like them.”
Afraid he’d see the uncertainty she felt, Charlie looked at everything but Jake. She wasn’t worried about how long they’d be gone. Nobody really needed her here. Every day the town recovered a little more and, as always, her mom had her brother Sean; she didn’t need anyone else. That was part of the reason she came home so infrequently. Rather she worried Jake might get the wrong idea if she accepted the invitation. He may begin to think she wanted a long-term relationship, and she didn’t. Relationships that had the possibility of a future were not in the cards for her. She decided that a long time ago.
Get over yourself Charlie; this is Jake Sherbrooke world-renowned playboy. He’s not interested in a relationship. Charlie’s inner thoughts helped bring her back to reality. Although he’d shown that he wasn’t just another rich son living off the family’s money, he did still have a reputation for leaving behind many broken hearts.
This is the wedding of the year, she reminded herself. The media had been talking about it for months. Attending it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She could picture the expressions on her friends’ faces if she told them she went. Not to mention Newport was beautiful this time of year. Somehow the hurricane that devastated North Salem by destroying the Stonefield Dam had left the town of Newport and most of Rhode Island unscathed.
“You’re tempted,” Jake said. “I promise no one there will bite.” Dropping his head he nibbled on her ear lobe. “It’ll give us some time alone together.”
Before she could stop herself, Charlie sighed in pleasure. His teasing only increased the throbbing sensation in her body. Much more of it and she might ask him upstairs for a bit to pick up where they’d left off the previous weekend.
“Okay. But only because this is the wedding of the year. It has nothing to do with you.” Somehow she managed to tease him while maintaining a straight face.
Jake broke off his assault and straightened to his full height. For a minute he studied her and Charlie was positive she saw a flash of insecurity flicker across his face. Just as quickly, however, his lips curved into a smile and she wondered if she’d imagined it.
“That so, Doc? Then I’ll just have to work extra hard to change that.”
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