Excerpt from Texas Lover

     "Go ahead, Miss Merrilee," Wes said in a brave voice, "Miss Rorie will fix me."
     I'll fix you all right.
     After the child had finally left the room, Rorie planted her fists on her hips and glared at the scapegrace sitting on her desk.
     "Ah, my angel of mercy," he drawled.
     "Mercy's the last thing you'll get from me, Wes Rawlins."
     "You sure do have a lot of flash in those eyes. Reminds me of a Winchester when its brass receiver catches the sun."
     "Don't change the subject." She tugged the taffy box from his hands. "Don't you have any scruples?"
     "Now don't go spitting smoke. I was only going to eat one tiny, little piece."
     "That is not what I meant, and you know it. Lying to the child that way—"
     "What, you don't think I have a bee sting?"
     She blinked, her reprimand faltering on her tongue. It had never occurred to her that he really might.
     "Do you?"
     She wasn't sure she liked the silky tone of his voice. "Where?"
     "On my belly."
     For the first time since arriving in the room, she noticed the wilted wildflower tucked into the belt loop of his denim work pants. A bee sting in such a tender area probably throbbed worse than a sore tooth.
     "I see." She cleared her throat. "Very well. Unbutton your shirt while I get the salve."
     She stepped to the cabinet, flustered by self-recriminations. She couldn't have turned her back on him for more than half a minute—and yet, by the time she'd retrieved her jar of salve, he'd stripped off his vest and shirt.
     Her jaw dropped when she faced him again. The jar of salve nearly did too.
     Perfectly at ease in all his bare-chested glory, he settled back on the desk, every sinew rippling in shameless display. She tried not to gawk, but it was impossible, given his striking virility. Broad and brawny in the shoulders, lean and narrow in the hips, Wes had hidden a whole world of wonders beneath his faded cotton work shirt: knotted biceps, corded forearms, and a rock-hard abdomen that would have taken a stinger of steel to scrape, much less to puncture.
     She swallowed, and he flashed a dazzling smile.
     "You don't mind me unshucked, do you, ma'am? I figured since you were a doctor's wife and all, you'd grown kind of used to fixing up patients with their shirts off..."


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