Home > Waiting On The Rain (McKinneyWalker Brothers #3)(6)

Waiting On The Rain (McKinneyWalker Brothers #3)(6)
Author: Claudia connor

 

Luke moved slowly, doing his best to be mindful of Ava as they made their way to the dance floor. “I can see why you’d need a guide. This is a minefield.” He pushed a chair in that blocked his path so he could lead her around the one in hers. Her shoe caught on something and her grip tightened on his arm.

“Hold up.” He bent, saw her heel——the type designed to make a man beg—was caught on a chain attached to a small purse. The hem of her dress hit just above her knees, and he patted her calf, felt the firm, smooth skin there and— Get a grip, Walker. “Lift up. Okay, got it.” With the danger averted, they continued. “Diaper bag straight ahead,” he said, steering her clear.

Finally, they stepped off the carpet and onto the wood of the temporary dance floor. “Made it,” he said, turning to face her.

She angled her head up toward the sound of his voice. “We did. Thank you.”

“Now it’s your turn.” He waited for her to make the move, noticing every detail while he did. The way the silky fabric hung from the narrowest of straps and draped over her breasts, leaving the pale skin of her chest bare. Not nearly as revealing as some and twice as sexy. He watched her chest rise and fall just above the edge of her dress, bare except for a small silver heart on a delicate chain. Small diamond studs sparkled at her ears.

She reached out slowly until her hand touched him just below the center of his chest. There was power in her delicate hand, he thought, as she slid it slowly up his chest and it was suddenly hard to breathe.

“You’ve lost your choking tie,” she said, her unseeing eyes following the path of her hand until she found his shoulder.

“Yeah.” He took her right hand in his, slid his other around her waist over cool slippery fabric. Then farther until he felt the warm, smooth skin. With the slightest pressure on her lower back, she moved into him. Her face was turned so that just a little more, a little closer, and she’d be resting her cheek against his chest.

Hard when I can’t see them. The words replayed in his mind.

She couldn’t see.

He knew guys who’d lost eyes to roadside bombs. Had seen bloody faces, charred skin. His concept of blind was so completely at odds with the woman in his arms. She wasn’t injured, wasn’t broken. And right now he didn’t want to think about anything other than how it felt to dance with her. And it felt pretty damn good.

Her body was soft against his, her scent fresh and sweet and utterly female.

She turned her face toward his chest, squelched up her nose just a little and sniffed. “Do you have a baby?”

He groaned. “I know. I stink.”

“Not stink. Exactly.”

“My nephew barfed on me and of course my brother thought it was hilarious.” Looking up at him, she smiled again and even without seeing, there was laughter in her eyes. Was it wrong to stare when she didn’t know he was staring? He hoped not because he couldn’t stop himself. Without a pause, the band moved right into another slow song for which he was grateful, because he wasn’t quite ready to let her go.

 

Ava felt his hand, firm and warm on her lower back. She felt the buzz along her skin at the feel of his big, hard hand gripping hers and the rise of muscles in his shoulder under her other. Each sway of the music brought them closer together.

Luke’s fingers curled around hers and he brought their joined hands to his chest. There was strength and competence in the way he’d led her to the dance floor and in the way he held her now. Close, but not too tight. He made her smile. Surprising given the way she’d felt about men the past year. And even more surprising was the hot, little thrill that skated up her spine at the feel of his hands on her skin.

He certainly didn’t seem to have two left feet as he’d alluded to. Of course the kind of dancing they were doing was probably more a reflection of how the man moved off the dance floor. Not where her mind needed to go.

The tempo picked up but he made no move to leave. Instead he took both of her hands and stepped back, until her arms were straight out.

“Interesting song choice,” he said, and she heard the laughter in his voice.

He pulled her back in and they both sang the chorus about a couple with suspicious minds. He had a low, smooth singing voice.

“You lied,” she said. “You do know how to dance.”

“Well, I haven’t smashed your toes, so that’s something. But then you can’t see me.” He turned them in a circle. “I could be horrible.”

She laughed. “True.”

A new song started up and from the murmurs around her the crowd approved.

“And…. that’s my cue to vacate the dance floor,” Luke said.

“What? Why?”

“Oh, um. People are lining up like they’ve all practiced this one and I definitely have not. Want a drink? Or we can go back to the cookies?”

“A drink’s good.”

 

With Ava’s hand tight in his, Luke started to lead her between the first and second line of dancers toward the bar. He hadn’t gone more than a couple of steps when he felt her resistance and looked back. Her brow was furrowed and the hand he wasn’t holding was out to her side as if she was feeling her way in the dark. Because, damn it, that’s exactly what she was doing.

“Sorry.” In the span of one dance, he’d already forgotten. He backed up, slipped his arm around her waist, pulling her into his side effectively steering her through the crowd toward the bar. He pulled a stool out at one of three high tops situated between the dance floor and the bar. “What’ll you have?”

“Um… A beer? Something light?”

“Got it.”

He was back in less than a minute with two cold bottles. “They were out of cups. Sorry.”

“No problem.”

Luke watched her reach out, feeling for the bottle. She found it before he could apologize for just clunking it down on the table for her to search for.

“This guy bothering you?”

Luke didn’t bother turning to look at the voice behind him, just hooked a thumb over his shoulder. “My brother, the groom, and his idiot firefighter friends.”

“I take offense to that,” one of them said. “Why don’t you introduce us to your friend?”

Before he could, his sister was there.

“Ava! I’m so sorry!”

Hannah slipped an arm around Ava’s waist and they gave each other the quick and easy hug of girlfriends. If his sister was shocked he’d actually asked Ava to dance, she covered it well.

“I told you I’d be right back and then Will needed a change and I couldn’t find his bag. I didn’t want to ask Nora or Zach and—”

“It’s fine. Really.”

“I guess you found someone else.”

“Yeah. Or he found me.”

“Rescued you,” Luke said.

Ava rolled her eyes, and lifted the beer to her lips.

“I think you should know,” Zach said, leaning in. “My brother here is ugly as a troll. Uglier.”

“Really? Well, that changes everything.”

She turned her head in his direction and when she smiled he felt a clutch in his gut. He was still staring when Mia walked up.

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