Read An Excerpt

Kayla's Gift
by

Genre: E-book, Erotic Romance

Kayla wondered at the easy confidence the crew possessed around each other.

“Hey, can I ask you something?” She grimaced when the thought flew off her lips. Great, now she’d introduce awkwardness to their light friendship.

“Anything.”

She continued to work on Dave, gathering her courage while she kneaded the flushed red handprint Mike had left on Dave’s right cheek. Her fingers trailed to the backs of his powerful thighs before she continued. “Most of my clients freak at the idea of someone spying their naughty bits, especially if my treatment… arouses them.”

Neither she nor Dave could deny the solid erection he sported every time she touched him. Hiding his impressive equipment would have been near impossible even if he’d bothered to try. The guys who’d helped her bring her dream to life—by constructing a quaint log cabin to house her future lakeside retreat—never once hesitated to drop trou or practiced the floor-tile-meet-laser-beam-stare, which she’d witnessed from others, when she offered to rub them down in the presence of their crewmates.

“So?”

“You guys don’t worry about stuff like that. If things get too intimate for one of you, you simply roll over, gather your clothes and zip up with no apologies. No false denials. No shame. More like a polite kiss on the cheek and a thank you.”

“Why should we be ashamed? You’re sexy as sin and fantastic with your hands.” He grinned up at her. “Does it bother you to know you turn us on?”

“Hell no! When people act like a natural reaction is some giant secret, they sometimes make me feel like I’ve done something dirty.” The crew’s lack of inhibitions refreshed her, gave her hope her crazy venture could work. “Your honesty is nice. Uncommon.”

“You could say a lot of our relationship is unique. Me and the rest of the guys in the crew are close. We don’t hide stuff from each other. We share everything without assuming attraction has to lead to action. I’m not gonna lie, though. It’s great when it does.”

If she hadn’t been so lost in thought, she might have probed for more info.

They had no idea she planned more than an ordinary sanctuary surrounded by the wilderness outside. Not yet, anyway. She’d considered sharing her dream once she discovered how open-minded they were, but the opportunity hadn’t arisen during the lunch breaks she shared with them or the massage sessions she supplied to discount her bill. They were usually too busy—pulling pranks, telling her wild stories or raising hell—to sit and chat.

She loved every minute of their company. Still, she’d fork over her autographed copy of Walt Whitman’s A Sun-Bath—Nakedness, or at least grant a peek at the rare document, for a sounding board.

Kayla intended to open a nudist getaway. A spa where people could roam free of clothes and recriminating glares. Naked was her style. After her impulsive purchase of the acreage surrounding them, she’d spent loads of time on the mountain by herself. She’d indulged in both the luxury and the wildness of shucking her trappings plenty before hiring the five sexy men who comprised the crew to bring her vision to reality.

Her family and friends had called the venture everything from ridiculous to a poor manifestation of herfree spirit. The team of professionals—two lawyers, a doctor and an accountant—her parents had bred couldn’t comprehend the whims of their odd little sister.
“Hey, you okay?”

She blinked. When had Dave moved? He dragged faded denim over his lean hips. Damn it. She licked her lips as he tugged on a thin gray T-shirt, which obscured his firm pecs, then his six-pack and finally the ridge caused by his inguinal ligament—her absolute favorite spot on a man’s body. She could lick the crest it created from his hip straight to his…

“Kayla?” Dave rested his broad hand on her elbow, shaking her from the daydream.

Shit! For a woman considering founding a naturist haven, she certainly had a hard time separating this man’s form from his radiant attractiveness. A problem she’d never had before.

“Change your mind about staying? You can bunk with me if you’re not interested in plugging your ears to block out the soundtrack accompanying all the sex rocking Mike and Kate’s apartment.”

She laughed. “Nah, I’m good. Ready for a couple quiet days, that’s all.”

“You’re not sleeping enough.”

No kidding. If she didn’t order supplies, build a website, draft design concepts and secure the funding remaining to fill the gap after her sibling’s generous contributions, who would?

“Yes, Dad.”

“Sorry. It’s none of my business—”

“If her friends can’t tell it like it is, who can?” Another heckler waltzed in on their conversation.

“James.” She hugged Dave in a quick, silent apology as the slighter man neared. “You’re right. Both of you. I promise to take a little time off to enjoy the season. You know, frolic in the snow and crap.”

“Damn straight you will.” Neil joined them in the suddenly cramped area. How had it seemed spacious to her before? “Not much else you’ll be able to accomplish anyway. It’s turning nasty.”

Kayla ushered them out of her living room and onto the front porch, crossing her arms over her chest to ward off the intense chill. It could be a hundred below yet she’d rather endure the sting of the wind for a couple seconds than add another layer of clothing to her frame.

The more she went nude, the more it stifled her to be dressed. The holidays she’d spent with her family had driven her insane with discomfort. A few moments longer and she could retreat to the bliss of her fireplace.

Dave tugged on his leather jacket while the other two men piled into their beast of a truck.

“Drive safe.”

Now that the guys prepared to pull out of her yard, a rebellious fraction of her mind wished she’d accepted Dave’s offer. Several days without their easy company seemed like an awfully long time. How could that be when she’d only met them six weeks earlier?
“We will.” He buttoned the flattering coat, inspiring a gulp.

She’d never seen him wear the thing before, never mind fasten it to the neck. Sporting something so constricting would suffocate her. Still, she wouldn’t complain about the extra time his actions granted them.

“Call if you need anything, baby.”

Like a hot construction worker to keep me toasty? Hopping from foot to foot to prevent her toes from numbing—still preferable than stuffing them into the prison of heavy shoes—she indulged her stubborn streak, which refused to abandon the porch until he’d vanished from sight. She chaffed her arms. Snowflakes swirled around them, drifting onto her hair. When one landed on her bottom lip, she licked the miniature puddle it left behind.

Dave’s eyes slitted a moment before he growled, “Screw this.”

Kayla gasped between his parted lips when he swooped in to taste the moisture for himself. The kiss caught her completely off guard. He hadn’t telegraphed a single hint he’d noticed the electricity arcing between them. Not once had he taken their flirtation beyond harmless.

Until now.

She sank into his loose hold.

His tongue stole its first taste of her mouth. The gust of passion he inspired knocked her off balance. She wrapped her arms around his neck to keep from losing her footing. When she thought she might try to crawl up him right there at the top of her stairs, in plain sight of his best friends, he retreated with a sigh.

Dave stroked wisps of hair from her cheek. “You’d better head in before you catch a chill.”

“As though I could have a cool molecule left on my body.” She touched her lips with her fingertips. “What was that?”

“I think it’s called a kiss.” He laughed.

“Jesus. Not hardly. I’ve kissed plenty of guys before.”

Dave frowned.

“None of them fired me up like that. Amazing.”

“How about we work on it some more after the storm?”

She couldn’t speak so she nodded instead.

“Call me, Kayla. Let’s talk.”

“Promise.”

Dave pivoted and leapt down the stairs, grinning at her over his shoulder as he loped to the truck. If Neil had pressed his face any closer to the driver’s side window for a peep at the exchange, he’d have left a nose print on the glass. The instant he spotted his friend approaching, he turned the key in his truck’s ignition.

The powerful engine roared.

Then it sputtered.

Right before it died.