Authors: A.C. Warneke
A MILLION KISSES OR MORE
Copyright © 2015 Andrea Warneke
All Rights Reserved
Images by © CJGwin Photography
Ana: Alexandra Fresquez
Harrison: Kiki Salcido
To the readers, the writers, the dreamers, the doers
To the men and woman in blue
To the men and women of the Armed Forces
This book has been so much fun to write because I got to work with
, an amazing photographer who somehow discovered the perfect Ana and Harrison in
. These two make me swoon ~ every picture of them is a thing of utter beauty.
I also owe a huge thanks to my fantastic group of Beta readers:
♥ Christina Gwin ♥ Lakecia Gassett ♥ Jessica Gentile ♥ Paris Lemos ♥
♥ Lindsey Armstrong ♥Jacque Burford ♥ Jodi Negri ♥
I love you ladies!
Table of Contents
“Dude, she’s having another man’s baby,” Asher said, his eyes wide with pity and undisguised excitement.
Harrison shook his head in denial, wishing for the millionth time he could remember the last six months of his life, the six months that Ana had been gone. Maybe there was a reason he forgot, though he couldn’t for the life of him imagine Ana breaking up with him. Or him breaking up with her. What the hell happened after she kissed him goodbye New Year’s Day and headed off to California?
8 ¾ MONTHS PRIOR
Pulling into his driveway, Harrison Miller saw the strangest thing on his neighbor’s front step: a bundle of brightly colored clothes that looked as out of place in the pristine yard as a nun in a sea of strippers. He should go investigate since it was the neighborly thing to do but he had just gotten off a twelve hour shift and he was bone tired. Normally he worked the day shift but he was filling in for Nichols, who just had a baby, so he was on nights for the next couple of weeks. All he wanted to do was get a few hours of sleep, wake up and get some writing in, and then pick up his kid.
Scrubbing his hands through his messy black hair, he took another look at the curious object and jumped when it moved. He held his breath as the material slid back to reveal a young woman with reddish-blond hair. Even from this distance he could see that her lips were turning blue. As he watched, she put her head back down and huddled deeper into herself.
“Shit,” he swore, ripping the seatbelt off and pushing the door open with more force than necessary. If he wasn’t so damn tired, he would have remembered Helen telling him about her niece who was going to be house-sitting for her and her husband while they spent a few months in Florida. With the freezing wind and promise of snow in the air, he wished
was in Florida. And it was only October.
Stomping across the street, he called out, “What seems to be the problem here?”
Her head shot up and she looked at him with wide, forest green eyes and he swore he felt the planet shift beneath him. As she stood up, he realized she wasn’t wearing anything remotely appropriate for the weather, at least not the weather in Minnesota. The vibrant yellow material was satiny and sexy but it was what she had on underneath that nearly unmanned him. The short, silky boy shorts showcased her long, long legs and the cropped camisole played peek-a-boo with her belly button, which was adorned by a small jewel. His cock sat up and took notice, despite the freezing temperature.
“Thank god you’re home,” she breathed, her words coming out staggered as her teeth clicked together. Glancing down, he saw a pair of bright blue rubber boots on her feet and a smile almost curved his lips. If she wasn’t freezing, he would have asked her what the hell she was thinking going outside in little more than her underwear. Almost as if he asked the question out loud, she answered, “I came outside to get the mail and I locked myself out of the house.”
“It’s Sunday,” he murmured, holding a hand out and catching his breath when she slid her nearly frozen palm into his. Pulling her to her feet, he added, “There’s no mail today.”
She looked up at him with those green eyes of hers and frowned while he took a moment to study her. While she had legs that went on forever, the top of her head only reached his chin. The leg thing must have been an illusion brought on by the cold as well as the skimpy clothes she was wearing. Her lips moved and he had to concentrate on her words when his mind was wondering about those legs. When he let her go, she wobbled so he quickly put an arm around her waist to hold her steady, appreciating the slender curves. Except she was shaking like a leaf and he had no idea what he was going to do with her.
Holding onto him, she said, “I could have sworn it was Saturday, otherwise why would I have gone outside to get the mail?”
“Because you’re clearly insane,” he muttered, his eyes widening in his head as he realized he had said that out loud. Instead of being offended, she laughed, a rich, almost husky sound that made his cock twitch.
“Probably,” she agreed, not offering a single protest when he started across the street with his arms still around her. The foolish girl was probably too cold to care about stranger danger. Shaking her head, “I just can’t believe I locked myself out… well, no, I can but I had been so careful. I kept the door open because I knew it was touchy but I’m pretty sure the demon cat slammed it shut before I even reached the mailbox. The little bastard has it in for me, I swear. I had never sworn so colorfully in my life when I realized what he did. I’m just glad there’s no one else for miles around.”
Her words were coming out rapidly but he was having a difficult time deciphering what she was saying since her teeth were clattering so loudly together. Plus, she had the slightest southern drawl that probably sounded like slow sex and whiskey when she was thawed out but now just sounded pitiful.
“And yet if there were, you would have been able to find shelter in a warm home,” he told her, keeping his arm around her as he dug his keys out of his pocket and unlocked the door. Ushering her inside, he said, “Let’s get you warmed up and then you can return home.”
“Uh huh,” she murmured, her head resting against his shoulder. Strawberries. She smelled like strawberries. Up close, her hair looked strawberry blond, which wasn’t quite accurate since strawberries were bright red and her hair was pale red but just as beautiful. He could have buried his nose in her hair and breathed in her scent all day.
Jeeze, he had no right lusting after a girl that was practically frozen, no matter how pretty or how sweet smelling.
Taking her hand in his, chafing warmth into the cool skin, he asked, “How long were you outside?”
“An eternity,” she murmured, raising her eyelids and looking at him through dark and lush eyelashes. Her nose was slender, her cheeks high and her blue-ish lips surprisingly full. If she was this attractive now, he couldn’t imagine how much better looking she’d be once she was thawed out. Pursing those lips, she concentrated for a moment and said, “But it was probably only half an hour. I didn’t realize it was possible to actually freeze one’s nipples off.”
She slammed a hand over her mouth and stared at him in horror, “I can’t believe I just said that. Out loud. In front of you.”
He chuckled, taking his coat off and revealing the uniform he was wearing. If he hadn’t had the night shift and didn’t have a ton of paperwork to fill out, he might not have been around to help her out at all. So, even though it was nearly ten, three hours past the time he should have been in bed, he was grateful, otherwise the poor girl might have been outside all damn day. That possibility bothered him greatly.
The way the girl’s eyes filled with appreciation as he tossed his jacket onto the couch had him consider wearing his uniform on his days off. Letting his eyes drift over her frozen but utterly tempting body, he grinned, “Trust me, sweetheart, nothing has frozen off.”
Crap, he almost blushed at the words coming out of his mouth. It wasn’t like him to flirt with anyone, let alone a strange girl that was frozen and probably way too young for him. Hell, he had a kid to worry about and an ex-wife and that was more than enough relationship trouble than he cared to handle. Still, he needed to get her warm. “Let’s get you into bed and I’ll make you some tea. We’ll try thawing you out from both the inside and the outside.”