Read Fallen for Her: Book 2 Online

Authors: Ava Armstrong

Fallen for Her: Book 2

FALLEN FOR HER

 

Written by Ava Armstrong

 

 

Dark Horse Romance

Novella Series

 

~ Book Two ~

 

 

All rights reserved including the right to

reproduce this book or portions there in any

form whatsoever.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.

Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

 

 

 

© Copyright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Ray ~

 

The touch of Ella’s lips was a delicious sensation, exactly as he had imagined.  She felt warm and soft in his arms and he wondered, at first, if he was having an incredible dream in the moonlight.  Ella’s hand moved to the back of his head and lightly caressed his hair, gently encouraging him.  He thought his heart might beat out of his chest.  And that wasn’t the only part of his anatomy that was going into overdrive.  As Ella melted against him, he couldn’t stop the reaction he was having.  Nor could he stop kissing her. 

 

But the moment ended as abruptly as it started.  He felt her hand firmly on his chest.

 

“Ray, I think we shouldn’t do this right now.”  She said sounding serious.

 

“I’m sorry.  I lost control.”  He thought he sounded like an idiot and hated himself for a moment, hoping he didn’t destroy Ella’s trust in him.  Did he misread her?

 

Ella moved into her bedroom, but turned to him in the doorway and paused.  The moonlight softly highlighted her face, “It’s okay, you know.  It wasn’t just you.  That was my fault, too.” 

 

Exhausted but unable to sleep, Ray slipped underneath the flannel sheets and heavy quilt on his bed.  He listened to coyotes howling in the distance.  The owl was back in a different tree right near the cottage.  He only caught a glimpse of its large wings as it swooped down to the ground.  He hoped it was a chipmunk meeting its demise.  As the loons called to one another on the lake, his thoughts drifted to
the kiss
.  It would always be known as that for him.  The one moment his lips touched hers and he felt as if he’d die if he couldn’t have her.  He fell asleep after finishing a bottle of water and swallowing anti-inflammatory medication.  He imagined he was sleeping on a cloud and drifted into sound slumber.

 

His dreams, however, were deep and filled with images of Ella.  She was laughing, eating breakfast in the diner, he was holding her at her father’s building, standing in her garden.  He was never affected so deeply, so quickly.  He couldn’t stop thinking about her smell, how she touched him, her eyes, her lips, and her natural unguarded laughter.  He wanted to spend a lifetime making her laugh.  She had no idea how much he already loved her.  In his dreams she belonged to him, to have and to hold.

~ Ella ~

 

Oh why here, why now?  Ella was angry with herself for allowing physical temptation to draw her in.  She couldn’t stop the thoughts that flooded her mind as her heart was still racing. 
Bob never kissed her like that
.  In fact, lately Bob never kissed her at all.  And, she missed small intimate moments like that with him.  She couldn’t stop herself from recreating an instant replay of Ray’s lips on hers.  That moment would always be etched in her memory, so luscious and beautiful.  Ray was a good kisser, soft and sensual, just the way she loved to kiss.  She thought about his mouth on hers until she could no longer fight the sleep that overtook her.  But not before wondering what Bob would have thought about that.  He would’ve been angry and quite surprised that Ella would do such a thing.

 

She was awakened by the morning sunrise dappled on the handmade quilt covering her.  When she first opened her eyes, she had to get her bearings for a moment.  Kissing Ray was the last thing she remembered right after he turned off the gas light in the kitchen.  She was in heaven for a brief moment, but immediately thought about Bob; that brought her down to earth quickly.  Ella took a deep breath of chilly air and realized the fire in the woodstove had probably burned down to a few hot embers.

 

As she rose from her bed, the smell of something delicious wafted past her and she heard a sizzling frying pan.  Hungry and thirsty and needing to use the outside facility, she padded barefoot into the kitchen.  Ray was crouched by the woodstove in an attempt to get it going.

 

“Let me help,” Ella offered.

 

Ray smiled, “Good morning.  It’s okay, I’ve got this.” 

 

Ella watched as he expertly stacked more kindling inside.  He struck the wooden match and tossed it onto a piece of newspaper and the fire roared back to life.  “Got it!” 

 

Ella self-consciously ran her hand through her disheveled hair, realizing she must look like a train wreck.

 

“Oh gosh, I need to wash up.”  She smiled shyly.  But Ray’s stare didn’t make her feel as if she looked a mess.  His gaze made her feel as if he was viewing an object of unimaginable beauty.  His eyes locked with hers and she felt warmth, and it wasn’t just the stove.

 

“I heated up a kettle of water for you to use.” Ray offered.  He took the kettle and walked into her bedroom and filled the ancient wash basin for her. 

 

“I need some, too.” He smiled.  And, proceeded to fill his. 

 

The two separated for a few minutes to take care of minimal grooming tasks.  Ella combed her hair, then washed her face in the hot water.  After brushing her teeth, she carefully applied a shimmery nude lipstick. 

 

When she emerged, Ray appeared fresh and smiling.  In fact, he couldn’t seem to wipe the cute little smirk off his face.  As they ate the meal he prepared, Ella made minimal eye contact with him.  She felt as if looking at him might bring on another kiss.  Although she knew Ray was a gentleman; she wouldn’t be there with him if she didn’t know that beforehand. Again, the thought of Bob crept back into her mind.  She envisioned his blue eyes looking at her; he would be hurt.  She couldn’t do that to him.

 

As if reading her mind, Ray whispered, “I’m sorry about last night…I mean kissing you like that.  I had no right. I hope you’ll forgive me.”

 

Ella got up from the table to fill the dog’s bowl with water.  “It’s okay, Ray.  I invited that kiss.  It wasn’t just you.  I wanted it, too.”  She could tell he was surprised with her response. 

 

He stood and touched her shoulder gently and she turned to him.  His words were tender, sweet, “I want to get to know you.  I’m not a guy that just comes on like that.”

 

“I know you’re not that type of guy, Ray.  I wouldn’t be here with you if I thought that.” She felt the subject was closed.  She didn’t want him to continue apologizing for something that really wasn’t his fault, but she liked the fact he had the manners to do so.  It told her everything she needed to know about him.  He cared very much about what she thought of him. 

 

~ Ray ~

 

In his mind, she looked like a goddess in flannel pajamas last night.  And, this morning as she stood next to him, all he wanted to do was wrap his arms around her and tell her last night was incredible.  He wanted to bury his face into the crook of her neck and kiss her there, just beneath her ear.  He imagined kissing her sweetly on the lips and forehead.  But he couldn’t do any of that.  But thinking about it made him smile ever so slightly.

 

“Thanks.” He nodded.  And Ray felt as if his heart might leap out of his chest. She was one of the few people he had ever seen that looked absolutely lovely first thing in the morning.  Her eyes sparkled, she smelled soapy and clean, and he loved to watch her sip coffee.  It was as if he had to tear himself away from watching her to break the state of hypnosis he had fallen into.

 

“I’ll get some more wood for the stove.”  Ray stepped outside.  He played the details of kissing her over and over in his mind remembering the smallest details.  He knew he was in love with Ella.  It wasn’t just the usual rush of carnal pleasure last night.  This was something much deeper.  Although she was damned lovely to look at, there was something even more beautiful inside of Ella.  He couldn’t explain it but she was gracious and decent.  It seemed her beauty emanated from within, her willingness to help, sense of humor, and giving heart.  There was a sense of innocence about her that touched him.

 

Ella looked up when he put the wood near the stove.  “You are going to need some energy for the next couple of hours, Ray.  We need to winterize this place and get back on the road before the sun starts setting, which is too early lately.” 

 

Ray felt he perform anything she wanted at that moment.  If being her handyman was what she wanted, he would please her.  Ella rummaged around in the pantry and brought out her father’s toolbox. “There are some tools in here you’ll need.  We can do it together!”

 

“Sure,” Ray smiled.  “Just tell me what you need.”

 

“Boomer needs to go outside before we start,” Ella put on his leash and the pup followed her obediently.  Ray finished off the last cup of coffee and watched Ella playing outside with Boomer.  As she chased the puppy around, Ray smiled for a moment, realizing how the dog had changed her whole demeanor.  Or, could it be the time she spent with him that had that effect?  For the first time Ray let the thought enter his mind and take hold:
  She could be in love with me. 

 

The next two hours were filled with some unexpected but comical events.  For one thing, draining off the water lines and filling them with anti-freeze was not as simple as it sounded.  Ella was underneath the camp several times and Ray was talking to her as if she was the local plumber.  At one point, she got stuck underneath and he pulled her out slowly feet first.  Ella was lying on the ground next to him giggling as Boomer licked her face.  Ray couldn’t help but laugh.  Next the outside of the cottage needed to be snugged up.  Ella got out the old-fashioned storm windows from the storage shed and Ray fastened each one with rugged eyelet screws.  He joked they looked like something from the turn of the century and Ella laughed and said they were.  Lastly, they hauled every scrap of garbage and trash to a facility twenty miles away.   Ray noticed Ella had the shotgun in the back of her vehicle, and she stayed inside the Honda while Ray placed the trash into steel bins.  She kept Boomer with her.

 

“Be careful here,” Ella warned him. “This is where bears hang out.”

 

With every chore completed, Ella packed her things into the Honda and Ray followed her just like Boomer did.  Once he bumped into her at the back end of the vehicle and fought the uncontrollable urge to embrace her in the sunlight.  He couldn’t stop thinking about kissing her last night.  It was as if he was hypnotized by the moment.  It was extraordinary.  

 

He wished the day hadn’t ended; that they’d just arrived and he could spend two days with her there alone.  The solitude of the place was like a tonic for the soul.  The only sounds were those of nature.  He never thought of himself as an outdoorsman, but the past twenty-four hours changed him profoundly. 

 

“I’d like to take a few photos of the pond and Golden Mountain, if that’s all right.” Ray asked her. 

 

“Sure, go ahead.”  Ella smiled as she continued putting items into the back of the Honda.  “I just want to take some of this stuff out of here in case we get a visit from a bear over the winter months.”

 

For a few minutes Ray stepped on the shore of the pond which was filled with smooth pebbles and sand.  A garter snake sunning himself slithered back into his rock pile.  Boomer bounded down to the pond and looked up at Ray.  He captured photographs that were so stunning they looked more like paintings.  The surface of the pond was smooth with the mountain reflected perfectly.  An ethereal light touched the place and for a few minutes he felt like he was on another planet.  The air smelled clean and fresh.  Birds hopped about nearby rustling in the leaves for berries or insects.  He had never seen such a wide range of bird life in his life.  The closest he had come to nature in the city was Central Park, and even though it was a beautiful respite in the middle of a concrete world, it certainly didn’t come close to the majesty of this.

 

Reluctantly, he scooped up Boomer and carried him to the Honda.  It was time to go back to his life, whatever that was.  For the last two days he couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be away from Ella.  He watched her packing up the Honda.  A wave of warmth spread over him; he couldn’t help smiling.  He had fallen for her.

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