Love Captures the Heart (Sully Point, Book 3) (4 page)

"Here, I'll go put that in the trash can," he
said. He came back to the table and asked, "How come the park is so clean?
I've never seen a park with no litter at all."

"It was the town council. They had set aside money in
the budget to establish cleaning the park as a job for some people in town.
They felt it would be good for tourism."

As they walked out of the park, they were stopped by a young
man in a red vest that said Park Employee on the back. He had Down's syndrome,
and smiled widely at them. "Holly!" he said loudly. "You came to
my park!"

"Yes, Nicky I did. How've you been?" She gave him
a hug.

"I been good. Who's this man?"

"This is my friend Jason. Jason, this is Nicky Sanders.
He keeps the park cleaned up."

"Hello Nicky," Jason said and stuck out a hand.
Nicky laughed and shook it. "You do a great job here."

"It's my job. I keep the park clean."

"Yes, you do, you and your friends," Holly said
and patted him on the back. You tell the others I said 'hi' okay?"

"Okay Holly."

"Bye bye, Nicky."

He waved at them and walked off.

The crossed the street to the other side of the square as
Holly explained. "The town decided there should be paying jobs for several
people in town with Down's. They talked to them and everyone agreed it was a
good idea. Nicky and three others work at the park and live in supervised
living in an apartment building. They're all doing very well."

"To say I'm surprised at such an elegant solution to a
problem is putting it mildly. The town wasn't required to do anything for
them."

"Well, that's one thing I really like about Sully Point.
Any reasonable suggestion can be put forward to the Town Council and it will be
listened to and given consideration. I was surprised at how well they took to
the idea when I--"

She stopped talking and blushed. Jason said, "You were
the one who came up with the idea."

"I don't usually tell anyone that. But if you think
about it, my main job is to get the right people together with the right job,
so it's not so surprising."

"You did a good thing, Holly."

"I do try to. I don't always succeed."

"Somehow I find that hard to believe."

In the yarn store, they met with Violet the owner.
"Yes, dear, I've always dyed my own yarns. That way I get what I want when
it comes to color. Now are you two going to be in town for the whole
weekend?"

Jason shook his head while Holly nodded. Violet looked from
one to the other. "Oh dear, not quite on the same wavelength are
you."

Holly said, "We aren't sure yet how long we'll be
here."

Jason asked, "Are these yarns colorfast?" The
short round woman came out from the counter to look at the basket he was
pointing at. He noticed her long gray hair fell down her back to her waist.

Violet said, "Ooh yes, of course they are ready to use.
Are you interested in yarn?"

He gave her a smile. "My grandmother is--she's a great
knitter. This shade of green caught my eye. I think she'd like it very
much."

"Well now, that would lovely dear, just lovely. And
it's almost the exact shade of your own eyes. Now how much do you think she
would need?"

* * * *

Holly stood amazed as Jason haggled over price with Violet.
He could be quite charming when he put out the effort. The question in her mind
was whether or not there was reality beneath the charm that matched it.

His looks were such that it was hard to see the man within.
The glimpse she'd gotten at the picnic table in the park, when he spoke of his
parents, showed a man of intense emotions--unlike the driven workaholic in some
respects. She had the distinct sense he was quite good at repressing his
feelings in order to achieve his goals, and wondered where or when the passion
was let loose in his life.

Jason was laughing and saying good-bye to Violet. "I
think you got the best of me in this transaction," he said to her.

Violet smiled conspiratorially. "Just don't let anyone
know you got me down in the price at all. You're a devil, that's for sure. Tell
your grandmother I hope she enjoys the yarn. Now you dears run along and have a
good afternoon.

Outside Holly laughed. "Do you feel we've just been sent
out to play? 'Run along dears,' she cracks me up."

He smiled at her. Holly was surprised by a sudden surge of
lust--the man's smile could undo her.

"I think I've got a broad sense of the town square
area. How about you take me out to the land they propose using? I'd like to see
it to have a clearer picture."

"Sure, that I can do. Let's go get the car." Even
as she walked beside him she felt his presence, his sexual magnetism.

"Holly--be careful!" Jason had reached out and
grabbed her arm to pull her back as a car crossed in front of them. She'd been
completely unaware of the traffic. The feel of his hand on her arm charged the
moment between them.

He dropped her arm and looked directly into her eyes. There
was a question there--a question she knew the answer to.

"Holly--"

"Yes."

They stared at each other. His lips turned up in a sly
smile. "I bet there's not a single place we could go where someone in town
wouldn't see us."

"There you'd be wrong," she said a bit breathlessly.
"The spot for the project is quite deserted."

He took her hand in his. "Lead on." The tone of
his voice made her shiver deliciously.

* * * *

They drove out to the parcel of land in total silence.
Energy hummed between them. Jason hadn't felt this turned on in a very long
time. He reached for her hand and she pulled away.

"Don't, or we won't get there."

He laughed in a deep hungry way. Glancing over at her, he
saw her hand resting on her thigh tapping her fingers rhythmically. He looked
away.

"Turn up there, and take the dirt road."

"Dirt road, of course. The Jag will love that."

He felt it as she turned in her seat to face him. "Do
these seats lean back?"

"You better believe it."

"Because I don't want to get bug bites in the
field."

"Good thinking."

"I have protection," she said matter of factly.

"Thank God because I don't. Haven't been getting out
much lately."
Like the past freaking year,
he thought.

"Here, pull over."

He noticed that they were in a bump out from the road. He
turned off the engine and there was only silence with nobody for miles around.
Jason got out of the car and walked around to the passenger side. "I think
you on top would work nicely."

She stared at him and then drew her shirt over her head and
tossed it into the driver's seat. "I have no problem with that, none at
all."

He got in the car and pressed her body against his.
"It's been a while," he said against her ear.

She shivered and moved her lips to his. "Kiss me, kiss
me now."

And he crushed her mouth against his, wanting her
desperately in that moment. The kiss lit a fire in him and she seemed to feel
it too. Moaning, she moved against him.

* * * *

"I think I got sunburned on my back," she said
with a laugh. They had stayed out there in the convertible for hours. Now they
were racing to make it back to the house for dinner. Holly knew she'd better
finish touching up her makeup before they arrived or Anna would know something
was up. Her sister was incredibly observant, as an artist should be.

The sex had been like an some kind of erotic dream. He had
been demanding and intense at first and she knew he had denied himself for too
long. She'd thought it was all over but then he chuckled and said, "Okay, it
had to be that way. We can take our time about it this time."

Her surprise had made him laugh and she was delighted to
find he was very good at taking his time. She didn't think she'd ever been so
turned on, and left so satiated, as she had been with him. The sexual chemistry
between them was extreme.

"You know, this was fantastic but--" Holly
stopped, unsure how to phrase it.

"Right, I mean we barely know each other."

"Yes and we're in business together."

"Plus, I don't have time to get involved," he
said.

"I know what you mean. That's partly why I swore off
sex six months ago."

"Oh yeah? You did seem eager," he said with a grin
at her.

"Me! Hmph. Yes, well, it just seemed like the men I
dated wanted some big relationship and I don't have time for it."

"Believe me, it's worse with all the women who want to
settle down and have babies."

"Yes, I can imagine. The women I know seem to be either
having babies or wanting them."

"But not you?" He seemed honestly curious so she
decided to tell the truth.

"I've never been big on babies. You can't say that to
my sister Anna, or my sister-in-law Julia, however, because they both have
babies. I much prefer to deal with a kid who's older, like in school. Besides,
I've worked hard to grow my businesses. It takes work and lots of it. You know
how it is. I've seen how much time and energy the babies in my family have
taken from their parents. At this point in my life, I don't have it to give.
And I think it would be wrong to have a baby if I wasn't feeling ready to
devote all I had to it."

He nodded, turning on to the street with the Grainger house.

"Oops, we're here. Check me over quickly. I can't look
like I just had amazing sex for hours," she said with a very satisfied
smile.

He laughed. "You look great, but I wouldn't smile like
that."

"Like what?"

"Like the cat who swallowed the canary...or
something."

"Jason!"

He laughed and pulled the car up in front of the house. She
liked his laugh. It was easy and engaging. She had especially liked it during
sex when they maneuvered around in the Jag. Then it had been the sexiest sound
imaginable.
Enough,
she told herself.
Stop thinking of him like that
or they'll all know.

They walked in to find everyone else already there. The
usual confusion ensued, of a group of people meeting a newcomer. The two-year
old boy of Anna's toddled over to grab Holly's legs. She looked down and said, "Hey,
Joshua? How are you buddy?"

Joshua patted his hands on her legs and it was only when she
heard Anna's cry of dismay that she realized he'd been eating something red.

"Oh Holly, I'm sorry. He just had a popsicle and we
hadn't yet made it to the sink to wash his hands."

Holly grinned gamely at her sister. She noticed Jason
smothering a grin behind his hand as he faked a cough. Fortunately for him, her
brother Cody and her brother-in-law Sam had come over to meet Jason or she
might have found a way to retaliate for that grin.

Her father walked in and said, "Okay everybody,
lobsters are done, corn on the cob is ready, and salad is on the table. Let's
eat."

* * * *

The dinner that night was filled with laughter, noise,
opinions, and good food. Jason felt surprised by how quickly he was included.
This, he thought, must be what it is to have a big family. It had been only him
and his grandmother for a long time. Watching Julia patting a baby on her
shoulder, Anna barely avoiding getting hit by the cob of corn her son was
waving, Frank refilling wine glasses and Holly laughing at something her
brother Cody said, he knew his grandmother would fit right in here. He could
feel a sharp pain in his heart as he felt envious of what they had.

Holly glanced over at him from across the table. Her
quizzical look turned to one of understanding and she smiled gently. How did
she do that? The woman was uncanny at picking up on what he was thinking.

He thought about the crazy afternoon they'd spent together.
The sex drive he'd been sublimating into work was back. Looking at her, he could
imagine Holly's delightful body underneath his again...but that wasn't supposed
to happen. They'd agreed they didn't have time to get involved.

Unless...what if they didn't have a 'relationship' at all?
What if they got together on occasion but didn't expect anything other than a
good time sexually? The idea had possibilities.

"Jason, did you like the property?" Frank asked
from the head of the table. Everyone got quiet.

"Yes, I did, very much. It has a remarkable view. I'm
just concerned about the size of it. It really doesn't seem large enough for
what you're thinking about doing."

Frank frowned and Sam spoke up. "Surely it would be big
enough. It encompasses the entire estate of old Mrs. Bidwell and the grounds of
the old community college."

"Uh, wait, wait, this is my fault," Holly said,
blushing. "I didn't take him over the whole thing. He didn't get to scope
out all of it."

"Well why not?" Sam asked. "That was the
point of this visit."

Jason spoke since Holly looked like she couldn't think of
anything to say. "My fault, I'm afraid. I was so taken with the view, I
pulled out a sketchpad and immediately got absorbed in drawing. Then I got a
call from work that took a while--well, time just got away from us."

"Can we see what you came up with?" Cody asked.

"No, not yet. I hate to have people look at my work at
such a preliminary stage."

"Just like Anna with her paintings," Cody said,
nodding.

"This complicates things, though," Frank said.
"You were planning on driving back first thing tomorrow, right?"

Jason said, "I can stay until tomorrow evening. There
really is no big reason for me to get back before then."

Everyone at the table seemed to give a sigh of relief. He
realized they were all very invested in the project. It was another reason to
do the job.

* * * *

"Holly Grainger, just what are you doing?"

Holly whirled around quickly in the kitchen to face Anna.
"I have no idea what you're talking about, Sis."

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