What He Wants

By: Tawny Taylor

Chapter 1

“I’m sorry, but I just locked the house up.” I said to the handsome man who’d just come strolling up my mother’s front walk. Selling the house had been an absolute nightmare. Not just because the building brought so many memories to the surface, but also because it wasn’t in the best of shape. It was a great house in a wonderful neighborhood. If only I could get just one person to see past all the ugly linoleum, godawful paneling, and circa 70’s shag carpet.

Twisting to look over my shoulder, I shot the man--who happened to be well dressed and gorgeous--a quick smile. “But if you give me a minute, I’ll make a quick phone call and then let you in.”

“I’d appreciate that. Thanks.” His voice was a low, rich rumble. For some reason, it resonated through my body, and the feeling of familiarity sparked inside me. Did I know this man?

Once I had the lock engaged, I click-clacked out to my car, my pinched toes probably blistered, and flounced into the driver’s seat. I dug my phone out of my purse, and studied the strange man who didn’t seem to be a stranger as I called my best friend Jill to let her know I’d be a little late meeting her for lunch.

Was the man another real estate agent, looking to list the house? Could be. His clothes were impeccable.

A brief conversation--primarily ample apologies--and I had an extra forty-five minutes to not only figure out where I’d met the man before but also how to convince him to buy the house instead of sell it for me. I was getting seriously strapped, paying the utilities and property taxes on the place, in addition to my condo. Because of this silly need to cling to my childhood, I’d put off selling the place as long as I could. It was time to make something happen and move on.

Determined I’d found the buyer for my mom’s place, I pasted on my best smile, fluffed my hair and headed back up to the front porch. As I unlocked the door, I said, “This house is a wonderful investment. It’s in a great location, on a dead end street. The neighborhood is excellent, a great place to raise a family.”

“Hmmm.” The man walked inside. He moved with a rare fluidity for a male. I watched him as he wandered through the rooms on the first floor. Living room. Dining room. Kitchen (that was in dire need of a full gut job). The longer I studied him, the more I felt I knew him. Trying to concentrate on the house, I pointed out the beautiful, original hardwood floors, the baseboards and window and door trims, the lovely hand carved handrail.

His wandering took us upstairs. He stopped outside of my mom’s bedroom and stared. It was then that I knew who he was.

“Uncle” Shane.

He wasn’t legally my uncle, no. That was just what I’d called him. I hadn’t seen him in...ten years, maybe. Since I was about twelve. Uncle Shane had been the subject of my first crush. Of course, he hadn’t known that at the time.

“I can’t believe she’s gone,” he said.

“Uncle Shane?”

He scrutinized me closely, his intense gaze making me uneasy. “Of course. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. Bristol?”

“Yes, that’s me.” I extended a hand. “It’s been a long time. A very long time. Good to see you again.”

His hand enveloped mine. He shook it, stopped, but didn’t release it. His gaze was focused on my face. Sharp and intense. Assessing. “It’s good to see you again, too. Your mother was a good friend. I’m sorry I lost touch with her...and with you. I haven’t been in town for many years.”

“I’m sure she understood.”

“Yes, I’m sure I did. That was how Katherine was. Always understanding. Generous. Giving.”

I couldn’t help saying, “Too generous sometimes. She nearly went bankrupt. And this house...it’s mortgaged for more than it’s worth. And you can see how well she kept it up. Mom always told me it didn’t matter, that the house was falling down around her. All that mattered was how many people she touched in her life.”

His smile nearly took my breath away. For a man I guessed was within a handful of years of my mother’s age, he was strikingly handsome and fit. Ten years had done nothing to change that. His hair was very dark, almost black. Not curly. But not straight either. His features, as they had been then, were well balanced and masculine. Not pretty, but not too rugged either. And his body, from what I could tell, was also still in great shape. Shoulders broad. Waist narrow. His black jacket fit him perfectly, as if it had been sewn just for him. Same with the pants. The white shirt was a stark contrast against the jacket and the honey brown color of his skin. The only thing a decade had done was add a sprinkling of silver hairs glinting at his temples, just enough to make him look sexy and distinguished.

▶ Also By Tawny Taylor

▶ Last Updated

▶ Hot Read

▶ Recommend

Top Books