“Forgive the cliché,” he said, “but what’s a beautiful woman like you doing alone in a place like this?”
She pointed over her shoulder. “Car trouble. I can take down a man twice my size. When my car starts smoking, however… Well, let’s just say I’m severely automotively challenged.”
“Why don’t I take a look? I know a thing or two about fixing cars.” He may not be of this world, but his expertise on mankind included everything from the most advanced principles of quantum physics to rudimentary things like transportation.
“Please…” She motioned toward the car with a quick jerk of the head.
Although she acted casual, a smile tugging her lips, she obviously wanted to keep him in front of her. Just in case he wasn’t who he said he was.
“Do you have a last name that goes with Seth
? Or are you like Madonna and Cher? One name does it.”
Actually, yes. But his lack of last name would be difficult to explain. He picked a last name at random.
“Jones. Seth Jones.”
“And do you normally skulk around parks on Friday nights trying to rescue damsels in distress? Or is this a special occasion?”
“I was out for a walk,” he lied.
Seth looked at himself and realized how absurd his answer must seem to her. Going for a walk in a suit, wool trench coat and dress shoes? Yeah, he wouldn’t believe his excuse either. He should have conjured himself a pair of jeans and—
His spine tingled. A warm shot of awareness darted to the forefront of his consciousness, an alert he’d fine-tuned over the centuries. Someone like him was watching them. Angel, demon or fellow death worker he couldn’t tell. The sensations came and fled so fast he almost dismissed them.
He turned on instinct and looked around, opened his mind. He hadn’t sensed anyone moments earlier, when he’d thought Lyndi needed saving. Since she hadn’t actually needed help, his actions shouldn’t have brought him onto anyone’s radar. To be on the safe side, he needed to send her on her way as soon as possible.
“Seth?” Lyndi’s uncertain voice called to him. “Did you hear something, someone
? Did he
“No,” he said honestly. “It’s nothing.” He turned back to the road. “What were we talking about?”
“You being out for a walk in dress clothes.”
“Oh yeah. I wasn’t out for a walk walk
. I’m a tourist. I was strolling. I hadn’t intended to walk this far from my hotel but…” He shrugged. “Everything was so lovely I kept going.”
The lie might work. A small bed and breakfast sat about a mile down the beach, and she’d already clued in to the fact he wasn’t a local.
They reached her car, and it gave him the perfect opportunity to shift the conversation away from himself. He couldn’t tell her who he was, and he’d rather not lie outright if he could help it.
“Was the smoke white or black?” he asked because he didn’t want her to know he’d seen her earlier. “From your car. A black smoke or more of a steamy, water vapor smoke?”
“White,” she answered. “Like water vapor I guess.”
“Sounds like your radiator could have boiled out the last of its coolant.” He turned to the exposed engine, found the radiator reservoir and unscrewed the cap.
Lyndi stepped next to him, the soft scent of vanilla and honeysuckle wreaking havoc on his senses, so much more visceral than before. This aroma didn’t torment his spirit; it tormented his tactile senses. Arousal filled his physical cock, hot and hard, familiar but different than anything he’d ever felt before.
The outside of Lyndi’s hip and thigh pressed against his as she motioned to the engine. “What’s the verdict?”
And so was his mouth.
Shit, he could only imagine the shot of lust he’d receive if they ever really
touched skin to skin. “How long has it been since you added any fluids?”
“Fluids?” She worried her bottom lip between her teeth again. “Uh…what kinds of fluids are you talking about? The only liquid I ever add
to my car is gas.”
“Ah, you’re that
kind of car owner.” Seth grinned again, amazed how easily she elicited the reaction from him, especially considering how long it had been since he’d last smiled.
A gust of wind blew in from the ocean and tousled her hair. The locks shimmered beneath the artificial light above them, much in the same manner water glistened beneath the sun’s rays. Or the moon’s beams.
His cock twitched. Manhandling his reactions to Lyndi in this damn human body was apparently not possible.
She shifted her weight toward him, the move so slight most men wouldn’t have even noticed it. Hell, she
might not even notice it, but being in this fucking human body, tactile sensations were magnified. This must be what it felt like when a human encountered a live, high-powered cable. He had to fight to keep his brain from going somewhere it shouldn’t.
He focused his attention on the engine. “If we can get some fluids in here right now, it won’t fix it, but it’ll be good enough to get you on the road again.”
“What kind of fluids
? Dad taught me to always have a couple gallons of bottled water in the trunk in case of emergencies.”
“That’ll work. It’s better to have a mixture of coolant and water, but the water will be enough to get you out of here.”
And end the temptation he’d gotten himself into. Unfortunately.
He turned to her, and wow—she stood so close to him. He should back away, but the vibrant life sparkling in her eyes put his brain on lockdown. If he leaned in a few inches he could kiss her. And he wanted
to kiss her.
Damn it he couldn’t kiss her.
“Good,” she said. “I’ll still be able to make it to the party my family shanghaied me into. Apparently, I work too much and have no life.” She rolled her eyes. “Actually, tonight’s get-together is to celebrate my first art show.”
“Your first art show? Congratulations.”
“Thanks. I still can’t believe I lucked into finding someone to back my show. He offered to rent out a big space at the Redemption Harbor Art Gallery, but I wanted to have it at my studio. It felt more me, ya know?” She pushed away and headed to the trunk.
Seth let out the breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding.
nervous though,” she continued. “I keep thinking crazy things like, What if no one likes me
or What if I get such bad reviews no one will ever take a chance on me again
? It’s driving me crazy.” She hit a button on her key fob, and the trunk popped open. “What about you? Got any big plans for your vacation weekend?”
Did Lyndi have any concept of personal boundaries whatsoever? Were all topics open season? He liked that trait. After working so long in a world where all words were calculated, where everyone had an agenda, where everyone manipulated every circumstance to achieve their mission, her straightforwardness refreshed him.
He grabbed both gallons of water and headed back to the engine. “Not really,” he answered.
“Geez, Seth. Lay it all on me, why don’t ya?” Deep, gravelly laughter bubbled in her throat.
God, the sound was so sexy.
“I wonder…” She stared at him for a long moment before continuing. “I wonder if it’s possible for you to utter more than ten words at a time?”
He laughed, spilling water as he poured it into the reservoir. The spontaneous outburst felt…nice. “Sometimes. If prompted properly.”
“Good to know.” She bumped his shoulder with hers. More like, because of their height difference, she bumped his elbow with her shoulder.
A motorcycle whizzed by, despite the chilling temp, and he screwed the cap back on the radiator reservoir and then slammed the hood. “Remember,” he said, turning to Lyndi, “this isn’t a permanent fix. You’ll need to take your car to the shop ASAP. Okay?”
She nodded. “I’ll have my dad check it once I get to the party. And speaking of the party…”
Whoa, did she move closer?
Obviously, forwardness made up a large portion of her personality arsenal.
He drew in a deep breath. He needed out of this
body, and fast. The physical sensations made him want to do things he shouldn’t. Made him conjure mental images of Lyndi’s naked body sprawled beneath him as he pounded into her pussy or—better yet—Lyndi on her knees with her lips wrapped around his dick as she sucked him into oblivion.
“You should come with, Seth. It’ll be fun. My family’s a blast. And who knows, you might spontaneously spout more than ten words. What do you think?”
What did he think
He thought the suggestion had danger written all over it. In flashing neon lights. He’d already crossed the line by revealing himself to her. No way could he show himself to an entire family.
Yeah, like letting more humans see him was his biggest worry at the moment. His damn dick was fucking out of control!
“I don’t know, Lyndi. I’ve still got some work I need to finish tonight before—”
“Work? I thought you were on vacation?”
Oops. “I am, but—”
. It’s Friday night! Besides, I need someone to help me fool my family into believing I’ve actually gone out and found a man. And seeing as you want to bow out of my invite because you’ve got work
to do—on a Friday
night while you’re on vacation—you’re obviously way past ready for a night of fun. Besides, I won’t take no for an answer.”
She smiled at him, and his resolve turned to shit. Closing his eyes, he turned his face to the sky. Heaven help me.