Linden Bay Romance
Nothing is ordinary in the small town of Passion, especially the love.
Wanting to start fresh, Cassie Evans relocates to the small town of Passion where she moves into the home of her dreams, complete with dreamy next door neighbor, artist, and handyman Thomas Healy. The only problem is, the house she bought just might be haunted.
Thomas Healy lives a life of solitude and that suits him just fine. Then Cassie Evans moves in next door and begins to turn his peaceful live upside down. He tries to ignore her, but ignoring a woman as beautiful as Cassie isn’t so easy, especially when she shows up at your door, naked, begging for you to paint her. Thomas’ first mistake was to agree to it, his second was to take Cassie to bed, now she’s all he can think about.
When their blossoming love is overshadowed by a ghostly haunting, the curious Cassie launches an investigation into the life and death of her home’s previous owner, uncovering a mystery and attracting the attention of a killer. Where will Cassie’s discovery lead her, to the love of her life or to death itself?
Welcome to the town of Passion.
“Mind if I position you?”
“Oh, baby, do with me what you will.”
Thomas hoped he could get this done without embarrassing himself. Her deep seductive voice definitely was doing a number on him. “Lie partially on your side.”
“Not that much; tilt your upper body to the side a bit. Like this.” Oh, touching her had not been a smart move. Biting his lip, Thomas shifted her into position. “Now lift your right leg, bend at the knee and place your left hand across your belly. Perfect.”
He was going to lose it. Seeing the roses on the table, he picked them up and snapped off the blooms.
“I’ll buy you more.” She’d brought over four, and he was going to use all four. Leaving one on the table,
Thomas began plucking petals from the rest and dropped them onto her naked body. They fell lightly to land on her chest, belly and hands. The last bloom he took and carefully slid it into her hair just over her right ear. He took a step back, looking at her through a painter’s eyes and was satisfied with what he saw.
“Are we good to go?” Cassie inquired.
With a nod, Thomas walked to the easel. Lifting the charcoal pencil, he began to work.
“How many nudes have you really painted?” Cassie asked while Thomas worked busily behind the easel.
“Wow. My nose is itchy.”
“Easy for you to say.” She wiggled her nose, and he scowled at her. “Sorry.”
“You only think your nose is itchy because you can’t move. We haven’t been at this long. I’ll be done soon enough, then you can scratch your nose. Think of something else.”
“How long will this take?”
He paused, looked around the easel at her. “We can
quit right now if you like?”
“No. I’ll deal with it. So, why did you move all the
way out here?”
“Why did you?” His hand worked quickly, putting the
lovely image before him on canvas.
“I pulled out a map, closed my eyes and pointed.
When I opened my eyes, it had landed on Passion. Here I
His eyes lifted from his work. “You pointed to a map
and that’s how you chose where you’d live?”
She was an odd one. “Why didn’t you stay in Calgary?”
“I wanted to be on my own, and I knew if I stayed too
close to home I would only end up relying on my parents.
It was time I moved out on my own in any case.”
“You’re what…twenty-three-ish?” Thomas spoke
while his hand drew the fine lines of her figure.
“Oh, you are a sweetheart. I’m twenty-eight.”
His eyes lifted now with a great deal of surprise. “You don’t look it.”
“You definitely know how to flatter a girl. What’s
your story, Thomas Healy? Why did you choose to live in this small out of the way town?”
“It was quiet.” It was proving to be a little more difficult drawing her breasts than he thought it would be. Closing his eyes, he chastised himself for letting his mind wander, then returned to his art.
“It was quiet? What kind of answer is that?”
“A simple one. You moved your leg.”
“I did not.”
Thomas grunted, setting his pencil down before walking to her. “You’re leaning it against your other leg.” Taking her knee in his hand, he moved it back into place. His eyes drifted to the ripe pinkness between her legs, and he nearly drooled all over her. “Keep it there.”
“I know you want me, Thomas.”
Who wouldn’t want her? “We can’t always have everything we want.” He proceeded to draw the detail of her body.
“Certain things we can, and I wouldn’t mind one bit if you took me.”
“I’m sure you wouldn’t, but I don’t mix business with pleasure.”
“Fine, I’ll hire someone else to fix up my house.”
“You signed a contract which is legally binding.”
She huffed. “Then I’ll break it and let my lawyer deal with the outcome.”
“It’ll be tied up in court for months, maybe longer, and you still wouldn’t get your way.”
“Why are you being so stubborn?”
“It’s ingrained. I said don’t move,” he chastised her when she sat up.
“I nearly had you on the stairs at my house, and trust me, you weren’t thinking of business or the damn contract
at the time. I could have you begging me to take you. Just like that.” She snapped her fingers.
“And you would only humiliate yourself. Lie back down,” Thomas insisted.
“The hell I will.” She stood up, rose petals floating to the floor.
“If you don’t lie back down, I won’t be able to finish the painting.” He lied; he could draw or paint her with his eyes closed. Every curve of her body was ingrained in his memory.
“Screw the painting. You’re trying to tell me that if I came to you now, wrapped my arms around you and rubbed my naked body against you, that you wouldn’t take me?”
Thomas laid his pencil down because he knew he wasn’t going to get anywhere until she was through with her snit. “Funny, you don’t strike me as a desperate woman.”
Her jaw dropped. “Desperate! How dare you.”
“I believe anything worth having is worth waiting for. Anything that is rushed is not. I’m not looking for a quick fuck, and if that’s all you’re looking for, go hang out at the local bar and wait for the oil riggers to come in.
They’re always looking for a quickie.” He mentally cursed himself for what he’d said.
“You bastard.” Grabbing her wrap, she threw it on and stomped from the house.
“That was nice, Thomas, really fucking nice,” he muttered after the door slammed with her exit.