Welcome to Fiction Fridays! We plan to give you a short bite of fiction every week – something to enjoy during your lunch hour – but with a twist: We want you to give us the idea for the next installment! Come join in the fun! To get caught up, read Part 1 and Part 2. You decided that Gabe should pull Elizabeth into the fountain with him. Let’s see what happens next, and please stop by next week to continue the story.
Drawn Together – Part 3
by Jamie Wesley
Gabe hadn’t been captain of his college ping pong team for nothing (although he usually kept that geeky factoid under wraps). His reflexes were excellent. Renowned even. He grabbed a handful of Elizabeth’s blouse and pulled as the back of his knees hit the stone of the fountain and he toppled in.
“Oomph.” An harmful of woman landed on top of him, her elbow hitting him square in the stomach and knocking the wind out of him. Stunned, he spit out a mouthful of water and blinked to clear his eyes. What the hell had just happened?
He stilled. She did, too, as though she too realized the ridiculousness of the situation. Her head shifted toward him. Their eyes met, hers large and the darkest, most sinful shade of chocolate. His gaze slipped down to her mouth. A grin stretched his lips. He guessed there were worse places he could be.
Until a squawking pigeon swooped directly overhead, missing their heads by inches.
Elizabeth shrieked and tried to wiggle off him. Yeah, good luck with that. They were tangled together in a fountain full of cold, wet water. She slipped, falling on him again, which seemed to make her mad if her growls were to be believed. She doubled her efforts, splashing water all over the place and pressing her hot little body against him. He gave her an “E” for effort. But she needed to stop. Now.
“Stop wiggling,” he said through clenched teeth. Her movements were having an unsettling effect on his body.
“Why?” She stopped moving, resting against his stomach. “Oh.”
“Yeah.” Gabe gripped her waist and shifted her off him. He rolled over onto his knees and stood up. He climbed out of the fountain and hauled Elizabeth out after him. Being the gentleman he was, he even retrieved her purse floating in the water.
“Thank you,” she grumbled.
What that admission of gratitude must have cost her. He pressed his lips together to hide his smile.
His eyes perused her figure to make sure she was okay. Why he was concerned, he didn’t know. She was the reason they’d ended up in the fountain. She looked like a drowned rat. A cute drowned rat, but still. Her hair was plastered to her head. Clear, chocolate eyes peeked out between the strands. He kept going. And halted at her chest. He gulped. How could he forget about her white shirt? At least that had been its color before their little foray. Now, it was sheer. Really, really sheer. The top molded to high, full, firm breasts. Nipples beaded and poked against the shirt.
He jerked his eyes away. But it was too late. The image of her amazing figure would forever be seared on to his brain.
Shivering, Elizabeth glanced down at her clothes that were doing nothing to keep her warm and yelped. “Oh, my God!”
She turned her back to him and folded her arms across her chest, but still felt exposed.
What had possessed her to push him into the fountain? Oh, yeah. She’d wanted to pay him back for the torture he’d put her through. And forget how he short-circuited her senses every time he was near.
A stupid, reckless plan. Then again, no one had ever accused her of being levelheaded. No, she usually acted on instinct. But she was an artist. Artists were supposed to be temperamental. But this was the wrong time. This job was supposed to be a fresh start. For her and Frankie.
She’d lost her mind. Now water dripped from her hair, her eyelids, her fingernails. From everywhere. And she was the next thing to bare-ass naked in the middle of Central Park!
When would she learn?
Gabe’s gruff voice came from behind her. She whirled. And nearly swallowed her tongue. He’d taken off his shirt and held it out toward her. Nice of him, but she couldn’t be expected to concentrate on manners at a time like this.
Muscles everywhere she looked. Pecs. Delts. Biceps and whole bunch of other muscle groups she didn’t know the names of. The thought of drying every ridge of his damp six-pack with her tongue almost made her moan out loud. Not good. She was going to be working with this man for the next few weeks – if she hadn’t blown her chance with that stupid stunt.
“Thanks.” Elizabeth snatched the shirt out of his hand and wrestled her arms into the wet fabric. She slipped two buttons through their respective holes. That would have to do. The soaking wet shirt wasn’t very cooperative.
“Let’s head back,” he said. She nodded and followed him out of the park, their shoes making undignified squishing noises.
What a picture they made. Thank God this was New York. No one cared. Except the ogling women of all ages who stared and practically drooled as Gabe walked by. The infuriating man lapped up the attention like it was his due, nodding, smiling, and handing out the occasional wave.
“So do you go fountain diving all the time?” he asked over his left shoulder.
Be nice. “No, I don’t. I’m sorry for pushing you.”
“I accept your apology even though I know you don’t mean it.” A quick grin let her know he wasn’t offended. Her shoulders slumped in relief. “Let’s stop by my car before we go up. I have a gym bag with some extra clothes and probably a towel or two.”
“Okay.” Anything was better than her current sorry attire. She followed him, and he retrieved the bag from the Boxster’s trunk. They headed back to his grandfather’s office. There was no sign of Mr. Redfield, thank God.
Gabe dropped the bag on the desk and unzipped it. He handed over a shirt, shorts, and a towel. He pulled out another shirt and some track pants, presumably for himself. Elizabeth made her second trip to the office restroom that day. She ignored the pang that hit near her heart at the thought of taking off Gabe’s shirt and got on with it. She tugged off her jeans, dried off as best as she could, and put on the gym clothes. The shorts had to be rolled up four times, but they still hung off her hips. Oh well.
Elizabeth stepped out of the stall and started. She slapped a hand over her chest. “You really make a habit of hanging out in ladies’ rooms, don’t you?”
“Just making sure you had everything you needed.” Gabe sauntered closer. “You do have everything you need, don’t you?” He tugged the towel out of her hand and wrapped it around her, drawing her closer. She didn’t even try to resist. He lowered his head. She held her breath, waiting for his lips to make contact. Her eyes fluttered shut.
The door banging open had them jumping apart…
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