As part of this week's Chick Lit Love Valentine's Party I'm sharing a romantic interlude from my latest book, If You Only Knew....
“That was pretty impressive,” Faith said moments later, as Zane appeared at her side, removing his helmet. “But now I know I shouldn’t watch you climb.”
“It’s perfectly safe, honestly. I know what I’m doing. I always do all the checks and I’ve got all the proper equipment. You don’t need to worry.”
“It’s not so much that.”
“What then?” Zane frowned.
“Come on, tell me.”
“Honestly. It’s nothing. Forget it.”
By now Faith was feeling embarrassed and wishing she hadn’t said anything.
“Nope.” He shook his head. “Come on, spill. I want to know why you don’t like to see me climb. I don’t want you to worry about me all the time, Faith. It’s safe, I promise you.”
Faith looked away.
“I didn’t say I didn’t like seeing you climb. Just that I thought it best if I didn’t.”
“Because? Come on. You know I won’t let it go. I can be stubborn when I want to be. You may as well tell me now and save me pestering you about it.”
Faith held her hands up in a gesture of surrender.
“OK. OK. Seeing you climb has a strange effect on me. That’s why.”
“I thought you said you weren’t worried,” he said, looking confused.
“I’m not. It isn’t that kind of effect.”
Zane turned to her, a grin quirking the corner of his mouth as he twigged what she meant.
“I think it’s sexy, OK? I think seeing you up there on the cliff face, so confident, strong and capable.” She lowered her voice. “It’s really sexy.”
He took her hand and led her behind a nearby tree.
“Sexy eh? So watching me climb turns you on?”
“And while we’re on the subject,” she went on, “in the interest of full disclosure, your bum looks totally biteable in your climbing gear.”
“Biteable? You want to bite my bum?”
He laughed, pushing her back against the tree and kissing her, lightly, teasingly, on the lips.
“Not right now, but yes. You see? That’s why I really shouldn’t watch you climbing.”
“If it has that effect on you then I disagree. I think you should always watch me climb!”
Faith playfully swiped him on the bum.
“Oh, and feel free to try that biting my bum thing later,” he added.
“Don’t take the mickey out of me.”
Zane put a finger under her chin, tilting her face up so she was looking at him.
“Believe me, I’m not taking the mickey. I’m quite chuffed it has that effect on you. And I have to warn you: I intend to milk that effect to the full.”
“Come on, man. I know it’s been a while since you had a girlfriend, but can you stop feeling her up long enough to lead this group tour of the Centre?”
Faith and Zane turned to see Matt standing a few feet away glaring at them both.
Is the past about to destroy the future for Faith when she discovers her new boyfriend and her first love are in business together?
Faith owns The Coffee Pot in the outdoor adventure sports mecca of Derbyshire’s Peak District. She hasn’t had a man in her life for a while, as she has been too busy serving cakes to weary rock climbers and mountain bikers to find time for the complications of a relationship with the male of the species.
Then Zane and Matt arrive on the scene as the new owners of the Carrdale Adventure Sports Centre.
Dating Zane, she soon discovers he’s not the Mr Perfect she thought he was; and why is he so reluctant to talk about his past?
As for Matt – well, to Faith he isn’t Matt at all because he was a completely different person when he broke her heart all those years ago.
With her new boyfriend and her first love running Carrdale as business partners – Matt out to cause trouble and Zane keeping secrets – Faith struggles to keep the peace between them whilst trying to figure out how she feels about the two men in her life…