by Shara Jones
When Texas widower Rick Lawson needs a temporary nanny, he hires Angelyn Winters, a widow dead-set against remarrying. A deft hand with his son, home, and his heart, will she be the woman that could make him reconsider his one hard and fast rule - never fall in love?
Angelyn wanted it all - the "Cinderella" package; loving husband, happy children, and a happy home. A tragic accident robbed her of that dream until she meets TALL, DARK AND DADDY, Rick Lawson. Can she settle for the temporary nanny position, or will the temptation to test his 'rule' prove to be irresistible?
by Shara Jones
"Angelyn, are you going to stay with us forever?" Cory peered up as she walked into the room. He paused in his coloring to wait on her answer.
"No, Cory. You remember that I'm only here until Maria returns from her sister's house." Angelyn took a seat on a low ottoman and crossed her arms over her knees to get a better look at his handiwork.
"I 'member. But what if Maria don't want to come back?" Cory asked.
"Doesn't," she corrected gently. "And she will be coming back very soon, Cory. And then I'll be working really hard to open my daycare center."
"But what if she don't ... doesn't come back. Will you stay, then?" he persisted.
"No, sweetheart. I'd only be able to stay until your daddy found someone else."
"But why do you have to leave? You could marry my daddy and stay here with me." Cory gnawed at his lower lip in agitation.
Marry his daddy? Oh, good Lord.
Angelyn mentally scrambled for the right words.
"No, honey. I can't marry your daddy. I have to open my daycare for the children that need someplace to stay while their parents work."
"Don't you like my daddy?" was his ingenuous question.
"Eh... yes, I like your daddy, but---"
"Don't you like me?" Cory asked, pinning her with an unwavering stare.
Her breath squeezed from her lungs and tears started in her eyes, "Oh, yes sweetheart. I like you very much, but---"
"Then you can marry him and live here with us forever," he said, picking up his crayon as if the matter had been settle to his satisfaction.
Angelyn opened her mouth, but shut it again. She squeezed her eyes shut against the unwitting longing his innocent words stirred to life.
Marriage to Rick. Her heart clenched and her breath caught in her throat. She imagined listening to his butter-warm deep voice; talking and laughing and even, loving. Heat rose in her face. She tilted her head back slightly as her imaginings deepened. She could almost feel his warm breath against her cheek; his strong muscled arms wrapped around her pulling her deep in his embrace, pressing her against the length of him. Vivid thoughts and feelings streaked through her as her thoughts became wishes and her wishes became her ultimate desire.
"Angelyn... why is your face so red? Do you got a fever?" Cory's innocent face scrunched into a frown as he surveyed her face.
A fever? Oh, yes. She definitely had a fever and Rick was the man that set her on fire.
What was she thinking? Her and Rick? Her and anybody for that matter. Maria couldn't get back soon enough!
"Daddy! I think Angelyn is sick."
Angelyn's head swiveled around as Cory bounced to his feet and launched himself at his father's form currently propped in the doorway to the living room.
How much had he overheard?
Shara Jones © 2004
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