MacNamarasLady, page 1
Sixth in the Awakening Desires series.
Missy Sinclair knows what she wants out of life—a secure job, a fine home, financial independence and, eventually, a man to share it with. That man will have class and style, share her goals and tastes and like fine wine and classical music. Why then is she so attracted to T.S. MacNamara, who is the complete opposite?
T.S. makes no apologies to anyone for his life. He’s worked hard to make his general contracting business a success. He likes beer and football. He’s not looking for anything permanent. Problem is, he can’t stop wanting Missy.
When he rescues Missy from a violent mugging, the seething physical attraction that’s been shimmering between them for months finally explodes. Classy and rough, dark and light, educated and blue-collar. Opposites attract—at least in the bedroom. But they both have secrets that won’t stay buried…secrets that threaten to drive them apart unless they’re both willing to face their pasts.
Ellora’s Cave Publishing
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
MacNamara’s Lady Copyright © 2011 N.J. Walters
Edited by Shannon Combs
Cover art by Syneca
Electronic book publication June 2011
The terms Romantica® and Quickies® are registered trademarks of Ellora’s Cave Publishing.
With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502.
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors’ imagination and used fictitiously.
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For all the readers who asked about T.S. MacNamara and waited patiently for me to get around to his story. This one is for you.
Missy Sinclair sniffed delicately and blinked hard to keep from crying. She wasn’t usually the sentimental type, but it wasn’t every day she watched her best friend get married. Candy was staring at her husband-to-be with such a rapt expression of love on her face it was impossible not to be moved by it.
The chapel was quiet, except for the even tone of the minister’s voice. A small group of family and friends watched on as the couple exchanged vows. Candy’s bouquet—pink roses—filled the air with its perfume. Fabric rustled and someone in the back coughed.
The bride was wearing a three-quarter length, off-white dress that hugged her curves to perfection. She and Candy had spent days searching for just the right dress. Her cinnamon-brown hair was swept up and held with several silver clips that Missy had helped her pick out.
Lucas Squires, the groom, looked handsome in his black tuxedo with his blond hair and pale blue eyes. He’d wanted to be married right away, but Candy had wanted a real wedding. She’d stated in no uncertain terms that since she was only doing this once she wanted to do it right. The tough guy had caved immediately, wanting Candy to be happy.
How must it feel to be loved like that?
She looked away from the happy couple and her gaze was immediately snared by that of the best man—T.S. MacNamara. Now there was a man to catch any woman’s attention. She’d have to be dead not to notice such a prime specimen.
Strangely enough, he wasn’t handsome in a classical sense, but his rough good looks drew many a female eye. His nose looked as though it might have been busted once and even though he’d probably shaved this morning, his jaw was already starting to darken. With his shoulder-length black hair, olive complexion and golden-brown eyes, he looked tough and compelling, strong and confident.
She’d met him back in early spring when Lucas and Candy had officially become a couple. Now it was only a couple of weeks away from Thanksgiving. This year had certainly flown.
He looked right at home in blue jeans and work boots, which was fortunate considering he was a general contractor and owned his own business—MacNamara Contracting. But he looked equally at home in a formal tuxedo. His shoulders strained at the seams of the jacket, hinting at the muscular physique beneath.
She’d noticed that body more than once over the past months as they’d been thrown together more and more. They’d shared many a dinner with Lucas and Candy as the couple planned their wedding. T.S. was an easygoing guy. He laughed and smiled easily, conversed readily about current events and sports, but Missy always had the feeling there was much more to him than he allowed anyone to see. Or maybe he was exactly what he seemed to be, a hardworking, fun-loving man who had no intentions of ever settling down. She’d never seen him with one particular woman and Lucas ribbed him from time to time about the way he played the field.
Missy was not a one-night-stand kinda girl, but that hadn’t stopped her from fantasizing about T.S. over the past few months. And why not? She was a healthy woman, even if she didn’t have a very active sex life. Oh, she dated frequently enough, but she was very picky when it came to who she let into her bed.
But a fantasy didn’t hurt anyone. And T.S. had featured in all hers lately. She was a tall woman, but in her stocking feet he’d probably top her by a couple of inches. His shoulders were incredibly wide, his chest broad and roped with muscles. He’d done a lot of the work on Lucas’ building and she’d seen him once without a shirt. It was a sight a woman would never forget. The image was burned on her brain forever.
Hot and sweaty, he’d removed his shirt and tossed it aside. Dark chest hair thinned as it angled downward and disappeared into the waistband of his jeans. The weight of his tool belt had pulled the jeans down slightly, exposing his bellybutton.
He’d been swinging a hammer, the muscles in his biceps flexing and rippling. The man had corrugated steel for abs and her fingers had itched to run up and down the broad bands.
She’d spent many a night wondering what he looked like without the jeans. His thighs were thick and solid and a substantial bulge filled out the front of his jeans.
Missy shifted restlessly, her pussy beginning to pulse. She was mortified by her thoughts and behavior. She was at a wedding, in a chapel. She shook herself and looked away from T.S., focusing on her friend instead.
The ceremony was almost done. The couple exchanged rings and then Lucas was kissing his bride. Applause erupted and the couple started down the aisle. Missy waited for T.S. so they could follow.
“You okay?” His voice was low enough so no one else could hear.
“I’m fine. Why?”
His eyes studied her face with concern. “You look a bit overheated.”
She hurried down the aisle, not giving him the opportunity to continue his line of questioning. He could either keep up or be left behind.
Missy glanced at T.S. out of the corner of his eye. Damn man was watching her with a speculative gleam in his eyes. His eyes dipped low. She refused to look down. She knew her nipples were puckered. She only hoped that no one else noticed.
Plastering a smile on her face, she congratulated the newly married couple and took her place in the small receiving line. The reception couldn’t come fast enough to suit her.
Women were trouble.
But a beautiful woman was serious trouble. And Missy Sinclair was a beautiful woman by anyone’s definition of the word.
T.S. MacNamara lifted the cold bottle of beer and took a swallow of the mellow brew, his eyes never leaving Missy. Now that was a woman to inspire a man’s fantasies. And he’d had more than his share since he’d met her.
She stood about six feet tall. And that was before she slipped on those four-inch killer heels she was wearing. She was lean with subtle curves that tempted a man to put his hands on them. With her smooth ebony skin and piercing brown eyes she resembled an ancient African goddess. It was all too easy to imagine men falling to their knees and worshipping at her feet.
Intimidating was one word he’d heard to describe her. Cold was another. From what he’d observed the past few months, Missy kept men at arm’s length. Her daunting demeanor put off some men. But not T.S. If anything her confidence and innate intelligence made him want her even more.
“Thanks for coming.”
T.S. raised his bottle to his best friend, Lucas Squires, as he came to stand beside him. They’d met in prison when they were still practically kids, two eighteen-year-olds scared out of their minds. And they’d been tight ever since.
The saint and the sinner. The angel and the devil. That’s what the other inmates had nicknamed them. Lucas with his blond hair and blue eyes was the angel. He with his olive-toned complexion and black hair was the devil. If you messed with one you messed with them both. Their shared experience had forged one hell of a bond. One that had stood the test of time.
“I wouldn’t be anywhere else.” And he meant it too. He was honored to have been asked to be the best man. As emotion welled up inside him, he let his gaze flow over the small crowd of family and friends who’d gathered back at the couple’s home for food and drink.
“Still, I appreciate it. I know you don’t like weddings.” Lucas slapped him on the back.
Now that was an understatement. He usually avoided weddings like the plague. Women, especially unmarried ones, got ideas at weddings. They didn’t seem to understand that some folks didn’t want to get married. And at forty-two, T.S. liked his bachelorhood just fine, thank you very much.
“Not much to worry about here.” T.S. was thankful for the fact that he knew almost everyone here, on sight at least, if not better. No single ladies to blindside him. Unless you counted Missy, which he didn’t. She was single, but he’d never made a move on her. She had commitment stamped all over her. Plus, she was Candy’s best friend. That could make things sticky if he and Missy had a fling. And that’s all it would be. All it could be. He didn’t do permanent.
Lucas laughed, took a sip from his bottle and inclined his head. That was the thing about having such a good friend. They understood you without you having to explain.
There was a selection of very good wines and cocktails available but the two of them drank beer. From the bottle. That said it all. They were both blue-collar boys who’d managed to survive and do okay for themselves.
T.S. caught sight of Missy again as she sauntered across the floor to talk to Candy. The woman certainly knew how to move, all fluid and sensual. It gave a man ideas.
Just watching that long, lean body in motion was a sight to be appreciated. She was wearing a dark blue dress that clung to her curves and ended just south of her thighs leaving some mighty fine real estate between the end of her dress and her ankles to be admired. The neckline, while perfectly respectable, allowed him a brief glimpse of her cleavage.
He realized he was staring and that Lucas was watching him. To head off any questions, he motioned to Candy. “Remind me again how you got a classy lady like that to marry the likes of you.”
A slow smile crossed Lucas’ face. T.S. had never seen his friend as happy as he’d been these past few months. “I got lucky. She does look good, doesn’t she?” The way Lucas was watching his wife, T.S. knew he was already anticipating his wedding night.
T.S. studied Candy with a dispassionate eye. Yeah, she was good-looking if you liked curvy women with spicy brown hair. Her unruly hair was currently bundled up on top of her head in some updo that seemed to defy gravity. The off-white, calf-length dress emphasized her curves, yet managed to look demure at the same time. Quite an accomplishment.
But it was the woman standing next to Candy with her head thrown back, and a husky laugh coming from her parted lips that made his cock come to attention. Made him imagine those lips around that part of his anatomy. “Yeah, she does.” And he wasn’t talking about the bride.
He was happy for his friend. Truly he was. Lucas had been scarred by his past and Candy had been able to heal him, to make him smile again. For that reason alone, he’d always be grateful to her. That also put her on the short list of friends he’d do anything for. The list was now expanded from one person to two.
Not wanting to get too deep on such a day, he changed the subject. “Ready to start the new project tomorrow?”
Lucas laughed. “Maybe the day after. I think I’ll be busy tomorrow.” The hot glance he sent his new wife left no doubt in T.S.’ mind what his friend planned to be doing tomorrow.
“Okay, the day after then.”
Lucas owned the building he lived in. His store—Coffee Breaks—was housed on the bottom floor and his home was on the top one. The original plan had been to put offices in on the second, but that plan had changed once Candy had come onto the scene.
Part of the second floor had already been converted into a weight room and guest suite. The other half was going to be made into a small apartment for Candy’s long lost brother Justin Logan. Now there was a man with secrets. But as T.S. didn’t want anyone asking questions about his past, he kept his thoughts and questions to himself. Justin did the same and they got along rather well. Justin would be helping with the renovations.
T.S.’ contracting company had handled all the renovations on the building to date. But the apartment was a small, personal project. He was working on it himself with Justin, but he’d moved his crews to another major job. He’d supervise them in between working on the apartment. He preferred to be onsite with his crews but he was making an exception in this case. Plus he had his foreman Max handling the new job. And Max had been with him since the beginning. He trusted him to take care of business.
Candy hurried over to her husband’s side and Lucas’ arm went around her waist, pulling her closer to his side. It was a natural gesture, one he knew his friend didn’t even think about. For a brief moment, he was jealous. What would it be like to love someone that much? His momentary envy was quickly followed by shame. Lucas deserved to be happy.
And you don’t? a small voice questioned in his head. He ignored that voice, as he always did. He was happy just as he was, thank you very much. He didn’t need a woman. Not permanently. But he sure as hell wouldn’t mind a few hot nights messing up the sheets with Candy’s best friend.
Might not be the smartest move in the world, but he wouldn’t turn it down if the opportunity arose. Maybe then the dark-skinned, sloe-eyed beauty would stop haunting his waking and sleeping dreams.
He tracked Miss
Missy laughed at something Katie said, the sultry sound snaking over his skin. Even Cain smiled at her. Missy was like a peacock surrounded by a bunch of doves, a flash of color in an otherwise bland landscape.
“T.S.?” He glanced down and found Candy’s hand on his arm and a frown on her face.
“I’m sorry. What did you say?”
She laughed. “I thanked you for coming, for standing up for Lucas.”
He patted her hand. “As I told him, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” He raised his bottle in salute. “May you always be as happy as you are at this moment.”
Candy beamed at him and her smile widened when she gazed up at her husband. That was one man who was going to get lucky tonight.
The collar of his dress shirt was suddenly choking T.S. He reached up and loosened his tie. Pulling the thin material away, he tucked it in his pocket and opened the top button of his shirt. He hated wearing the damn things and had only done so for Candy’s sake. For some unknown reason women seemed to prefer a man in a tie. The tuxedo pants, jacket and shoes were uncomfortable as all get out. Give him a good pair of faded jeans, a T-shirt and work boots any day of the week. He didn’t know how men worked day after day in these monkey suits.
“You should mingle,” Candy told him. “Have something to eat.”
His eyes automatically sought out the loaded buffet table. And what do you know? Missy was headed that way. “I think I will.” He leaned down and kissed the bride’s cheek. “Take care of him,” T.S. whispered in Candy’s ear.
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