When nothing happened, Seb turned around to see her inspecting his leg. ‘What’s the problem?’
‘Small pieces of stone and gravel are imbedded in the skin,’ Rowan replied as she reached for the tweezers, the cotton wool and the peroxide bottle.
Seb gritted his teeth as she picked out pieces of stone and gravel. Taking a peroxide-wet cotton ball, she dabbed it over the spot and Seb swore viciously.
Rowan used the tweezers and dabbed again. Seb repeated the words.
He kept up his litany of swear words as Rowan tweezed the bigger pieces out.
A little while later he heard Rowan’s stomach rumbling. ‘So, any ideas about supper? I’m starving,’ she said.
‘Steak, potatoes and a green salad? Bloody hell, Ro!’ Seb shouted, clenching every muscle in his body in pain as she worked on the area directly behind his knee.
Rowan stopped, glanced towards the fridge and pulled a face. ‘Is that fillet steak?’
‘Yes. Can you get a move on, please?’ Seb demanded through a red haze of pain.
Rowan peered at the graze, and when she dropped the tweezers Seb realised that she was finally satisfied that he was stone-and dirt-free.
‘Problem. I used your fillet steak to bait the hooks for crab-fishing.’
Seb turned his head and glared at her.
‘Sorry,’ Rowan responded, dousing another cotton ball in peroxide and swabbing it across his elbow this time.
Seb flew up, ripped the ball from her hand and launched it in the direction of the dustbin. ‘You’re having a bit too much fun at my expense, Rowan.’
Rowan met his hot eyes and clearly saw the mixture of desire, frustration and amusement bubbling there. She licked her lips and risked lifting her hand to touch his cheek. ‘Not fun, exactly. Maybe a tiny little bit of revenge for all those times you were so mean to me growing up.’
‘You deserved everything I ever gave you,’ Seb muttered, his gaze on her luscious mouth, wishing he could bend his head and cover it with his. He still wanted her...didn’t think he’d ever stop wanting her.
Rowan, surprisingly, made the first move. Standing on her tiptoes, she brushed her lips against his, her tongue darting out to lick his bottom lip. His mouth softened as his hands gripped her upper arms. He started to pull her forward, to deepen the kiss...
Dammit! He couldn’t do this—couldn’t start something neither of them could finish. Seb placed his hands on her waist, lifted her up and away—as far away from him as possible—and dumped her, bottom first, on the kitchen table. He reached past her to pick up his mobile, which he slapped into her hand.
‘What’s this for?’ she asked, puzzled and annoyed.
‘Pizza. Order it. You can pay, since you fed my steak to the crabs. And no girly stuff like capers and asparagus!’
* * *
The past week of living with Rowan had been like living within a twister, Seb decided as he strolled into the kitchen. He’d had a tough day at work and his kitchen held Patch, an attractive blonde around Patch’s age and Rowan, and they were all stuffing brightly coloured bags with sweets.
‘Seb, do you know where I can hire a boat?’ Rowan demanded.
‘Hello to you too,’ Seb said pointedly, and looked at Annie, his face quizzical.
‘Seb, this is Annie—my friend. She hired me to organise the party last weekend. Annie, this is Seb, Patch’s son,’ Rowan gabbled, grabbing a handful of sour worms.
‘Hi, Annie. Speaking of that party, the paddock poles still have paint splotches on them,’ Seb pointed out.
‘I’ll get to it. Now, do you know where I can hire a boat?’
‘A Hobie? A catamaran? An ocean liner?’ Seb asked as he shook hands with Annie. He took the beer Rowan pulled from the fridge for him and twisted off the top.
Rowan wrinkled her nose. ‘Something that can accommodate ten teenage girls for a sunset cruise around the harbour.’
Seb, who thought he had a reasonably fast mind, was battling to keep up. ‘What are you talking about, Brat?’
Rowan sent him a try-to-keep-up look. ‘I had an enquiry about a boat party: food, drink, sunset cruise. I need a boat.’
Seb took a long sip of his beer and rested the neck between his eyes. ‘Was she always this exhausting?’ he asked Patch.
‘Pretty much. Rowan has always only had two speeds: fast and super-fast,’ Patch replied, sliding a look at Annie.
Annie smiled slowly, dropped her eyes and lifted them again in a look that was all seduction. Oh, wow, Patch was flirting with a woman his own age. His own age!
Seb felt like looking out of the window to see if a pig was flying past. He leaned against the far counter and crossed his legs at the ankles. ‘And these bags are for another party you’re organising?’