“A little help here would be nice,” she groaned as she stumbled to the side.

Tristan shook himself inwardly as he reached out and took the basket from her. Marty frowned at how easily he held the basket. She ran her hand through her hair to push it back as she looked up at him and she might have whimpered, just a little.

Her memories of his body did not do him justice, not even a little bit. She remembered that he’d always been lean and well built, but now he was….he was…..yummy. She took in his low hanging, loose fitting jeans that gave a good view of narrow h*ps and a dark happy trail that disappeared beneath the waistband. Her eyes slowly moved up over his washboard stomach and muscular chest covered with a light dusting of dark hair and a round Celtic tattoo on his right pec. Did she mention yummy? It should definitely be mentioned. Her eyes moved to a dark pink wound on his shoulder, down to his large biceps and the tribal tattoos that circled both arms. To top it all off was a golden tan that highlighted all that yumminess.

The man was a god.

Tristan couldn’t move as Marty ran hungry eyes over him. This was not happening. Surely she wasn’t checking him out. No, she was just curious about his wound. When her eyes fell on it a few seconds later, he was sure that was it.

“She wants ye,” Shayne whispered in his ear. “Yer totally in. Just flex a little muscle, big guy, and she’s yers.”

Tristan just barely caught himself before he told the man to f**k off. That’s all he needed was Marty thinking that he was crazy. That would just make his already f**ked up life perfect.

Marty cleared her throat as she tenderly ran a finger below the still healing wound. At least she had enough sense not to touch it directly, unlike his family. It hurt like a bitch when anything touched it and they didn’t seem to grasp that, which in his book was pretty f**ked up considering that two of them were licensed paramedics.

“Is that any better?”

“Some days are better than others. What are you doing here?” he asked, mentally kicking his own ass at how rude he sounded, but he couldn’t help but wonder why the woman that he’d been avoiding for years was suddenly showed up on his front step.

Marty sighed heavily. “I was just doing your mother a favor. Don’t worry, I won’t do it again.” She turned and started to leave only to come to an abrupt halt when she saw Beth and Tom pull to a stop in front of the house in Tom’s truck. Tom rolled down the window so that Beth could lean over and yell.

“I’m sorry, Marty. I have to make a run to the college to collect some….things. You know how much Tom hates for me to go there at night alone so he’s going to take me and then we’re going out for a while. We’d thought it would be fun. Oh, and Denny is leaving, too.”

Marty opened her mouth to ask for a ride into town, but was cut off by Beth. “Also, I just spoke with Hank. Your Dad isn’t going to be home until well after three in the morning. I’m not sure when we’re going to be home, probably really late.” She looked past Marty to Tristan.

“Sweetie, you don’t mind if Marty hangs out with you, do you?” Before Tristan could respond, his mother smiled brightly and continued. “Actually, since we’re all going to be out so late you might want to make up a room for her and let her stay with you. I know you wouldn’t turn the poor thing out and make her wait on her father’s front step all night.” If possible, she smiled even wider. “Great, I’m glad that’s all taken care of. Love you!” she yelled as she sat back and effectively ended the conversation, not that there had been much of one.

Tom closed the window while he mouthed what Marty and Tristan thought was “Sorry.” They stood there shocked while his parents drove away. Denny was close behind them in his SUV. He paused only long enough to shake with uncontrollable laughter and confirm their suspicions that they’d just been screwed over.

Marty pressed her palms against her eyes. “This cannot be happening.”

“What the hell was all that about?” Tristan asked as his eyes dropped to Marty’s, in his opinion, perfectly rounded ass. He managed to look up, appearing innocent by the time Marty turned around.

“I have a bad feeling that your mother,” she paused, swallowing hard, “is playing matchmaker.”

Tristan cursed as Shayne burst out laughing. “Oh, it took her long enough, didn’t it? I swear she’s the last one to notice.” He looked at Marty. “Well, maybe not the last.”

“Stop it,” Tristan snapped.

Marty looked startled. “I’m..I’ll…You know what? I’m sure if I put my mind to it I can figure out how to pick a lock.” She gestured to the basket. “Bon appetite and have a nice life,” she said, turning back around and walking away.

“Wait!” Tristan found himself saying, surprising the hell out of himself. “I wasn’t talking to you. I was…I was…just bitching about my wound. It’s itching like crazy.”

She paused, looking over her shoulder at him with a slight frown. “Oh.”

He stepped back away from the door and gestured for her to enter. “Come on in. I’ll give you the tour and show you where you can sleep.”

She rocked back on her heels as she considered it. “I don’t want to intrude, Tristan. I know how much you like to be alone.”

He scowled at that. “What do you mean?”

She just shook her head and shrugged as she said, “Nothing.”

“Are you coming in or not?” he snapped out of irritation, because for the first time in years he had no idea how to handle her.

She smiled sweetly at him. “When you put it that way, how can a girl resist? Oh, wait, probably like this,” she said, brightly, sending him a withering glare as she continued on to her father’s house.

“Yer ma’s gonna kick yer ass for this one, lad,” Shayne said as Tristan threw one last look of longing in Marty’s direction before he reluctantly closed the door.

Frustrated, Tristan rammed a hand through his hair. “I could care less,” he ground out as he took the basket into the kitchen and angrily put the food away. Any appetite he’d had was gone with having to watch her walk away, taking another chunk of his heart with her.


“What an ass**le,” Marty muttered to herself as she carefully climbed up the trellis located next to her bedroom window. For the first time in years she was happy about the blinding security lights her father attached to the house since they made it possible to see what she was doing, as long as she squinted that is. Progress was slowed considerably as she was forced to constantly stop to detangle her clothes from thorns and splinters. Sadly, she was only five feet from the ground when the sky opened up and poured down on her.

Tags: R.L. Mathewson Cursed Hearts Fantasy
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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