Hard Working Hero (Hard Working Hero 1)

Page 25

“You are the boss, aren't you?” I can't stop the smirk as it spreads across my face. The gazebo sex pops in my head, pushing out my nerves about the house and making me hot all over.
He takes a long step in, bringing his body so close to mine. Oliver lowers his face, his lips almost touching my skin. He's so close, his mouth is right there, hovering over my cheek as his hand comes up and gently sweeps across my jaw.
My eyes close and my head tilts a hair as he brushes my skin. He smells like sandalwood and fresh cut wood. I inhale again, deeper and longer, breathing him in. He smells so damn good. I can't stop myself from leaning in as close as I can.
Oliver whispers. “You're right, I am the boss.” His smile thickens as he bites his bottom lip.
I'm waiting for him to kiss me. He's so close. I can feel the heat of his breath, and the intense pull of his eyes as he stares at me. And then he's gone. The weight of his body lifts as he steps around me and walks to the row of cabinets against the wall.
My arms dangle by my sides as I stand still. Glancing over my shoulder, he has a shit eating grin on his face. “What? What's wrong? Did I do something?” He's teasing me and enjoying it. With a big sexy smile on his face, he grabs one of the cabinets and hoists it up on his shoulder.
The muscles in his arms pop like mountains. Big, strong, and thick. I want to feel them around me, embracing me, grabbing me around the hips and taking me. There's a thin sheen of sweat glazing his skin, and his hair is peppered with yellow sawdust. It's a turn on to see him dirty like this.
“You coming or what?”
“Not yet,” I say playfully. “You left me hanging here.”
Oliver chuckles. “If getting this done wasn't so important, I'd throw this damn cabinet to the floor and take you right here. But I can't afford to let your dad down.”
“I get it, my father can be a hard-ass. What do you need me to do?”
“Grab that drill and follow me.” He walks toward the kitchen, and I start to follow him, but hesitate. “You all right?” he asks, noticing my resistance.
No, not exactly. But I will be. Face it! Face your fear, Narissa.
“Uh, yeah, yeah, I'm good.” I force my feet forward and we go to the kitchen.
The floor creeks under my feet, bowing under my weight. The kitchen has been gutted, but I can still see the outline of the old cabinets.
I can still smell the same scents that I did as a kid in this house. The mold, the thick haze of dust that floats in the air like a blanket. There's a hint of mothballs, and the faint aroma of musky perfume.
“I'm going to hold this up, and I need you to secure it in place.”
Being able to focus on the cabinets helps keep my mind from straying. It takes us a little over an hour to secure all the new cabinets in place. When we're done, Oliver brings in a big five gallon bucket of paint. Linen is the color, it's bright cream with a little yellow tint.
The floor is going to be redone, so we don't bother laying down any plastic. As we're painting, I can't help but think about how nice the walls would look with a little extra design to make it pop.
There's a box of different size brushes on the floor, so I dig through until I find one that has a tapered end. The paint is still wet enough that I'm able to draw swirls across the surface.
“Wow, that looks incredible,” Oliver says as he comes up behind me. “It's subtle but gives the paint a nice texture.”
“Oh, yeah I guess. I was just staring at it and felt it needed something more.”
“You're a natural.” He smiles, reaching out and touching my elbow.
Taking a step back, I drop my eyes to the floor. “No, I'm not. It's just some stupid designs.”
“What? No it's not. People pay big bucks for this type of detail.”
Rolling my eyes, I shake my head. “Stop, it's not.”
“Why can't you just take the compliment?” He eyes me curiously, watching me closely. “It's like you don't want to feel good about yourself.”
“That's not true, I just don't think some dumb swirls are worth any praise.” I drop the brush into the small can of paint thinner and cross my arms over my chest. “It's stupid, that's what it is.”
“You're in denial. You have a huge problem with anyone giving you a compliment.”
“Stop acting like you know anything about me, because you don't.”
“See,” he says, his eyes set on mine. “This is exactly what I'm talking about. You're hot and cold. I thought we were past this.”