Authors: Shiloh Walker
Silk Scarves & Seduction
Silk Scarves & Seduction
One Night with You
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Silk Scarves & Seduction Copyright© 2004
One Night with You Copyright© 2007 Shiloh Walker
Cover art by Shiloh Walker
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.
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Thanks to Valery for letting me borrow Blush…
Now, what Tessa saw when Dr. Marc Ford walked by wasn’t a bad sight. He was definitely a good-looking guy with dreamy blue eyes and thick gold streaks threading his curly brown locks. If she hadn’t known him from childhood, she’d have bet the diamond anniversary band that Caleb had given her for their first anniversary that the gold streaks were salon-assisted.
But she had known him since she had been able to walk, so she was pretty certain the streaks were all his, unless Mama had started him on the road to vanity very early.
He also had a long, lean runner’s build, and nicely sculpted muscles that she knew came from the athletic life he lived, hiking, camping, swimming. He went to the gym several times a week, but she thought that was more of an afterthought, a “practice what you preach” deal.
He was only about five ten, but he had that loose-hipped, lazy kind of walk that drove a woman crazy. And Tessa had to admit she had noticed that tight ass of his a time or two.
At least before Caleb.
Well, maybe even after, she thought with a grin.
Long-fingered hands, and a sweet smile that could calm even the most nervous of kids. There was something terribly endearing about a man that adored kids as much as Marc did.
He had some wonderful traits, she would give him that.
And he definitely wasn’t hard on the eyes.
But Valery Taylor, also known as Blush, couldn’t look at him without literally devouring his admittedly fine ass with her eyes.
When he walked by the door to Tessa’s office, he barely even tossed them a greeting, so Valery didn’t bother hiding the look in her eyes.
Tessa couldn’t help but grin at her.
The woman was so pathetically smitten, it was almost…pathetic.
When her friend dragged her eyes back to Tessa’s face, she licked her pink tongue over her lips before a sad sigh whispered out of her.
“Blush, darlin’, has it ever occurred to you to just tell him?” Tessa asked.
Her pale skin colored the soft pink that had earned her the nickname “Blush” from Marc, as a matter of fact. Running a hand through her tousled golden curls, Valery stared dolefully at Tessa. “Oh, yes. I’m so sure that will go over well… Hey, Marc…I know we’ve been mortal enemies since we were in middle school…but you really ought to know, I’ve been lusting after you for almost that long. Is that a problem for you?”
Blush cocked her head as she spoke, talking into thin air, a thoughtful look on her pretty, elfin face. Then she scrunched up her nose, grinned at Tessa and said, “Ya know, for some reason, it just falls flat.”
“You really ought to let that go,” Tessa said with a laugh. “Does it really matter in the scheme of things what happened at River View? I mean, that was middle school, well, high school for him. For Pete’s sake, he did you a favor—if he hadn’t gotten you in the bandroom, you wouldn’t have found out that the love of your life was playing tonsil hockey with some perky high school cheerleader.”
Blush rolled her eyes. Put like that, it did sound rather…immature. “He wasn’t the love of my life. We would have most likely broken up within a month. But that kind of thing crushes a kid, Tess. And now…it’s just—habit,” she finally said.
Marc Ford and Blush Taylor at each other’s throats, well, it was almost like the Hatfields and McCoys, just expected. Even if a lot of her hostility stemmed from the very real fear he’d someday find out how she felt about him.
A bittersweet sigh escaped her. There had been a time, though, when he had been almost as dear a friend to her as…as, well, as Caleb had been to Tessa.
Valery had always known Caleb would come back for Tessa. Bloody hell, she had even known who the secret admirer had been. It had taken everything inside her not to laugh about it, to look mystified and curious as Tessa had gleefully and giddily shown her the gift basket, and then the letters, each one with a blush on her face, and her eyes dancing.
Oh, yeah, Valery had known, and she had snickered on the inside, while she waited for Caleb to make his move. And he hadn’t let her down, either.
She had once hoped that Marc had felt that way about her, but that was so obviously a joke. A pitiful one, and all on her.
So now, she played the cool, cutting brat of a woman to him, and let people think most of her jibes still came from her childhood animosity toward him. But her problems now were the same as then…he scared the hell out of her.
And she was scared to death he’d someday learn that.
Oh, yes. That would just be the absolute crowning glory for him.
Some twenty minutes later, the doctor was damning his own luck.
He was quite certain he had the worst luck on earth.
Dr. Marc Ford should have known this would happen. Not one week could go by when he didn’t see that haughty, fey smile or hear her husky laugh. Not a week that he didn’t go without smelling the indescribable fragrance of her skin.
How in the hell was he supposed to forget this woman?
Wasn’t that the plan for his thirty-fifth year?
And here he was, almost thirty-five and still smitten, still as in love with her as ever, still lusting after that long, lush body.
Valery and Tessa were the best of friends, and when he had hired Tessa for the office manager position after their last one had left them high, dry and shy about twenty thousand, he should have expected to see Valery Taylor, a lot.
Hell, Tessa had lousy taste, so of course her taste in friends hadn’t improved. After all, look at the jackass she had almost married. Tyson James. A brilliant man, a gifted cardiologist, and one of the most arrogant bastards Marc had ever met. And considering they had both gone through medical school, that was saying a lot. You tended to run into a lot of arrogance there.
But the thing was…Valery was—amazing. So that argument really fell sort of flat. She was so damned brilliant, so damned funny, and so cute—hell.
Marc sat back in his chair and tunneled his fingers through his golden-streaked hair, blowing a sigh out. His lashes lay against his cheeks as he closed his eyes and gave in to the knowledge that had plagued him for all the months that he had refused to think about her.
He had managed to even go months at a time without seeing her, until he hired Tessa. And sometimes, he even fooled himself into believing that he had managed to get over her.
But he was wrong.
Nothing had changed.
He was just as in love with her as he had been in high school.
Fortunately, he had gotten a little better, a little more mature about dealing with it.
Even through the rotten pranks he had pulled on Blush, Marc had graduated early from high school, from college, and he breezed through medical school a good three years earlier than most in his field. After serving his internship, he had done exactly what he had expected to do, open a pediatric office. Even though his professors had urged him to another field, and offers from everywhere from Boston to Philadelphia to New York had come rolling in, none of it had changed the fact that Marc simply wanted to work with kids.
And hiring Tessa had been one of his smartest moves. Taking over an established practice hadn’t been easy—so many parents were used to having things done a certain way. And Dr. Joe Morrissey had been…archaic.
They hadn’t accepted him quite as easily. He was too young, too different, and out of the corner of his eye, he had seen half the moms checking out his butt as he walked past. But the parents had adored Tessa. As had the kids. The employees loved her.
She had convinced the more doubtful parents into giving him a chance, and by then, the kids had done the choosing for them. They loved Dr. Marc, plain and simple.
However, within the first month of hiring one of his old childhood friends, he had realized that hiring Tessa came with problems. Some unrectifiable problems. Tessa was still the same—coolly efficient until you got to know her, and then full of life, laughter…and still friends with Valery Taylor.
If ever he had had a nemesis, it was her.
Tessa and Blush were night and day. Tessa all cool blonde delicacy, slender and petite, like a little china doll. She looked like a stiff wind would blow her over, but she was as stubborn as the day was long, loyal to a fault, smart and quick-witted. Tessa was organized, efficient, almost to the point that it was scary. She could recall figures from meetings a month ago.
Blush was five-feet-nine inches of leg, hip and ass. And breasts…damn it, he had been drooling over those breasts since she had developed them at the tender age of twelve. But he had been a mature fourteen and couldn’t be troubled with the wisecracking, smart-assed tomboy who would rather play ball and go fishing than deal with makeup and brush out the mop of Shirley Temple curls she still wore in a ponytail. He wondered if she still threatened to cut them. Damn it, he hoped not.
She was as unorganized as her tousled head of hair, and she couldn’t remember her phone number for three months after getting it changed.
But…on the other hand, she was stubborn as the day was long, loyal to a fault, smart and quick-witted, just like Tessa.
She also liked to sharpen that wit of hers on his hide, so to speak.
He forced himself to leave his office, walking slowly down the hall, listening to the squeals of laughter coming from the waiting room, mingled with the music of Disney.
With a deep sigh, he braced himself and opened the door to Tessa’s office, nodding coolly at Blush, watching as her eyes—those pretty brown eyes—met his and all the shutters came down.
“Well, hello, Blush…you seem to be a regular visitor to the pediatrician’s office,” he drawled. “Is there something going on I ought to know about?”
The innuendo didn’t slide by—he hadn’t really expected it to. A broad grin bloomed on her elfin face, her eyes dancing with it for a moment. She lifted a brow and said sarcastically, “Oh, yes. Can’t you just see me all aglow with pregnancy? Children playing at my feet?”
Yes. His cock raged to rampant life at the image, and Marc thought for a second that he was going to die if he didn’t drag her out of that chair and fuck the living daylights out of her. That long, lush body ripe with a baby…with his baby? And toddlers playing at her feet? Her camera in hand, no doubt.