Forever and a Day(6)

By: Jill Shalvis

Dr. Scott, of course.

She coughed and choked some more—very attractive, she was quite certain. Then she realized that she was up against her rescuer, held there firmly as the water swirled around their calves. “I’m okay,” she gasped.


“Yes,” she said, but he didn’t let her go. “Really,” she promised. “I’m good.”

He nodded and continued to hold her against him.

Except…he wasn’t holding her at all. She was clinging to him, soaking up the warmth and strength of him radiating through his now-wet scrubs. Well, crap. Forcing herself to loosen her grip on him, she stepped back, working on searching for a different grip entirely—the one on her fast-failing dignity. Hiking her dress up to her thighs, she frog-marched out of the water as fast as she could so as to avoid being flattened by the next wave. By the time she hit dry sand, she was feeling a little bit like a drowned kitten. One glance down assured her that she didn’t look like a drowned kitten. She looked like she was trying out for a wet T-shirt contest.


She decided not to look at herself again and made the mistake of looking instead at her rescuer. He was close, close enough to force her to tilt her head up to see his face, close enough to ascertain that he clearly hadn’t shaved that morning.

The dark stubble on his jaw was incredibly disconcerting. And sexy.

“Arf!” Tank said from his perch, which was her purse, still lying on the sand. The little shit was standing on it like he owned it, wet, sandy paws and all. “Arf, arf!”

Nice. Grace gave herself a big mental thumbs-up for the “fun” that this job had been so far.

Josh nudged Tank off Grace’s purse, then attempted to brush the wet sand from the leather. Tank gave a pretend ferocious growl and began a tug-of-war with the strap.


Josh gave him another nudge and rescued the purse. He was doing his damnedest to concentrate on the situation at hand, but that was proving difficult given the sight of Grace, her clothes plastered to her like a second skin. Half of her hair was in a topsy-turvy knot on top of her head, with the rest plastered to her face. The tip of her nose had gotten sunburned, and her mascara was smudged around her drown-in-me blue eyes.

And then there was her mouth.

She had a full lower lip, one that warmed him up considerably and made him think about sex. Actually, everything about her—the oh-shit expression on her face, the way she waved her hands like she was trying to explain herself without words, the delicate clinking of the myriad of thin silver bracelets she wore on her wrist—brought to mind sex.

Sex and chaos.

Pure, unadulterated, trouble-filled chaos. The thing was, he’d been there before, in another time and place, and was no longer interested in such things. No matter how hot the packaging was.

And the packaging was very hot. Grace was wearing one of those flimsy little summer dresses that had a way of messing with a guy’s brain. The tiny straps had been designed with the sole purpose of making him want to tug them down—with his teeth.

Or maybe that was just him, and the fact that he hadn’t had sex in so long he’d nearly forgotten how it felt.


The pulse at the base of Grace’s slender neck was beating a little harder and faster than it should be. As a doctor, he knew these things. Plus, his own pulse was going too. Mostly because that hot little sundress was as sheer as tissue paper when wet, and she was most definitely wet.

And cold.

Her underwear was white lace. God bless white lace. And Jesus, he really needed five minutes of shut-eye. And possibly a lobotomy. Or maybe he just needed to get laid.

Like that was going to happen when he was working 24/7.

Blowing out a breath, Josh scooped up the puppy that his sister had adopted with the sole purpose of sending Josh over the edge—which was working—and grabbed his shivering dog walker’s hand. He led her to his car and directed her to the passenger seat and put Tank into the back.

“W-where are we g-going?”

“Nowhere.” Josh cranked the engine and heater, then twisted around to extract his sweatshirt from the backseat.

“N-no, that’s okay,” she said, shaking her head. “I’ll g-get it all wet and sandy.”

“Put it on before your teeth chatter out of your head.”

Grace complied, then wrapped her arms around herself and huddled into the heater vents. “I’m sorry I lost Tank.”

The puppy perked up at his name and took a flying leap into the front seat, landing in Josh’s lap. Four paws hit the family jewels with precision. Sucking in a breath, Josh scooped Tank up and was promptly licked for his efforts.

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