The Wrong Sister

By: Kris Pearson

CHAPTER ONE





“I don’t need you here,” Christian growled.

He moved close behind Fiona as she stood by the floor-to-ceiling sliders in the sunlit living area. She filled his senses. His eyes soaked up every strand of her shining hair, the stretch of her pale blue T-shirt over the curve of her shoulder, the just-glimpsed bra-strap through it. He heard her soft breathing, saw her breasts rising and falling, but she’d turned her face aside and he had no way of seeing if she bit her bottom lip in frustration or closed her eyes in annoyance. She wouldn’t be smiling, that was for sure. More like vibrating with fury.

“I don’t want you here,” he continued, knowing it was a huge lie.

He leaned an arm on the window-frame, partly imprisoning her, but touching her nowhere. Her subtle fresh perfume wafted across to taunt him. He ached to bridge that tiny distance between them. Sensed the magnetism pulling them together. And knew that of all the women in the world, this was one he wouldn’t dare take a chance on.

Worse—the one he wanted and absolutely couldn’t have.





Fiona felt the heat of his body radiating across the small space between them as she stared resolutely through the glass. The view of Wellington harbor might be fantastic, but right now her imagination was consumed by his long thighs in soft old blue jeans, right behind her. Hell, she could almost feel his thighs—it was just so easy to imagine them pressing lightly along the backs of hers.

There was a right-angled rip in the fabric above one of his knees, and she’d glimpsed brown skin and dark shining hairs through the enticing gap.

She swallowed.

Since she’d padded barefoot into the huge room five minutes earlier, her eyes had been constantly drawn to the off-centre rubbed-and-faded patch of fabric at his groin. The old jeans had seen a lot of wear. Each time she looked, a delicious tingle spread through her breasts because of the giveaway condition of the denim. If she touched him right there…

Stop it! Stop it! This is the last thing I need. I can’t give in or the whole deal becomes impossible.

And now he’d trapped her. She knew they were in exact alignment. She longed to push back against his tall, lean, forbidden body. She found just enough willpower to hold still and deny herself the pleasure. She clenched her teeth, steeling herself to stay strong.

She flinched as Christian nudged his chin against her shoulder in the briefest of contacts, his early-morning-stubbled face now only millimeters away from her flaming cheek.

She smelled the shampoo from his newly washed dark hair. Or maybe it was the soap from his shower, wafting up from his warm body. Certainly not aftershave. He hadn’t shaved yet. Fiona loved the toughness it lent his face, and wished so much she didn’t.

Why was he making things so difficult for her?

“Christian, it’s not the ideal holiday for me, being stuck here with you.” She spoke out toward the sparkling harbor and cloudless sky because she didn’t dare turn toward him. That way lay danger. It would be just too easy to be snared by his sexy brown eyes and then lose her resolve and seek his lips with her own. What a fiasco that would be…

“Then go,” he challenged her.

“I can’t,” she ground out with frustrated anguish. “Mom and Dad have lost their other daughter. They want to know their only grand-daughter is well looked after and as settled as possible. I promised them I’d help you for a while. I can do that much for them. I will do that much for them, and for you.”

She longed to wrench herself away. Christian was grieving, not himself. Why else would he be standing here taunting her with his closeness? Her bare toes curled against the shining floor as though tensed to run. The invading sunshine flooded over her feet and up her shorts-clad legs.

She knew she needed to stay calm, although that was a joke. His hard tempting body stood so near to hers that all her nerves tingled and pulsed as though she was a gigantic Christmas tree full of shimmering lights.

She drew a deep breath and finally found the resolve to slide away sideways and put a couple of steps between them.

“I don’t want you here,” Christian said again. “You’ll only...remind me so much of Jan.”

She turned, raised her eyes, and plummeted into the dark depths of his. She hadn’t thought of it in those terms. She shook her head helplessly.

“I’ll keep right out of your way. You’ll hardly see me.”

“Yeah, right.” His tone was scathing. She heard him breathe out hard through his nose. It was almost a snort.

Okay, so it would be difficult, but she’d make it work somehow. If he didn’t want her looking so similar to Jan, then she’d endeavor to look totally different.

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