Teasing Trent Page 1

Author: M. Malone

Series: The Alexanders #0.5

Genres: Romance

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CHAPTER ONE

“Just keep your hands to yourself and you’ll be fine.”

Trent Townsend climbed the steps to the second floor landing of an older townhouse and knocked a fine layer of snow off his boots. Virginia winters were usually mild, but this year Mother Nature apparently had PMS. It had been snowing for the past three days and more was on the way. He was inordinately happy to be out of his house even if he knew the evening would be one step short of erotic torture.

“Anything is better than being stuck in the house watching reality TV.” Cabin fever was like a disease. He couldn’t eat any more cereal or watch one more rerun of Jerry Springer without losing his mind. He patted his pocket, feeling the rustle of the tiny wrapped package. This was also his first chance to give Mara her 25th birthday present since he’d been too busy last weekend.

Too busy coming up with reasons he should stay away from her.

Seeing Mara always made him hard enough to poke a hole through his pants, and he’d promised his best friend Matt that he’d take care of his sister, not drool all over her.

They’d become entirely too close over the past year. Something that had to stop when Matt’s tour of duty ended next month.

“You just have to get through dinner. Keep your hands to yourself and it’ll be fine.”

The door in front of Trent flung open. Mara Simmons stood on the other side regarding him warily. Warm, amber eyes with long, inky lashes narrowed as she leaned against the doorframe. Her thick dark hair was twisted back from her face and left to fall loose and curly on the sides. She looked like a warrior princess ready to do battle. He groaned as his body immediately responded with a salute of its own.

“Are you still wearing your pajamas?” He cursed under his breath as he took in the sight of Mara in a curve-hugging tank top and the tiniest pair of cotton shorts he'd ever seen.

“These are my exercise clothes. I'm doing yoga.” She put one hand on her hip. The top stretched across her chest in just the right way, emphasizing her petite figure. “I saw you as I was passing the window. I wasn't expecting you to come so early.”

He grimaced at her choice of words. He was about to come where he stood. Her shorts were practically indecent. There were miles, just miles of smooth, creamy skin on display. His nails dug into his palm.

She even smelled good.

She’s Matt’s little sister. Keep your hands to yourself.

Trent sucked in another deep breath. He needed more than a weak mantra reminding him who would kick his ass if he screwed this up. What he needed was a bucket of ice down his pants and a blindfold.

“Why are you just standing out here talking to yourself anyway?” Mara shook her head and grabbed him by the arm. She pulled him across the threshold and closed the door behind him.

“Just thinking out loud. I do that sometimes.” Trent felt oddly defensive. Having a raging boner could do that to a guy.

“What, think?” She chuckled as he glowered at her.

“Ha ha, smart ass. I’ll remember that the next time you need my help with something.”

He turned to watch her flip the deadbolt, his eyes taking in her long legs and bare feet. She wore bright purple polish and had a little silver ring on the second to last toe of her right foot. A wave of heat almost forced him to his knees. The girl even had sexy feet. Good thing she wasn’t in the habit of going barefoot.

He turned away and busied himself with removing his jacket. He needed to focus on something else or he’d never get through the night.

Damn Matt for putting him in this position. It was just like him to join the military and play the hero overseas. His college buddy was that type of guy and someone Trent felt proud to know. Matt had come through for him more times than he could count, and the only thing he’d ever asked in return was for Trent to keep an eye on his twin sister Mara during his deployment. He wished he’d known in the beginning how hard it would be to keep that promise.

And how hard it would be to keep my frickin’ hands to myself.

“So, how fast can you get ready to go?” Trent folded his coat over the arm of the couch. He looked around her place curiously. She changed things often, bringing home stray furniture found at a thrift store or adding weird knickknacks picked up on eBay.

Her place reflected her eclectic spirit. Bright, wildly patterned furniture clashed with the mint green wall behind the couch. He’d helped her paint the crazy color just a few months ago. She’d said she was going for “energetic.” He thought it looked like the inside of a funhouse.

“Well, I was thinking maybe we could just stay in.” Mara flopped down on the couch and curled up with her legs tucked under her. In that position, her top stretched tight across her breasts. He could see tiny indentations where her nipples pressed against the fabric.

Damn.

“I know you had a big happy hour night-on-the-town thing planned but … I don’t know. I just don’t feel like going out. Do you mind?”

Trent blinked a few times and then dragged his gaze away. He glanced around desperately. There was a yoga video playing on her TV and the lamp on the side table next to the couch cast a soft amber glow across the room. A warm smell emanated from the kitchen, making his mouth water.

“You cooked?”

She sat up and threw one of the fluffy green pillows on the couch at him. “Yes, I cooked. You don’t have to sound so surprised. I made some lasagna and rented a few dvd's. I figured we could do dinner and a movie here.”

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