Home > Tie Me (One Night with Sole Regret #5)(3)

Tie Me (One Night with Sole Regret #5)(3)
Author: Olivia Cunning

A moment later, an angry rendition of “Chopsticks” drifted from the open window and drew a smile to Kellen’s lips.

A bolt of lightning split the darkness, followed by a loud crash of thunder. Kellen squinted as the rain began to fall in fat droplets. He was instantly soaked, water coursing over his face and bare chest. His hair stuck to his neck in thick chunks, but he didn’t run for shelter. The melody had started again. He didn’t realize he’d approached the neighboring house until he found himself standing beneath the open window, which was shielded from the deluge by a wide, overhead deck. Again the melody built. He held his breath, waiting for the next note. One more beyond the first time he’d heard the amazing piece of music. Just one more note. One more.


“Argh!” he heard a woman’s frustrated cry right before another bolt of lightning flashed and a rumble of thunder snapped him back to his senses. He turned his gaze to his beach house next door, trying to muster the courage to go inside and out of the rain. Without Sara.

“Nice night for a walk,” a voice called down to him. The woman’s words were muffled by the downpour and the churning surf. He looked up and saw her standing against the deck railing. He couldn’t make out her features, as the light was at her back, but he could make out her curves when the wind blew her flowing white dress against her body.

A familiar and unwelcome heat stirred low in his belly.

It had been a long time since he’d been with a woman. Too damned long. And it was going to be a damned while longer if Sara’s memory had a say in the matter.

Chapter Two

The last thing Dawn had expected to see on the beach behind her rented vacation house was a soaking wet, shirtless hunk. She was too surprised to feel threatened by his presence. Had Neptune—lord of the sea—washed up on the shore? With that hard body and water dripping from every inch of his taut skin, the tall, muscular man sure resembled an immortal god.

“Are you lost?” she yelled.

Really, Dawn? The sea gifts you with this gorgeous, tail-less merman and you ask him if he’s lost? Of course he was lost. Why else would he be standing half-naked on the beach during a thunderstorm? She doubted he was rescuing sea turtles.

He shook his head. “No,” he shouted up at her. “I live next door. I was just enjoying the”—with an outstretched hand, he indicated the churning sea behind him—“view.”

“Normally, I’d believe you, but the view is a little violent at the moment,” she yelled back.

Thunder crashed overhead, and the wind blew cold rain against her. She stepped back from the railing. The storms here didn’t mess around. Palm fronds slapped against tree trunks, rattling like a nest of angry snakes. The surf slammed into the beach with increasing retaliation as the storm advanced ashore.

The man cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled, “Was that you pla—”

Lightning broke the darkness, announcing another rumble of thunder. Dawn could see the man’s lips were still moving, but the wind robbed her ears of his words.

“What?” she yelled.

“That melody I hear—”

She shook her head and pointed to her ear. “I can’t hear what you’re saying!”

He scowled and glanced around before turning and running for the wooden walkway that had been built over the sand dunes. Soon she couldn’t see him at all and wondered if she’d imagined him. At least he’d found the sense to get out of the rain, even if it was rude for him to dash off without so much as a see ya.

Dawn shrugged and went back in the house. Perhaps that little interruption would wake up her muse. The lazy twit wasn’t cooperating with her at all tonight, and Dawn had a deadline to meet. She had to find the rest of this song by morning or she was in deep, professional trouble.

She flexed her aching fingers and had just sat down at the piano when the doorbell rang.

Had Neptune come calling? Her heart rate kicked up. She was here in this strange house by herself, and she was pretty sure the nearest cop was ten miles away. What if that soaking wet hottie was a psycho? He had to be a little crazy to be standing out in a storm in the middle of the night, didn’t he? That was the curse of having an overactive imagination. It served her well in her song writing, but damned if it wasn’t a burden whenever something a little out of the norm came her way.

She hesitated for just a moment and then went to the door, drawing the shade up so she could look through the glass pane. The shadow of a broad-shouldered figure loomed outside. She switched on the porch light. Yep, there standing on her deck, dripping water and looking sexier than any drowned beast had a right to look, was her Neptune.

“Can I help you?” she yelled through the door. She wasn’t about to unlock it. She’d seen a lot of horror movies in her day, and she knew what happened to women alone on dark, stormy nights who were stupid enough to open doors to strangers. Real killers didn’t warn you of their intentions by wearing frightening masks and revving a chainsaw on your doorstep as they asked for entry.

“I’m sorry,” the man said, his voice muffled by the glass door. “I hope I didn’t scare you. I just wanted to know the name of the song you were playing when the storm hit. I won’t trouble you further.”

“The song I was playing?”

“Yeah. It really spoke to me. I was hoping you could tell me what it’s called so I can look it up.” A particularly loud crash of thunder caused him to flinch. “This is stupid. I’ll go. Sorry for bothering you.”

He took a step back, his gaze trained on the staircase that led to the ground. Like all houses along the shore, the rental was perched high on thick wooden stilts to keep it above the flood zone. Dawn reached for the lock. She no longer cared that he might be a little crazy. He’d complimented one of her songs at a time when she was feeling pretty down about her talent. She tore open the door and stepped out on the damp deck. Her feet found a puddle Neptune had left behind, and she curled her toes to avoid the cold.

“I’d tell you what the song’s called, but I haven’t named it yet,” she said.

He paused at the top of the steps and turned. He’d been gorgeous at a distance in the dark, but up close and in the light, he stole her breath. Strong, rugged features—so masculine, it should be a crime—surrounded captivating dark eyes that captured her gaze and refused to allow her to look away.

“You haven’t named it?” His voice was deep and as smooth as silk. It played on her nerve endings like a bow drawing magic from a violin.

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