Given the fact that he had missed lunch, busy with his research and monitoring devices, C.J. decided to make a big meal for dinner. Though the storm had passed, the power had yet to return, so he lit some candles and had been relieved to find a kick ass BBQ just out the back door on the deck. Gabbing two steaks from the freezer, which was still cold enough that it would hold the meat for several hours still, if the power didn’t return, he set them on the BBQ.
While they broiled, he made a salad, judging that this would be the last of the vegetables for them as some of them were beginning to turn. The potatoes still seemed fine, so he wrapped them in foil and set them on the grill.
It didn’t take long for Jessica to resurface. “Dinner should be ready in, say, two minutes. I found some wine.
It’s not cold but it’s still good, if you’d like a glass.”
She did, and poured a full glass. “Storm didn’t last long.”
“No, but it managed to cool things down.” He flipped the steaks. “How do you like it?”
“What?” Her eyes flickered to his lips.
“Steak, how do you like it?” He’d seen where her eyes had wandered. He wondered why, if she was feeling something for him, did she always step away whenever they were close.
“Oh, oh…” she stammered. “Well done.”
Smirking, C.J. decided to play with her. “I’m still feeling keyed up from the storm. I really need some sort of a release.” He turned to her, giving her a sultry look. “Care to join me?”
“What? No, my god, C.J., how dare you ask such a thing.” Rattled by his come on, she gulped down more wine, then refilled her nearly empty glass.
He so loved getting her riled. “I meant a swim, Jessica.” He nudged his head towards the backyard pool, smirking.
Her eyes narrowed in on him. “No, thank you.”
“Your loss. Dinner’s ready.” Grabbing the plates beside him, he dished out the steaks and potatoes, then set them on the patio table. “Bon appetit.”
“Mmm, this looks delicious.”
“Thank you.” He cut into his steak, the juices seeping out. Lifting the slice to his lips, he watched as she ate. She had a sexy Cupid’s bow sort of mouth, with dimples at the sides that sunk in more when she ate, or smiled, which he rarely saw. “What do you enjoy doing, Jessica, for a past time?”
“I like to run, mostly late in the evening. I enjoy tennis, and I love to curl up with a good book.”
“What sort of book?”
“Anything really, I just love to read.”
“Are you into thrillers?”
Her eyes lifted to his. “I have to be in the mood for it, but yeah, I like a good scare.”
His lips curved in a sly smile. “Then why is it you get angry with me when I scare you?”
“Because you’re being a jerk.”
He smiled slyly. “Scaring a person gets the adrenaline pumping; it’s good for the heart.”
“My heart is just fine. What did you use to marinate the steak?”
“Lemon juice and salt. Do you like it?”
“Yeah, it’s moist and has a slight tang to it.”
“You like tangy food?”
“I’m not stepping into your trap, Dowling.” She polished off the potato and nearly half of her steak.
“What trap?” he asked innocently.
“The one you always set for me in hopes of catching me off guard. What do the initials stand for, Dowling?”
She shifted it to focus on him.
“You tell me.” Finishing off his plate, shoving it aside, he lifted his glass of wine, enjoying the conversation.
“Uh uh, we’ve already played that game. What do they stand for?”
“Tell you what, I’ll give you the second letters to both my first and second name, and if you guess them correctly,
I’ll do dishes. If you don’t guess them, you do the dishes.”
“For both first and second,” she reminded him.
“Both my first and second names have A as the second letter.” He leaned back and lit a cigarette. He was going to enjoy watching her do the dishes.
“How many guesses do I get?”
“Two.” He blew smoke into the still muggy night air.
“Two. Okay.” She tapped the table with her fingers.
“Nope on both. Last one.
She frowned, trying harder. “Calvin…James.”
“Wrong on the first, Calvin.” He shook his head as he stood. “Enjoy doing the dishes, remember, power’s out so the dishwasher is non-functional.”
“Wait, you said wrong on the first, what about the second?”
He took the steps down from the deck, smiling. “It’s James.”
“Give me one more shot,” she called out as he moved through the grass towards the pool. She frowned when he shook his head. “Come on.”
“Have fun, Jessica.” Slipping his shirt over his head, he tossed it over a lounger, then kicked off his shoes.
Annoyed and frustrated, she stood to clear the table.
As she scooped up their plates, she saw him shimmy out of his jeans. Intrigued, she continued to watch, then gasped when he pulled his boxer shorts down and tossed them with the rest of his clothes. She turned her head away, embarrassed, then slowly, turned back, peeking, as he jumped into the water.
Fanning her face with her hand, she headed inside to start the dishes. The guy had a pretty damn good physique, and his ass wasn’t so bad either.
Filling the sink with hot water, she watched as he swam laps in the pool. She was mesmerized by his movements, turned on knowing he was completely naked under that crystal clear water. Swallowing her lust, she continued cleaning the dishes.
She shook her head clear several minutes later when she heard her name called.
“Jessica, want to bring me out a towel?”
Drying her hands, she headed for the closet to retrieve a towel. Should have thought of that before you dove, naked, into the pool, she mumbled as she headed towards the pool. “Here.” She held the towel out, trying not to look at him. The way the sun was setting, it fell on the pool, making it almost like glass. She could see his nudity—however distorted by the waves of water.
“You should take a dip, it’s incredible.”
“I’ll pass, thank you.”
“Your loss.” Reaching up for the towel, he grabbed her hand and yanked her right into the water.
She gasped, came up furious, wiping the damp hair from her face, glaring at him. “You bastard.” The towel she had brought him floated off in the water.
“You looked rather warm, thought you needed to cool down.”
“Yeah fine, but not with my clothes on.” She backed away from him, not trusting him one bit.
“Feel free to remove them.”
“I think not.” Because she knew he would try something, she hoisted herself out of the pool, shaking the water from her body and damp clothes as she walked towards the house.
“You don’t know what you’re missing, Jessica.”
With a very undignified gesture, she lifted her right hand and saluted him one finger style as she walked to the house.