LITTLE GIRL GONE
by Amanda Stevens
“While I was trying to fish the doll out of the pool, someone came from behind and hit me over the head hard enough to daze me. Next thing I know, I’m caught in a whirlpool several feet below the surface. I lost my flashlight, so I was spun around underwater in complete darkness. No up, no down.” He paused. “For a while there, I wasn’t sure how I’d get out.”
Thea watched his expression as he spoke. He still seemed shaken from the experience. She’d never seen him like that. “I knew something bad must have happened.”
He summoned a brief smile. “I know what you’re thinking. I even thought so myself at the time. So much for my keen instincts. Someone came up behind me and I never sensed a thing.”
“That’s not what I’m thinking.”
“I’m thinking you could have died down there and I would never have known what happened to you.”
“Thea.” He said her name so softly she might have thought the tender missive was nothing more than a breeze sighing through the treetops.
The sun bearing down on them was hot and relentless, but Thea felt a little shiver go through her. It hit her anew how much she’d missed that tender glint in his eyes as their gazes locked. How much she’d missed his husky whispers in the dark. The glide of his hand along her bare skin, the tease of his lips and tongue against her mouth. The way he had held her afterward, as if he never wanted to let her go. But he had let her go and she’d done nothing to stop him.
She drew a shaky breath. “Don’t ever do that to me again.”
“Get caught in a whirlpool? I’ll do my best.”
She scowled at him. “Don’t make light. You know what I mean.”
“I’m fine, Thea.” He seemed on the verge of saying something else, but he held back. Maybe he thought she wanted his restraint. She did, didn’t she? They were in a precarious situation. Adrenaline and attraction could be a dangerous combination. Throw in unresolved issues and they were asking for trouble.