He had a plan. In retrospect, not a great one, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do when she’s out of options.
Surgical technician Charlee Smith is guardian to Megan, her fifteen month old niece. Megan’s paternal grandparents, people the toddler has never even met, want to change that. Charlee needs quality child care and a bigger apartment. Stat. A few fibs and Megan is in the hospital daycare. Things are going well until handsome, deliciously-enticing surgeon Evan Smith—no relation—mistakenly gets the bill. Hence, the pressure to go along with his plan.
Evan is not the long term relationship type, something his mother nags him about constantly. So when the opportunity to play a joke on his mother by telling her he’s married ends up with his mother telling him to bring his bride that weekend to his grandmother’s eightieth birthday party, the joke is on him. He needs a wife. Stat. Maybe Charlee, who used his status as an attending surgeon to get her niece in daycare, can help him out with that. Now they’re at the family estate, sleeping in the same bed, pretending to be married and fighting the attraction that is anything but a joke.
The jokes are piling up, the lies are getting harder to keep straight and the plan hasn’t even started unraveling yet.
2016 © copyright Patricia Otto
Charlee stayed until the water was tepid. Stepping out of the tub, she grabbed a towel. She was wrapping it around her body as she headed out into the bedroom.
Evan looked up from Megan squirming on the bed.
Charlee squealed, backpedaling. "Oh, my gosh. I didn’t know you were here." She slammed the door.
Evan’s deep laugh was followed by a knock on the door. "I’m sorry. I should have warned you. I figured we’d be in and out before you were finished. But your niece insisted on mortal combat. The squirt here, did, in fact, squirt. She got me." His laugh continued.
"Oh, honey, trust me I am not laughing at you."
She ripped open the door to glare. "How much did you see?"
"Nothing." He put Megan on the floor.
"Okay, enough to be very, very, pleased. My make believe wife is built like a—"
"All right, that’s enough."
He grinned. "And your expression was priceless."
She pulled the towel higher on her breasts. "Meaning?"
He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned his shoulder against the jamb. "Your big beautiful eyes got even bigger and those lips make a very pretty ‘o’ when you’re surprised."
Charlee swallowed. "You…think my eyes are…beautiful?"
He stroked a finger down her cheek. "Eyes like yours are the reason men go to war."
She scowled. "You’re making fun of me."
His expression was serious. "Absolutely not."
"Then you’re just saying that because I said you had nice eyes in the O.R. that time."
"Nope." He leaned close, cradling her face in his hands. "I have been captivated by those eyes since the first time I saw them peeking over a paper mask."
Charlee felt her knees weaken. His hands moved over her damp shoulders, his fingers tracing the edges of her collar bones. Charlee concentrated on keeping her knees set or she would have crumpled like a newborn giraffe.
"Right now," he whispered against her mouth, "I can’t seem to stop thinking about kissing you."