Durham County
4x18 Gotham

He Found Me(8)

By: Whitney Barbetti



He was wearing shiny, dark grey shoes. His long legs - he had to be well over six feet tall - came into view as he stood up, allowing his light grey slacks to fall just perfectly from his narrow hips. A white dress shirt was tucked into the slacks, which were secured with a thin black belt. I only had the back view of him as he reached in the backseat to grab something, but what a view it was. This man was not allergic to the gym. Even as covered up by clothing as he was, I could see the muscle tone through his shirt, and the muscles of his forearms, exposed by his rolled up sleeves. His dark hair was short on the sides with a little length on top, and I could just make out some facial hair, at least a couple weeks growth, lining his jawline.

Yum. That’s basically what I was thinking.

And then he turned to face me. His expression when he saw me was stunned. No matter my lack of naiveté about my attractiveness, I knew I wasn’t looking particularly drop-dead gorgeous at the moment, so my guard was up. His expression lasted for just a second before he broke into a smile. The smile crinkled up around his bright brown eyes and his appeal burst through the roof of my suddenly instantaneous desire. I was in trouble.

“See something you like?” he called out.

Big trouble. Clearly, he’d caught me staring. Cocky bastard. Reaffirming my annoyance at his entrance, I stalked closer to him. “Just trying to figure out where you’re headed,” I replied, stopping ten feet from him, making it a point to eye his vehicle and his clothing, confusion clear on my face.

He cocked his head to the side, “Pardon?”

“Well, I don’t know anyone who’d show up to a dude ranch in fancy shoes and clothes fit for an office in a high-rise,” I answered, arms crossing my chest.

He narrowed his eyes at me, but the corners of his lips lifted up in a crooked smile. “Would you prefer I show up in obviously brand-new cowboy boots, jeans fresh from the store, and a goofy hat that wasn’t even broken in yet?”

He had a point. There really was nothing worse than a fake cowboy. “Okay city boy,” I conceded and nodded at his convertible. “Where do you need directions to? I’m afraid we’re about forty minutes from the interstate, but I-”

“This is where I’m supposed to be,” he interrupted. The way he said it sounded like he meant it in more ways than one. It sounded so sure. The intensity in the way he looked directly into my eyes made the power behind his words that much more affirming.

“Well,” I said, rounding his vehicle and leaning over to unabashedly peek in the backseat. “You don’t look like the veterinarian.” I noted the suitcases on the butter leather seats and continued walking around, running my finger across the layer of road dust that had formed over the beautiful paint job.

His body turned to follow my path around the car. I had to give it to him; he didn’t look at me lewdly. Instead, he looked at me like he was trying to memorize my movements.

“No,” he said, stepping closer to me as I rounded the hood of his car. He put his palm out. “I’m J.J. Julian Jameson. I’m renting a cabin here for four weeks.”

Ah. I eyed him shrewdly. I looked at his hand before meeting his steady gaze and reluctantly put my hand in his. Instantly, I felt the pull that had only been teasing me from afar. His eyes widened for a moment and I knew he felt it too. This wasn’t the insta-love of teenage romances. It was totally honest insta-lust. I resisted the sudden urge to lick my lips in anticipation.

“Andra,” I said, after discreetly clearing my throat. “I wasn’t expecting you for a couple more hours.”

Instead of letting go of my hand, Julian stepped closer and lifted his left hand to hold the outside of my right hand, which was still grasped with his. His touch was warm and sure. It only enhanced the electricity around us.

“Andra,” he repeated, seeming to roll the word around his tongue. I swallowed hard. He tracked the movement of my throat with his unwavering intensity before continuing. “Well, I hate to keep a lady waiting,” he replied, smiling softly while running his thumb over my knuckles. The touch sent goose bumps up my arms. Shaking my head, I pulled my hand away as casually as possible.

“I think you’ll find that I don’t sit around and wait for anything, Mr. Jameson,” I replied pointedly and then gestured to the steps up to the entrance to the big house. “If you’d follow me, I’ll get you checked in and set up for your stay.”

As I climbed the stairs, I shook my arms, trying to release the tension. I couldn’t remember the last time a man had affected me so intensely. I was going to have to keep my hormones in check for this one.

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