Beautiful Beast (Enchanted Fairytales)

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Book: Beautiful Beast (Enchanted Fairytales) by Cindy C Bennett Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cindy C Bennett
pain. Welcoming it, he lowered the weight and then pushed it up again.
    “Impressive.”
    He nearly dropped the weights onto his chest at the sound of her voice. His head turned to the side. She stood leaning against the frame, one ankle crossed over the other, her arms folded, grinning at him. He carefully placed the bar into the rack and sat up, smiling back at her. He didn’t think he’d ever seen anything as beautiful as Calli Clayson standing in the doorway of his exercise room.
    Almost immediately he realized he wore a sleeveless shirt, exposing his arm to her scrutiny. She didn’t seem to notice. He grabbed his sweatshirt off the chair next to the bench and pulled it over his head.
    “Aren’t you back a little early?” he asked gruffly. It was just after noon. She wasn’t expected back until tonight.
    She shrugged and straightened. “I missed your sunny disposition, Alex.”
    “Ha, ha,” he mocked. “I’m not the one stomping around demanding different sheets.”
    Her mouth dropped. “You heard that?” She shook her head. “I thought I was going to have to wine and dine Meredith to get her to forgive me for being such a butthead that day, but all it took was an, ‘I’m sorry.’”
    “She’s pretty easy going,” he said, stating the obvious.
    “Have you ever tried to sleep on silk sheets?” she asked. He didn’t tell her they were the only kind of sheets he could sleep on to keep the irritation from his sensitive, damaged skin. “Not only could I not keep the bedding on, I couldn’t keep me on.”
    “What?” Alex lifted brow at her. “Are you telling me you fell out of bed?”
    “Multiple times,” she confirmed. He laughed and she walked closer, pushing his shoulder lightly. “Don’t make fun of me. I just need cotton sheets. The cheaper the better.”
    Alex shook his head at her. And then, impulsively, he bent down and pulled her into his arms, hugging her. Her arms went readily around his waist, resting her cheek on his chest.
    “I missed you, too,” he said quietly. He released her and she smiled at him.
    “I knew you did.” She cocked her head at him. “You know something, Alex?”
    “What?”
    “You kinda stink.”
    He laughed. “Sorry.” He lifted a hand toward the weight bench. “Workout.”
    “Yeah, kinda figured,” she said sarcastically. “Wanna swim while the weather’s still nice enough to swim?”
    “Uh . . .” He wasn’t sure he was ready for that.
    “C’mon, Alex, I came back early to hang with you. Swim with me. It’ll be fun.”
    She came back early for him? He didn’t want to be affected by her words, but couldn’t deny he was.
    “Fine,” he said. “I’ll swim with you.”
    “Good,” she said, clasping her hands together beneath her chin. “I’ll go change and meet you out there.”
     
    * * * * *
     
    She ran up the first set of stairs—a mistake since it made the second set a little harder. When she got to her room, she was a little out of breath. What little breath she had was stolen by what lay on her bed. A pair of workout shorts, sweat pants, and running shoes. On top was a note.
    C – Try not to injure yourself again. I’m not your personal elevator. A.
    She smiled at the note, recalling how he’d carried her up the stairs. She quickly changed and jogged back down the stairs and out to the pool.
    Alex was already in the water. He wore a long-sleeved shirt over swim trunks that came below his knees. She could see a few bumpy ridges beneath the shirt on his shoulder and upper chest where they were above the waterline, and the wet fabric clung.
    “Cannonball!” she yelled, running and performing just that right next to Alex, dousing him with water. She came up to receive a face full of water compliments of Alex.
    “No fair,” she said.
    “Yeah, and a cannonball is?” he said.
    “I gave you fair warning,” she argued.
    “Okay, well, I didn’t really think a small body like yours could create such a big

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