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Authors: Desiree Holt

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Teaching Molly

BOOK: Teaching Molly
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An Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publication

www.ellorascave.com

Teaching Molly

ISBN 9781419916038

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Teaching Molly Copyright © 2008 Desiree Holt

Edited by Helen Woodall.

Cover art by Syneca.

Electronic book Publication May 2008

With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502.

Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. (http://www.fbi.gov/ipr/) This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors’ imagination and used fictitiously.

TEACHING MOLLY

Desiree Holt

Dedication

To all the Mollys who need to know that there is life after divorce and it can be truly delicious.

Trademarks Acknowledgement

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

Casa Rio: Casa Rio Mexican Foods, Inc.

Estee Lauder: Estee Lauder Inc.

KY Liquid: Johnson & Johnson

Lincoln Navigator: Ford Motor Company

Miata: Miata USA

Riverwalk: El Paseo del Rio Association

Viagra: Pfizer, Inc.

Teaching Molly

Chapter One

“Hurry, everyone.” Dina Emerson’s high-pitched voice squeaked loudly. “Find your chairs. Take your places. The fireworks are about to start.”

She buzzed around like a restless bee, shooing people into places, shifting chairs, generally driving everyone crazy. Dina was cute and lovable but after a dose of her bubbly personality, people wanted to tell her to shut up.

I shouldn’t have come,
Molly thought.
Big mistake. Big, big mistake.

“Fireworks, people,” Dina repeated, clapping her hands for attention.

If only
, Molly thought wryly.

Fireworks had been missing from Molly Gerard’s life for so long she couldn’t remember how to spell sex. The erotic romance books her friend Janine had given her, insisting she read them, only underscored how much she was missing, how pathetic her sex life had been and was. Her newly awakened interest in the erotic had led her to surf the web, her latest hobby, but that only frustrated her more.

Why the hell had she married Craig anyway, he of the selfish sex and gigantic ego?

She’d excused his insensitivity at first as lack of understanding of her needs. But after twenty years she realized he understood her needs just fine but didn’t give a damn about them and probably never would. So why hadn’t she divorced him a long time ago instead of hanging on to nothing and then letting him dump her?

Her pride was taking a long time to recover from that.

So here she was, rootless and uncertain, trying to figure out how to start life again.

They hadn’t had children—Craig considered them an unnecessary nuisance—so she didn’t even have that to anchor herself to. Instead she found herself searching for something to fill that empty space inside her.

5

Desiree Holt

She had come to believe that no one under thirty should even consider marriage.

Their brains hadn’t yet begun to work.

Molly sighed, pushed her thoughts away and looked for a place to sit down. Every piece of patio furniture, every folding chair on the lawn seemed to be filled. The Emersons’ annual Fourth of July picnic was well attended, as usual. Molly had never felt more out of place.

Serves me right. What the hell am I doing here anyway?

“I think this seat has your name on it.”

The deep voice made her breath catch but not nearly as much as the sight of the man it belonged to. Well over six feet, lean and dark with thick, wavy hair and a body that moved with athletic grace, he could have stepped directly from her lonely fantasies. He had come up behind her, footsteps soundless on the lush grass, carrying what was probably the last folding canvas chair on the Emerson property.

Her first thought was
Yum!
And erotic images growing in her mind burst forth like an exploding balloon.

Her second thought was,
Forget it, Molly, you’re too old for him.

But she couldn’t drag her eyes away from him.

He nudged the chair closer and grinned. “Better take this before Dina steals it for someone else.”

“Oh! That’s very nice of you. But where will you sit?”

He grinned, his teeth even and white in his tanned face. “Right here next to you.”

He patted the chair. “Come on. Dina’s show is about to begin.”

“Thank you.” Gingerly she lowered herself into the treacherous-looking piece of furniture.

He folded himself cross-legged to the grass and reached up a hand to her. “Nick Trajan. Dina’s neighbor.”

Molly took his hand, shocked at its warmth and the spike of heat that flowed into 6

Teaching Molly

her body. “Molly Gerard. Dina’s pity guest.” Not even a smile could soften the bitterness of her words.

Nick raised one eyebrow. “I didn’t realize that was a separate category. I thought Dina just invited enough people so she felt properly adored.”

Molly burst out laughing. “I can see you’ve known her a long while.”

“Not long. Just well. I bought the house next door about five years ago.”

Next door. Molly almost smiled. In the exclusive rural community of Limerock, neighbors were often five miles apart or more.

“Are you a gentleman rancher too?” she asked. “Or do you do it for real?”

Now it was his turn to laugh. “Neither. I just wanted a place outside the city where I had to really work to see another living human being. I’m an architect. That’s how I met the Emersons. I designed their new home here. I mentioned I was looking for an escape from the city, Dina turned me on to a place for sale and here we are.”

“Yes, here you are.”

Molly felt the man’s masculinity rolling off him in waves. The spicy scent of his aftershave blended with the aroma of the mountain cedar and fresh cut hay. She touched her fingers to her lips to make sure she wasn’t drooling. He couldn’t have been more than thirty-five, ten years younger than she was. He looked like the kind of man who had women hanging from him by the dozens. Unless…

“Isn’t your wife here with you?” She tried to sound polite rather than curious.

Nick burst out laughing. “Is that a clever way of asking if I’m married? The simple answer is I’m not.” His eyes narrowed. “What about you?”

“No. That’s why I’m on the pity list.”

He opened his mouth to ask her another question but whatever he said was overridden by the first blast of the fireworks.

The show was certainly spectacular. Dina and Frank spared no expense, either with the barbecue or the explosives show. For forty-five minutes the night sky was lit up 7

Desiree Holt

with complex exploding designs, the booms and pops punctuated by the oohs and aahs of the watchers.

At last it was over and people began to gather themselves to leave.

Nick helped Molly out of the unwieldy chair, a bolt of excitement racing through her again at his touch.

“I don’t suppose I could interest you in an after-fireworks drink, could I? At my place? I’m just down the road.”

Molly felt her knees go weak. This gorgeous hunk wanted to have a drink with
her?

Oh, my God!

“I could tell you I’m harmless,” he went on in that voice like warm honey, “but that might be a lie. I thought maybe we could talk a little more about your ‘special list’

status.”

She had to think for a moment to figure out what he meant. When she caught it, she felt her cheeks heat. “It’s a long, boring story. I don’t think you’d be at all interested.”

He took her hand in his again and slowly rubbed his thumb across her knuckles, his touch making her skin tingle. “Now that’s where you’d be totally wrong. What do you say, Molly? You don’t really want to go home alone, do you? Not on the Fourth of July.”

Did she? Hell, no. she’d already spent too many lonely nights in that damned condo, wondering where her life had gone and how she could possibly get it back.

“Well,” she began.

His eyes glittered. “Excellent. Let’s go say our goodbyes to our host and hostess.

Then you can follow me down the highway.”

“I…um, think we should say goodbye separately. You know, for the sake of appearances.”

Would he understand her need for secrecy? She’d already been the subject of one too many conversations.

8

Teaching Molly

He slid both hands up to her shoulders and for a moment she thought he was going to kiss her. He just stared into her eyes, studying them, then let her go. “For appearances. Absolutely. But you’d better know now I’m going to make it my mission to find out why someone like you has herself enclosed in an invisible cell.”

Oh, God. What was she getting herself into?

“I’m not—”

“Yes, you are. But that’s okay. For the moment. I’ll head down the road first. Look for a dark green Lincoln Navigator about a mile from here where the shoulder of the road widens. Flash your lights before you get to me.”

“Oh, Nick.” She spread her hands in a helpless gesture.

“It’s okay, Molly.” He smiled and touched her cheek with the tips of his fingers, his understanding in his eyes. “But if you change your mind and your lights don’t flash, I may take that as a challenge.” He winked at her and headed off toward the patio where Dina and Frank were seeing their guests off.

Watching him walk with that easy, relaxed stride of his, Molly felt two very unfamiliar reactions in her body—her nipples tightened and cream flooded her panties.

Well, hell, Molly. What’s that all about?

Her vagina had been drier than the Sahara Desert for as long as she could remember. Another of Craig’s many complaints. If not for artificial liquid she’d have really had a problem. So what was going on here? This very sexy man, ten years her junior, invites her to his house and suddenly her body works again?

I am in big trouble.

But then her inner voice said,
Remember all those juicy erotic romances. Here’s your
chance to find out if they’re fantasy or reality.

The thrill of the unexpected curled low in her abdomen and stampeded her pulse.

Would her age turn him off? Would her body please him?

Okay, pull yourself together.

9

Desiree Holt

“Oh, Molly, dear.” Dina Emerson clasped her in a hug, bangle bracelets jangling a symphony against Molly’s back. Thick clouds of Estee Lauder’s Beautiful wrapped around Dina, clogging Molly’s senses. “I do so hope you had a good time. I apologize for not being able to spend more time with you.”

BOOK: Teaching Molly
13.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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