Just This Once excerpt

“I have a commitment in Auckland tomorrow,” he told her when he had docked at the marina and they were back in the ute again. “But I’ll be here the next day. Can I take you to dinner?”

“Sure. I’ll be here four more days, and I’d like that.”

He frowned. “Where are you off to next?”

“Rotorua. Not sure I’m pronouncing it right. That seems to be someplace I need to visit. Where they have the geothermal area. But I wanted a week here first. My beach vacation.”

“Yeh,” he smiled. “I know Rotorua, a bit. I’ll pick you up at 7:30, then, day after tomorrow.”

“What should I wear?” 

“Noplace too posh on the Coromandel. What you had on yesterday was good.”

“Good to know. I’ll look forward to it. And thank you for today,” she added sincerely. “I loved it. That was one of the best adventures I’ve ever had.”

“Led an exciting life, have you?” he asked drily. 

“Not so much,” she admitted. “Making up for it a bit now, I guess. Almost drowning yesterday, and going for my first snorkel today.”

“Glad to help with your adventures,” he assured her as he pulled up to her motel. By the time he came around to help her out, she had already opened the door and hopped down.

“You’re disappointing my mum again,” he sighed. “Here I was, ready to show you my manners, and you didn’t give me the chance.”

“Tell your mother I’m very impressed, so far. Thanks again,” she told him as she turned at her motel door.

And that’s as far as you’re getting today, boy, he told himself. Never mind, he had a fair bit of determination. And every intention of using it.

“I’ll see you day after tomorrow, then.” He took her by the shoulders and kissed her gently, his mouth moving over hers, keeping it soft. And felt the zing of the contact straight down to his groin. Oh, yes. There was chemistry there, no worries.

He stepped back and saw her smiling up at him, pulled her closer, and kissed her again with a bit more heat, giving into temptation and letting his tongue briefly touch the deep bow of her upper lip. He’d been staring at that bow all day, and he was only human, after all. He let her go at last, and watched as she unlocked her door and stepped inside.

Four more days. Good as gold.

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