An Excerpt from Hidden Truths Blake pressed hard on the doorbell and heard its shrill ring echo inside the vicarage.
"Oh. It's you." Fiona peered out, and he moved the large bouquet of flowers out from in front of his face to see her better.
Yeah, he'd been on the money, she was a beauty all right. "I wanted to thank you for saving me from getting waterlogged yesterday." He peered over her shoulder. "Am I interrupting your supper?"
"No, I'm on my own." A flush of color lit up her cheeks. "Would you like to come in?"
"Sure, it'd be great," Blake stepped inside. "Take these before I squash them, please."
She buried her nose in the fragrant mixture of yellow roses, lilies and baby's breath. "They're beautiful, thank you. You needn't have...."
Blake shrugged, unable to remember the last time he'd brought a woman flowers. "I guessed you enjoy doing fancy things with flowers seeing it's what you were up to in the church."
Fiona burst into peals of laughter, her lingering seriousness gone. "I'm sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong. I love the flowers and appreciate you bringing them, but do you want the truth?"
"Go ahead, honey, you won't shock me." He grinned and leaned closer, enough to smell her light feminine scent, driving himself just a little crazy.
"It was Emily's turn to do them, so I had to do them for her. If you hadn't been so... wet and everything, you might have noticed how pitiful they looked. I haven't a clue how to arrange flowers and not much desire to learn either." Fiona gave a defiant shrug. "So there you go. One startling confession from me, and now you won't expect me to do anything more than put these in water."
Her sassiness turned him on. Get a grip, man. "Go ahead, shove them in water, and we'll give up on the whole flower thing." She was a distraction he didn't need, but Blake wasn't sure he'd be able to resist the temptation. "To be honest, I came here with an ulterior motive." His eyes roved over her, and he decided she just might be the perfect cure for what ailed him. "I'm starving and tired of eating alone so I hoped you'd take pity and have dinner with me."
"Yeah, or did you have something planned?"
Fiona half-smiled. "Does a bowl of cereal count?"
"Not unless you have no choice, and you do. You pick the place and I'll pay -- sounds like a good deal to me." Blake took another step closer and rested his hands on her narrow shoulders, caressing them with his thumbs. A faint tremble ran through her, and he knew he almost had her. "Come on, surely I'm better than cornflakes?"