Home > Easy Kisses (Boudreaux #4)(3)

Easy Kisses (Boudreaux #4)(3)
Author: Kristen Proby

I grin. “Louisiana,” I confirm. “I’m from New Orleans.”

“Another of my favorite places,” he replies with a wink.

“Oh, I love it there too,” Shelly says. “What do you do there?”

“I own a shoe store.” I grin at the waitress as she fills my water glass.

“Well, that wouldn’t suck,” Heidi says and glances down at my feet. “I admired your shoes all day.”

“Thank you.”

“How long have you done that?” Simon asks, listening intently.

“Six years,” I reply. “But I’ve lived there all my life.”

He nods, and I can see in his eyes that he has more questions, but he shifts the focus to someone else, to my relief.

“And where are you from, Heidi?”

“Arizona,” she replies and begins telling us about her business raising assistance dogs. She pulls her phone out to show us photos, and I melt.

“Aww, what a sweet baby,” I croon when she shows me the yellow lab puppy she’s working with now. “Puppies are the best.”

“I think so too,” Heidi agrees. Dinner is surprisingly fun. We spend the next hour chatting about our homes, what we do, and things that interest us. Simon is funny and charming, easily deflecting Shelly’s blatant flirtations.

He’s professional. I assume he comes down and has dinner with a different group of women from the retreat each night. It’s a nice touch.

I wonder how many he sleeps with.

I bite my lip to keep from laughing out loud and scold myself. Why am I always the pessimist? Maybe he’s just a good guy who likes helping women.

It could happen.

I glance up to find Simon watching me. His deep blue eyes are dancing with humor, and if I’m not mistaken, lust.

But he suddenly clears his throat, and it’s gone.

I sign my tab, wipe my mouth, and stand.

“Thanks for asking me to join you,” I say with a nod. “I’m heading up to bed.”

“I’m coming too,” Heidi says, joining me. “Good night, everyone.”

We wave and walk toward the elevators.

“So, I think I’ve figured out why Shelly’s here,” Heidi says. “I’m sorry, but that girl needs to turn down the flirt level.”

“Agreed,” I reply with a laugh. “He’s just a man, after all.”

“Exactly,” she says. “If she came here to stare at Simon all day, she could have saved a shit ton of money and joined a gym.”

I laugh, already feeling like Heidi and I are going to be friends.

“He may come in a pretty package,” I add, “but he puts his pants on just like anyone else. I’m sure there’s someone out there who thinks he’s a pain in the ass.”

“Oh, I like you,” Heidi says.

“I like you, too,” I reply as we reach our rooms. “Have a good night.”


Honestly, if I wasn’t so in love with New Orleans, I would move here. The morning air is crisp as I make my way on the trail around the lake. The woman at the front desk told me that the trail actually goes all the way around the lake, but I won’t make it that far.


But I will explore it on my day off this weekend. For this morning, I’m just jogging down about a mile and back. The cold air filling my lungs feels amazing, and the view continues to stun me.

Who knew that deep down I was a mountain girl?


Suddenly there’s a clearing and a small beach leading to the water, so I stop running and walk down on the coarse sand. It’s flat enough to stand here and move through a few yoga poses, so I do. The sky is the biggest and bluest I’ve ever seen, and the mountains are reflected in the water.

This is as peaceful as I’ve ever felt in my life.

It’s a damn shame I had to come all the way to Montana to find this.

I stand and take a few deep breaths, but footsteps behind me have me turning, my hand poised over the bear spray clipped to my waistband.

But it’s Simon.

Not a bear or a mountain lion.

So I turn back without a word and take another deep breath.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” he murmurs as he stands next to me. He’s tall, probably as tall as my brothers, who stand at close to six and a half feet. And without my heels, I feel incredibly short next to him.

I glance up at him quickly and nod. “I love it.”

“Glacier Park is nearby,” he says, Britain falling off his tongue and making my stomach clench. His voice is like melted butter. Thank God he’s not smiling at me right now. The combination could be lethal. “I’ve hiked through there many times.”

“How long have you been coming here?” I ask and tip my head back so I can look up at his face. His eyes, the same color as the sky, are trained on the mountains.

“About three years,” he replies. He looks like he wants to say more, but he doesn’t. He glances down at me and smiles, and my stomach drops.

God, that smile could end wars.

“If you have time, I recommend taking a day up in the Park. If you think this is beautiful, it will astonish you.”

“I’ll keep it in mind.”

He nods and shuffles his feet, crosses his arms over his chest, and we stand here, quietly, for a long moment, taking it all in. A bald eagle soars out of the trees, over the water, and suddenly dives down to pluck a fish from the water, then circles back to his tree.

“Did that just happen?” I whisper in awe.

“Indeed,” he replies softly. And then, without looking at me, he whispers, “Why are you here, Charly?”

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