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Copyright © 2008 Lexxie Couper
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Chilled to the bone, weary, dry-eyed and craving a beer more than ever, Jack McKenzie knocked on his cousin’s door.
The door swung open and a tall, willowy redhead regarded him with laughing grey eyes. A tall, willowy redhead with laughing grey eyes, long, long legs encased in worn black denim, and the fullest, softest lips Jack had ever seen. “Yes?”
He frowned, even as his body said Heeello. The redhead wasn’t Bruce. Bruce had never looked this good. “Um.” He bit back a muttered curse. Bloody brilliant conversation starter that is, Jack.
The redhead smiled, interest flickering in her smoky eyes. She tilted her head to the side a little and placed her hand against the doorjamb, unwittingly drawing Jack’s attention to the small, round perfection of her breasts snugged behind a pure white T-shirt. “Can I help you?”
“Um,” Jack began, and again mentally cringed at his inarticulate clumsiness. What was going on with him? Jet lag? Or had Tiffany sucked from him his ability to talk to a beautiful woman? She didn’t want him anymore, but she sure as hell didn’t want him to find anyone else? Okay, now you’re being paranoid.
He gave the redhead a slightly puzzled smile. “Is Bruce home?”
One finely arched auburn eyebrow cocked. “Bruce?”
Jack hitched his backpack higher onto his shoulder, trying not to shiver. The hallway was chilly, the snowstorm outside permeating Serendipity Estates’ internal structure, and his only jacket was most likely somewhere between Australia and Who-Knows-Where. “Bruce McKenzie.” He paused, waiting for the entirely too gorgeous woman to acknowledge his cousin’s name.
“The bloke that lives here.” The statement sounded like a question, and Jack’s gut began to tighten. Why did this feel wrong?
“There’s no Bruce McKenzie here,” the woman replied, the sides of her mouth playing with a grin.
Jack shot the door another look. The silver 7 and the silver C hadn’t changed. This was the right address. So where was Bruce?
“Can I help you?” The husky murmur lifted Jack’s attention from his cousin’s less than flowery penmanship to the woman still standing in the door of apartment 7C. She was studying him with an unreadable expression. “You’re Australian, yes?”
Jack nodded. “Yes. And so’s my cousin who told me he lived here.” He shoved the small slip of paper back into his pocket. “Do you know of any Bruce McKenzie living around here? Maybe he just wrote the apartment number wrong.”
The woman shook her head, her long auburn hair tumbling over her straight shoulders in a glossy cascade that made Jack’s stomach and groin grow tight. “I don’t, I’m afraid. I’ve lived in Serendipity Estates since they were built. Trust me, your cousin has never lived in 7C.”
Jack suppressed a sigh. “Damn it.”
No luggage, no jacket and now no cousin. Which meant no shower, no toast, no beer and no bed. All with a bloody snowstorm cold enough to freeze the tits off a bull wreaking havoc outside. When he found Bruce, if he found Bruce, he was going to kill him. That was, if he didn’t freeze to death in the interim trying to hail a taxi. What a fantastic Christmas this was going to be.
Jack hitched his backpack further up his shoulder and gave the woman — damn, she was gorgeous — a wry, lopsided smile. “Well, I’m sorry to be a nuisance.” He took a step away from the door. “Have a nice –”
“Do you want to come in?”
The question stopped Jack dead in his tracks.
Series: Serendipity Estates
Publisher: 5x5 Publishing
Length: 34 pages
Published: November 26, 2015
One lost Australian tourist. One mischievous Christmas sprite. One magical apartment complex. One Christmas gift to be remembered for a lifetime.
Welcome to Serendipity Estates, where accidental meetings, a little magic, and a bit of hot lust are a recipe for love ever after. We hope you enjoy your stay.