When Jared Romero gets shot the only person he can turn to is Macayla Sullivan, but will she risk her heart—and her life—to help him?

Take Your Medicine
© 2006 Arianna Hart
Available now from Samhain Publishing

After escaping from an abusive relationship, Macayla has no interest in tying herself to another man, even if he is drop dead gorgeous. Unfortunately, Jared doesn’t understand the meaning of the word no and breaks down her defenses as fast as she can put them up.

When Macayla saves Jared’s life, little does she know that she’s putting her life—and her heart—in danger.

Sequel to Surprise

Enjoy the following excerpt for Take Your Medicine:

Should she go down to clear the air with Jared? Maybe a little space would be best for both of them. She wasn’t the type to hold a grudge, but there was a time and place for every discussion. The fact that she was still feeling a little overheated from Jared’s kiss, and he was downstairs working out, possibly with his shirt off, didn’t bode well for an intelligent conversation. She had never seen a man as good looking as Jared, even Connor wasn’t as ruggedly handsome, and he was no slouch.

Thoughts like those weren’t going to help clear her mind any.

Macayla went into the kitchen and started a meatloaf for supper. She wasn’t sure if her stomach was up to that yet so she put in an extra potato to bake just in case. She cleaned up the kitchen and puttered around the house, straightening little things, cleaning the bathroom, making the beds. When she had run out of things to do and Jared was still downstairs, she figured she had better stop him from hurting himself.

Idiot man, he’s going to overdo it just like I said. Why is it men think they are so much smarter than women? Macayla muttered to herself as she headed for the stairs leading to the home gym. As she stomped her way down, she was blasted by the music Jared had blaring from the speakers. His face was turned away from her as his arms pumped the free weights. He had his shirt off, just as she had expected, and his torso was beaded in sweat.

The muscles in his arms rippled with the effort he made to lift the weights over and over again. Macayla paused, speechless as she watched him work out. He was definitely eye candy. Forget eye candy, he was eye chocolate. The overhead lights emphasized his every asset—the glints in his midnight black hair were almost blue, his hairy chest was pumping up and down with exertion. His sweatpants sagged on his narrow frame and revealed the upper curve of his pelvis, a sight Macayla found irrationally erotic.

Her mouth hung open as she stood staring at him, wondering how to take her eyes off him long enough to form a coherent thought in her head. She had completely forgotten the reason she had come downstairs in the first place.

Jared dropped the weight and pressed his hand to his side. When he looked up and saw her, he lowered his hand guiltily. He stood and walked over to her, drying himself on the towel as he went. His chest moved up and down with his heavy breath from his workout. She said nothing as he came within inches of her. He stopped, waiting for her to make the next move.

Macayla stared at Jared, watching him as he ran the towel over his body. She wanted to be that towel, wrapped around that gorgeous chest, feeling his heartbeat, touching his body. She licked her lips as though she could already taste the salt from his skin. The rational part of her brain yelled at her to say something, to break the spell, but her body wasn’t listening. It was too busy watching him.

Slowly, almost against her will, she moved closer to him. She reached him, just a breath away from all that glorious skin, but he didn’t make a move to touch her. She almost whimpered.

She wanted to be pressed against his chest, to feel the fire spread and burn. She waited breathless seconds for him to move, but when he did nothing more than grip the towel and stare at her; she knew it was up to her to decide what was going to happen.

She watched a bead of sweat work its way from the hollow of his throat, down his chest, over his stomach, and stop at the waistband of his sweats. She could feel her control snap as she saw the evidence of his desire directly below the devious drop of sweat.

Struggling to find courage, she stood on tiptoe and placed her mouth against his throat. She delicately licked her way from his throat to the oasis of his chest.

What a dilemma. She had dreamed about these acres of muscles for days now and, like a kid in a candy store, didn’t know where to begin. She wanted to touch and taste everything at once, yet wanted to linger over it as well. She kissed a path between his nipples, and brought her hands up to run her fingers through the hair on his chest, grabbing his pectorals gently and rubbing his flat nipples between her fingers.

Jared remained silent, his hands gripping the towel. He held on for dear life, afraid to make a move and break the spell. Macayla devoured his chest—and his control. Her hands explored his torso like a blind person reading Braille. Fire exploded in his gut as her mouth trailed kisses over every inch, and worked lower second by agonizing second. When she reached the waistband of his pants, Jared pulled her up to him.

“Macayla, you have about five seconds to decide if this is what you want, because if it isn’t, you had better run for your life.”
“You talk pretty tough, but I don’t believe a word of it.” Macayla ran her hands over his chest. It was like now that she had finally given in, she never wanted to stop touching him.

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