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A few notes before you begin reading this! The first seven chapters are all background. Granted, they're chapters that explain a lot, but I probably could have cut quite a bit out. I got too caught up in their story! This is my first attempt at writing, and I really wish I had shortened the amount of background I gave the story. Oh well! Lmao, a lot of people enjoy Maddy and Jamie's history from when they were younger. If you want to skip over it though, fast forward to Chapter Eight. :P
*Four Years Ago*
There was a stranger at my dining table. A really freaking hot one.
He didn't look like a murderer, so I wasn't freaking out and running for a baseball bat, or my dad's .22. But all the same, I didn't know this guy from Adam.
I stared him down. "Who're you?" Don't get me wrong, I can be polite and sociable when the time calls for it, but what social skills I possessed seemed to deteriorate around hot guys. And damn, this guy was hot. I could physically feel every thought fall out of my goofy little head.
My dad answered for him, coming out of the hallway. "Maddy, this is Jamie Thompson. He's Robert's nephew." Hot Guy, err, Jamie, gave a half-smile, the type used for awkward social situations, and nodded. I grunted in return. 'Oh, good. Let's revert to cavewoman status, Madison. Next you'll club him over the head and drag him to your room,' I mentally berated myself.
He was built like a Mack truck. Huge shoulders, lean with muscle all over. He had dark brown hair kept short. His skin was olive, and with a glance I could tell that he'd tan beautifully. And his eyes were so dark brown they were nearly black, framed around a ton of eyelashes. Why can't I have eyelashes like that? I wonder if I'm drooling all over myself...
I tuned into Dad's speech halfway through, "-helping us out. Kinda like I did for Grandpa Joe. But he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. Jamie'll be staying with Robert and Julie while he trains."
I put two and two together. Dad trained under Grandpa Strother, his dad. Dad had eventually taken over the family business, Strother Homes. They remodeled and repaired homes, which was a pretty booming business since the hurricanes in the gulf. I'd grown up around construction and rebuilding all my life. My mom died when I was three, and it's just been me and Dad since. This guy, Jamie, would be staying with my Dad's partner and his wife, the Garners.
I kinda vaguely remember Robert, who I've always called Uncle Rob, mentioning he had a sister in Houston. Nothing about her having a kid though.
Dad gave me a wink, looking up to where I stood by his chair. I was still a little dumbstruck by Hot Guy, damnit, I mean Jamie. Dad gave me a nudge. "Dinner ready, kiddo?" I gave a start, and ran into the kitchen. I threw open the oven door, checking lasagna. It smelled awesome.
"Hope you like lasagna," I hollered over my shoulder.
"I do," a deep voice answered me. That voice definitely wasn't my Dad's.
"Ohmygod," I jumped, with arms outstretched into the oven. NOT a good idea. My right forearm glanced the inside of the oven, and the searing hot metal burned me. I tried not to drop the casserole dish, slightly tossing it on top of the countertop. "Shit!" I moaned, kneeing the oven door shut. I tore off my oven mitt, oblivious to the way Jamie was watching me.
The skin on my arm was blanched. I didn't notice being led to the sink, or warm hands holding my arm under the faucet. The water was cold, and it made me snap to. Jamie was looking at my arm. We were so close, I could see how close his shave was. My eyes met just a little below his jaw line. Mmm, he was wearing some kind of cologne. I closed my eyes, overwhelmed more by his presence than concern over my arm.
I opened my eyes to see him looking down at me, a little confused. His dark eyebrows quirked at me. "You okay, there?"
"Uhh, yeah," I rasped out, nodding. I could feel all the blood rush to my face. I blush way too easily. I hate how it gives my thoughts away.
He smiled like he knew what I was thinking, and my breath caught in my throat. Jamie had the most gorgeous smile. It was white, bright, and the boy had dimples. Dimples! It made him look boyish. Eyeballing him, I had his age pegged at about twenty-one.