Every day Charlie goes to sketch a beautiful building that"s been under construction. She"s drawn to it for some reason, and it makes her paints come alive. On the day the painting is to be finished, the St. Patrick"s Day parade is in town. But a run-in between her tray of paints and a big grouchy beast in a suit has her fleeing for safety.
Warren has never wanted someone the way he wants her. One chance encounter has got him searching every inch of the city for her. She can hide, but not for long. He"ll make her his, no matter what.
Warning: This St. Patrick"s Day quickie is adorably fun and over the top. Grab your shamrocks and cozy up with this sweet treat.Books by Author:Alexa Riley Books
"Will you paint me a clover on my cheek"" I glance up at the little girl who is standing over me. I"m sitting on the sidewalk next to the building, out of people"s way. Her curly red hair is up in two little pigtails making her look utterly adorable. She"d wearing a shirt that says "I Pinch Back" that matches her green sunglasses. She"s pointing at one chubby cheek. I can"t help but smile.
"Where"s your mommy"" I ask her, glancing around the busy street worried she slipped free of her mom. The sidewalk is filled with people as the parade marches down the center of the street in the middle of downtown Denver, Colorado.
Children are always coming up to me. I"ve never been sure why, but they do. Not that I"m complaining. I love children. I spend most of my day surrounded by them at the center. Maybe I"m drawn to them because of my own lack of a family.
The little girl looks around as if finally remembering her mom. "There she is." She points to the red-haired woman who is pushing through the crowd toward us calling for the girl.
"Mommy! She"s going to paint my cheek!" The girl claps excitedly.
"Evey, don"t scare Mommy like that by taking off. There were too many people around." The woman bends down and pulls the little girl into a hug, relief clear on her face.
"I"m sorry, Mommy." She gives her mom a small pout. I have to fight a smile because I know the little girl is going to get what she wants. Who could say no to that face"
The woman looks over at me. "You"re doing face painting"" She looks around me. I have paint set out but not because I was planning to face paint. I was painting the Shade building, something I"ve done many times over the past year since construction began on it. Something about its design always caught my attention and I began painting it in each stage of its construction. The whole thing was made of glass, but what"s special about it is the way it looks like it"s twisting on its way up. It"s not just straight up and down. It"s elegant but still different. When I first saw it, I felt like the building called to me for some reason. I"d never had such a hard pull to paint something before, one that hit me over and over again and drew me back to it.
I know today isn"t the best day to be painting it with all the people about for the parade, but I"d wanted to paint it while it was surrounded by people. I set the almost-complete painting up against the building, out of the way so no one steps on it while I dig through my bag looking for the small face painting kit I have.
I often paint children"s faces at the community center. When I find it, I pull it out. "It"s your lucky day," I tell the little girl. She jumps up and down.
I paint her little chubby cheek the best I can with her giggling every time the brush strokes her cheek. When I"m done she gives me a hug. Her mom hands me a five-dollar bill and I slip it into my back pocket. It"s not as if I"m in a place to refuse money, even if I would have loved to have done it for free. I need every dime I can get my hands on.
I"ve been saving up to get a place, but I have a weakness for two things: the bakery next to the community center, and art supplies. Not to mention I"m always giving some to the kids at the center who need a little extra cash. Hopefully I can stay at the center for a while. At least until I get caught.
I watch the girl and her mom slip back into the crowd. A few more kids come up to me asking for face paintings. It isn’t long before I"ve made an extra fifty bucks cash. I glance over at the painting I still need to finish. A trace of sadness washes over me. After this I"ll be done. The building is complete.
Suddenly paint splashes everywhere. I fall back on my ass as some hits my black leggings and splatters on shirt. Not that it matters. My clothes always have spots of paint on them. It"s nothing new.
"What the fuck!" someone barks out. Two firm hands grab me, pulling me up to my feet and into a hard chest that is spotted in green paint. My eyes travel up and up, meeting two of the deepest blue eyes I"ve ever seen. My breath catches, not because of the color but of the hard intensity staring back down at me.
The man"s jaw is hard. Everything about him is hard. I wiggle against him, trying to break free of his hold. I gasp when I feel a different kind of hardness come up against me. Liquid heat floods through me, and my sudden attraction to him is strong.