To celebrate Valentine’s Day I’d thought I’d do some candy hearts for Finn and Anna from Falling For Finn.
Oh and another excerpt…
A fine appreciation for single malt was something they’d discovered a couple of years ago after Finn had done a Wild Life show on Skye, in Scotland. In amongst all the rock climbing and trekking, he’d visited a distillery, bringing back a bottle for her.
It had been a joke at first, since neither of them had been able to tell the difference in taste, but slowly it had become another one of their little traditions. She’d given him a whisky-tasting course once for his birthday. One he’d dragged her along to as well.
She took a sip. Fire and peat and smoke. The warm glow of embers. “Wow, this is pretty good.”
His grin deepened. “Yeah, I thought so too.” He raised his glass. “Slainte.” Then he sipped.
The warm glow of the Scotch spread through her, easing her tension. Giving her a little bit of respite.
“So, how’s the show going?”
“Pretty good. Ratings are excellent, which means I’ll be doing a third season.” He leaned his hip against the breakfast bar. “Put a proposal in to the producers about going to Nepal. Thought Everest might be a draw card.”
Anna took another sip of Scotch to cover the instinctive denial. God, she hated it when he went somewhere dangerous. Still, that was who he was. He liked a physical challenge. The adrenaline rush. And he was good at it.
She still remembered the skiing trip she’d taken with his family when she’d been ten and Finn twelve. They’d learned to snowboard for the first time. She’d spent the week sitting on her butt while Finn had picked up the basics in half an hour. He was doing jumps by the end of the trip.
“Are you sure?” she said, unable to help herself.
He just gave her that Finn Shaw grin, tinged with the tease he saved for her when she was being too careful. “And you call me protective.”
“It’s Everest, not Mount Eden. You don’t just drive to the top so you can get a view of the city.”
“I’ll have other people with me. You know I’m careful.”
Yeah, she did. He’d got a lot better over the years when it came to the dangerous sports he indulged in, taking on board some of her cautiousness. He’d often complained she was turning him into a lawyer, but nevertheless he didn’t stop doing it. And once he’d got the Wild Life job and had a crew to look after, he’d become even more safety conscious, his innate protectiveness coming to the fore.
Finn took another sip. His eyes glinted. “Plus, I’m good.”
“Even if you do say so yourself.”
Well, Finn had never met a sport he couldn’t do well within hours of trying it. As a total nonathlete, she’d always found that very impressive.
“I do say so myself.”
“That’s me. Modesty is my middle name.”
“I thought Clive was your middle name.”
He laughed. The warm, genuine Finn laugh that made her feel good every time she heard it. “If that ever got out…”
“Oh, I know. Believe me, I know.”
“Think of my fans, woman.”
This time it was her turn to laugh because Finn did indeed have many fans. Who wouldn’t give a crap about his middle name as long as he gave them a signed autograph. Or even a kiss. “You think of your fans. I’ll think of the blackmail potential.” It was good to be here in his apartment, sipping Scotch and talking crap. Familiar. Normal. She’d missed this as well.
Anna finished her whisky and put it down on the wooden counter. “Another, barman.”
He poured her another measure. Then said, “You’re putting it off.”
Oh crap. He knew her too well. And yeah, he never let anything go.
She didn’t look at him. “Putting what off?”
“Putting off telling me whatever it is that brought you here.”
“How do you know that?”
“How do I know? You asked me for help, remember? And you still haven’t told me exactly what kind of help you need.”
The tension that had eased while they’d been talking began to gather inside her again. A tension born of nervousness and trepidation and…fear.
Fear he wouldn’t do what she wanted. Fear he would.
Anna picked up the tumbler, knocked back the Scotch in one hit. The alcohol burned its way down her throat and she coughed.
“Jesus, Anna. That bottle cost me five hundred bucks. You could savor it a little.”
She put down the glass, eyes watering, blinking at him.
“You don’t want to ask me, do you?” A straight-out question. No games. That was Finn.
It deserved a straight-out answer. “No. Not really.”
“Then why are you? And what the hell kind of help do you need that makes you afraid to ask?”
She’d thought long and hard about how she wanted to ask him. She’d practiced it in front of the mirror, rehearsed it over and over, but nothing had ever sounded right in her mouth. Right now, asking while drunk seemed a fine idea.
Pushing the tumbler toward him, she said, “Hit me.”
Finn put the cork in the bottle. “No.”
“I said no.”
He straightened, gaze opaque. “Since when do you have to be drunk to ask me for help?”
Anna swallowed. Better out than in, right? “Since I decided that I want you to sleep with me.”