Ally couldn't believe she'd just invited her hot lifeguard inside. The words were out of her mouth before she had time to think it through. Cody's response was even faster as he stepped through the doorway.
"I'd love to."
He stood in front of her. He was so close she could feel his breath on her lips. She pulled the blanket up over her shoulders and held it tightly across her chest.
He smiled as he continued to stare at her.
"You don’t have to be shy," he said. "I see you in a tiny bikini every day. You're seriously hot."
"Um, thanks." She blushed, but inside she was screaming he'd noticed her at all. "We can go up to the living room."
He followed her up the stairs.
"Would you like a glass of wine?"
"I'm good, thanks." He walked into the living room and glanced out the large glass doors that overlooked the beach. "Great view. No wonder you're so inspired to paint. You can see everything from up here."
"Yeah." She nodded. "Pretty much everything."
He turned, focusing his gaze on the covered canvas in the corner of the room. "Work in progress?"
"You could say that."
"Can I see?"
"Ah, no." She bit her trembling bottom lip. "I don’t like to reveal until it's finished."
"I get that," he said. "So, you did that one?" He pointed above the mantle over the fireplace. "It's amazing."
"Thanks," she said. "It was one of my first beach paintings. I did it the summer I graduated college."
"I can see how much of you is in your work. You have a real passion for this. I've been studying the paintings at the gallery. You have a distinct signature. I like it."
"Will I get to see anything from you?" She sat down on the couch and motioned for him to sit, too.
"I have a few finished pieces. You could come check them out if you want." He plopped down next to her. "Maybe tomorrow?"
"I'd like that," she said.
"Hmm." He reached out and twirled a strand of her hair around his finger.
Her whole body hummed with anticipation. She should have backed away, but it had been a while since anyone had touched her. And she'd been thinking about having him touch her for some time.
He studied the hair wrapped around his finger. "It's like cinnamon."
"Yeah." He looked up at her without releasing the strand. "I know exactly what color I'd use if you were my subject. Can I persuade you?"
"To sit for you?"
She observed his lips. Her eyes were glued to them. She couldn't wait to pick up a brush because she now had the shape embedded in her mind.
"Yes." He stroked her cheek. "I could definitely work with this bone structure."
She leaned into his touch, letting her eyes memorize every detail of his face. She'd probably never be this close to him again, so she needed to take it all in if that painting was going to be an exact replica of the Adonis who sat before her.
He ran his fingers down her jaw and across her neck. "You've never modeled before?"
"I'm an artist."
He pushed the throw from her shoulders, letting it fall behind her. "You're a work of art."
Swoons! He'd make my head spin;)