Needing to understand what was driving his actions, Phoebe followed Raymond at a distance. Perhaps his need to push her away had more to do with his life rather than her own. For all she knew, he could be married with children waiting for him back home. Her gaze narrowed as she studied him at a distance. Raymond didn’t look like the type to be a floundering snake. If anything, he looked more like the type of man who needed to be possessed by a woman, his every movement governed by hers, expecting the same loyalty in return. Even the thought of such devotion made her heart skip a beat.
The sound of splashing water up ahead dragged her from her musings and her steps slowed as she nestled in amongst the thick scrub surrounding the creek. Peering through the branches, she stifled a gasp as her stare rested on Raymond moving about in the water. Her gaze shifted to the moving fabric hanging from the tree, and her eyes widened. She’d never seen a naked man before, certainly never watched one bathing. Part of her wanted to be brave and walk out and join him, but her cowardliness kept her firmly in her hiding place. He’d pushed her away so many times already, she couldn’t bear for him to dismiss her should she try to join him.
Phoebe should go back to the camp, but she couldn’t force herself to turn away from the man swimming in the creek. Watching him stand, his torso leaving the water, droplets covering his skin, she ached to wipe them from him even if just to feel his firm skin beneath her fingers once more. Though she called herself a fool for allowing such thoughts to enter her mind, she couldn’t deny she wanted more than his skin against hers. She wanted to be wrapped in his embrace, his soft voice begging to share unspeakable passions with her, quenching the hunger he stirred inside her that she could no longer ignore. “I seem to remember you calling me a bastard for watching you bathe,” Raymond yelled, turning toward where she was hiding in the bushes.
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