Home > Temptation After Dark (Gansett Island #22)(5)

Temptation After Dark (Gansett Island #22)(5)
Author: Marie Force

It was those damned wildflowers.

“Is Cooper okay?” Jordan asked.

“I think so. He hurt his ribs and his face and probably his hands and arms.”

“That must’ve been really scary.”

“It was crazy. I kept screaming at him to let go, but he wouldn’t. There was this rotted log, and he had his feet hooked behind the log as he held on to the car for dear life. I don’t even know how it all happened. One minute, we were messing around taking sunset pictures with the car, and the next minute, he was lunging and bleeding.”

“Yikes. Sounds like a close call.”

“It was. My hands are still shaking, and I have no idea why I’m sitting outside the clinic worrying about a guy I barely know.”

“If Cooper is anything like Jared, I bet he’s hot.”

“He’s not ugly.”

Jordan cracked up. “I’m still trying to get past you saying yes to him the first time he asked.”

“Don’t make a thing of it. I told you. I’m bored, sweaty and sick of this power failure and heat wave.”


If there was one person she could never lie to, it was Jordan, who knew her better than anyone else on earth.

“Maybe he’s your one.”

“Oh my God. Will you listen to yourself? My one? I have no interest in having a one, and you know that.”

“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it,” Jordan said in that sexy, suggestive tone that had come along after she started getting busy with Mason.

“Not happening, so you can quit with all your blissed-out bullshit. I went out with Cooper because it was something to do. That’s it.”

“So, you’re not going inside to check on him?”

“I’ll do that because I’m not a monster, but then I’m going home.”

“I want you to do something for me.”


“Give this guy a chance. If he’s anything like his brother, he’s a really good guy.”

“He’s an infant. I think he’s barely twenty-five.”

“So what?”

“Come on, J. Get real, will you? This is me we’re talking about. You know how I am.”

“I know how you’ve been. That doesn’t mean things can’t change.”

“Things can only change when you want them to. I’m happy just the way I am.”

“Are you, though?”

Gigi laughed. “You’re killing me with this. You’re all freshly fucked twenty-four seven these days, so you think everyone wants what you have.”

“First of all, it’s not twenty-four seven.”

“Okay, twenty-three six, then.”

“Very funny. You’ll have to forgive me if I want my best friend to know what it’s like to be in love.”

“I’m good. Thanks, though.”

“How can you know that when you’ve never gone there?”

“I know it because I’ve seen where going there gets people, and I’m not interested.”

“You think Mason is going to break my heart, or Riley is going to break Nikki’s?”

“I haven’t given that much thought, to be honest. They both seem like nice guys, and I’m happy for you two. I honestly am. But that lifestyle isn’t for me. Why are we even having this conversation? I went out on a date. Big whoop. People do that all the time. Dates are something to do when you’re sick of doing nothing. They don’t necessarily lead to happily ever after.”

“They can.”

Exasperated, Gigi said, “Just because you’ve been bitten by the love bug doesn’t mean I want to be. That’s the last thing I want. I like my life just the way it is, thank you very much. I’ve got to run and check on Cooper and get home. I’ve got client work to do.” Somehow, she’d managed to keep up with her law practice and the needs of most of her LA clients while marooned on Gansett Island for the summer.

“Text me later and let me know how he is.”

“I will.”

Gigi ended the call with a feeling of relief that she’d shut down Jordan’s nonsense. Soon enough, she’d be back in LA where she belonged, and her summer on Gansett would be a distant memory. Couldn’t happen soon enough for her.



Chapter 3



Where was she? She’d said she was coming to the clinic, so what was keeping her? Had she wrecked Jared’s Porsche on the way? Ugh, wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony? After Cooper had nearly killed himself saving the car, she crashed it. And if that’d happened, was she okay?

She’d come to the door earlier in a yellow floral dress that barely covered all the most important parts, sky-high wedge sandals and her blonde hair falling in waves down her back.

As long as he lived, he’d never forget how gorgeous she’d looked standing in her doorway with the sun shining down on her or how her brown eyes had lit up with delight when she saw the wildflowers he’d brought her.

They’d been a nice touch, if he said so himself.

Ugh, where was Gigi, and where was the doctor? He’d been waiting almost thirty minutes since the rescue brought him in. Cooper was apt to die of the heat that had overtaken the clinic, even with a generator keeping the lights on. A nurse had told him the doctor was with another patient and would be with him shortly. He ought to take it as a good sign that they weren’t worried about him dying or anything.

Things might’ve turned out differently earlier if the car had gone off the cliff and taken him with it. The thought of that had him breaking into a cold sweat. He could’ve been killed. A degree of slope here or there, and this story could’ve ended very badly. It was his own fault for forgetting to deploy the emergency brake when he parked outside the logs that had been placed to keep drivers from doing exactly what Cooper had done.

So stupid.

And so freaking lucky.

He took a deep breath and instantly regretted it when pain lanced through his chest.

“I’m so sorry to keep you waiting,” the dark-haired doctor said when he came into Cooper’s cubicle and did a double take. “Oh, hey, Cooper. I’m Dr. David Lawrence. We met a while ago when I used to live at Jared’s place.”

“Yes, I remember. I’d say it’s nice to see you again, but…”

“What happened?”

Cooper relayed the story of the car and the bluffs and the near miss with catastrophe.

“Holy crap, so you kept it from rolling off the edge?”


“Jared loves that car.”

“Believe me, I know.”

Dr. Lawrence consulted the computer. “The nurse says you’ve got pain in your ribs, and obviously your face is a mess.”

“Worst pain I’ve ever had right here,” Cooper said, pointing to the ribs on his right side.

“We’ll take X-rays to see if anything is broken.” He leaned in for a closer look at Cooper’s face. “What happened here?”

“I dove for the car and connected with rotted wood on the ground.”

The doctor took a closer look. “You’ve got splinters in there that’re going to have to come out.”

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