Author’s Note: So Carson is a bit paranoid. He’s also a leg guy. Go figure.
Carson would have been relieved not to feel like someone was watching him—since that seemed to have happened every time that he was out in a crowd—if he didn’t think that they were all watching Mackenna instead. He knew he kept staring, and he didn’t think he was the only one who was. How could they not? Everyone could see her legs out from underneath the car, and they were a much finer set of legs than he’d realized when she wore pants.
Trouble was, she wasn’t wearing pants right now. He’d thought that her fixing the car in a dress would be something to see, but now he wished she’d stopped to change into her overalls. She hadn’t been joking about protecting her dignity. He didn’t think he’d managed it, not when there were so many people around. He could try and block their view, but he wasn’t enough. He didn’t even manage to cover her with his shadow.
It didn’t help that he kept looking at her legs.
He was pretty damn jealous, too. He should have known that he would be after the way he’d reacted to Larry flirting with her, but it was at least ten times worse knowing that everyone was getting such a good look at her legs.
He knew why she had to take off the longer part of her skirt—at least, he did intellectually; she needed to be able to crawl under and move around underneath the car—but he wished she hadn’t done it. He wanted her legs covered so they’d stop distracting him and anyone else that might walk by.
“Are you almost done?”
“This is sensitive work, you know. You could try and be more patient.”
“There’s patient, and there’s I’m going insane because your legs are very visible underneath there and it’s driving me crazy in more ways than one.”
She laughed. “I didn’t know you were a leg man.”
“Frankly, I didn’t know I was, either, not until you did this. Then again… Everything seems to be changing now that you’re in my life. That sounds so corny, but I’m getting my memories back, I’m joining clubs and driving historic cars, and then there’s… us. That’s got to be the biggest change.”
“I would imagine it would be.”
He knelt down next to her. “You’re done, aren’t you? Now you’re just milking this. You heard me start babbling like an idiot, and you decided to let me go on like an even bigger moron. Admit it.”
She crawled out, a smirk on her face. “You do know me well.”
“I’d hope so since you’ve been hinting around about marriage.”
She frowned. “I never said—well, I did, but you don’t need to act like I suddenly turned into one of those clingy, commitment demanding girls that no man wants to date. I was just—I wanted you to know I wasn’t leaving you. That’s all.”
“So now, if I did ask, you’d say no?”
“I didn’t say that, either.”
He forced a smile. He still wasn’t asking, not until he was sure that he hadn’t killed his father, but if the idea of someone else looking at her legs bothered him this much, he didn’t think he’d have much choice. No one else was going to be touching them. “Ready to get up?”
“Yeah,” she said, accepting his hand and pulling herself up to her feet. She started dusting herself off, and his eyes went right to that torturous hemline of hers.
“I swear, I have to be drooling, and I know I wasn’t the only one,” he told her, and she laughed.
“I know, not the most ladylike look ever, and if not for what I had to do under the car, you’d never be seeing me in such a scandalous way,” she said, continuing to dust off the shorter part of her skirt as she walked around to the back of the car, taking the longer skirt off the side. She slipped it on again, putting herself back in order. The legs were covered. He should be relieved. “You gonna kiss me now or what? I honestly didn’t think I’d manage to get away without one, not with the way you were drooling.”
He rolled his eyes, about to catch her against the car and make her regret egging him on, but then he felt it again. He stopped, turning around, frowning as he tried to find the source of that damned feeling. He didn’t understand—had she just distracted him that well, so much so that he didn’t even notice it before, or was he really going crazy? Why had that feeling come back the moment he was going to kiss her? He’d blame it on a fear of intimacy, but he had been able to kiss her without the paranoia doing this to him, so it wasn’t that. Or not just that. Something else was going on.
“I’m sorry. I feel like someone’s watching me again.”
She cursed. “Come on. We’ll go get the others and get back on the road.”