Tempting Love - Haley & Eddie (Crossroads #5)

By: Melanie Shawn

Chapter One

“How do my boobs look?” Haley asked her sister as she stood up straight, rolling her shoulders back and skimming her fingers down her flat—because she was sucking it in!—stomach. As she turned from side to side, her eyes scanned every angle of her body reflected in the beautiful full-length, wood-rimmed, oval antique mirror that stood in the corner of her room.

“Great,” Krista answered flatly from behind, lying on her stomach while engrossed in her book.

“You didn’t even look,” Haley pointed out.

With a sigh, Krista closed her textbook and pushed up to a sitting position. Crossing her legs crisscross-applesauce style, she said pragmatically, “Hales, do you really think that Eddie’s going to take one look at you in that tank top and jeans and suddenly realize that he’s in love with you? Do you think that that’s the outfit that will finally get him to notice you? After all these years?”

“I was going for casually cool,” Haley explained as she turned to face her sister.

“Casually cool may not produce the reaction you’re hoping to achieve.”

Haley swiveled again, focusing her attention back to her reflection, biting the inside of her lip. After a quick once-over, she knew her sister was right. “Good point.”

Grabbing the bottom of the white ribbed tank top, Haley pulled it up and over her head, stepping into her walk-in closet. As she scanned her impressively fantastical wardrobe, she felt the familiar tug of appreciation and gratitude for both her job and her boss. Haley had worked at Bella, a small boutique clothing store, for four years now. Amber, formerly Webb, Sloan—since she married Haley’s cousin Seth six months ago—was not only the booming businesses owner, she was also a designer and personally created a lot of the pieces that Bella carried.

Amber was most well known for her signature dresses. She had an uncanny ability to design dresses that were comfortable to wear while simultaneously complimenting one’s figure. Haley tugged off her jeans and grabbed two such dresses, holding each up beside her as stepped back into the bedroom.

“Blue or green?” She wiggled each as she asked her sister, who was busily highlighting text on the page in front of her.

Glancing up, Krista’s eyes popped open. “Pink.”

Haley’s brow furrowed and her eyes shot down to the two dresses she held. Neither was pink. It took her a moment before she realized that the bra and panty set she herself had just designed and was wearing—in order to test them out before she sent the design to production—was, in fact, pink.

Haley always tested out her samples for quality control purposes. She needed to personally ensure that they weren’t itchy, didn’t dig into the skin, or anything else that would make the wear unpleasant. Her goal with her lingerie line, Tempting, was and always would be to make pretty undergarments that women could feel sexy and comfortable in.

“Ha ha ha, very funny,” Haley said as she pulled the blue cotton dress off the hanger.

Krista shook her head, a mischievous smile growing on her face. “I’m dead serious. You show up on Eddie-boy’s doorstep in that and he will definitely take notice.”

As Haley put the blue dress on over her head, she said, “I’m going over there to watch Emily. I don’t think showing up in nothing but my skivvies is the most appropriate thing to do.” Although the thought of Eddie seeing her in nothing but her sexy lingerie did send a thrill skittering down her spine.

Krista set down her yellow highlighter pen and said with a sigh, “Can you hear yourself? Let’s examine this for a moment. Okay, you are going over there to babysit his daughter. Again. On a Saturday night. Again. You know he’s out there hooking up while you are at home with his kid.”

“You don’t know that for a fact.” Haley, unfortunately, did know that for a fact. She knew that once a month Eddie would hook up with one of his friends with benefits. She knew this to be a fact because sometimes they would call before he got home to leave a message about what a good time they’d had and how amazing Eddie had been.

Haley knew how amazing Eddie was, but not the way those women did. But, she reminded herself, they don’t know him the way I do.

Eddie took the phrase ‘private life’ to an almost stealth level. For years now, he’d never dated women in their small town, no matter how badly the female population of Harper’s Crossing—Haley most of all!—wished he would. Many of them had actively tried—and failed—to change his mind, some more blatantly than others. Haley had seen women throw themselves at him, literally heaving their bodies against his, and Eddie just ignore it.

The single moms of his seven year old daughter’s friends were a tad more subtle in their efforts. They would casually set up ‘play dates’ with Emily and their children. But after a particularly uncomfortable pool party where Eddie showed up with Emily in tow to find out that the kids would actually be watching a movie inside and the pool party would only be himself and Emily’s friend’s mom (who was wearing a G-string bikini), he’d stopped going on ‘play dates.’ Now, when one was planned, either Haley or Eddie’s sister Chelle would take Em, to the great disappointment of the moms at Harper’s Crossing Elementary School.