Livvy Sherman was on a quest to find her long-lost father, whether she would admit it or not. Family had always seemed out of reach for her. But then she found herself looking down the barrel of Jesse Tully's shotgun and her path seemed very clear. To run!
Jesse Tully's life was all about hard work and responsibility until hippy-dippy Livvy trespassed onto his logging job. Until then, he'd worked hard to keep everyone happy including his disapproving father, his crabby grandma, a teenager, and a struggling family business. Then Livvy turned his world and his heart upside down. She brought light and laughter to his life, but it was no secret Butternut Creek was simply a blip on her radar. But then, just as she'd surprised him the day he found her in the forest, Jesse had one final surprise for her.
Tess Morrison weaves her stories from her northern Wisconsin home surrounded by gardens and forest on an antique table she found in the back of her barn. When not writing she can be found in the garden or cooking in the kitchen, dancing to the classic rock channel, or wandering around her beautiful state.
Livvy is in panic mode. Jesse is simply trying to figure out what the he's going to do with this woman in his care and how the hell he got himself into this.
Livvy jumped to the ground and took off around the corner of the house. She heard the screen door bang and instinctively knew Jesse was in hot pursuit. She kept running, her eye on the country road with no idea what she would do when she got there. Maybe she could flag down a passing car for a ride.
The boys cheered them on. Livvy stole a glance behind her but he was closing fast. She faked to the right, then to the left. Jesse cursed as he reached for her, missed, stumbled, and recovered just as quickly. She tripped just as he lurched forward. His arms encircled her and he brought them both down with a resounding thud.
She screamed as Jesse’s long expanse of body covered hers. With arms a steely vise around her middle, one hand firmly gripped her left breast. The weight of him restricted her breathing. Panic spiraled through her.
She wiggled and squiggled until she could breathe. “Watch your hands, buster.”
“What?” He said into her ear a bit too loudly.
Livvy winced at the pain in her ear and said, “Your hand. Could you move it, please?”
“Oh,” and he quickly shifted his hand from her captive breast without relinquishing his hold upon her.
Sara came running out onto the lawn jiggling Gracie on her hip.
“See, I told you not to trust her. She’s a criminal. I’m going to the house right now and calling the Sheriff.” Sara’s face was red and Gracie started to whimper.
Livvy struggled to breathe. “Please, please don’t do that.” She turned until she could look Jesse in the face. Truth be told, if she wasn’t so frightened, this could be interesting, except that they had an audience.
Sara stood over them and pointed. “You can cry and plead all you want it’s not going to get you anywhere.” She angled her head. “Jesse, get off of her.”
Nose to nose, Jesse pulled his face back from Livvy’s. He struggled to push himself off without letting her go. The billed cap he’d been wearing earlier had flown off in his pursuit to reveal a head of wavy chestnut hair.
“Damn woman, you’re giving me a workout today.” He averted his eyes, no doubt embarrassed he’d grabbed her breast.
“Way to take her down, Uncle Jesse.” Timmy grinned, hands on his skinny hips, while Josh woo-hooed and jumped up and down.
“Uncle Jesse, you want to try to catch Timmy and me next?”
“No,” he barked. “You two go find something to do.” Jesse pulled his knees up and sat alongside her on the grass still holding her arm.
“Aw, geez.” Timmy dismissed him with a wave of his dirty hand and the two jogged around the corner of the house. Livvy spied them hiding behind the hydrangea bush to watch the show.
She looked him deeply in the eyes and said, “Please, Jesse.” It was the first time she’d said his name. “Please don’t turn me in.”