Running away from a fiancé who betrayed her, Peyton O’Malley finds employment at a beautiful bed and breakfast inn called Rest Thy Head. She didn’t expect to live in the haunted room or to fall for the inn’s owner, a fire-scarred, war veteran who uses the inn to hide away from the world. She didn’t expect her sister to show up at Rest Thy Head either, much less her formidable mother. Now, thanks to the aid of a friendly ghost, Peyton has a shot at true love, and so does her sister Ashley, provided the guys cooperate of course.
As she approached the pool, she saw Jake jump up on the diving board. He completed a neat dive and hit the water with barely a ripple. He came up not far from where she had taken a seat on the edge of the pool. “Not bad, Jake,” she called.
Jake recoiled. “I didn’t see you over there. How long have you been watching?”
“Only for a moment. I see a net over there. Would you like to play volleyball?”
He turned sideways so that his good side faced her. “Oh, I’d better go in now. You enjoy your swim.”
“I don’t want to swim alone. Don’t you like volleyball?”
“Ah, sure, but…I have some work I need to do before bed.”
Peyton kept her voice nice and casual. “It’ll keep. Now get your butt out of the pool and help me with the net.”
Peyton jumped into the pool and swam over to him. “I intend to look at your scars, Jake. Then you won’t have any excuse not to play with me.”
Jake retreated across the pool with Peyton right behind him. He reached the steps leading out of the water, but Peyton lunged toward him and grabbed his hand. Caught off guard, Jake stumbled, and Peyton jerked him back into the pool.
The water and the fading light made it difficult to see too much, but Peyton did stare at him. “The side of your face is the worst. The rest of you isn’t too bad. Are you ready to play now?”
Jake turned away yet again, his face dark with suppressed anger. “Peyton, this isn’t funny. I don’t like people staring at me!”
“This is your last chance,” Peyton warned. “If you say no, I’m not asking you again.” Peyton held her breath. What would he do?
Jake hesitated. He took one step toward the inn, but he finally caved in. “Okay, if you want to play volleyball we will.”
“About time you saw things my way,” Peyton sassed.
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