I asked, she gave. Priscilla Glenn is such a doll that when I joked around, saying, “You know, for your Back to You blog tour, you could just give us an exclusive sneak peek,” she agreed! Just like that! What an awesome writer and person! So here you go…try not to spontaneously combust until the very end.
Andie stood at the gas pump, her arms above her head as she twisted to stretch her back. The little beep sounded, signaling that her credit card was approved, and she turned to the pillar where the paper towel dispenser was mounted on the wall. Grabbing a few, she kept them in her hand as she removed the nozzle from the gas pump and inserted it into her gas tank.
It was getting late, she thought as she yawned for the third time. She would have to stop soon. She had looked at the map of South Carolina a little while ago; if she could make it another hour or so they could stop in Yemassee for the night.
A few minutes later, the sharp click of the gas tank reaching capacity snapped her out of it, and she placed the nozzle back on the pump before tossing the paper towels into the trash can. Using her knuckle, she pressed the button to decline a receipt and walked around the front of the car before sliding back into the driver’s seat.
She brought her hand to the ignition, freezing when she saw the way Chase was looking at her.
“What?” she asked.
“What the hell was that?” he said through barely contained laughter.
“What the hell was what?”
“Did you just use paper towels to hold the gas pump?”
He looked down and pinched the bridge of his nose as his shoulders shook with laughter.
“Laugh if you want to. Do you have any idea how disgusting those things are? How many people touch them in a day? People who are sick? Who just went to the bathroom and didn’t wash their hands? No one ever cleans those things. They’re like disgusting little petri dishes.”
He looked back up at her, pressing his lips together as he straightened his expression, but that lasted for about a third of a second before he burst out laughing again. She rolled her eyes, starting the car, and just as she was about to put it in drive, she saw him reach for his door handle.
“What are you–”
But he was already out of the car. Andie put it back in park as she leaned over, looking out the passenger window. He walked over to the gas pump, running his hand down the front of the nozzle before removing it. After a second he glanced up at her, tossing it back and forth between his hands a few times before returning it to its place. And then, just for good measure, he ran his hands down the front of the pump itself, up along the sides, over the price stickers and the buttons to select the fuel grade. He turned then and got back in the car, shifting to face her with a tiny smile on his lips.
She rolled her eyes again. “Point taken. You’re still alive. For now, anyway,” she added, looking at his hands with disgust.
Chase still hadn’t moved; he sat in the same position, watching her, his smile slowly growing more pronounced.
Andie pulled her brow together. “What are you doing?”
She saw him shift slightly in his seat, bringing his body imperceptibly closer to hers, and she shot him a warning glance.
“Chase, I swear to God…”
She was obviously not as intimidating as she thought.
He lunged at her and she screeched in protest, attempting to get out of the car, but he grabbed her hand before she could reach the handle.
Andie sucked in a breath and froze.
It was like a static shock, only not unpleasant, a fuzzy electric tingling that shot up her arm the second he touched her, settling in her chest.
As soon as she gave up the fight, he reached over and took her other hand, sandwiching them between both of his.
She could feel the warmth of his skin permeating hers as he pressed his palms together, and she glanced up at him. He was watching her, his eyes full of amusement and something else she couldn’t place.
It felt like forever before he released her, although somewhere in the back of her mind, Andie knew it couldn’t have been more than a few seconds. She sat frozen, her eyes on him.
He met her stare as his lips twitched with the effort to contain his smile.
Andie turned abruptly, reaching into the back seat and grabbing her purse. She sifted through it quickly until she came up with a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer, squeezing a generous blob onto her palm and rubbing her hands together as she tried to avoid his gaze.
“Thirty-three seconds,” Chase said, and she glanced up at him. “Not bad. We’ll keep working on it,” he added with a wink.
Andie shook her head, trying to ignore the sensation she felt in her stomach. “What the hell is wrong with you?” she murmured.
“A lot of things,” he said with a laugh.
But she hadn’t been talking to him.
She was over-tired. That was the problem. She missed Colin. She had cabin fever from being in the car too long. She was shaken up by the whole germ thing. She rattled off any reason she could think of, any reason as to why she would have reacted that way to his hands on her.
Any reason but the most obvious one.
Well?! What did you think???