“Wow, it’s so hot out here today.” I stretched my arms, lifting my tee-shirt up until my belly button was exposed, basking in the warmth of the late summer sun. Eric’s mouth fell open. Success! That move totally stole Mr. Intense's attention. Tucking my lips, I made a move toward an even more creative tease, bending over to pick up one of the three paint brushes I’d dropped.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“What does it look like? I dropped my paintbrushes.” I shrugged and waved the brush between us.
“Did I not use the proper technique for bending over and picking it up?”
He gave me a boyishly wide big grin and moved closer to where I stood beside the house. Glancing down at the brushes beside my feet, he said, “They do look somewhat dirty. You sure you can handle that task? You strike me as somewhat of a nice girl. With that much paint and dirt all in the heads, you have to get a little rough with cleaning them.” His gaze bore into mine, smoldering me under a hazel brown sugary-colored look this time.
I held his gaze. “Oh, believe me. I have plenty of ways to clean dirty things.”
There was about a foot of space between us now. “Is that right?”
“Oh yeah,” I answered, hoping that the pulse line on my neck didn’t show the way my heart thumped inside my chest.
His gaze drifted from my eyes down to my lips and finally ended at my left shoulder. “Then why don’t you start by cleaning that big red spider off your shoulder?” An amused smile spread across his lips, but a scream shrilled out of mine.
Eric slammed his hands over his ears. “Damn it, Tandie.”
Adrenaline spiked through me. He might as well have said my breasts were hanging out. He would’ve gotten less of a response than he did with the spider statement. “Get it off me! Do you see it? Is it still there? Get it!” I shrieked, jumping around and spinning in half circles.
“I won’t help you until you stop trying to burst my eardrums,” he said, still half-way smiling. He came over and put his arms around me, pulling me into his embrace. “Calm down, Tandie. It’s gone, all right?”
Vowing to never tease Eric ever again, I waited for my breathing to normalize and for my trembling limbs to steady as I was pressed against his chest.