You can find earlier excerpts from The Reunion here
As soon as her heart stopped pounding in her ears, Jen clumsily scrambled to her feet. She hastily pulled down the hem of her tee-shirt which had pulled up and exposed a strip of pale skin, purposely ignoring the hand he held down to help her. He was smiling a little bit, looking awfully unintimidating for an intruder, especially one dressed in just a towel with damp hair. Okay, she needed to get a grip. No one would break into a house and take a shower, right?
She tried to think what to do next, and found herself looking at his bare feet and then again at the towel. She forced her eyes up to his face and — something niggled at the back of her brain. He did look familiar. The height, the dark hair, the rather serious look on his face with just a hint of a smile. “Brian?” she blurted out. “Brian Walsh?”
“Uhm, yeah. Sorry, I didn’t know anybody else was staying at the house right now. And you are?” He raised his eyebrows in question, no sign of recognition on his face. She was pretty cute, he thought, all flustered and pink-cheeked, standing there in her flannel pants and little tee-shirt looking like she might punch him. Kinda sexy, actually.
“For God sakes, Brian, it’s Jen. Jen Meyer,” she scowled impatiently. “Maybe you should have put your glasses on before you came barreling down here. What do you mean, you didn’t know anybody else was staying here? Why are you in my parents’ house?”
He held up one hand, carefully keeping the other one on his towel. “Whoa, hang on. I got a key from Pam and I’m staying here while I’m doing renovations on the Inn. And if it’s not too much trouble, maybe I could get my shorts back before the little dust mop chews them up?”
“Oh, good Lord, his boxers were still in Jack’s mouth. Face burning, she reached to snatch them away, but of course Jack gleefully launched into their usual game of tug and it took a few minutes before Jen could get the cloth out of his mouth, all the while having to hold onto Brian’s boxers while he just stood there and smirked. “Here, take them,” she said, ungraciously shoving the damp things into his big hand.
“Oh, and by the way, I can see you just fine. Had Lasix surgery years ago and I don’t need the glasses anymore. Afraid I just didn’t recognize you. It’s been a long time, Jen, and you’ve – well, changed.”
He stopped, as though embarrassed to say that she wasn’t a chubby girl with braces anymore. “I mean, you look great, really great. It’s been a long time since I saw you last…” He trailed off, remembering that the last time they’d really spoken had been at high school graduation, when he’d tried to apologize for not taking her to prom. Again.
God, he’d been a geeky 17-year-old who panicked at the last minute about sweaty palms and unexpected boners while slow dancing with a girl. So he’d gone into work and ditched Jen, not realizing back then what a big deal it had been for her. Never realizing what a big deal dressing up was until his own little princess had been born.
“Well, thanks,” she mumbled. Then she seemed to realize that she was in her sleep shirt and pants with nothing underneath and he was wearing a terry towel slung low on his hips and dangling his boxer briefs by the waistband because they were damp from Jack’s doggie drool. Hoping her shirt was loose enough not to let anything too revealing show, Jen gestured to the door, smiling sweetly.
“Hey, don’t let me keep you from, uh, whatever it was you were doing up there. I’ll talk to Pam tomorrow and get everything straightened out. Maybe you just misunderstood about the house? There’s lots of little motels around here now, probably some with kitchenettes. I’m sure you’ll find something you like.” She couldn’t believe that Pam would have forgotten to mention that she’d told good old Brian Walsh he could stay at their parents’ house the same week she was planning to be there. Boy, was she going to give Pam a piece of her mind when they talked!
Okay, he wasn’t exactly a stranger, they’d known him and his family for years. And he had grown into a nice looking guy with damp, curling dark hair and big, broad naked shoulders. And who knew his geeky, black framed glasses had hidden such gorgeous eyes?
“Oh, sure, but I’ve already found something I like,” he said, winking at her. “Besides, I already paid Pam for the next month, so I’m not planning on going anywhere tomorrow, except back to work on the Inn.”
When her mouth dropped open in disbelief, he leaned close and brushed those soft, full lips over hers. “Sleep well, Jen,” he smiled and headed back up the stairs. Maybe being back in Brim was going to be fun after all, he thought.