Happy trail: That sexy little strip of hair that runs from a man’s belly button to his—towel. Jenna stared at the fluffy white barrier that blocked her gaze from traveling any further south. She’d enjoyed the scenic route, visually devoured the hard ridges of his six pack abs and the way the water trickled over his flesh while it took the path of least resistance. She knew she shouldn’t stare. It was inappropriate to ogle the higher-ranking beefcake, but she couldn’t stop. What woman in her right mind would be able to?
He cleared his throat, and Jenna remembered what she was supposed to be doing. She looked up. “Captain Rivers…” Gods that look was intense. Jenna dropped her gaze, staring at the decking under his feet. “Sir, I…” She swallowed and slowly her gaze drifted up, stopping on his midsection, and she could no more look him in the face than she could stop staring.
What an uncomfortable predicament. She’d been ordered to find the explosives ordnance officer, and find him she had. For the last fifteen minutes, Jenna had searched every place on the ship from the galley to the indoor gym. The Gold Digger’s head had been her last stop, and her timing couldn’t have been worse. Tyson Rivers, the ordnance officer, had just stepped out of the cleansing unit.
No wonder he hadn’t been answering the com. The edge of the towel rode just under his hips, dipping slightly where he’d tucked it in. Jenna bit her lip. “Sir, I’ve been sent…”
“I’m up here.” A deep voice invaded her wet daydream. Jenna sighed. Deep, sexy, she could listen to it all day.
Oh gods! She blinked. Up where? Her brain connected the verbal dots. What he’d said sank into the mushy gray matter between her ears, sending a jolt of horror rocketing through her body. Heat rushed to her face, and her gaze snapped up to the subject of every naughty dream she’d had on the ship since she’d boarded. Jenna opened her mouth, and all that came out was silence. What was the appropriate thing to say in this situation?
“Do you have a reason to be here, or do you make a habit of hanging out in the male showers?”
Mortification: the sudden urge to run and dive under one’s bunk until the end of the shift. “I have a reason.” If she could only remember what.
He brushed past her and headed for his locker. Jenna swallowed and turned around in time to see him drop the towel. Again, her timing—impeccable. Bare ass. Hard, tight, and like the rest of his body—unbelievable. She grabbed the nearest object in an attempt to steady herself. The towel bar snapped off. Jenna gasped and whipped it behind her back.
He glanced over his shoulder. “Captain send you down here?”
She gave a nervous smile and nodded. He returned his attention to the contents of his locker. Jenna glanced right and left, desperate to get rid of the evidence. She spotted her target not five feet from her location and tossed the bar like a javelin into the trash receptacle.
If he heard the clunk, or saw it, he gave no indication. Instead, he snatched his uniform out of his locker and began to dress, not seeming to mind the audience.
It was a sickness, unable-to-look-away-itis. Like people who stood by watching a disaster unfold, Jenna couldn’t move. First his skivvies, then his pants. Jenna swallowed. “Oh, my.” She couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t think. Her body exploded with heat.
“Did you say something?”
“No.” She needed to learn to keep her thoughts to herself. Embarrassed wouldn’t begin to cover the way she’d feel if he knew what she was thinking or how badly she’d lusted for him these last couple of months.
“Well, spit it out. What does he want?”
“I don’t know. He…”
Dear gods. He turned around, dressed in his blue and grey camo pants, no shirt and that hot, happy trail staring back at her again. She swallowed and averted her gaze. “He said to hurry.”
“You don’t have any idea?”
“No.” She shook her head. Jenna reached up and put her hand over her breast in an attempt to steady her heart. She had to get control of herself or she’d stroke out for sure. Focus. Breathe. One, one-thousand, two, one-thousand… It almost worked.
Until he gave her a grin that would make most women’s panties drop. “He said to hurry?”
Shit. A wave of dizziness washed over her and Jenna thought for sure she’d swoon. She glanced around in desperation, searching for another towel bar, not sure her knees would hold.
“And you’ve no clue what he wants.” He slipped a boot on and set his foot on a bench, yanking the laces tight.
Jenna narrowed her gaze. Peculiar. Why did he have wire double-laced into his boots—at least it looked like wire.
Jenna pulled her attention from his boots. “No, sir. He didn’t elaborate. He said to find you and drag you to the command deck, by force if necessary.” She watched the way the muscles in his arms flexed and seriously doubted there was any force that could budge the man if he didn’t want to be moved.
He switched feet. “Tell me he’s finally got the help I asked for.”
She shook her head again and gave him a quick smile. “I don’t think that’s it, sir. He specifically said to light a fire under you.” Except she hadn’t lit the fire, Tyson had, and it sure as hell wasn’t under him. Jenna shifted on her feet. More like a freaking inferno.
Tyson looked up and raised a brow. “A fire?”
He stood, grabbed his shirt and draped it over his shoulder. “Okay, let’s see what’s got the Captain’s shorts in a knot.”