Tidewater Lover

An hour later their breakfast was over and the dishes washed, and they were on their way to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Traversing the seventeen-mile-long Chesapeake Bay bridge-tunnel, Lacey watched a navy ship some distance away in the Atlantic Ocean to her right. Its silhouette moved steadily closer to the ship channel leading to the waters of Chesapeake Bay on her left.

But Lacey didn't look to her left at the warships and merchant vessels more easily viewed in the waters of the bay. The confines of the car had heightened her awareness of Cole, if that was possible.

Without glancing at him, she was conscious of everything about him, from the way his dark brown hair curled near his shirt collar to the strength of his sunbrowned hands on the wheel. An inbred radar system seemed tuned strictly to his presence.

"Any place special you want to see when we get over there?" he asked, his gaze sliding from the road to her for a brief instant.

"No." Lacey shook her head, unable to think of a single place she particularly wanted to visit.

"Let's drive to Chincoteague," he suggested.

They were approaching the concrete island in the bay where the bridge dipped beneath the water to become the tunnel under the ship channel.

"That's nearly a hundred miles, isn't it?" She frowned, turning to study his strongly defined profile.

"About that," he agreed blandly. The cavernous tunnel swallowed them, a ribbon of lights overhead.

She glanced at her watch. "Do you realize how late it will be when we get back? You have to work tomorrow. You should have an early night."

There was a wry, upward curve of his mouth, but his gaze never left the tunnel stretching ahead of them. "Let's avoid the subject of sleep and beds, Lacey, and enjoy the day," he suggested.

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