Excerpt: Timeless Moments - I'll Be Home for Christmas

“What have you found?” She pushed her research aside, more interested in what he had to say.
He put his pen down and sat back, his casual manner indicating he wasn’t in any hurry. A glint of humor lit his eyes, and an easy smile played at the corners of his mouth. The thrill of his obvious interest in her buoyed her spirits. Her smile broadened, it was the polite thing to do, although polite never entered her mind.
“Men tend to be task-oriented, not at all talkative. They’re more action oriented when it comes to dealing with emotions. Faced with a woman’s emotions, rather than listen, they try to fix it.”
That made her think. Visions of how her Detective Ryan reacted to Jo Dee ran through her mind. They weren’t in line with Jarred’s conclusion. Startled and intrigued by the revelation that Ryan’s reactions were more like those of a woman.
“Women, on the other hand,” she responded before he could say another word, “are intuitive, especially about the nonverbal cues like tone, emotion, and empathy. Because they’re good communicators they do well in groups, talk through the issues, and focus on how to create solutions that work for the group. You’re right. When men are faced with a woman’s emotion, they go right for the solution. But solutions are the last thing she wants. A woman wants comfort, cuddling, and empathy.”
“Interesting.” He chuckled. “Men are not known for their empathy.” He brought his chair closer to hers. “Like stress,” he said. “Under stress, men exhibit the “fight or flight” response.”
Beth nodded. She hadn’t considered the differences in gender reactions in that context. “Women don’t think fight or flight, at least not initially. Under stress they work to protect the group. It has to do with protecting the young and seeing to the family unit. They also think very differently about sex.”
A sly smile brightened his face. She wanted to slam her hand over her mouth.
“They do?” He dropped his voice to a low raspy whisper and sent chills, the good kind, up her back and to other places.
“For a woman, sex starts in their head, not necessarily between her legs.” Shit. Her face was so hot she was going to go up in flames. Jeez, that’s what Jo Dee would say, definitely not Beth Alexander.
“Oh really?” If she thought his soft, male mellow voice or his smoldering stare couldn’t get any sexier, she got that totally wrong.
“I’m a romance writer. I write about relationships and emotions,” she replied.
“And sex,” he added. Was he extending an invitation? She wasn’t a loose woman, but she was more than tempted to say yes. And that was her notion, not Jo Dee’s.

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