British Columbia—Sunday, January 9, 3:00 a.m.
game," Logan Carver said, clicking the remote to the luxury
Hummer SUV. At this
hour, the parking lot under the ritzy hotel was empty but
for him and his
companion, Joe Lee. "Hope I can do it again." He kept his
tone casual, slurring
his words slightly.
checking out the vehicle, no doubt making mental note of
the license plate.
That’s why his boss, Eddie Tran, had sent him down with
the boss’ll give you a call," Lee said noncommittally.
was a drug dealer—maybe even if he wasn’t—he’d likely have
his henchman Lee
check Logan out before an invitation was issued to another
game. Tonight, Logan’s entrée had been through an
occasional player, a lawyer
he’d supposedly bumped into by coincidence at a bar in
Whistler today. A lawyer
with a fondness for cocaine, who happened to be a police
informant. The lawyer,
Harvey Binder, had been invited to the game and had taken
Logan along as a pal
with money to burn.
climbed into the Hummer, a vehicle chosen to fit his cover:
a guy who liked
expensive toys and didn’t care how he got the money to buy
pulled away with a lurch, playing half-drunk. Over years of
he’d built up a high tolerance for booze, and tonight he’d
discreetly dump a good portion of the Glenfiddich that had
been poured for him.
pulled out of the hotel’s underground lot, he found a
peaceful Whistler night
with gently falling snow. From one world to another. Ten
minutes ago he’d been
in a penthouse suite, drinking scotch and smoking a cigar
while he played poker
with a man he suspected was a kingpin in an international
drug ring. Now,
throat and eyes burning, he was heading to a Swiss-style
chalet where a wedding
party of fifty snuggled cozily under duvets.
world was a good fit for Logan, but then no world ever had
forward to showering away the foul cling of cigar smoke, he
turned into the
White Gold subdivision. His foot jerked on the gas pedal at
the sight of
flashing lights strobing the night. What the hell? Was it
or—fire. An engine and a chief’s car, right outside the
chalet. And a few
minutes earlier, an ambulance had passed him on the main
road, coming from this
What had happened? Were Tom and Maddie okay? Worry sent a
charge of adrenaline
he parked and jumped out of the Hummer. No flames, thank
God, though the acrid
scent of smoke tainted the crisp, snowy air. As he strode
toward the scene, he
saw firefighters moving about purposefully and clusters of
people in hastily
thrown-on clothing dotting the yard and street.
scanned the groups, located Tom’s parents and grandparents,
and over there were
Tom and his fiancée Shelley, arms around each other.
was Maddie? Little Maddie Daniels, as he’d tried to think
of her. Two and a
half years younger, at first she’d been the typical kid
sister, always wanting
to hang around and butt into his and Tom’s business,
annoying and cute at the
same time. Then she’d started growing up, and she’d been
annoying and cute in a
whole different way.
scanned the clusters of guests impatiently. Maddie might
have had her head in
the clouds sometimes—like when she’d got that crush on him—
but at her core
she’d been practical. She’d have gotten out safely, no
firefighters were rolling up the hose; the drama was
he had to know for sure. And he had to see her, for the
first time in ten
since he’d been given this assignment and had won Tom’s
agreement to invite him
to the wedding, he’d been wondering about Maddie. He’d
Googled her and found
out she was a massage therapist, but there’d been no photo.
According to Tom,
she wasn’t married, but she was dating someone seriously.
It was the same story
he’d gotten on the few occasions over the years that he and
Tom had been in
touch. Always dating seriously yet never married. That
surprised him. She’d
been the white picket fence kind of girl. Of course, she
was only twenty-five;
likely, she was being selective about finding the right
gaze scanned the ever-shifting groups and then—yes, there
she was, talking to
several others. Maddie. Something in his chest eased.
moment, he thought her gaze met his, but likely she
wouldn’t recognize him. And
now she was moving away, heading for the chalet, and then
she was hidden behind
a couple of firefighters.
he’d got enough of a look to freeze a picture in his mind.
He didn’t know
whether to be glad or disappointed, but she hadn’t changed
much. Her brown hair
was pulled into a haphazard ponytail; her pretty face was
fresh despite the
hour, and clear of makeup. She was bundled in a big, fluffy
pink bathrobe and
he’d last seen her, just after he’d finished grade twelve,
she’d almost looked
older in the figure-hugging jeans and tank tops she’d taken
up wearing. She’d
been fifteen. Going on sixteen, she’d told him defiantly
that last night. And
he’d been eighteen. Tempted, seriously tempted, but not a
fool. Despite her
flirting, she was a good girl; he most definitely was a bad
boy, but not bad
enough to ruin her life.
realized all the guests were heading inside. There was a
shower calling his
name, so he followed, only to find that the fire had
originated in a room two
down from his, and his room stank of smoke. Inger Jacobs,
who with her husband
Gord owned the Alpine Hideaway, was directing
traffic. "Leave your windows open
to air your rooms," she told everyone, "then come along to
the lounge for hot
sighed. The night wasn’t over yet. He flung the windows
wide, splashed water on
his face and brushed his teeth to get rid of the taste of
cigars, then headed
for the lounge. Stopping in the doorway, he surveyed the
room. People were in
clusters, as they’d been outside. They looked tired but
relaxed and chatty,
comfortable with each other.
wasn’t in his character to join in, nor did it fit his
Essentially, he was supposed to be an older, badder version
of his teenage
week, his job was to do recon on Eddie Tran. It was an
initial step in the
joint RCMP/Vancouver Police Department’s Project Takedown,
which had been created
to bust an international drug trafficking ring. Logan had
recently returned to
B.C. as part of the team.
told them Tran might be a kingpin. Their informant Binder’s
participation in Tran’s poker games in Whistler provided a
possible in. Then
research turned up the fact that Logan’s old friend Tom was
getting married in
had approached Tom, who’d agreed to give him a reason for
being in Whistler.
They’d settled on a story: old friends who’d been out of
accidentally and reconnecting; Tom inviting Logan to the
wedding; both of them
realizing they no longer had anything in common; Logan, a
finding the wedding stuff too tame and blowing it off,
looking for excitement.
Showing Tran, with his disdain, that he had no real
connection to any of the
people at the Alpine Hideaway. Even though this was just
recon, Logan had to
ensure that Tom, Maddie, and their family and friends were
couple of guests came up behind him and brushed past, into
the room. He
followed, intent on finding a quiet corner. A laugh
burbled, and he froze, then
turned. His gaze locked on a woman sitting with half a
dozen other people:
glossy chestnut hair curling to her shoulders, a vivid red
sweater that hugged
curves so sweet they made his fingers itch, and shapely
legs in tight black
leggings . . .
And—Jesus Christ!—had she ever grown up.
she felt his gaze on her, her head turned, and then she was
staring at him. A
bright smile lit her face.
smile touched a chord in his heart that hadn’t been
strummed since that last
night he’d been with her.
back then, he’d been the wrong guy for Maddie, and nothing
had changed. She’d
have recovered from her childish crush long ago, but
buddying up with her or
any of the wedding guests didn’t fit his cover. So he gave
her a curt nod,
turned his back, and found a seat on the opposite side of
the room, one that
just happened to keep her in his line of sight.
hurt on her face made him wince.
fair-haired young woman who looked rather like Inger—a
daughter or niece?—came
in with a tray of mugs and began distributing them. When
she came to him, she
said, "Hot chocolate or sex on the slopes?"
chuckled. "Oh, you haven’t heard about it? It’s Uncle
Gord’s specialty drink."
guys drank hard liquor. "Got any scotch?"
get you some as soon as I’ve passed out these drinks."
the excuse, he said, "Forget it. Give me one of those." He
reached for a mug of
hot chocolate with a disdainful grimace. But when she was
gone, he cradled the
mug between both hands, enjoying the warmth, the old-
fashioned smell, and the
sight of two fat marshmallows melting. A wholesome drink,
in the hands of a man
who was—had always been—anything but.
told him he was being watched. Head still bent, he raised
his eyes slowly.
Maddie. When she caught him looking, she quickly glanced
away, back to the
person beside her.
Maddie’s mom used to serve hot chocolate in winter,
lemonade in summer. Out of
Ms. Daniels’s earshot, he’d scoffed, saying they were
little-kid drinks and
he’d rather have beer or hard liquor. Yet they’d slid down
his throat like the
taste of everything he’d never had: home, tradition,
security . . . family.
sipped his drink. Was Maddie drinking hot chocolate, too,
or was that grown-up
woman with the dynamite curves into sex on the slopes?
groin tightened at the thought. Sex. Maddie. He glanced
over again. She was
absorbed in a conversation with a fair-haired guy about his
own age. Must be
the serious boyfriend, the way he was hanging on her every
word. Logan felt a
ridiculous twinge of jealousy.
his gaze linger on Maddie, rather than her date. She’d been
fresh and pretty as
a girl, and she was fresh still, but with a woman’s beauty,
a beauty that grew
more seductive the longer he looked.
cock throbbed and swelled. He stared down at his mug,
trying to replace the
image of her in that figure-hugging outfit with the one of
her in the bulky,
girlish bathrobe, but now even that one was a turn-on. What
had been under the
robe? A see-through nightie, flannel pj’s, or a tank top
and boxers? Didn’t
matter, because underneath was Maddie, all sweet flesh and
tender heart. A heart that had wanted to see things in him
that didn’t exist—or
now, he shrugged out of his jacket and tossed it to the
floor. When he looked
up next, he carefully avoided glancing in her direction.
Instead, he gazed at
Tom, holding hands with Shelley as the animated blonde told
a story to their
friends. Then he looked over to see Mr. and Ms. Daniels
talking to Tom’s
only met the grandparents two or three times but, to his
surprise, Gram Daniels
had been rather kind to him. Another soft heart like
Maddie, he figured. Gramps
Daniels and Tom’s parents, on the other hand, had always
been wary of him, and
weird that he—the troublemaker who couldn’t last in a
foster home for more than
a few months—had become friends with the squeaky-clean boy
squeaky-clean family. In grade nine, they’d been assigned
to work together on a
history project, and to both their surprise, something had
he figured, it was a fascination with each
other’s "otherness." For Tom,
hanging out with Logan added an edge to his life. For
was . . . Hell, he and his family were
straight out of that old
TV show, Growing Pains. Logan had loved
show, although—as with the hot chocolate—he’d pretended not
to. The Seaver
family and home were everything he didn’t have, could never
have, and had
secretly longed for.
he’d been the Leo DiCaprio character, Luke Brower.
Tom’s was an on-again off-again friendship, but somehow it
lasted through grade
twelve. How many times had Logan sat at the Daniels’s
kitchen table or hung out
in the rec room, more often watching than participating?
He’d felt like the kid
outside the playground fence, always looking in at the
Here he was, traveling memory lane like some loser.
he was an outsider then, now, and always. And he didn’t
give a shit. He was
here to do a job. Period.
someone watching him again, he glanced over to see the
wedding planner perched
on the edge of her seat as if she was about to come over.
The last thing he
needed was some perky activities director trying to make
him socialize. He
scowled to discourage her.
face tightened, and she gazed down into her mug.
the room, Maddie Daniels surreptitiously watched Logan.
him earlier, when everyone was out in the snow. Even across
the yard, in dim
light, not having seen him for ten years, she’d recognized
him immediately. Her
heart had, quite literally, leaped into her throat.
first instinct had been to run over. Thankfully, before
she’d done that, she’d
realized what she was wearing. How totally embarrassing.
Hoping he hadn’t seen
her, she’d rushed inside to dress.
dress like a woman. A confident woman, who’d greet her long-
ago crush with a
warm smile and perhaps a hug and a kiss on the cheek. No
need for him to know
she was all nerves, wondering if he still made her heart
lurch and her hormones
zing the way no other man ever had.
blast him, he’d walked into the lounge and blown her off.
Just as he had ten
years ago, when he’d left town without a word.
years ago, she’d thought they were friends. Of course,
she’d wanted more—in her
mind, he was the one, and she’d dreamed of a future with
him—but he’d always
pulled back. Until that last night, when he’d kissed her in
Well, okay, she’d kissed him, but he’d kissed back. Two
days later, her brother
told her Logan had left Vancouver.
few years, she’d gained some perspective and realized she’d
been too young for
a sexy, exciting older boy like Logan. But still, she’d
thought they had
something special. She’d believed she was the only person
who really got him. Who saw past that bad-boy image, sexy
as it was.
while she sipped sex on the slopes and chatted with a few
guests, including a
really nice single friend of Tom’s named Michael, she
studied Logan from under
downcast lashes. The boy had certainly turned into one very
hot man. One who
still looked rough around the edges but in a far more
expensive way than he
dark brown hair was still overlong, he still had a small
gold hoop in his left
ear, and the stubble on his face was heavier. He’d added a
flashy diamond ring,
and there was that indefinable something about his jeans
and black sweater, the
leather jacket tossed casually to the floor beside his
chair, that told her
their labels were pricey.
years had added height and muscle, and he looked powerful,
tough, despite the
nice clothes. If she’d seen him on the street in Vancouver,
she wouldn’t have
known if he was an actor or a professional gambler. He
still had that sexy aura
of . . . mystery? Danger?
in one of those precious moments she’d treasured, he’d
confessed that he wanted
to right wrongs and see bad guys punished. Romantically,
she’d envisioned him
as a knight; more practically, she’d thought he might
become a lawyer. Was the
good guy still there inside that sexy, edgy exterior? Had
he ever been?
been startled when, out of the blue two weeks ago, Tom had
said he’d run into
Logan and invited him to the wedding. She’d demanded
details, but her brother
had frustratingly not obliged. He’d been just as
closemouthed all those years
ago when he’d told her Logan had left town. Then and now,
all he’d said was
that she should forget about him. As if. Just hearing his
name had reawakened
those old dreams.
glancing down at her fingernails, she thought that the mani-
pedi and haircut,
not to mention the Brazilian wax and sexy new lingerie, had
of course, things heated up with Michael. She’d met him a
couple times before,
with Tom, and they’d hit it off. He was handsome, with his
dirty blond hair and
blue eyes, he was intelligent, and he was a healer, too. A
Chiropractor and massage therapist; they were a perfect
was interesting, even though right now she was having
trouble concentrating on
the conversation. Damn, Logan was just plain rude. Ten
years ago, she’d had no
choice but to let him get away with it because she’d had no
way of tracing him.
Now he was right in front of her.
feared she still had a puppy-dog crush on him, she’d show
she refocused on his face. What she saw made her catch her
breath. He had that
same wistful air she’d seen occasionally when he was young
and let his guard
slip, as if he was the only kid in the class who hadn’t
been invited to the
party, and he was standing outside the window staring
her breath out in a sigh. This was what
she’d seen in
Logan that no one else seemed to. Much as he played the
tough guy, the loner,
he secretly yearned to belong. The combination of edgy bad
boy and secret
yearning had been impossible to resist.
you excuse me?" she murmured to Michael and the others she
was sitting with. "I
need to say hi to an old friend." Carrying her mug of sex
on the slopes, she
walked straight to Logan.
been watching her parents and grandparents, but now he
focused on her, face
stripped of expression.
stopped in front of him so he had to look up. "Hello,
stranger," she said,
trying to sound calm and wishing her heart wasn’t jerking
like a jackhammer.
Daniels," he drawled.
know I hate that name."
used to. It’s been a while. Things change."
do. But not that particular one." Nor the fact that, even
two or three feet
away from him, she could feel the energy he gave off. It
was like a magnetic
force, making her want to draw close, and closer still,
until the two of them—
realized she had actually moved toward him, unwittingly,
and now pretended that
she’d meant all along to perch on the arm of his
overstuffed chair. There were
no empty seats nearby, so it was a reasonable thing to
do. "You don’t mind if I
sit here?" As if she was giving him any choice.
shrugged, a movement of broad shoulders under close-fitting
black wool that was
so purely male it robbed her of breath. Then he turned
toward her, the movement
brushing his leg against hers, and she barely suppressed a
gasp of awareness at
the tingle that radiated from the spot.
she told herself. Okay, she was here, talking to Logan.
Except he wasn’t
talking. He was leaving it to her, and she didn’t have a
clue what to say next.
Yes, she did. She glared at him. "You left town without
saying good-bye. And
you weren’t in touch, not once in ten years."
sucked in a breath. "You needed to grow up."
so, but you were rude. And I see you haven’t changed,
coming in here tonight
and not even saying hello."
cocked an eyebrow. "You expected politeness? From me?"
"You run into Tom after all these years, he invites you to
the wedding, and you
come. Why?" Clearly not, as she’d secretly hoped, to see
her again. After all,
if he’d wanted to do that, all he’d have had to do was
negligent shrug. "Seemed like a good idea at the time."
yet you sit alone in a corner rather than mixing and
So maybe it wasn’t such a good idea."
still the guy who watched from the outside, wishing he
could join in but not
knowing how? "You missed the welcome dinner."
eyes, a golden brown that had always reminded her of a
lion, glittered. "Poker
socialize with poker players but not wedding guests?
he guessed what she was thinking, because he shook his head
when was I known for social graces, Maddie?"
his voice shape her name sent a pang through her, and so
did the reminder. This
was Logan. She was really with Logan again. And he was
familiar and unfamiliar,
and—blast him—as sexy as ever.
sexy. Off the chart sexy. Enough to send pulses of hot
arousal, tiny electrical
charges, rushing through her. She felt more alive than she
in . . . maybe ten years.
shifted restlessly. "Okay, much as it might have been nice
if you’d spent the
last decade developing some social graces, you haven’t. So,
what have you been
doing with your time?"
lips twitched, then straightened. "This and that."
twitch of humor warmed her; his refusal to give a proper
answer frustrated her.
But Logan had always been hard to get to know, and she
wouldn’t give up so
easily. She went for a more direct challenge. "How’s it
going with righting
wrongs and getting bad guys punished?"
flashed across his features before he controlled them. "You
remembered every word he’d ever spoken to her. How pathetic
was that? She
shrugged. "It stuck in my mind. Made me wonder if you’d
become a lawyer." Most
people had predicted he was headed for serious trouble, but
not her. "Did you?"
snorted. "A lawyer? Too many rules." Something wickedly
golden in his eyes. "I’ve never been much of a one for
following the rules."
a rule-follower, but she’d happily throw the rule book out
the window if he
kept looking at her that way. Striving for composure, she
said, "So what do you
holding hers, he said, "Found I had a knack for
that was a surprise. "You mean, like the stock market?"
hedging. Did he think she’d pump him for investment advice?
It must be an
occupational hazard. "That’s impressive." Though she was
sorry he hadn’t stuck
with his teenage dreams.
me, Maddie." There was a teasing note in his
old habit, she made a fist and socked his shoulder
lightly. "Full of yourself."
old days, he’d have grabbed her hand and twisted her arm
until she giggled and
cried uncle. Tonight, he did catch her hand, but he held on
to it and held that
balled-up fist inside his much bigger hand.
my, did she want to cry uncle. Heat surged up her arm,
zinged through her body,
and settled thick and moist between her thighs. "Logan?"
she breathed. This man
was the reason she’d never been able to see another man’s
face in her dreams of
into her eyes, his own flared with heat—pure male heat.
Then he gave a sudden
jerk, looked away, and released her hand. "Shit. Sorry."
they were kids, she’d sometimes caught him gazing intently
at her or noticed
him turn away abruptly, and she had wondered if he was
attracted to her.
Aroused. But she’d been too young to be sure. That was
then. This was now. And
she knew. Her own feelings must be equally apparent on her
face, so why had he
was something between them—sexual, yes, but maybe more—and
she needed to
explore it. Maybe Logan truly was the man she’d been
attracted to me," she said, glad he’d picked a chair that
sat at a distance
from any other guests. "What’s wrong with that?"
Maddie, you’re dating someone else, and he’s right across
the room." He stared
past her, his expression grim. "Watching."
are you talking about?" She glanced over her shoulder and
saw blue eyes fixed
on them. Oh yeah, Michael. Giving him a quick smile, she
turned back to Logan.
"I’m not dating him. I’m not dating anyone right now."
frowned. "Tom said you were seriously involved with
she shook her head. "I haven’t dated anyone seriously for
almost a year." Then
realization dawned. "Damn it, my brother’s still
interfering." He’d always
warned her off Logan.
well, he’s right. I’m no good for you."
fisted her hands on her hips. "So you and Tom are going to
protect me from
myself? Get a grip, Logan, I’m a grown-up."
I noticed." He didn’t sound happy about it. "Shit, Maddie,
I figured you’d have
been married by now, with maybe a kid on the way."
waiting for the right man. I take it you don’t want to
chuckled, then sobered. "I’m not him."
really that sure? "Did I say you were? But there’s a mutual
we’re both grown-ups, so what’s wrong with getting to know
each other again?"
only get hurt again."
but that was only one of the many possible outcomes. "Get
over yourself, Logan
shook his head. "It’s not ego. I’m just saying we’re
You’re . . ." He trailed off, and she held
her breath, waiting
to see how he’d finish. "You’re nice, sweet," he finally
Everything I’m not."
Her voice squeaked in outrage. Boring was what he meant. A
good girl, not a
sexy, fun one. "I’m not so—"
protest was interrupted by the sound of a female voice
calling for attention.
Maddie looked up to see Andi, the wedding planner, standing
in front of the
fireplace. "Inger and I have checked your rooms," she told
guests. "They’re aired out, and you can go back to bed, but
leave your windows
open a crack."
began to rise, and Maddie hopped off the arm of Logan’s
chair. "Where’s your
down from where the fire started. It was pretty smoky." He
got to his feet.
she said, "Do let me know if you need a bed for the
night . . ."
long moment he didn’t answer, just stared into her eyes.
She could actually
feel sparks of energy darting between their bodies. This
time, when she felt
the impulse to sway toward him, she didn’t resist it.
her body could touch his, he stopped her by placing his
hands on her shoulders.
"Maddie, it’s not a good idea."
he thought she was boring and wholesome. Miffed, she
stepped back to free
herself from the warm hands that felt so very good.
to pick up his leather jacket, clasping it casually in
front of him. But not
before she’d seen the erection that pressed against the fly
of his jeans.
good idea?" she drawled, glancing up. "Well, how about
that? A man who thinks
with his big head rather than"—she flicked her gaze down—
"his little one."
she forced herself to turn away. The others were trailing
out of the lounge,
except for Michael, who’d paused in the doorway, probably
waiting for her, and
Brianna George, Tom’s boss and friend, who was sitting
alone, seemingly lost in
didn’t want to deal with Michael now. He was a nice guy,
but her senses were
overloaded on Logan, so she stopped to chat for a minute
with Brianna. By the
time the two of them joined the tail end of the straggly
line of guests,
Michael had gone.
hallway, Logan was opening the door to his room. Maddie
paused to murmur
teasingly, "Bet I know what you’ll be dreaming about."
Before he could reply,
she headed toward the stairs.
she reached her own room, it was smoke-free but freezing
cold. Heat was pumping
out, though. Once she’d narrowed the window opening to only
a crack, the room
would soon warm up. If Logan had taken her up on her offer,
it would have
heated even faster.
course, she hadn’t really meant it when she offered him a
bed for the night.
no," she muttered, "you’re too wholesome
to leap into
bed with a man you haven’t seen in ten years."
to shower before bed, she carried her jammies into the
bathroom and piled them
beside the sink. They were warm flannel, blue, printed with
She began to pull off her sweater, then stopped. Flannel
pajamas with sheep? Oh
God, she really was hopeless.
jammies were cozy, and she was alone. She continued to take
off her sweater,
then let her fingers graze the front of her bra. Her
nipples were sensitive and
she was alone. Alone and burning with unsatisfied need for
Logan. A need that
was much more powerful and specific than the diffuse
longing she’d felt in her
teens. Specifically, she wanted sex with
Sex, and the chance to find out who he was now. To find out
how she felt about
him—and how he might feel about her, now she was all grown-
could she ever talk him out of that stupid idea that they
were wrong for each
other because she was so wholesome?
maybe talk wasn’t the answer . . .
* * * * *
Logan paced his
room, uncaring that the
air was chill and held a faint scent of smoke.
body was plenty fucking hot, thanks to Maddie Daniels, and
the aroma that
lingered in his nostrils was vanilla, her scent.
played his cards right, he could’ve been in her bed right
now, using his rigid
boner for something much more satisfying than holding up
hell, it was Maddie, not a sleazy one-night fling.
she was grown-up and knew how to flirt, but he doubted
she’d changed all that
much. He’d bet she still wanted a home like the one she’d
grown up in. She
deserved that, and a husband who was a good guy like her
brother and dad.
husband, not a loner who didn’t even know what love was. An
undercover cop who
disappeared into the criminal world for months on end.
thrown him, asking if he was righting wrongs and seeing bad
Who’d have imagined she would remember the boyhood dream
he’d once, in a
vulnerable moment, confessed to her.
Oh hell, Maddie. There’d always been something about her
that cut straight
through his defenses.
on the door interrupted his thoughts.
it would be one of the Jacobses checking that his room was
okay, he checked the
peephole. Maddie? Had she come to argue some more? Or to
try to seduce him? His
cock surged at the idea.
tapped again. If she kept it up, guests would stick their
heads out to see what
was going on.
opened the door. "What are you—"
was supposed to react quickly, and he did, but she was
quicker still. In a
split second, she was pushing past him into the
room. "Close the door," she
He eyed her warily. She was dressed exactly as she had been
to borrow your shower." She stared at him almost defiantly,
but there was a
quaver in her voice. "My hair and skin smell of smoke."
something wrong with your shower?"
there is." She went into his bathroom and closed the
She hadn’t come to argue or to seduce. He should be glad.
Instead, he was
horny. When he heard the water begin to run, he imagined
Maddie, naked under
the spray. He groaned and began to pace again. When she
left, he was sure going
to need one very long, icy-cold shower of his own.
only a minute or two, the water shut off. The bathroom door
opened, and she
stuck her head out. "Logan?"
he snapped. "There’s no soap?"
soap. But your shower has the same problem mine did." The
door widened, and she
stepped out, wreathed in tendrils of steam. Her skin was
still dry. He could
tell because she wore only a towel. "You’re not in it."
barely heard the words, and he sure as hell didn’t process
them. His entire
focus was on the creamy skin so erotically revealed by the
fluffy white towel:
arms and shoulders, the top curve of her breasts, and long
legs that weren’t
even covered to mid-thigh. Oh yeah, Maddie Daniels had
definitely grown up.
erection was going to split his jeans.
Her voice was pure teasing seduction, and her blue eyes
he asked hoarsely.
need a shower, too."
get in here." She hooked one hand into the top of her
towel, twisted it, and—
she stood, totally naked. Breasts full and perky, hips and
softly, and a completely waxed mound. Jesus Christ, Maddie
Daniels waxed her
like what you see, would you move it?" she said
impatiently. "It’s cold in
I . . ." Words jumbled in his skull. He
wanted her, but he
couldn’t have her. There was some reason he couldn’t have
her. Why couldn’t he
eyes narrowed. "I’m grown-up, I want you, you want me. I am
wholesome. Does a wholesome woman do this?" She ran a
over the curve of one taut-nippled breast, across her sleek
tummy, and down
over the smooth flesh at the apex of her thighs.
gaze followed the motion of that hand. He could touch her
that way. That’s what
she was offering. Somehow he forced words out. "You’re the
kind of woman who
wants a relationship. I’m not that kind of guy. Most I’d
ever be for you is a
chin went up, and she stared at him for a long
moment. "Like I said before, get
over yourself, Logan. What I want is a fuck buddy."
term, even more than her wax job, jolted him. The old
Maddie would never have
thought that way, much less used language like that.
Tom’s sister." Ten years ago, when Tom had seen him kiss
Maddie, he’d punched
Logan. Logan hadn’t defended himself, because he’d known he
was in the wrong,
and he’d let Tom convince him to leave town.
scowled. "Good God, Logan, I’m an adult. Tom has nothing to
do with this. It’s
between you and me."
night. Their secret. Hell, he wanted her so badly his
entire body ached.
sauntered toward him, hips swaying, nipples hard as
pebbles. "I want a fuck
buddy, and I choose you."
move, he could have all that sweet, naked flesh in his
arms. He could have
Maddie, the only girl who’d touched his heart.
part of him grieved the loss of the old Maddie, the sweet,
innocent one. But
the rest of him celebrated the birth of this fascinating
choose you," she repeated. "And you want me. You can’t hide
that." She reached
out and gripped his erection through his jeans. "Fuck me,
cock pulsed, and he sucked in a breath. Shocked, aroused
beyond belief, he
gaped at this new Maddie.