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We thought we’d share the last two weeks snippets one more time, love these scenes!!
Addie gave him another once-over. “You look like a bodyguard.”
Risk glanced down at himself. “I am one, so I’m thinking that’s a good thing.”
“No, it’s not. Can you look . . . normal? Casual, I mean?”
Honestly, he was glad to get out of the button-down shirt and tie. “Give me a sec.” He whipped off the tie, jamming it into the bag. Then he unbuttoned his dress shirt, stripped out of it, and pulled a blue-striped Polo shirt from the top of the bag. As the collar cleared his face, he caught sight of Addie watching him.
No, watching him. Her expression was perfectly placid, but her pupils were dilated, an involuntary response to arousal. She dropped her gaze to the cat in her arms and started baby-talking to it in an obvious diversionary move.
Interesting, since she was supposedly gay. He needed to investigate further. With a wince, he said, “Damn, forgot this shirt has one of those annoying tags that digs into the back of my neck.”
He stripped off the shirt and dug in his bag, all the while watching her in his peripheral vision.
Yep, she was watching him. He noticed that her lower lip had gone a little slack as he pulled out another shirt. She made the tiniest sound somewhere deep in her throat when he yanked it down over his head.
Very interesting. “You go both ways, don’t you?
Can you tell me how that works? I’ve always wondered how someone can be attracted to both genders. I guess it really opens up the dating pool, eh?”
She brushed her long bangs from her face. “I don’t go both ways.”
“Really? Because I thought . . . Ah, never mind.”
He put his clothing bag in the storage bin, closed it, and hefted the other one. “This one goes with me.”
She eyed the bag. “What’s in there?”
“Tools of my trade.”
“You’re . . . armed?”
“Of course. How else am I going to protect you?
Wagging my finger and calling them dirty names sure isn’t going to do it.” He hoped she wasn’t anti-weapon on top of everything else.
“I suppose not. I’m just not really around weapons much. Daddy keeps his out of sight, locked in a safe.” She searched his person with her gaze.
“Don’t worry. You can’t even tell I’m armed, as you can see. My gun is in a SERPA, which is a retention holster.” He lifted his shirt to show her the molded plastic holster. “It allows me to keep the gun in condition one, loaded and ready, but requires me to press a release button so it won’t accidentally go off.” He’d also need to put his finger on the trigger, but he didn’t need to tell her that part. Or about the knife at the small of his back.
“If it’s necessary.”
He gave her a solemn nod. “It is, ma’am.”
“And please don’t call me ma’am. You’re probably older than I am.”
“You’re right about that, ma— Should I just call you Addie? Or Miss Wunder?”
“Addie will do. Miss Wunder makes me sound like a porn star.”
He had to temper his laugh. And he wouldn’t tell her that she looked like one.
“She likes you,” Addie said, looking at the kitten in Risk’s lap.
“You say that like you’re surprised. Females love me.” He gave her the smile that made every woman he’d used it on smile back. And sometimes more. Heck, even grandmas responded.
She frowned instead. “I’ll bet you use that smile as your pickup line.”
He felt the smile fade. “Okay, I believe you. You’re gay.”
Addie started the engine and pulled out. She handled the vehicle like a pro, taking corners efficiently without sending the van into tilt. Her arms were toned, though he doubted she did curls at a gym. She kept her attention on the road, studiously ignoring him. He wasn’t about to let her get away with that.
“Have a girlfriend?” he asked.
Her eyes shifted to him briefly. “Shirley. She’s my partner in Animal Huggers.”
He attached a hot redhead to the name and sank into a fantasy about the pinup girl and Addie tangling in the sheets of one of those outdoor beds by the sea. He walked up the steps into the private cabana and gave them the smile. Addie whispered something to Shirley, who nodded, and both women looked at him with hungry eyes. That same hunger he’d seen in Addie’s eyes earlier. Addie crooked her finger at him.
“Oh, stop that.”
Her snapping voice jerked him right out of the scene. “Stop what?” Good thing the cat was on his lap, even with its claws.
“You’re fantasizing about me and some woman, aren’t you? And we’re inviting you to join us, I bet.”
Damn, no wonder he always lost at poker. No point in denying it, he supposed. “And you interrupted before I got to the good part.”
“If two women are interested in each other, what makes you think they’ll want some guy pushing in on their action?”
“Good question. But hey, it is a fantasy, after all.”
She let out a breath, which made her bangs bounce. “I’m not gay.”
Something in his chest twanged. Something lower twanged, too, and he realized that it was much better to see her as unavailable. “I won’t fantasize about you and your girlfriend anymore. It was disrespectful.”
Her eyes widened. “I’m not gay. I told my father I was because he was always trying to settle me down with some boring guy. It just sort of came out of my mouth in my frustration one night after the umpteenth ‘Look who happened to stop by, honey.’ I was poking him, but he bought it. So I let him believe it, which I know was mean and terrible, but I was desperate at the time. Since Shirley is gay, and my best friend, I use her as my cover.”
His whole body was pulling toward her now, which was really bad. “You may think you’re pretending, but down deep inside, you do swing that way. And that’s perfectly fine. Better than fine.” He let his gaze scan her without giving away how hot she looked in that tight shirt. Or at least he hoped he didn’t give it away. “You’ve got gay written all over you by the . . .” Except words failed him, because there was nothing but straight goodness as far as the eye could see. Come on, don’t fight me on this. Play along.
He gestured vaguely at her head, groping for something to point out as evidence. “By that certain light in your eyes and the way you move.”
Her mouth was getting tighter, her face redder. “By what light? And what way I move?” She came to a stop at a red light and turned to him.
He shrugged. “It’s just a vibe. I can’t put my finger on it.”
She shifted the van into park, leaned over, and plastered her mouth against his. Her hands gripped his shoulders, fingers digging in, and the moment his lips involuntarily parted, she plunged her tongue inside. Oh, buddy, she was so straight.
Addie put her fingers over her kiss-swollen lips.
“That thing that happened between us, not happening again.”
“No siree.” Risk shook his head to further convince himself, because his body was having none of it. “I’m new to this civilian-bodyguard business, but I assume it would be unprofessional to bang my client.”
“Bang . . .” She blew out a breath of indignation. “Aren’t you are the romantic?”
“Sorry.” He gave her a wooden smile. “Making love. Like that better?”
“I bet you’ve never made love in your life. But I’m sure you’ve banged plenty.”
No, he probably hadn’t made love to a woman, not with the appropriate feelings to match those words. He would comment only on the last part. “I don’t think I’ve, ah, indulged any more than the average guy.”
She arched her eyebrow and gave him a skeptical look. “So you do have some modesty in there. Wait a minute. You said I revved your engine?”
He replayed his earlier words. Yep, he sure had. “In an off-limits manner of speaking.”
“And keep it that way. You’re totally not my type.”
“Good.” Before the words and what is your type could come out of his mouth, she went on. “You’re too arrogant. Too good-looking. Clearly a player, and I have no idea how to play that game, nor any interest in doing so. Besides, I have more important things on my plate than satisfying the hunger of my flesh.”
She had to go and put it that way, didn’t she? He focused on the second part of that sentence. “More important things like staying alive, I presume?”
“Like saving animals.”
Oh, buddy, he wished she did play for the other team. Because protecting that beautiful body wrapped around all that sass was going to be boo-coops harder now that he’d tasted her sweet mouth.
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