“No names,” she assured him. Deep down, she wished Becker could have agreed this readily to the interview, but she respected his decision. She wasn’t one of those overbearing journalists who stalked potential sources.
“You’re here until Sunday?” Ryan asked.
“Yeah. Maybe we can meet up tomorrow?”
“Sure,” he said easily. He stuck his hand in the back pocket of his long red surf shorts and pulled out a cell phone. “Put your number in here and I’ll call you tomorrow to figure out a time.”
Jane took the phone and entered her contact info. As she handed it back, Ryan’s hand brushed hers and a spark of heat went off in her belly. She stared at his long, callused fingers, then met his gaze, which was playful with just the slightest glimmer of sensuality. Lord, this man probably had no problems getting women in bed. One touch, one heated look, and even she, who’d been having the best sex of her life for the past week, was tempted to get naked with him.
She took her hand back, just as the sound of footsteps came from behind. She turned and greeted Becker with a smile, but he didn’t return it. His dark eyes were expressionless, but she saw a muscle jump in his jaw. Was he pissed at her? Angry that they’d ended up spending the afternoon with his teammates rather than by themselves?
“Ready to go?” he said quietly.
“Sure.” She turned to the other men. “It was nice meeting all of you.”
Carson, Will, and Matt nodded in agreement, shooting her charming grins. Ryan grinned too, then added, “I’ll call you tomorrow to set up the interview.”
They said their goodbyes, and then she and Becker were walking back to his SUV. He still had that distant look on his face, and he didn’t say a word until they were well away from the golf course. “They liked you.”
Jane smiled. “I liked them too.” She hesitated. “Why don’t you spend time with them when you’re not on base?”
“Different interests,” Becker said with a shrug. He flicked the right turn signal and changed lanes. “Evans and O’Connor are out every night, chasing women and partying. Can you honestly see me doing that?”
“No. But what about Carson? Or Will? Will totally seemed like your man-soul mate.”
Becker let out a laugh. “Yeah, I like Will. He’s married, lives with his wife in a small town, an hour or two from here. So he’s not around much, from what I hear. And Carson lives with his girlfriend, spends most of his time with her.”
“He said they do this mini-golf thing once a month,” Jane pointed out. “Maybe you should go with them next time.”
Becker fell silent again. They drove over the bridge into Coronado, in the direction of the hotel, but it wasn’t until they reached the parking lot that he spoke again.
“You were attracted to him.”
Jane’s head jerked up. “Huh?”
“Ryan. You were attracted to him.”
She was unsure how to respond, especially since she couldn’t figure out where he was going with this, or how he even felt about it. His face was completely expressionless, his tone calm.
“I saw your face when he touched your hand,” Becker added when she still didn’t answer.
“I reacted to him, yeah,” she said frankly. “He’s a good-looking guy. They all are.”
“But you only reacted to Evans.”
Becker shut off the engine and unbuckled his seatbelt, but made no move to get out of the car. Jane undid her own seatbelt then studied him carefully. “Where is this coming from? And what is it you want me to say? Yes, there was a spark of attraction when he touched me.”
Becker searched her eyes, a deep line creasing his forehead. “If I wasn’t there, if you’d met him on your own, would you f**k him?”
She couldn’t help but laugh. “After a five-minute encounter? I’m not that bold. Maybe if he bought me dinner first.” She tilted her head to the side. “I’m not sure why we’re talking about this. I don’t plan on f**king anyone but you, Beck.” She reached for the door handle. “In fact, let’s get out of the car and find us a bed. I think I need to show you who I really want to be with.”
Becker fought a strange wave of anger as he followed Jane into the bedroom of his cottage. She was already reaching for the tie around her neck that held her halter dress in place. She lifted her wavy red hair and undid the knot beneath it, letting the dress slip down to the floor. She wore a bikini-style bra and that sexy thong he’d watched her put on earlier, and he wanted nothing more than to step toward her and run his fingers over every inch of her body, but for some reason he remained rooted in place.
And for some reason, he couldn’t stop picturing another man’s fingers on Jane’s curvy body. Another man’s fingers pinching her ni**les. Sliding into her pu**y. The thought made him curl his hands into fists. Jealousy streaked through him, so strong, so potent that his entire body went stiff as a rod. He still remembered the pink flush of Jane’s cheeks as Ryan Evans touched her hand, the seductive little smile she’d shot Evans. At that moment, Becker had wanted to throttle the other man, and the volatile reaction had caught him off guard.
So what if Jane was attracted to another man? She was only here for three more days. They would both go their separate ways then, and unless Jane took a vow of celibacy, she would probably find another man after she and Becker said goodbye. Maybe not right away, but eventually, she’d be f**king someone else. Someone who wasn’t him.
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