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He framed her face with his hands and gently ran his tongue along the line of her lips. She opened with an eager moan, working her hands up around his neck and dragging her nails along his scalp. Hot. Too hot.

She felt his body tighten at the touch of her nails and his gentleness vanished, the kiss turned aggressive. Without leaving her mouth, he slid one arm around her back while the other hooked under her thigh and slid her up to his height, keeping her pinned to the door. Once he had her where he wanted her, he pressed his hips against the vee of her legs, his arousal blatantly obvious.

The man knew how to kiss. And seduce. And arouse. Her legs clasped around his hips and she ground against him, speeding up the rush of blood to that delicious spot between her legs. She settled in to enjoy the mouth she’d been staring at for the last few days. The kiss grew stronger, deeper. The sensation of his tongue sliding against hers was heavenly. It was like she’d never been kissed before.

And she hadn’t. Not like this.

He kissed like a starved man. Starved for her.

She wanted this. She wanted this more than anything she’d ever wanted. Every part of her was in sync and screaming yes!

She felt him pull at the waist of her sweater, lifting. His hands slid under and…

“Ouch!” She jolted and Jack jerked back.

The man with the hot mouth had hands of ice.

“Did I hurt you? What’s wrong?”

He’d nearly dropped her when she jumped, and his lust plunged several notches in his shock.

“Your hands are cold!”

He stared blankly at her. “That’s it? That’s what shocked you?” He thought he’d poked her with his keys or crushed some tender part of her body. Her legs were still wrapped around his waist. He moved his hands to the outside of her sweater. “Better?”

She nodded but had a wary look in her eye that told him she was overanalyzing the situation.

“Stop thinking.” He pressed her against the door again.

Her lips turned up slightly. “Then distract me.”

She didn’t need to ask twice. Thank God, she was ready for distraction. Lacey had been through too much, and he wanted to make all her thoughts of Kelly and killings vanish for a short while. He dove for her lips, intending on kissing her senseless. She opened on contact and he took full advantage. Her nipples hardened through her sweater as she vibrated in his arms. He wanted that sweater gone. But not out here. He felt in his pocket for the cabin key.

“Damn it. It must be in the truck.”

He untangled her legs, dropping Lacey back to her feet. She leaned heavily against the door. “If you tell me you left the cabin keys at home I’ll strangle you.”

He backed away, locking gazes. “Don’t move.” He dashed to the truck.

He balanced the Macy’s bag and two bags of groceries in one arm as he wrestled the cabin key into the lock. His hand was shaking. Jesus Christ. He didn’t know if he could wait to build a fire, get the heater going, and put away the groceries. She might change her mind.

He pushed the door open and shoved her in. She took two steps and stopped, staring at the interior. He had to sidestep to avoid knocking her over.

“I thought the outside was incredible but this is amazing.” Her gaze followed the rustic trusses across the high ceiling, appreciating the huge river-rock fireplace that touched the highest point in the room. The fireplace separated the great room from the kitchen, and as she bent over to look through the fireplace, he knew she could see into the big kitchen. Overstuffed chairs and couches in rich warm hues filled the great room. Wool throws with Indian patterns were tossed on each chair. He watched her run a finger over a sunset-colored throw and mumble.

“What’d you say?” he asked.

“Pendleton. It’s a Pendleton throw.”

He looked at the blanket. “Yeah.” He paused. “Is that all right?” She had an odd little grin on her face.

“It’s perfect.” This time her smile was warm and her eyes glowed as she faced him. She grabbed the grocery bags. “I’ll put these away if you’ll get the fire started.” Peering into the bag, she asked, “Did you bring hot chocolate?”

She wanted something to drink? Now? “There’s some in the kitchen.”

“That’s perfect too.”

He watched her sway to the kitchen with the groceries, thrilled to see her smile. Hopefully she’d relax for a while. Shaking his head, he took the long matches off the mantel, striking one and holding it to the stack of kindling and wood. Number one rule at the cabin. Before leaving, clean out the hearth and have a fire ready to go for the next visit.

He checked the thermostat and cranked it up. Then turned it up again. He didn’t want her cold once he got her clothes off. He chuckled as he listened to her rooting through his kitchen. Her clothes were definitely coming off. Soon.

Sam knocked on the front door of a double-wide and gave Michael a reassuring smile. His insides tightened. He was jazzed about confronting whoever opened the door; it was in his reporter’s blood. But he was also getting jazzed by the woman next to him. She was a go-getter. And he liked it. Sam knocked again, frowning this time.

“There has to be someone home. There’s always someone home.”

He noticed she was studying him out of the corner of her eye.

No one answered and she started to tap a rapid boot toe. Michael heard some thumping inside and the door opened.

“Hey, Sam.” The greeting was from a gangly young teen who’d hit that difficult age where his height outpaced his body mass.