She saw his white teeth flash in the dark as he leaned in close. “Can I kiss you now,” he asked huskily, “or is there any other guy in your head we need to discuss?”

At the thought of another mind-blowing kiss, her brain voluntarily shut down, giving her body tacit permission to take over. “Well, there’s Brad Pitt,” she murmured. “And-”

“Shut up, Harley.” He nipped her lower lip.

“Shutting up,” she murmured just as his tongue touched hers, and she began a slow and delicious repeat of the insta-melt thing. His hands slid up her body, and she crawled all over him again, but then he froze.


He tightened his grip on her hips for a beat, indicating that she should stay as still as he. “Did you hear that?”

She hadn’t heard anything but the blood rushing in her ears. “No, I-” Suddenly he slid soundlessly out of the sleeping bag.

Breathless, she ate up the sight of him by starlight, his hair tousled, jaw rough and in need of a shave, his chest bare, his boxers disturbingly low on his hips, his-“Oh my God. You can’t go anywhere like that!”

Unconcerned, he moved to his backpack and pulled out…

His knife.

Then he slid into his jeans, pointed at her to stay, and vanished.


Harley clutched TJ’s sleeping bag to her body and strained her ears, but she could hear nothing. Well, nothing except the light wind, the occasional cry of a bird, and…crunching pine needles beneath someone’s feet. “TJ?” she whispered, thinking oh please let it be TJ.

“Just me.” He came out of the woods in nothing but those still unbuttoned, low-slung Levi’s, hair a little wild-from her fingers, she realized with a bit of a shock-eyes cool and calm as they took in their surroundings. “I thought I heard someone, but I didn’t see anything.” He appeared to be at ease, but on second look, she could see that was an illusion, because in truth he was battle ready.

And she? She wanted to lick him from sternum to belly button and beyond, thank you very much. She realized she had other issues to be concerned with, but holy smokes.

Standing there by moonlight, he was all raw, sexual, barely contained power, and she felt a little ping in the region of her gut, another in her heart, and a third in a place where no one had given her a ping in a long time.

Including Nolan.

TJ dropped more wood on the simmering fire, then crouched at her side, all powerfully toned and tanned. He reached out and put a finger under her chin to close her mouth, which had been hanging open. “You’re giving me ideas,” he said very softly.

She slammed her mouth and her eyes shut.

“Are you warm enough now?” he asked, sounding amused.

Sure. If sweating in unusual places counted. She nodded jerkily and felt him rise. She opened her eyes and saw him go for her sleeping bag.

Wait a minute. “You’re…going to sleep over there?” she asked.

He stopped and met her gaze across the fire. “Your choice.”

She opened her mouth to say he should absolutely stay waaaay over there, maybe even move to the next ridge, but all that came out of her was expelled air.

He came back, once again hunkering at her side. His movements were slow, easy, and entirely uninhibited.

And God help her, she wanted to be uninhibited, too. He cradled her face in one of his hands, ran the pad of his thumb over her lower lip. “I’m going to need more of a sign, Harley.”

Dammit. Couldn’t he just be a he-man and take the choice away from her? She realized that the thought set women back a few hundred years, but she didn’t know if she could verbalize the truth.

And that truth was that she wanted him against her. In her.

He pulled back his hand, but he remained crouched at her side, patient and calm. And with the firelight flickering over his bare chest and shoulders, unintentionally sensual as hell.

She felt fluttery and trembly. Being with him always made her fluttery, but the trembling thing was new.

This was more than a crush. Which meant that she was in way over her head. She knew this. But did she put up the white flag? Did she call the cavalry? Did she run like hell?


Even knowing that despite trying to keep her distance, he’d gotten hold of her heart, even knowing that she couldn’t entirely trust him to be careful with it, she lifted the edge of the sleeping bag in a clear invite. “For warmth only.”

His lips curled into just a hint of a smile as he slid in. He leaned over her and kissed her softly, just a warm, gentle press of his lips that registered shockingly high on the intensity scale for having no tongue involved.

She shivered and found herself clinging to him. Good. Great way of keeping her cool.

He met her gaze, then closed his eyes and flipped her away from him. She had no idea if the emotion that rushed through her was relief or disappointment.

“For warmth,” he said in her ear, pulling her back against his chest, spooning her. Her back was immediately infused with warm, sexy male, and she had to bite her lip to hold her moan in. One of his arms rested loosely on her hip, the other crooked up and behind his head, his elbow her pillow.

In spite of herself, she felt a shiver of sheer lust race through her and she squirmed.

“What was that?”

She shook her head. “I didn’t say anything.”

“No, you wriggled your ass against my-”

“I did not!” But she did it again, a completely involuntary movement that she couldn’t control.