Helplessly reacting to that, she shifted against his body, seeking to ease an ache from deep inside.

He let out a low sound. “If you’re not doing that on purpose, Harley, you need to stop.”

She had no idea what came over her, but she did it again, and felt him respond.

He was hard.


She dropped her gaze to his mouth, and he groaned as he shifted his hands from the tree to her face, gently cupping it, stroking her jaw with his thumbs. While staring into her eyes, he angled her head to his liking and kissed her. It started out slow, but progressed to holy shit pretty quickly, and then without warning, he lifted his head and looked at her, all sleepy eyed. Before leaning in close again, pressing his mouth to the spot beneath her ear, then her throat as he fisted his hand in her hair to turn her face, exposing the other side of her neck.

She felt his open mouth there, and just the tip of his tongue touched her skin as his other hand slid across her stomach, slipping beneath her shirt.

“I’m starting to forget why this is a bad idea,” she said, her own hands making themselves at home on his chest, gliding them back and forth for the sheer delight of feeling the play of his muscles.

“Me, too,” he murmured, heading for her mouth again, but she pulled back a fraction, breathing hard.

“I think I have a handle on myself now,” she said, knowing that wasn’t quite true.

He merely redirected his mouth to her throat, nibbling wet, hot kisses that made her knees wobble. “I’ve got something else you could get a handle on.”

She choked out a laugh.

“Sorry.” He grimaced and pressed his forehead to hers. “I’m so f**king tired. I say really weak shit when I’m tired.”

She dropped her head to his chest and realized she was still touching him, beneath his shirt, making her no better than him.

He lightly skimmed a warm finger up her spine and made her shiver. “Let’s go back to your sleeping bag.”

She gave a full body shiver. “Oh, God.”

His voice sounded strained. “Is that oh, God please?”

Yes, said her body.

What happened to hanging tough? asked her brain.

Stupid, logical, careful brain. “Why were you spying on me?” she asked.

“I wasn’t. I didn’t see you by the fire and didn’t want to scare you into stunning me.”

“Where did you think I was?”

“Checking on your equipment, peeing in the woods, I don’t know. But I’d armed you myself, and was being cautious.” He grinned. “With good reason.” He pulled the stun gun from his pocket. “Except you didn’t have it on.”

“I was working up to that part.”

He laughed. “Glad I wasn’t a hungry bear.”

“You’re more dangerous,” she muttered, and pushing free, walked back to the fire in tune to his soft laugh. It sounded hollow, and she took a closer look at him. His eyes were lined with exhaustion, his mouth grim. “How did the search and rescue go?” she asked. “You find your missing people?”

“Kids. They are barely teenagers. They’d gone up the Red Rock cliff on a dare and one of them stepped off the cliff. It’s a sixty-foot drop.”

She gasped. “Are they okay?”

“Yeah. With the ground and slopes so wet and loose, the kid set off a mud slide, which is what saved his life. He caught a roller-coaster ride like no other, though. It was hell to get to him without finishing him off with another slide over the top of him.”

Above them, the sky had gone from black to…a slightly paler black. Dawn was coming. She looked up and found TJ watching her. Was it her imagination, or was he not looking so tired anymore? Suddenly, she wasn’t feeling so tired either.

Uh oh.

His eyes darkened, and she felt the hitch in her breathing. Damn, she really needed to work on her self-control.

“You don’t trust yourself around me,” he said.

“Not even a little.”

“Smart woman,” he said softly, with something else in his voice, a quality that said he was proud of her, and also…hurt? She’d had absolutely no idea she had that power, and reaching out, she lay a hand on his arm, which was rigid with strength and warmth.

And bloody. “Oh my God. You’re hurt.”


“It’s nothing,” TJ turned to tell Harley, pulling his arm back. “Trust me, I’ve had worse.” And he had.

“It’s more than nothing.” Harley grabbed his hand and tugged, and because he liked her touch, he let her. She squinted against the harsh glare of her flashlight as she tried to see. “You’re all cut up. Come sit down.” She pulled him to the fire pit and pushed him to a log, putting her hands on her hips as she stood over him. “Are you hurt anywhere else?”

“If I say yes, will you strip-search me?”

She rolled her eyes and pulled out her first aid kit. “We need to wash off the dirt so you don’t get an infection.”

“I like the ‘we.’ You can bathe whatever part of me you like.”

She laughed, a sweet magical sound that he didn’t hear often enough from her. “You wish.”

“Aw, you’re no fun.”

She’d dropped to her knees at his side and stared at him. “I wasn’t aware that we were having fun.”

“We’ve had our moments,” he said silkily, then laughed softly at her blush, knowing she was remembering yesterday morning, and how he’d made her come.