“Good luck with that.”

Between Wilder Adventures and Wishful there was nothing but 75,000 acres of wilderness that TJ knew like the back of his hand. With the dirt bike roaring beneath him, he ignored the well-traveled road toward town and took off through the woods, making his own trail.

Back when he was a kid, he and his brothers would ride out there as often as they could, to avoid school, work, or their father’s fists. They’d ride until they ran out of gas, then push the bikes back. Sometimes Annie would be with them. Sometimes Harley, who’d been in the same grade as Cam.


With the wind at his back and the sun on his face, he thought of her. She was probably working, either the internship or at the garage, or hell, maybe she was out with Nolan.

None of his business.

Except…except she felt like his business.

When he finally came into town, he idled at the end of Main and let out a breath. Wishful had been one of the original Old West mining towns, and its sidewalks were lined with nineteenth-century false-front buildings that had-back in the day-been wild saloons and lawless whorehouses. Mining was no longer productive, but the town lived on thanks to its proximity to Lake Tahoe and the endless stream of tourists looking for an outdoor adventure.

He’d made a lot of money off those people doing what he loved, and he still felt restless.

So f**king restless.

He supposed he’d go by Nolan’s garage first and if Harley’s truck wasn’t there, he’d check out her place, but before he hit the gas, a jogger came around the corner.

The sun was behind her, highlighting her sweet curves. She wore a tank top and running shorts, and though the sun cast her entire form in shadow, he knew exactly who he was looking at, knew the choppy layered hair falling to just above her shoulders, knew the even stride.

He’d like to say he could remember what that body felt like beneath his, but much as he racked his brain about that long-ago summer night, he couldn’t…quite…get his fingers on the memory. He had flashes of smooth, white skin, images of an intense connection that had seemed out of place at the time, and feelings of being warmed heart and soul in a way that had felt alien to him.

Nothing more.

He knew the exact moment Harley saw him straddling the bike in front of her because she nearly tripped. Her steps slowed. She shoved her sunglasses to the top of her head and put her hands on her hips, her breath coming in short pants. She hated running, hated exercise of any kind, and the sight of her doing it made him smile.

“It’s not funny,” she said. “My jeans are getting tight.”

He liked the way she looked in jeans. It was part of his problem. He liked the way she looked in damn near everything, but he’d especially liked the way she looked in her bra and panties, running like a bat out of hell around the campfire toward him.

“Stop that,” she said shakily, pointing at him.

“I didn’t do anything.”

“You’re thinking it.”

“Got me there,” he said on a smile.

She blew out a breath. Her skin was covered in a fine sheen of perspiration, making her glow. Still huffing and puffing, she bent at the waist and sucked in more air. Her top rode up in the back. Her shorts were low-riding, revealing a strip of smooth skin, and twin dimples right above what was a perfect heart-shaped ass.

“You have a way of seeing me at my worst,” she muttered, straightening.

Was she kidding? He wanted to put his tongue to those dimples and work his way down…

“Covered in mud,” she went on. “Drenched. Sweaty.”

“You look frighteningly sexy in all of those scenarios,” he told her.


Taking another, longer, more careful look at her, he realized there was far more bothering her than her jeans being tight. He wondered if it had anything to do with the rumors swirling around town about the two of them, and then realized he was giving himself far more credit than he was probably due.

She probably hadn’t given him another thought.

“I hate running as a calorie burner,” she grumbled.

“I can think of a better way to burn calories,” he said.

She actually laughed, which he took as a good sign. Whatever was bothering her maybe wasn’t his doing then. “Want a ride?”

She eyed his bike with pleasure, but shook her head. “I don’t know if the gossip mill has room for any more stories about us.”

So she had heard.

“Could have been worse, though,” she said. “They could have said I was having an alien’s baby.”

“Well, hey, since it could have been worse…” He patted the seat.

“Yeah, but what about that whole calorie-burning thing?”

“How about if I promise to irritate you like I do so well?” he asked. “Irritation burns calories.” So did sex…

Something came and went in her eyes so fast he couldn’t place it. “Yeah, what the hell,” she said, surprising him again. “Since we’ve already entertained everyone, ruined the thing between Nolan and me, and possibly cost me my only paying job, why not?”

He caught her arm before she could get on behind him. “Nolan fired you?”

“Not exactly.”

“Then what exactly?”

She sighed.


“Let’s just say I’m no longer sure where he stands on the idea of having me as an employee, especially since I won’t be getting to a third date. Or third base,” she muttered.