“You don’t think you can control yourself,” he said, sounding amused again.

She gritted her teeth. “I have enough jobs.”

“Yes, but this one pays good.” His gaze touched hers, oddly tender and gentle, and it just about did her in.

“I’ll think about it.” Then, because she couldn’t seem to forget her manners, she added a soft but genuine “thank you.” She busied herself flipping through the maps. “Hey, where’s the top of the northeast region, just beyond Sioux Hill?”

“It’s there.”

“No, it’s not.”

TJ reached around her to fan out the maps himself. “Shit, I must have left it on Stone’s desk. Sorry.” He took her hand in his. “Let’s go get it now.”

“I can get it later.”

“Sure. But if there’s a God, Annie’s lasagna will be done by the time we get there.”

Besides being his aunt, Annie was the chef at Wilder Adventures. Her lasagna was legendary, the best lasagna in the history of all lasagna. Just thinking about it had Harley’s mouth watering.

“Five-cheese,” TJ murmured as if recounting a long-lost lover, “and three-meat lasagna. A restaurant-sized tray of it.”

Oh, God. She let out a small involuntary moan.

His eyes dilated. “There’ll be homemade bread, too. French loaf. Crusty on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside.”

“I’m not hungry,” she said weakly.

Her stomach made a liar of her by rumbling loudly.

TJ’s lips twitched, but he was wise enough to hold the smile back. “If you don’t come with me, I’ll inhale the entire loaf myself.” He rubbed his flat belly. “And possibly all the lasagna, too.”

She thought about the questionable cottage cheese in her refrigerator. “Well, if you need saving from yourself…I guess I wouldn’t want you to get any more…you know.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Extra around the middle.”

He arched a brow. “Extra around the middle?”

She poked his rock-solid abs. “Don’t worry. It happens to everyone.”

He lifted his shirt and bent his head to look at himself.

His jeans were low riding, revealing lean hips and a set of abs etched in sinewy ridges. Heat slashed through her and she began to sweat in places she hadn’t even realized had sweat glands.

Not good.

She tried to picture Nolan in her head. Sweet, kind, adorable Nolan. She couldn’t do it. She told herself not to panic. It was only because she hadn’t seen Nolan without a shirt.

“You’re right.” TJ let his shirt fall back into place. “You should definitely come with me and save me from myself.” He walked into her kitchen and made sure her back door was locked. He flipped off the kitchen light, then turned and faced her, stopping when he found her staring at him.

“We don’t even like each other,” she said, confused.

“I like you just fine. Sure, you’re as difficult and grumpy as Chuck, but no one’s perfect.”

She choked out a laugh. Chuck was the Wilder mascot, a disheveled stray that they’d hardly recognized as a cat at first sight. He’d shown up last winter, scrawny and half a heartbeat from starvation. He’d been neglected and terrified.

Annie and Katie had taken him under their wings, fattening him up, loving him so thoroughly that he’d had no choice but to learn to accept them as his family.

And then Emma had determined that not only was Chuck missing a penis, but that he was pregnant. Now they had three kittens running amok in the lodge, three wild, lovable little miscreants with none of their mama’s innate mistrust and all of her penchant for trouble.

But what was it he’d just said? That he liked her just fine? What was that? Just when she thought she’d gotten used to the odd push/pull of their prickly relationship, he was changing the rules and hadn’t given her a copy. “What’s going on here, TJ? Usually, you never talk to me without a frown on your face.”

“Don’t you have that backwards?”

She stared up at him, having to concede that he might have a point. She usually was on edge with him, but it was because they had a past, one that was significant to her.

One that he didn’t even remember.

There were other reasons, too. Like the fact that no matter how dirty and grubby he got on his job, he still looked hot, while she wore her grease like a poorly chosen accessory. “I have to get out of these coveralls.”

“You know you can go like you are.”

“I know.” She’d known Cam and Stone and Annie forever. Annie’s husband Nick, too. They were warm and accepting and cared about her as much as she cared about them. She could show up in a sack and it wouldn’t matter. Changing was for her. “It’ll only take a second.” Now that she’d agreed to lasagna, she was nearly shaking with hunger. She unzipped her filthy coveralls and began to shove them down, but at the low, rough sound from TJ, she glanced over. “I’m dressed under here, you know.” She kicked free of the grimy coveralls. Beneath she wore a stretchy black tank and micro bike shorts.

“See? Full coverage.”

Her jeans were on the back of a chair. She grabbed them and slid them on, hopping up and down a little until they reached her hips.

TJ made another sound deep in his throat as she buttoned them up, and she sent him a questioning look and found his gaze so scorching hot she nearly caught fire.