They both knew this was a big, fat lie. He ran four or five miles in full gear every single morning: rain, snow, or shine. He was in the best shape of his life. “No full-body anything unless it’s your body on mine,” he said, and if they hadn’t been in a damn salon he might’ve grinned at the look on her face—a little shock, a lot of arousal.
“How about a facial?” she finally asked. “Or does that insult your manhood too?”
“At the risk of repeating myself,” he said. “Hell no.”
“Your pores really do need some work,” she said. “You’re too dry, which is going to age you. And your T-zone is crying for help.”
He paused. “Was any of that in English?”
“How about you just sit back, relax, and trust me?”
“With all these instruments of torture at your disposal?” he asked, looking around.
She rolled her eyes and gave him a nudge so that he lay back again.
He let her push him around, but his eyes never left hers as she went to work, running warm water on his hair. It felt amazing, he was forced to admit. But he was distracted by what he could see behind the teasing light in her eyes. “What’s really going on here?”
“Nothing,” she said, her voice a little too tight.
“Try again,” he said. “The truth this time.”
She blew out a sigh. “Your mom thought maybe you could use some pampering.”
Aw, shit. “Lily, tell me you have not been listening to my crazy mother.”
“She’s not crazy! And she has your best interests at heart.”
“Oh, Christ. You’ve been drinking her Kool-Aid.” He laughed dryly. “Trust me, the only interest she has right now is in pranking me. So what exactly did she put you up to? Nair in my shampoo?”
She stared at him like he was speaking in tongues. “Your mom is the sweetest thing! She would never—”
“Babe, my mother would sell my soul to the devil himself if it meant she won this round. Now tell me what she wanted you to do to me.”
Lily sighed. “She wanted me to tell you she’s decided to go into an old folks home. In Greece.”
“Uh-huh.” He’d sell his own left nut if that were true. No, make that Gray’s. He’d sell Gray’s left nut. “And?”
“And …” She sighed. “She thinks you’re too stressed and need some relief.”
“Having my hair cut isn’t how I relieve stress,” he said.
This rendered her speechless, and she dropped the handheld faucet into the sink. She recovered quickly, though, he’d give her that. And at the touch of her fingers gliding through his hair, he groaned. Damn. She had amazing hands … “Wait.” He sat straight up and glared at her. “This isn’t some salon voodoo thing where I unknowingly spill my guts, is it?”
She paused a beat too long. “Of course not,” she said.
“Shit,” he said, staring into her eyes. “It is.”
She pushed him down. “You can’t seriously be afraid that I’m going to somehow make you talk.”
Ha. If she only knew her own power. One touch—hell, one look—and he’d give her whatever she wanted.
Lily took in Aidan’s look of discomfort. Normally he exuded easy, effortless confidence, so this made her laugh. “You really think I’m going to wave my magic shampoo and somehow force you to spill your guts to me,” she said with a laugh.
“You telling me people don’t spill their guts in here?” He looked around at the walls as if maybe they were magic too.
“I’m pretty new here,” she reminded him.
“You know what I mean.”
He tilted his head up and met her gaze. “Yes you know what I mean?”
“Yes, people spill their guts to me. So if you’re scared, you know where the door is. And don’t worry, I get it,” she said soothingly. “Lots of boys are scared of getting their hair cut. Usually they’re five and under though …”
That sexy muscle in his jaw bunched, which she did her best to ignore. She also ignored the fact that he had at least a day’s growth of stubble there, maybe two.
And that his jeans fit him perfectly, emphasizing his long legs and … the rest of him.
And she quickly realized she had a problem, a big one. His hair was soft and silky and her fingers couldn’t get enough of it. To distract herself she poured the girliestsmelling shampoo she could find into the palm of her hand and began to suds him up.
He hadn’t taken his eyes off her.
“Close ’em,” she said.
He held her gaze for a long beat before closing his eyes—defiant and alpha to the end. But at least now she couldn’t get lost in those chocolate-brown depths. Nope. Instead she found herself staring at his mouth, remembering how it had felt on hers. His jaw, rough with that scruff, was square and strong, and as she automatically gave him a scalp massage the way she did everyone, that jaw relaxed a bit and he let out a long breath.
“You’re dangerous,” he murmured.
Right back atcha, she could’ve said. When she was done, she stood back and gestured for him to move ahead of her back to her salon chair.
He walked to it as if walking to his own execution.
She laughed. “Stop it. I’ll admit I wouldn’t mind having you at my mercy spilling your guts, but we both know that’s not going to happen.” She stopped smiling. “You’re too careful for that.”
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