Aidan lifted his head to look into her face and smiled. “Yeah,” he said. “You’re okay.”

“You can tell that just by my smile?”

“No. It’s the dazed I’ve-had-my-business-thoroughly-taken-care-of expression that gives you away.”

She laughed and closed her eyes, letting herself relax into him.

When she woke up, the light was finally off but morning had shown up. She replayed it all in her mind; the tenderness, the urgency, the passion … Still smiling she rolled over, but she was alone.

Chapter 20

Lily showered, dressed, and walked out into her living room only to stop in shock.

Wood was neatly stacked against the wall next to the woodstove. She stared at it as she pulled out her phone.

“I can load my own wood,” she said when Aidan answered.

There was a beat of silence.

She grimaced. “I mean thank you. Really. But I don’t expect preferential treatment just because we …” She trailed off, unwilling—and not to mention unable—to put a label on what they’d done.

“Did you forget already?” he asked mildly. “I can be there in seven minutes to remind you.”

As if she’d ever forget, and he knew it, too, the cocky bastard. Through the silence she sensed he was smiling, remembering everything.

And then so was she, picturing how he’d moved over her, his voice low and rough, his hands seductive, his body demanding and giving.

So giving …

Great, and now she was sweating a little bit. “I’m going to work now,” she said, walking to the freezer and sticking her head in it.

“You sure?”

“Yes!” She glanced down at her hardened—and still hopeful—nipples. “I’ve got to go.”

He laughed softly. “Have a good day, Lily. Think of me.”

She wasn’t sure she would do either of those things, but she ended up doing both.

“You okay?” Jonathan said when she’d walked into the staff room/kitchen twice, each time forgetting what she’d gone in there for.

“Yep,” she said. “Why?”

“Because you fell down the stairs thanks to a bunny.”

She sighed. “Hey, it was a very big, very scary bunny, okay?”

He laughed. “Whatever you say.”

Damn straight what I say … She sighed and pulled out the bags of dirty towels, replacing them with clean ones just to keep her hands busy.

“Why are you doing that?” Jonathan asked. “Rosa does that.”

“Rosa’s on her cell in the bathroom sobbing to her sister, something about Devon being a dick.”

“Devon is a dick,” Jonathan agreed. “But he’s a hot dick, and Rosa won’t cut him loose. She prefers looks over substance. Not me. How about you?”

“I don’t have any requirements right now,” Lily said. “I’m not interested in your species. At all.”

“Uh-huh. What about your own species then?” he asked. “Because there’s nothing wrong with changing up teams for a little bit.”

“I’m not interested in any team,” she clarified.

“How do you know unless you try it?”

He was teasing her, and she teased back with, “Who says I haven’t tried it?”

Jonathan nearly choked on his own tongue, but then he caught sight of something over her shoulder and his gaze went from amused to frank and appraising in a single beat.

Either Channing Tatum had just appeared out of thin air, or …

Yep. Aidan.

He stood there in his firefighter polo and work cargoes, radio on his hip, expression broadcasting a rough mood, looking hot enough to start a fire all on his own.

He nodded to Jonathan and met her gaze.

“Hey,” she said, trying to look and sound cool. But apparently she failed, because he grinned. Behind her, Jonathan chuckled at her predicament, the rat-fink bastard.

Blowing out a sigh, she met Aidan’s gaze. “Can we help you?”

Mercifully, he let it go and gestured to the stocked shelves of product. “My mom wanted me to come by and pick up some of that girlie gunk stuff you used on her hair.”

“A man who’s not afraid to stride into a salon and ask for girlie gunk,” Jonathan said. “I like it. I’ll leave it on the front counter for you. Now you kids take a minute to yourselves and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” Then he waggled his brow at Lily and walked off.

She sighed. “How long were you standing there?”

Aidan smiled. “Long enough to know I want to hear your ‘one time at band camp’ story.”

She blushed. “Never mind me. Are you really here for your mom?”

He shrugged. “She says she can’t live without the stuff. She asked Gray to come get it, but he told her over his dead body. So she threatened to tell Penny, and then he finally agreed to get it for her.”

“So why isn’t Gray here?” she asked, fascinated by his family’s crazy dynamics and how in spite of that they all remained close.

“Because he doesn’t have a thing for the new, pretty cosmetologist.”

Ridiculously, Lily’s heart picked up speed, but she rolled her eyes.

He grinned at her. “It’s true. Even if she did cut my hair uneven.”

“I did no such thing,” she said, straightening, completely indignant.

“Look.” He shoved his fingers through his hair, making it stand up on end. “See? Crooked.”

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