Page 29

“Nothing.” Still bent at the waist, she shifted to her other heel, during which time he pressed his fingers into his eye sockets to keep his eyes in his head.

She was all leg and silken skin and crazy gorgeous hair, and he attempted to steel himself against her but he failed. He’d been wrong, oh so very wrong, when he said he’d be able to handle her. He couldn’t, not in her yoga pants, not in a sexy little black dress, not at work, not in his truck, not in an elevator, not in anything anywhere—he couldn’t do it, Sam I Am.

She straightened and sent him a searching look. She’d piled all that long curly hair on top of her head but several silky strands had escaped, brushing her temples and shoulders, giving her a just-got-laid look. Her lips were siren red and he knew it made him a pig, but all he could think about was her mouth and how her lips would looked stretched around his—

“We’re on time still, right?” she asked.

He had to clear his throat to answer. “Yeah.” Jesus.

The door slid shut and silence filled the elevator while they stared at each other. To keep his hands to himself, he backed to the wall.

“So,” she said, looking like she was mentally cracking her knuckles. “What are the rules here? Kiss ass? Sit, shake, and roll over on command? Tell everyone how you saved my life? Obey your every order?”

Her sarcasm helped him roll his tongue back into his mouth. “I will ask you to kiss someone’s ass never,” he said. “Same for sit and shake and roll over. And you know damn well I didn’t save your life. But as for the obeying me? That. Lots of that would be great.”

She narrowed her eyes and opened her mouth, undoubtedly to slay him with her tongue, but his phone buzzed.

“It’s Wyatt,” he said, staring down at the screen.

“Saved by the bell,” she said. “Answer it, what’s wrong with you?”

Good question. No good answer … “Hey, kind of busy,” he said to his best friend.

“Did you really just tell me that you were all for me obeying you?” Wyatt asked.

AJ blinked. “Um, what?”

“You butt dialed me again. You know how I love it when you talk dirty to me, but obey you? That’s a kink I did not see coming from you.”

Darcy, clearly able to hear her brother, snorted.

A beat of heavy silence came from Wyatt. “Was that Darcy?” he finally asked, his voice not nearly as amused now.

Shit. “We’re in the elevator at the hotel in Boise, heading down to dinner.”

Another pause as Wyatt clearly took in the fact that AJ had been talking to Darcy when he’d said the obey thing. “What’s going on?” Wyatt finally asked.

Darcy leaned over AJ’s arm and spoke to the phone while her scent drifted tantalizingly into his head.

“He wants me to obey him and call him sir,” Darcy told Wyatt ever so helpfully. “I think that’s grounds for beating the shit out of him, right?”

AJ gave her a long, hard look that didn’t cow her at all. In fact, she smiled at him. A sweet, innocent smile that was complete BS. He blew out a breath and rubbed the back of his neck. “She’s kidding,” he said to Wyatt.

“No, I’m not,” Darcy said.

“Christ,” Wyatt said. “I don’t want to know.”

AJ grimaced.

“And you might’ve been right on this one,” Wyatt said.

He meant, of course, that asking Darcy to do this was a bad idea. No shit. “A little late now.”

“We’ll discuss it when you get back,” Wyatt said.

“No need,” Darcy said.

“Not you,” Wyatt told her. “Me and AJ.”

Darcy narrowed her eyes at the phone. “No, you won’t,” she told her brother. “I was kidding about beating the shit out of him, Wyatt. Don’t you even think about getting into the middle of this, you hear me?”

AJ opened his mouth to intervene but she put a finger in his face. “Wyatt,” she said. “You got me?”

“I got you,” Wyatt said. “I got that you’re both insane.” And then he disconnected.

AJ stared at Darcy, a little surprised at how vehemently she’d stepped in and … what? Defended his honor?

“You going to tell me what your problem is?” she asked him.

Since he wasn’t sure where to start on the list, he decided to plead the fifth.

“Look,” she said. “I’m here because of you. But you’ve had a stick up your ass since you picked me up this morning.”

“I’ve had a stick up my ass?” he asked in disbelief.

“Yeah,” she said, jabbing a finger into his chest, hard. “You. You want to tell me how to remove it?”

No one could crank him up as fast as she could. No one. He snatched the finger currently boring a hole in his chest and pushed it away from him. Or he meant to. Instead he held on to her hand, holding her arm out from her body to look her over.

“What?” she snapped.

“That dress.”

Her eyes narrowed. “What about it?”

“I said we were having dinner with a potential donator. I said we needed to impress him—not put him into cardiac arrest.”

“So this is about what I’m wearing?” She looked down at herself. “Would you rather I wear a potato sack?”

Yes, but that wouldn’t help. His heart was thumping against his ribs. Either he was stroking out or he needed to kiss her. Suddenly he couldn’t see getting through the night, or even the next five minutes, if he didn’t. “Yes,” he said, his lust running amok, burying the last of his good sense. Not that there had been much to start with.