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He ignored that. “You know they charge you a mint just to open that thing.”

“Take it off my pay.” She perused her choices and settled on a mini bottle of scotch.

“You already had two drinks at dinner.”

She turned and gave him a deceptively bland look. The wild cat before the strike. “And?”

“And alcohol and pain meds don’t mix, Darcy.”

Her easy expression vanished. “I knew you’d get to it.”

“To what?”

“To pissing me off.” She pointed to the door. “Get out, AJ.”

He didn’t move as she took a long pull on the bottle. “Why are you still here?” she asked. “I asked you to go.”

“You didn’t ask,” he said.

“Fine. Get out—please.”

His smile was as grim as her tone. “Better. But I’m still not going anywhere.”

She just stared at him. “You know, most people run from me,” she said. “As fast as they can.”

“I’m not most people.” He waited until she looked at him. “I didn’t think you were taking the meds or you’d be a lot more mellow. I just wanted to be sure.”


“You going to stick with the story that the elevator kiss was pretend?”

“Yep,” she said, popping the P sound, her eyes flashing with a dare.

His brain shut down and his body took over. He strode close, put his hands on her arms, and hauled her up to her toes with some harebrained idea that kissing her again was going to fix this.

It was not.

Not even close.

Nose to nose she stared at him, her eyes both challenging and wary at the same time.

“Fuck,” he said and let go of her, backing away, not quite trusting himself. “My point is—”

“Oh, goodie. There’s a point.”

Okay, that was it. He yanked her back in, hard. It was a selfish, asshole move, but then she sort of melted against him and he felt like he’d just won the lottery. Fisting his hands in her hair, he kissed her until she was letting out little, sexy-as-hell, panting whimpers and trying to crawl up his body. “Pretend though, right?” he murmured against her lips.

She shoved free. “Forget it. Let’s go home.”

He walked to her window and pulled open the shades.

Snow fell in heavy white lines, slashing through the night, and her mouth fell open.

“They’re calling for at least six inches,” he said. “The pass is closed until morning.”

She stared at him.

Feeling guilty as shit and having no idea why, he shoved his hands into his pockets. Christ, now he needed a drink.

“Fine,” she said. “So we’re stuck until morning. Doesn’t mean we have to be stuck together. Let yourself out.” And then she turned her back on him.

Any words he might have uttered backed up in his throat because, casual as you please, she dropped her towel and bent to her bag. Jesus. He was still tongue-tied when she pulled on a big T-shirt and a pair of panties before facing him, one brow arched.

Right. She wanted him gone. Good idea. Great idea. He headed to the door, paused, had a mini argument with himself and lost. Or maybe won. In either case, he left her room and was striding toward the elevator when he heard his name. Turning around, he saw Trent in the hallway, carrying an ice bucket.

“You out to get that lovely lady of yours something?” Trent asked.

AJ’s mind froze. “Uh …”


AJ recovered. “Right. Yes. Ice.” He looked down at his empty hands. Shit. “Forgot the bucket.”

Trent grinned. “Going to be tricky without it. But I’m glad I caught you. I was just telling my wife about you and Darcy. Summer was too shy to come down tonight, but once she found out that you and Darcy were a couple, she got excited. She wants to have breakfast with you two before you head out.”

AJ pictured trying to talk Darcy into breakfast and rubbed a hand over his jaw. “We’re going to get an early start so—”

“Summer wants to meet you,” Trent said and moved closer, speaking in a conspirator’s tone. “And to be honest, AJ, I always get her whatever she wants.”

Hell. “I understand but we have a long drive and both of us have work to get back to.”

“Let me repeat,” Trent said, still smiling but speaking firmly. “Whatever she wants, AJ.”

“Sure,” he said, thinking what the hell, this was Darcy’s fault anyway. “Okay.”

Trent clapped him on the shoulder and smiled approvingly, and … didn’t go away. AJ finally realized the guy was waiting for him to go back into Darcy’s room—their room—for the ice bucket.

This just got more and more fun. AJ returned Trent’s smile and walked back to Darcy’s room. Staring at the door, he blew out a breath, lifted a hand and knocked once.

It took her a painfully long moment to answer, which was better than what he’d feared—that she wouldn’t answer at all.

When she pulled open the door, she stared at him. “Sorry,” she said. “I already gave at the office.”

AJ barely got his foot in the door before she tried to slam it.

“Seriously?” she asked when he pushed his way in. “What if I’d screamed?”

“Then you’d have ruined all your hard work lying at dinner tonight,” he said, and turned back to wave good night to Trent.