“A kiss on the cheek,” she offered.

“Get real,” he told her. “We both know that wasn’t the bargain. I’m talking an honest to goodness kiss.”

“You didn’t specify where. I should get to choose where I’d want to put it, and I’m saying there.”

“Well, since we’re picking body parts out of the air, I’ll say that I want the kiss on the head of my cock.” At her outraged gasp, he continued blandly. “So I guess we can meet in the middle and settle on the mouth.”

“You’re despicable.”

“Yeah, yeah. You’re the one who started the bidding low, sweetheart. I had to go high to counter it.”

“I’m not your sweetheart! Fine. On the mouth. But no tongue!”

“Oh, there’ll be tongue,” he told her. “But if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll lead.”

“You’ll lead?” There it was again, that weird, half-startled, half-mortified look on her face that told him she was probably blushing again. “What do you mean by that?”

“I mean my tongue can do all the work. You can just let me be in charge of any tongue action.”

She shook her head again. “I’m pretty sure I didn’t agree to tongue.”

“It’s not a kiss if there’s no tongue.”

“Gee, you sure didn’t seem to be thinking that when you suggested I plant a kiss on your dick!”

He laughed, surprised and amused by her retort. He liked her, stiff shoulders and all. “Now now, how do you know I wasn’t referring to tongue?”

She made a choked sound of fury.

“Don’t distract me from our bargain,” he teased. “Let’s keep things on track here. How long?”

“How long, what?”

“How long should the kiss be?”

“I don’t have a timer!”

“Should you get one?” He gestured at the cabin up the hill. “I can go back to the house and tell Cade that we need one to make sure we get the kiss right—”

Her hands went to his chest, stopping him as he pretended to get up. “You’re not going anywhere.”

A smile tugged at his mouth. “Whatever you say.”

“I sincerely wish that were the case,” she told him pertly.

He laughed again. “So we agree to three minutes on the kiss?”

“Three seems like a long time.” She gave him a skeptical look. “I vote one.”

“Three.”

“We’re settling on two, then.” When he didn’t challenge that, she added, “What about hands?”

He raised an eyebrow at her. “You want to start the bidding on that one?”

“No thank you. I learned my lesson with the lips bargaining.” She put her hands on her hips, challenging him. “I just wanted to know where hands factored into this equation.”

Reese grinned. Quick learner. “I suppose we can leave hands off the table for now. Unless you object.”

“Hardly.” She contemplated for a moment, and then gave him a narrow-eyed look. “Did we leave anything out?”

“You tell me.” He was enjoying this far, far too much.

“I feel like if I miss something, you’re going to use it against me.”

He laughed. “Double entendre?”

“See, there you go again.”

“Hey, I’m ready whenever you are.” He gestured expansively. “Just waiting for you to get a move on.”

“Me?” She sputtered again. “Why do I have to make the first move?”

“Because you lost the bet. Those were the rules.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “Now quit stalling.”

“I’m not stalling!” Her shoulders rose in a huff.

“Aren’t you? Because I can go back inside if you want to call this whole thing off. It’s clear to me you have no intention of going through—”

His words cut off because she surged forward and put her hands on his cheeks, pulling his mouth in against hers. Her lips brushed his, and then he felt the barest flicker of tongue against his mouth.

And holy fuck, that was hot.

Reese had been so surprised at her impulsive move that he hadn’t had time to anticipate the feel of her mouth against his. He was surprised by the utter softness of her lips, the sweet, delicious give to her mouth as it parted against his own. Her hands were cold against his cheeks, which made the warmth of her lips even more of a contrast. And those impressive breasts were pressing up against his chest, right where his arms were crossed.

He’d been so startled that he hadn’t been able to respond at first, and she took his lack of response as some sort of challenge, he guessed, because she gently sucked on his lower lip, coaxing his mouth open. “Lips,” she reminded him in a whisper.

He parted for her, and her tongue slipped into his mouth, dancing against his own. Delicate but determined, she stroked against his lips with the tip of her tongue, outlining the seam of his mouth before sliding the tip inside and rubbing it against his tongue.

Goddamn, Audrey’s mouth was amazing. He was shocked that the prim woman could kiss. More than that, she kissed like a demon. Like she knew she was in charge and she was putting him in his place.

Her tongue stroked against his once more, boldly, and then retreated. “Tongue,” she whispered.

“Mmm,” he groaned when she gave a small sigh of pleasure and began to stroke her tongue into his mouth again. He slid his tongue along hers. She gave a little start when he began to respond, but then she yielded against him, and their mouths began to meld in a sensual interplay.

The kiss was incredible. Her soft tongue dancing along his, her sweet mouth parted, her lips joined to his. She tasted delicious, too—warm and like honey. Reese needed more of her. He let his arms fall to his sides and then his hands moved to her hips, close to her ass but not quite touching it. He knew if he grabbed at her, she’d flee, and he wanted more of this.

This sexy, confident Audrey that kissed like a fiend was at total odds with the sour, too proper woman with the stiff back who he had such fun teasing, and fuck if it wasn’t making him hard as all get out. It was a surprise and a turn on all in one. His hands anchored at her waist, holding her against him. His cock had stirred at the wet thrust of her kiss, and within moments he was as hard as a rock. The press of those full breasts against his chest were almost as distracting as the slide of her tongue into his mouth.

After a moment, she pulled away with a small whimper, her mouth gleaming wet in the moonlight. She looked up at him with dazed eyes. “Pretty sure that was two minutes.”

He groaned, leaning in toward her mouth again. “Fuck the two minutes.”

She leaned just as far away from him, her nose wrinkling as if displeased. “Two minutes was the agreement.”

And he was . . . a bit stumped. Wasn’t she enjoying the kiss as much as he was? She’d sighed with pleasure. Her lips and tongue had been enthusiastic against his own. She’d pressed against him. And now that she’d gotten him all worked up . . . she was done? He growled low in his throat. “We can keep going if you want.”

“I don’t want,” she said, and slid out of his grasp, taking a step backward. “This was just because you blackmailed me.”

Somehow he doubted that. Reese hadn’t missed that little jolt she’d made when he’d began to tongue her back, or the little groan of response she’d made. But if she wanted to play games with him, that was fine. She’d learn that he was the king of playing flirty games, and they were just about to get started. “Whatever you say,” he forced out in a casual voice. “You going back to the house now?”

“Yes,” she said in a prim voice. “I am.”

And she whirled and bolted for the house, her steps hurried.

Reese rubbed his lips, still feeling the slick warmth from their kiss, and grinned. Audrey might claim to be unaffected, but he’d bet money that it was a lie. There was a lot more underneath the surface than that girl let on.

And damn it all if he wasn’t interested in finding out more. Now he needed to think of more ways to get that impulsive, fierce little hothead to show up once more.

***

Dear, sweet Lord, she was in way over her head.

Audrey raced back to the house, clutching the borrowed jacket to her shoulders. Her breath was coming fast and her legs felt wobbly and weak. It didn’t make her stop, though—she raced up the wooden steps to the lodge and flung open the door, crashing into the house.

Cade glanced out of the bathroom doorway, seated on a small wooden stool he’d pulled into the bathroom. The sounds of retching continued, and Audrey knew her twin was still in there. “Everything okay?”

His beloved face looked so concerned, so beautiful . . . and she didn’t want to see him at the moment. Not after she’d been kissing another man. Shame rocketed through her.

“Just fine,” Audrey barked out, her voice a little more high-pitched than she would have preferred. A hot flush began to form on her cheeks, and she took a step toward the bathroom out of concern for her twin. “Is she okay?”

Cade nodded. “I’ll stay with her. Keep her company.”

From inside the bathroom, Daphne mumbled something that Audrey couldn’t hear, and for a moment she was oddly thankful that Cade was the one volunteering to sit with Daphne. She didn’t think she could at the moment, not with the way her mind and body were racing. She gestured at the stairs. “I’m, um, just going to go upstairs.”

“Okay.” He turned back to Daphne and began to murmur something.

Audrey raced up the wooden stairs to the second floor of the lodge, where the bedrooms were. Daphne’s shoes were kicked off in front of the last door on the end, so she guessed that was their room. She headed inside and frowned. The room stank of cigarettes and stale smoke. Heading toward the window on the far side of the room, Audrey opened the shutters and then cracked the window to air out the room. A rush of cold air came in, and she pulled the jacket closer to her.

It smelled like Reese. For a moment, she wanted to fling it off her body, but she glanced around the room instead. It was dark, and the only light coming in was from the full moon outside. No one would know she was up here. So she cautiously pulled the jacket closer and gave it another sniff.

If she had to admit it to herself, the scent was . . . wonderful. Reese smelled like soap and warmth and the outdoors and that spicy, musky scent she was starting to identify as pure Reese. Inhaling his scent made her think back to the kiss on the dock, and her gaze automatically went to the window, looking outside for a familiar form.

He was still there where she’d left him minutes ago. Slouched against the wooden railing of the dock, his stance casual and easy. His hand was lifted to his mouth and, as she watched, she could have sworn he was rubbing his lips.

It made a quiver erupt deep in her belly. Had he been affected by their kiss, too?

He glanced up at the lodge and, as soon as he did, she yelped and bolted away from the window, hiding behind the wall. She immediately chided herself for the foolish move. He wouldn’t have been able to see her watching him, sniffing his jacket and basking in his scent.

***

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