Oddly enough, the latter two were the most probable. Especially the STD, she thought, then chided herself for being unfair. Camilla’s greatest crime was being interested in the same man who Audrey was.

Then again, the bitch did call her fat.

Feet thumped on the stairs and Audrey looked up from her book. Cade and Daphne had gone for a walk around the lake—they all usually took at least one turn around the lake with a partner daily since there wasn’t a TV in the lodge and not much to do in the way of entertainment otherwise—so Audrey knew it must have been Reese heading down the stairs.

She resisted the urge to smooth a hand over her bun.

Sure enough, it was Reese, dressed in a dark burgundy open-collared shirt that actually fit him and a pair of jeans. She guessed Camilla must have returned with his clothing. He looked sexy as hell in it, too. Audrey eyed his tight ass in his jeans appreciatively.

He gave her a black look as he passed by the couch, his foul mood clearly lingering, then headed into the kitchen. She put aside her romance novel and her empty popcorn bowl and sat up. That look he’d given her was a warning one. A “not right now” look. A “don’t fuck with me today, I’m not in the mood” look. Too bad for him that he was alone in the cabin with the one woman immune to Reese Durham’s black glare. He didn’t scare her. Hell, he didn’t even intimidate her, really. She just wanted to know why he was so cranky, and why he’d turned the heiress down.

She headed into the kitchen after him.

Reese was bent over, pulling somethingout of the fridge. When he straightened, he gave her a foul look and tossed the package of ground beef on the counter. “Go away, Audrey. I’m not in the mood.”

“That’s not like you,” Audrey said in a deliberately light voice, moving a bit closer to him anyhow. “Rumor has it that you’re always in the mood.”

He ignored her, pulling a sauté pan out of the cabinet and thumping it on the stove with a bit of force. When she didn’t move back, he glared at her again, reached past her, and grabbed a knife, then slit open the meat and dumped it in the pan.

“So you’re not talking to me?” she asked.

“I thought I told you to go away.”

“Are you mad that you chased your heiress away?”

That time, the glare he gave her was icy. Reese gestured at the pan. “Do you mind? I’m trying to make dinner so you can keep romancing Cade into thinking you’re the perfect woman.”

“Mmm,” she said, eyeing him. For some reason, it was adorable seeing Reese all moody and blustery. Maybe it was because she was normally the one on the defensive and Reese the one on the offensive. Turning the tables? Kind of fun. “So what am I cooking?”

“Spaghetti.” As if to prove the point, he grabbed a large pot and turned, thumping it into the sink with a crash and then began to fill it with water.

“Wonderful. Cade loves spaghetti. That’s rather thoughtful of me.” She crossed her arms under her breasts and leaned up against the counter. “I don’t suppose I thought of garlic bread, too?”

He glared at her hatefully, then turned a knob on the oven, pre-heating it. “You did. Happy now? Can you go?”

Audrey tilted her head, studying him. “I will after you tell me what’s going through your head.”

“It’s none of your business.”

“Really? You think it’s none of my business?”

He ignored her, turning off the tap and then moving the pot of water to the stove top, as if she weren’t speaking. That was fine. She’d break through that icy facade at some point, and then he’d snap. Kind of like she always did.

And for some reason, that started to turn her on.

Audrey tugged at her T-shirt, hoping her hardening nipples weren’t visible through the fabric. She continued to watch him, then commented, “So why’d you turn Camilla away?”

“I didn’t.” The two syllables sounded gritted, as if spoken through clenched teeth.

“Really?” She pretended to pick a piece of lint off his sleeve, oh so casual. “That wasn’t what I heard.” And she waited for the inevitable blow up.

Reese slowly turned, looking at her long and hard. “What did you hear?”

She gave a small shrug, but felt her panties get a little damp with arousal. “I overheard you talking to Camilla back by the woodpile. You’re riding the moped, remember?” At his unmoving face, she continued on. “You know the joke. Fat chicks are like mopeds. Fun to ride but you never let your buddies see it—”

“I know what she meant, Audrey. And I never said you were fat.”

“No, you didn’t. Camilla did. You told her you were sleeping with me, though, and it torpedoed your big business deal. And I don’t understand why you did that.”

He gave her a scathing look, then grabbed a spatula and began to stir the ground beef that sizzled in the skillet. “I said we weren’t talking about it.”

“Did you decide that you didn’t want the business deal?” she asked, knowing she was goading him. “Or maybe Camilla wasn’t your type after all? She told you that she didn’t care if you slept with me as long as you had fun with her. Was that the problem? You weren’t having fun? Or maybe—”

He set the spatula down, his hands clenching. “Let it go, Audrey.”

“Maybe you’re chicken,” she continued. “Maybe you felt like you couldn’t back up your bet, so it was safer to lose to me. Not every guy’s in the right sort of mindset for anal sex, after all—”

Reese turned away before she could finish. Audrey let her words trail off, curious and a little disappointed. All that ammo she’d been throwing at him and he wasn’t even going to say anything to her? As she watched, he moved to the oven and turned off the knob. Then he did the same to the stove and gave her another glare. “You want to be in the kitchen so bad, you can cook dinner.”

And he began to stalk away.

She reached out and grabbed his arm. “You want to know what I think?”

“No, but I’m sure you’ll tell me.” He tried to pull away.

Audrey ignored his attempts to lose her. He was well versed in pushing her out of her own comfort zone, and it was time someone turned the tables on him. “I think you’re pouting.”

That got his attention. His gaze snapped back to her and he gave her a black scowl. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me. You’re pouting. You’re sulking because you turned down a woman who holds the purse strings to a lucrative business deal and you’re mad at yourself for doing it, because you don’t understand why you did so. And you want to know something? I don’t understand it, either.”

The look in his eyes got darker. “Audrey . . .”

“I’m serious. If it’s because you’re sleeping with me, well then, that was a bit ridiculous, don’t you think? I told you that we don’t have anything going on between the two of us. You should have taken her deal.” Her fingers might have stroked his arm through that dark sleeve, feeling the cords of his muscles. “That was a stupid move.”

“I don’t need a lecture from you,” he said, his mood still black. But he wasn’t pulling away any longer.

“We both know it was stupid, though,” Audrey continued, her voice getting husky. “Stupid and very un-Reese Durham of you. Playboy Reese Durham would have slept with her and demanded the business deal, and then kicked her out of bed once you had it.”

“That’s right,” he said with a bitter laugh. “The male gigolo.”

That hadn’t been what she’d meant. At least, not at the moment. So she simply stroked her hands up his arm, unable to stop herself from touching him. God, he was cute in Cade’s awkwardly tight clothing, but in his own? He had this savage, predatory grace—a businessman out to break hearts and drop panties. And it was doing wicked, wicked things to her.

“Nothing but sex,” she said lightly. And she meant for it to come out as some sort of rebuttal or clarification, but instead it sounded breathless and incredibly, wildly turned on.

One hard hand moved to her waist, and then in a flash, Reese was grabbing her and jerking her against him. Audrey’s breath stole out of her lungs as his head bent to hers and then he gave her a crushing kiss, full of pent-up frustration and longing and laced with eroticism.

It seemed that she hadn’t been the only one feeling the sparks between the two of them. Good. If she was crazy, at least they were crazy together. Audrey moaned, her arms going around his neck, and his mouth drove against her own, his tongue sliding into her mouth with a fierce intensity that promised all kinds of things that made her core ache.

He groaned low in his throat and then he pushed her back up against the counter, the kiss taking on a hot, wild edge. With his hips pinning hers against the counter, he thrust against her in a suggestive motion, letting her know exactly just how into this he was. And he was hard as a rock.

Just the feel of him against her made Audrey breathless with need. She whimpered and her hands went to his shirt, frantically plucking at the buttons. She needed skin, wanted to feel him against her.

He followed her lead and began to drag at the waist of her jeans, then headed for her fly. The kisses he pressed to her mouth became quick and abrupt, as if he needed to pull away and couldn’t seem to do it, continually heading back to her mouth for one more round, one more kiss, one more slick of tongue against her own. “You want to do this here?” he breathed against her mouth. “Where are Daphne and Cade?”

“Out for a walk,” she told him, then leaned in and took his lower lip between her teeth, then sucked on it.

“To my room, then.” Reese grabbed her by the hips and pulled her into his arms. Audrey squeaked in surprise, her arms flinging around his neck in fright at being lifted off the counter.

“Put me down!”

“Hell no,” Reese said, and buried his face in her cleavage. “I like you just like this.”

For some reason, that made her feel playful . . . and he didn’t feel like he was straining to hold her. So Audrey relaxed a little and locked her legs around him, then rubbed her breasts against his chin as he carried her toward the stairs.

He gave a soft little groan when her hard nipples scraped against his jaw. “God, you have the most perfect breasts. I think I need them in my face more often.”

“Get me into your bed and you can have them in your face in about thirty seconds,” she said.

Reese carried her up the stairs and they headed down the hall to the last room, the one that Reese had been staying in. He flung open the door and strode inside, then tossed Audrey down on his bed with a bounce, his eyes watching her with avid interest.

She leaned up on her elbows, surveying his room. It was kind of a disaster area—no neat freak here. Dirty laundry was strewn all over the floor and the bed wasn’t made, which was a far cry from her own room. She liked seeing that. It only emphasized the differences between her and Reese, and she liked those differences a lot. They were what made him so much fun to be with, so different. So incredibly arousing.


***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com