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And oh boy had she done just that.

She’d had the night of her entire life; hot, torrid, amazing sex, but the next morning when she’d left his hotel room and made the walk of shame back to hers, wearing her clothes from the night before, heels in hand, she’d been embarrassed at her lack of control.

She, the woman who had to interview dentists before choosing one, she who couldn’t buy a new pair of shoes or an outfit without thinking about it at least overnight, had slept with a perfect stranger. Except now he wasn’t going to be a stranger at all.

Karma was such a bitch.

Behind her, the bathroom door opened. With a surprised squeak, she quickly whirled around. “I’m in here—”

“I know,” Wyatt said. The room was so small that his body bumped into hers when he closed the door. The last time this had happened, she’d ended up in his bed. Naked.

“Step back,” she said in a voice that wasn’t nearly strong enough.

He didn’t step back. To be fair to him, he couldn’t. But he didn’t have to get closer—which is exactly what he did. So much closer that she could have taken his pulse. With her mouth.

He was wearing glasses and though she’d never given it an ounce of thought before, a guy in glasses was sexy as hell.

Or maybe it was just this guy.

He dropped his birthing gloves in the trash, and then washed and dried his hands, his gaze holding hers prisoner in the mirror the entire time. Then he turned to face her and backed her into the wall. One of his hands settled beside her head, the other by her hip, trapping her in. “It’s really you.”

She gave him a little push, but did the big lug move? No. “I’m using the facilities here, Wyatt.”

“Good to know.”

“That I’m using the facilities?”

“That you remember my name.”

It was just about the only thing she did know about him, and that he’d pointed it out only emphasized how big a mistake she’d made. And if she was regretting it, sleeping with him, how must he feel? She knew why she’d done it, but why had he? What kind of a guy picked up a woman in a hotel bar at a vet conference?

Okay, so just about every guy on the planet would be up for that. But still . . .

She was close enough that when she tilted her head up to stare at him, a strand of her hair stuck to the stubble on his jaw. She stared at it, at the way his mouth quirked slightly, revealing an easy humor.

And she realized maybe she knew a little bit more about him than just his name. Thanks to the past hour, she also knew he was a vet like her, and a really good one at that. He was early thirties-ish, definitely young enough that the faint lines fanning out from his eyes were clearly from the sun and laughter, not age.

This wasn’t the problem. The problem was the other stuff she knew about him, things no one should know about people they worked with. Like the fact that he kissed amazingly. And he did . . . other things amazingly too. He liked to talk when he was in bed. Dirty talk that had shockingly turned her on. With nothing more than his voice, he’d been able to coax her into forgetting everything except what he’d been doing to her. And she’d liked what he’d done to her.

A lot.

He’d been an intuitive, giving, demanding, fantastic lover, and now she worked for him. Good sweet baby Jesus.

Those whisky eyes on hers, he hit the bathroom lock, the sound of the bolt sliding into place as loud as her accelerated breathing. “Oh, no,” she said, shaking her head. “No way.” They weren’t going to have a second one-night stand no matter how hard her ni**les had gone. He’d already wielded his magic over her, with nothing more than that low-pitched voice and sex-on-a-stick smile. They were over and done.

Done. Done. Done. “Absolutely not doing it again.”

He grinned. “It?”

“You know what I mean.” She poked him in the pec, momentarily distracted by how firm it was. “And how is it you work here? Are you stalking me?” She gasped as another thought occurred to her. “Did you guys take me on because of—Oh my God. Is it because I”—she lowered her voice into a horrified whisper—”got na**d with you on the first date?”

His lips twitched. “Sweetness, that wasn’t a date.” His voice went a little dry. “But yeah, I found you so irresistible in Reno that I hired a PI, got your last name and where your internship would be, and then applied to the same place to have a job as your supervisor all in order to continue ha**g s*x with you.”

“Okay,” she said slowly, staring up at him. “You’re right. I’m being ridiculous.” Now that she was thinking again, logic thankfully took over. She’d accepted this internship long before she’d ever gone to Reno. “Sorry about that.”

“Yeah, you almost overreacted there for a minute,” he said on a smile.

“Ha.” But she was overreacting to his smile, holy cow. He hadn’t shaved that morning, and she had good reason to know that the stubble on his sexy jaw wasn’t too soft or too rough, but juuuust right. She closed her eyes and tried to shake off that memory, but it was far more difficult than she’d have thought possible. “I have a plan,” she said. “A life plan. And this isn’t on it. You aren’t on it.”

Getting back home to L.A. was on it. Marrying her college study partner John was on it—though probably it would help if she was actually dating him for real instead of their vague promise to “maybe” reconnect in Los Angeles once he’d passed the bar exam. Paying off her college debt and buying her dad a house was also on her plan. As was getting herself a nice, comfortable, stress-free life. The only thing regarding Idaho on the plan was the three-hundred-and-sixty-four-day countdown she had going.

Wyatt had been watching her think too hard and his smile faded at whatever he saw on her face. “Your academics and work ethic earned you this internship, Emily. What happened in Reno—”

“—stays in Reno?” she asked hopefully.

He stared down at her for a long beat, and then nodded slowly. “If that’s how you want to play it.”

“So . . . it’s my call?” she asked, needing the verification.

“Your call.”


“I’m a lot of things,” he said. “Not all of them good, but if I give my word, then it’s gold.”

She nodded, and some of her relief must have shown because he cocked his head at her, looking genuinely surprised. “What did you think I was going to do?” he wanted to know. “Take out an ad in the newspaper about our night?”

Oh God. “Sunshine has a newspaper?”

“Well, no,” he said. “But there’s a bulletin board outside the Stop And Go. Good as gospel.”

She dropped her head and laughed a little, and then realized her forehead was on his chest. His hard chest. She quickly lifted her face. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have touched you.”

His eyes darkened a little bit, and she knew he was remembering the other things she’d touched that night.

And kissed . . .

Oh this was bad. Very, very bad. “We have to go back to being strangers,” she said.

He just stared at her.

“We are strangers,” she said.

“Yeah. Strangers who know what each other’s O-face looks like—”

She covered his mouth but it was too late. And great, now she was sweating again. “We wouldn’t know that,” she said through her teeth, “except someone insisted on keeping the lights on!”

He smiled, wrapped his fingers around her wrist and pulled her hand from his mouth. “I like the visuals.”

And there went the bones in her legs. “Okay,” she said shakily. “We’re going to need rules.”

He grinned. “Like?”

“No. No smiling! These aren’t fun rules.”


She forgot about the no touching, and poked him in the sinewy pec again. Her finger practically bounced back. “One of the rules is that you can’t look at me like that,” she said. “We aren’t going to repeat what happened in Reno.”

He laughed softly. “It’d be hard to repeat it since you can’t even say what ‘it’ is.”

“I’m serious! I work under you, that’s it—” She broke off at his wicked expression and realized that she’d sounded . . . dirty. “You know what I mean!” She said this in no uncertain terms, firmly, and she meant it. Or, more accurately, she wanted to mean it. She’d have to work on that. “So you can just keep those sexy looks to yourself.”

“Sexy looks?”

Like he didn’t know. “Yes!”

“All right,” he said in his slow, warm voice. “I’ll stop giving you sexy looks. Anything else?”

“We ignore what happened in Reno. It never happened. We stay professional because Belle Haven is my job, my livelihood.”

His smile faded. “We’re in accord there.”

She let out a breath of relief. They could do this. “Okay, good. I’ll go out there first.” She started to turn to go around him, but there wasn’t room.

“Here,” he said, and his hands went to her h*ps as he turned, too, trying to make space.

Now they were sandwiched up against each other and she sucked in a breath.

“We’re going to have to stop meeting like this,” he said, good humor in his voice.

“If you weren’t so big, it wouldn’t be a problem.”

He gave another sexy low laugh and she replayed her words, heard the unintentional innuendo, and blushed. Well, hell. He was big. Everywhere. And in spite of being knees deep in muck not fifteen minutes ago, he smelled good. Really good. Warm and sexy good, which was just damn unfair. “Are you doing this on purpose?” she asked.

He gave her a look of utter innocence. “Doing what?”

“Blocking the door!”

“Why would I do that?” he asked.

She closed her eyes, sucked in a breath, and squeezed past him, brushing her br**sts against his chest, her thighs to his, and everything in between—all of which contracted hopefully—as she finally got to the door.


She didn’t look back. “I think we’ve said everything there is to be said, Dr. Stone. I really think it’s best if we completely ignore each other for now.”

“I get that, but you’ve got a . . .”

She felt the brush of his fingers at her ass, and she craned her neck and glared at him in disbelief. “Are you serious? We just agreed that this”—she waggled a finger between them—”never happened.” God help her but she couldn’t do this without his cooperation. “That’s the plan. Remember the plan. Stick to the plan.”

He stared at her for a beat through those sexy glasses, then lifted his hands in surrender.

Turning away, she peeked out the door. Seeing no one, she stealthily slid out and took a deep breath. Shook it off. Just a minor setback on The Plan she told herself. Just a little hiccup, and a huge mark in the con column of Sunshine. About six-feet-two-inches huge.

Trying to be cool, she walked down the hallway, and had just passed the staff room when the woman from the front desk stuck her head out.

“Hey there,” she said. “I didn’t get to introduce myself before. I’m Jade Connelly.”

Emily shook her hand. “Are you related to Dr. Connelly?”

“Married him. Did you know you have a birthing glove stuck to your ass?”


Bemused, feeling a little bit like he’d been hit by a tornado—a cute, feisty, sexy-as-hell tornado named Emily, Wyatt stepped into the hallway. He was just in time to catch sight of Jade pointing out what he’d tried to tell Emily—that she had a birthing glove stuck to her very sweet ass.

Her own hands on that sweet ass, she was twisting around to try to see herself. She went still, and then yanked off the glove. She stared down at it, and then, from the length of the hallway, lifted her head and caught his gaze.

He raised a brow.

She blushed.

Someone should probably point out to her that in order to ignore someone properly, you didn’t blush every time you caught sight of that someone. But it wouldn’t be him¸ since they weren’t going to talk. Not about their personal lives, and certainly not about that night.

And yet he remembered it, every detail. Sometimes he’d flash to the feel of her lips on his skin, her breath warm on his neck, her bare legs wrapped low and tight around his back, hardened ni**les pressed to his chest as she arched up into him. And the sound of her sweet, needy gasp in his ear on that first thrust . . .

He blew out a breath and shook it off. He knew what she wanted from him, and he agreed. They needed to ignore what’d happened in Reno, for lots of reasons, not the least of which was that like her, working at Belle Haven was everything to him. No way in hell would he put it in jeopardy. He knew how to be professional, and for both of their sakes, that’s exactly what he’d be.

The center’s tech, Mike, came down the hall, his eyes going to Emily. “Pretty,” he said to Wyatt.

“A good vet,” Wyatt said.

Mike smiled. “Even better.” He handed over a file. “Exam room two. First timer. Has a . . . unique problem.”

Wyatt slid him a look. “Care to share?”

From exam room one came the sounds of a scuffle, and then Dell’s voice calling out for Mike.

“Oh shit,” Mike said. “Gotta go.”

“Hey, what’s the unique problem?”