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Her laugh was harsh with disbelief. “There’s nothing fair or square about this situation. It’s weird.”
“Yeah, maybe it is. But here we are. Stuck together for a Christmas circus.”
Her nose wrinkled and disdain dripped from her words. “With Hank as the ringmaster.”
“Exactly. But you’ll stay, right?”
She was silent a moment and then nodded. “I’ll stay. Thank you.”
“For talking me down from the wall. For being a pretty decent human, actually.”
His chest tightened and he itched to reach for her again. He heard her breath hitch, and an answering awareness flickered in her eyes. His gaze moved to her mouth when she wet her lips.
“Don’t do anything stupid, Cal.” Her soft words floated around in his head.
It was too damn late for that. He lowered his head until their breath mingled. Ah hell.
“Stupid like this?” Before she could reply he touched her lips with his. Instead of pushing him away, she leaned into him with a sigh.
Her mouth parted beneath his, and he delved deep with his tongue to taste her.
Dear God, she tasted even better than he’d imagined. The softness of her lips, the sweetness of her mouth. She could easily become his addiction.
Rosa kissed him back, clinging to his leather jacket and making the sweetest murmurs of pleasure.
The cold of them dissipated as heat surged through his blood. Need, fierce and quick, slammed into him.
Somewhere inside the house, a door slammed, snapping them both from the moment. Cal broke the kiss and dragged in a
breath of cold air that froze his lungs. With a ragged sigh, he leaned his forehead against hers.
“I told you not to do anything stupid.”
Her unsteady whisper had his chest shaking from a silent laugh.
“It’s kind of my thing. I’d apologize and all, but I’m not sorry.” He lifted his head and touched her cheek. Her eyes were bright and her lips were swollen. “I’ve been wanting to do that from the moment I laid eyes on you.”
His gaze snapped back to hers. The heat was still there, but it was tempered with a steadfast determination.
“I’m not sorry either.” She bit her lip. “But you can’t forget who I am.”
“And who are you, Rosa?” She had more layers than an artichoke. He wanted to strip each one away until he found the heart.
She glanced at his mouth, before looking up through her lashes to meet his gaze. “I’m still the woman who’s going to sell this ranch when it’s given to me.”
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“Yeah.” She nibbled her bottom lip, looking all out of sorts and flustered. “I mean, you’re a guest at the ranch. It wouldn’t be appropriate.”
Appropriate? Really, she was going to pull that excuse on him?
She flushed. “Hunter, there are a dozen girls in that bar, twenty times prettier than me. Girls that were trying their hardest to get you to pay attention to them.”
Maybe there had been, but he hadn’t even been tempted. And while he couldn’t agree with the prettier girls part, he thought it best not to say that aloud.
The hand she ran through her thick hair trembled. “I’m not sure why you’d even want to kiss me.”
“Katie.” Had she really not figured it out yet? “I’ve wanted to kiss you since I was in eleventh grade.”
Shock, had her eyes rounding and her pink lips parting.
He took another step closer and cradled her soft face between his hands.
“And I want to do it again.” He wanted to do a hell of a lot more than kiss her, actually, but for now, this was enough. His lips hovered above hers. “This time without an audience.”