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From Temptation to Twins(8)

By:Barbara Dunlop

“Why I can’t trust you?”


She thought about it for a moment. “I can’t trust you, because I can’t trust you.”

He wasn’t buying it. “That’s a circular argument. You’re too smart for that.”

“Okay,” she said, drawing back against the ladder. “I can’t trust you because you’re a Watford.”

He knew he should walk away, but his feet stayed stubbornly still. “You barely know me.”

“I know your family.”

“That’s not the same thing.”

“I know you want me to compromise my interests.”

“Not really,” he said.

She cocked her head and sent him a frown of disbelief.

“Only a little bit,” he amended. “But it’ll work in the long run. I know it’ll work in the long run. For both of us.”

“Are you lying to yourself or just to me?”

“I’m not lying.”

“You definitely inherited it,” she said, apparently growing tired of waiting for him to back off. She slipped sideways, putting some distance between them.

“Inherited what?” He watched her go with regret.

“The gift of persuasion. Just like your father and grandfather, you’re confident in your ability to talk your way out of or into anything.”

Caleb wasn’t like his father or his grandfather. At least he didn’t want to be like them. He tried very hard to mitigate his father’s character traits in himself. For the most part, he thought he succeeded.

“That’s not fair,” he said.

“Fair?” She gave a light laugh. “A Watford talking about fair? Let me add to that. A Watford talking about fair while he tries to talk a Parker out of something?”

Caleb knew he’d lost this round. There was no way she was going to listen to reason. At least not right now. The kiss had been a colossal error.

Then again, it was a fantastic kiss. He couldn’t bring himself to regret it. If that kiss was the biggest mistake he made today, it was going to be a good day.

“No comeback?” she asked. “Come on, Caleb. You’re disappointing me.”

“Is there anything I can say to change your opinion?”

“Uh, no.”

“Then is there any chance you’ll go out with me?”

The question seemed to take her aback, and it took her a second to respond. “You mean like on a date?”

“Yeah. You and me. Dinner, dancing, whatever.” He wasn’t exactly sure how they’d separate their personal attraction from their business interests, but he was more than willing to give it a try.

“Is that a joke? Are you trying to put me off balance?”

“Yes, I’m trying to put you off balance.” He took a couple of steps toward her. “But no, it’s not a joke. There’s obviously an attraction between us.”

“We have nothing in common.”

“I like kissing you.” And he was pretty confident that she liked kissing him.

Her expression didn’t soften at all. “I bet you like kissing a whole lot of women.”

Not as much as he liked kissing her. But the accusation was fundamentally true. And he didn’t want to lie to her. “I suppose I do.”

“Then take one of them out on a date.”

“I’d rather take you.”

“You’re too much.”

“You’re stubborn.”

“Give the man a gold star.”

The answer surprised him. “You admit to being stubborn?”

“Oh, yes.” She jabbed her finger against his chest. “And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

He trapped her hand, holding it against his heart. “Fightin’ words?”

“You said it yourself. We’re both going back to our corners now to come out swinging.”

Her eyes were alight, her cheeks still flushed, her lips were still swollen from his kisses, and he could see a little pulse at the base of her neck. She was the sexiest woman on the planet.

“Don’t you dare,” she said, snatching her hand from his grip.

He couldn’t help but grin. “I’m not going to kiss you again.”

“You better not.”

“I’ll make you a deal.”

She shook her head.

“Not a business deal. A personal deal. Next time, you have to be the one to kiss me.” Even as he said the words, he feared he was making a mistake.

She might never decide to kiss him. But he had no choice. He couldn’t take the chance of misreading her signals.

Melissa bounced through the doorway, enthusiasm in her expression and in her tone. “Jules, this is Noah Glover. He’s offered to help us with the renovation.”