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By:Lynda Chance

"How soon will you know?" he asked her.

"Not soon." Lauren didn't want to have a conversation this intimate with a guy she hardly knew, but she'd forfeited that when she'd chosen to have sex with him. "I'm safe because it's so early in my cycle."

"So, like what? Three weeks?"

"Yeah, something like that," she agreed.

"You can buy a kit thing and find out sooner, right?"

"A kit thing?" she repeated with a hint of sarcasm.

"Test. Whatever," he growled.

"Yeah, and I will," she said.

He watched her for a long moment and then crossed the room and slipped his hand under her chin and lifted until her eyes were on his. "Whatever you do, it doesn't mean we're not having sex for three weeks."

"You want to take another chance?" She almost shrieked.

"I don't think I have a choice, darlin'." He leaned down and kissed her ear and then breathed softly into it, his arms wrapping all the way around her. "You've got me well and truly addicted."

She shuddered softly and his voice in her ear held a questioning tease. "I'll toss the rest of the condoms that came in that box, of course." His hand slid down and gripped her gently at the vee between her legs. "You've got some here we can use later tonight, right?"

She pushed against his shoulders and after a pause he reluctantly released her. "I can't believe that's all you think about! And no! I don't have any here."

The look in his eyes was remarkably mild as he studied her. "Sweetheart, I'm only human."

"I--I want to be alone now."

His eyes narrowed on her. "Only if you promise you forgive me and that you'll see me tomorrow night."

Lauren desperately needed time to regroup, but she couldn't deny that his unwavering interest was almost hypnotic to her senses. She knew she shouldn't feel that way. He was too arrogant, too macho, too much entirely. "Yeah, I promise."

Logan climbed in his truck and drove home, all the while thinking about everything that had just taken place. He'd wanted to stay with her, but she'd kicked him to the curb without so much as a qualm.

He guessed he couldn't blame her.

She wasn't on birth control.

The meaning behind that sank into his brain. So maybe it was true that the hormones made her sick, but she had other options. And the fact that she had no condoms in her apartment was telling.

It was just as he'd suspected; she was sweet.

Damn. He wasn't supposed to want to bang a sweet girl.

Sweet girls meant trouble. They were a threat.

He took a stabilizing breath and acknowledged the truth.

Too bad he had no damn choice in the matter.

As arranged via text message, Logan knocked on Lauren's door at seven o'clock. Somehow, he had no idea how, more than a week had slipped by and they'd seen each other almost every night.

She'd texted him a few days before that she'd taken a pregnancy test and it was negative. Thank fuck. Shit, he was relieved. That congealed ball of emotional crap banging around in his stomach was relief, right? What the hell else could it possibly be?

He'd had a presentation the night before and hadn't been able to see her, so the forty-eight hours without her was about to drive him insane. He'd thought this shit would have cooled down by now, but it hadn't.

He tried to suppress the arousal seemingly caused by just standing in front of her door, but it was damn near impossible. She was all he'd been able to think about all fucking day. How fast could he get her little ass naked?

She answered right away and held the door open for him, but her cell phone was glued to her ear. She ushered him in with a vague smile as she spoke into the phone but her words made his mood deflate. "Yes, sir. We've got it covered. John arranged for ten tickets to the Lakers game. My flight gets in at noon. I'll grab a rental and see you at the office."

Logan hung back and observed her with his mouth flattened. As she listened to whomever she was talking to, she shut the door and motioned him toward the couch. "Yes sir, I've worked on it and the amortization of the two properties combined will easily turn a substantial profit. We're going to make money off the deal, no problem."

Logan sat down as a tension he couldn't explain stabbed him between the shoulder blades. Lauren's soft voice continued as she walked to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. "I don't mind." As Logan listened to her soothe the man on the phone with her feminine tones, his head began pounding. "It's actually really interesting for me to see how the sales side of the operation works. If it eases your worries to have me there, it's no problem."

Logan spread his legs out, lifted his hands behind his head and laced his fingers together as Lauren laughed into the phone. "No, that's true. I don't know the first thing about basketball. Now football . . . I'm your girl." She paused. "Yes, sir. You, too. I'll see you in a few days. Goodnight."

Logan sat back against the couch cushions, his temples throbbing, and watched as Lauren walked toward him with a beer in one hand and a Diet Coke in the other. He leaned in and took the bottle, as she sat down in the chair that was at a ninety-degree angle to the couch.

Lauren couldn't read the hooded expression in Logan's eyes, but it made a quivery feeling run down her spine. "I'm sorry I'm not ready yet." She indicated the shorts and t-shirt she was wearing.

He seemed to ignore that statement. "So, you're going out of town?" he asked in a voice that sounded casual . . . too casual.

"Yeah," she said as she sipped her drink.


"Los Angeles."


Lauren took another drink while she digested his terse, one-syllable questions. "Friday."

"You're leaving for a business trip on Friday? When will you be back?"

"Sunday night, late."

"What's up with the weekend travel?"

She licked her lips and maintained a casual tone. "A couple of things. One . . . we got some good airline rates and two, the clients we're working with requested tickets to this particular Lakers game."

"So, why you?"

"Why not me?" She took a sip and raised her eyebrows at him with a challenging smirk. "You don't think a girl can handle it?"

He twisted his head from side to side as if relieving tension. "That's not what I meant at all."

She shrugged her shoulders. "Well, I don't know what to tell you," she replied neutrally. "I fly to different regions of the country fairly often. My job title is discretionary, if my bosses want me to wear a different hat, I wear a different hat."

"I thought you said your job was boring and tedious."

That almost sounded like an accusation to Lauren, as if he wanted her job to be boring. "It is boring and tedious. It's boring about seventy-five percent of the time, and for me, traveling is tedious. But a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do, you know?"

"Yeah." He took a drink and set the beer on the coffee table and then leaned back and laced his hands behind his head, the same pose he'd been in earlier.

He didn't look happy, but there wasn't a damn thing Lauren could do about it. It was a fact. She didn't like to travel, but she did like to eat. Her job paid well and she planned on keeping it. But she tried to steer the conversation away from her and onto him. "Do you travel much?"

"Not usually," he answered flatly.

"What, like, a couple of times a year?"

"About that," he said.

"Lucky you."

"So, you don't care for basketball?" he asked, his tone colored in neutral shades.

"Not really. Football's my game."

"So why do you have to go?"

"Ostensibly to make sure John doesn't promise the farm after he's had too many beers. But they like me to interact with the clients, as well."

"The clients being men?" He asked in an almost bored tone, a tone that Lauren didn't believe for a second.

"This trip will be comprised of men, but they aren't always." She spoke the truth, and why not? There wasn't anything she could do about it.

Lauren felt the impact of her answer hit Logan as his nostrils flared and a subtle tension corded the muscles in his neck. As she assimilated the hostility that he tried unsuccessfully to hide, her nerves shifted restlessly. Thank God she was only messing around with this guy, and didn't see him as a husband prospect. She didn't see him as a husband prospect, right? That would be insane. Heidi was absolutely right, a guy like this was only meant to be enjoyed, and Lauren had absolutely no intention of trying to tame him. She doubted she'd have any success even toning him down.

He was just so freakin' male.

As she sat in silence, trying damn hard not to be titillated by his purely male responses, because that was just wrong, he stood to his feet in a rush of movement and grabbed her by the hand.

Lauren almost lost her grip on the can she held, and he took it from her and slapped it to the coffee table next to his beer. With one hand wrapped around her wrist, he leaned down to take her mouth, but Lauren reared back from him, caught off-guard by his sudden move and her inappropriate sexual response to it.

He stopped the forward motion of his head and his eyes caught and held hers. He bared his teeth and Lauren sucked in a breath. There was a warning in his eyes, and Lauren had the unmistakable feeling this was about to be an exercise in dominance.

His, over her.

A shivery feeling hit the pit of her stomach and moisture bloomed between her legs, much against her will.