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By:Lynda Chance

Lauren's heart jolted and she felt a tingling in the pit of her stomach. She tried to form words but she couldn't and just then, Logan's eyes were forced to leave hers as their food arrived.

They ate in a silence, almost companionable but not quite, as a current of electricity circled over them and kept her on edge.

He questioned her between bites. "How old are you?"


"Where you from? You're not from Texas."

"Ohio." She studied the brackets around his mouth. "How old are you?"

He sent her a look and she asked, "What? You asked me first."

"I'm twenty-eight."

"What do you do for a living?"

"I'm an architect."

"Really? That sounds interesting. Incredibly hard, but interesting."

"I like it," he answered succinctly. "I'm in the process of opening up my own firm. What do you do?"

Her mouth twisted. "I sit in a cubicle all day and look at numbers."

"An accountant of some kind?"

"Yeah, sort of. I do some accounting, but my job title is financial analyst. And it's not interesting. It's extremely tedious and boring."

"Why do you do it?" he questioned.

"I got my bachelor's in finance. Don't ask me why. I was good at math and didn't know what I wanted to do. But it's a good job and it pays the bills."

His eyes traveled over her face and searched her expression. "Can't ask for more than that, I suppose."

Lauren took the last bite she could possibly manage and set her fork down. She recognized a maddening hint of arrogance in his questions, and yet it didn't upset her. But it certainly kept her on her toes. He was extremely attractive; and she was in no way blind to that attraction.

After a few moments he finished his meal as well and washed it down with half of the iced water that sat in front of him.

The server came and with precise, economical movements, cleared the table, left the bill and then turned and walked away. As Logan picked up the check, Lauren made a move for her purse.

He raised a single eyebrow and annoyance crossed his features. "Don't do that."

"Why not?" She asked as casually as she could manage.

"I asked you out," he replied succinctly.

"Does that mean if I ask you out, you'll let me pay?" she enquired innocently.

"No," he snapped.

Lauren wasn't trying to argue; she was just curious. "Why not?"

"What are you expecting me to say here, Lauren? Me, Tarzan . . . you Jane?"

Her heart started a heavy beat. Was it from apprehension or excitement? Oh, excitement, definitely. "Is that the way you feel?" she questioned.

"You don't really want to know how I feel," he said off-handedly as he placed a large denomination note in the folder and slid to his feet.

A quiver of dangerous warmth hit her belly at his ominous assertion. "I don't?"

He held his hand out to her and Lauren took it, standing shakily to her feet.

Ignoring her question as if the subject was closed, he put one arm around her and tipped her chin up with the other. "Are you going out with me tomorrow night?"

A hot rush of delirium mingled with a bit of relief infiltrated her system. "Okay," she agreed. She tried not to smile but she couldn't control the slight lift of her lips.

His eyes roved over her and lazily appraised her, even as his arm tightened around her waist. "I'll pick you up so you can have a margarita."

"All right," she agreed again. With his arm like a steel band around her waist and his heady, masculine scent swirling around her senses, Lauren had the insane thought that she might agree to anything he suggested. Thank God he wasn't a scientist or an astronaut or something crazy like that; she could just see herself blithely agreeing to a one-way mission to colonize Mars with the intent of propagating the species as his mate.

Thankfully, he couldn't read her thoughts or tell how fast her pulse was racing. He dropped an abbreviated kiss on her lips and walked her out of the restaurant. They strolled hand in hand toward her car and when she stopped he asked, "Is this it?"


He looked at her four-door sedan and then around the darkened parking lot with a frown. "Why did you park so far back here?"

"I had no choice. I was lucky to get this spot."

He grimaced. "My fault. We should have met earlier."

"Don't worry about it." Although he wasn't saying it was the darkness that was upsetting him, Lauren could read between the lines. "It was daylight when I got here . . . and now you're here. So, I'm okay."

Without missing a beat, he swung her around until her back hit the driver's side door and he was caging her in with his arms. "Yeah, now I'm here." His head swooped down, and before Lauren could take a breath, he was kissing her again. She was absolutely powerless to resist as he plunged his tongue into her mouth and began stroking her. If she'd thought his kiss in the restaurant had been amazing, she had a lot to learn. With the dark night and no people around them, he kissed her as if he meant it.

A deep need inundated her and she lifted her arms and slid her fingers through his hair, holding on as he searched her mouth. He shifted his body against hers, and a sexual urgency hit her that screamed through her bloodstream and started a whirling in her head. His kiss held a persuasive hunger, causing her pulse to beat with the need to give him anything he wanted. With his body pressed against hers, Lauren was aware when he hardened with arousal and in that moment, the chemistry between them exploded and the embrace went into overdrive.

His kiss became biting; he nipped at her tongue and lips with his teeth before plunging in even deeper. He growled low in his throat and if he hadn't held her up, Lauren knew that her legs were so shaky that she would have fallen to the ground. She felt a heady sensation of shock and ecstasy, and it registered that the forceful domination of his kiss was unlike anything she'd ever experienced in her life.

Abruptly, he lifted his mouth from hers and when she opened her eyes, he was staring down at her with a dark look that was impenetrable. He was silent, and a need to lighten the tense, sexual atmosphere came over her. She licked her lips and tasted the residual hint of him; it didn't help to calm her nerves as she tried to get her senses into order.

She removed her hands from his hair but he refused to release her. She cleared her throat and tried again to shift things back to normal. If they had a normal. "I know you lied yesterday," she challenged softly, leaning against him.

His eyes impaled hers and his brows narrowed in question. "About what?"

She tried to smile to show she was only teasing, but she was very much afraid that she failed. "It won't be okay if I don't sleep with you."

He never smiled as she'd meant him to. His expression became hooded and when he finally replied, his voice was so deep and gravelly that she was lacerated by both his tone and his words. "No, it won't be okay." His hands tightened around her and she felt the steel in both his body and his words. "I want to fuck you more than I want to breathe and I'll have your little ass naked inside of a week."

Chapter Three

The next night, when Lauren's doorbell rang a full fifteen minutes earlier than she expected, she almost had a heart attack. Her hair and nails and make-up were done, but she wasn't dressed. What he'd said to her the previous evening, right before he'd put her in her car, blared through her brain every five seconds.

She ran to the front door in her bra and panties and looked through the peephole.

WTF? Guys were supposed to be late, not early. "I'm not ready yet." she called through the door.

"That's fine, I'll wait. Open the door."

That deep voice penetrated both the door and her system and slid down to make a hot pulse between her thighs. "I'm not dressed yet," she managed weakly.

"So I'll close my eyes and you can lead me to a chair and I'll sit until you're ready."

He had an answer for everything. "Okay, just a sec. Let me grab a robe." Lauren hurried away and grabbed her old purple robe. It was silky and cool and came to mid-thigh, but it covered her completely where she needed to be covered. She tied the sash and went back to the door. "I'm going to open the door. Close your eyes."

"Yep," he acknowledged shortly.

When she opened the door, his eyes were closed as requested. She picked up his hand and led him into the living room and then pushed against his chest, indicating the chair where he should sit. He didn't so much as budge. "There's a chair behind you," she hinted.

She looked up and found his eyes opened and focused hotly on her. Their heights were disparate; he towered over her and she felt incredibly small and feminine next to him. She sucked in a breath and tried to remember that she was completely covered up.

"You have a nice home," he drawled as if he couldn't care less, without glancing away from her for even a second.

"You didn't even look around," she admonished quietly.

"I'm looking." His hands landed on her sides and his fingers sank tightly into her hipbones, the silk of her robe sliding sensuously against her skin as it gave under the strength of his touch.

The feeling was like an electric charge between them and it slammed down to her pelvis in a heated rush. "Oh, shit," she breathed out heavily, knowing immediately that she was in trouble.