Page 30

Out on the road, as Anne went through the series of stoplights and bunch of turns that she could do in her sleep, she found her palm getting sweaty again. Matter of fact, her body felt like it was under a heat lamp. As she came up to a red light, she peeled her fleece off over her head and tossed it into the back.

“How did you get to my house?” she asked. “I didn’t see your car.”

“I walked.”

She glanced over. “Five miles?”

“I needed to clear my head.” As his hand dipped into his windbreaker, he cursed and took it back out. “Yes, I know. No smoking in your car.”

“Absolutely not.”

“Already said I know,” he shot back.

At the next light, she noted the way his knee was bouncing up and down like the left half of him was running a hypothetical sprint.

Like being in step across the parking lot, she knew the feeling. Her heart was beating about as fast as that foot of his was tapping in that wheel well, and she wasn’t stupid. They were both rattled, the past and present colliding and leaving shattered pieces of “normal,” “forever,” and “never going to happen to me” in the street.

That was the thing about life. Habit and routine made things feel permanent, but that was all an illusion based on the very flimsy foundation of repetition. Change and chaos was a far better bet to put your faith in.

At least you would never be surprised when things went tits up.

“I’ll take you home then,” she announced.

“I can walk.”

“I know you can.”

“It’s fine—”

“It’s cold—”

“Thanks, Mom.”

Anne locked her molars. It was either that, or this—whatever it was—was going to uncap into a whole lot of yelling over nothing.

And meanwhile, the pressure was building. In her. In him. Until she was damn sure they were within two psi of blowing the safety glass out of the Subaru’s doors and windshield.

When she got to his house, she pulled into the short drive, went around back, and hit the brakes. She could tell he was rank pissed at her reroute, but guess what. She didn’t care.

She wanted him angry at her.

It was safer that way. Somewhere along the ride to his apartment, frustration and pain had kindled into energy of a different kind. Heat of a different kind. Urgency . . . of a dangerous kind.

Abruptly, the confines of the car’s interior shrunk down on her. On them.

“Put the car in park,” Danny said in a gruff voice.

Nope, she thought. Not a good call. Reverse was the gear she wanted.

But her hand had other ideas, not just moving the gear shift into place but turning the engine off. In the sudden silence, she was aware of breathing heavily, and she parted her lips to get some more oxygen into her lungs.

“We are not doing this.” Her voice was too low. And not in terms of volume. “I am not doing this.”

Danny turned to her. “You sure about that. Tell me to get the fuck out of your car—”

“Get the fuck out of my car.”

Except only a part of her meant it—and Danny, the idiot savant when it came to emotions, knew that. The bastard knew it.

Losing her temper and her mind, Anne reached for him, clapping a hand on the side of his neck and yanking him to her mouth. And because she could always rely on Danny Maguire not doing the right thing, he didn’t hesitate.

He kissed the ever-living shit out her, his lips grinding on hers, his tongue penetrating her with such an erotic dominance that she was instantly reminded of why he’d given her the sex of her life the one time she’d been with him.

When they separated, his hooded eyes were a mirror she didn’t want to look into. She didn’t need confirmation that all her heavy-handed, holier-than-thou rhetoric was about to get haymakered in favor of Danny’s stellar coping mechanism.

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