True romance is always an adventure...


"Boy, Dalton, I never knew you could move so fast." He laughed, harder this time, causing water’s spray to go off its intended course.

"Cade! You’re getting my clothes all wet!"

"Just trying to get the all the mud off you," he replied with a devilish grin, then raised the stream higher, thoroughly soaking her.

She squealed in protest. "Cade Tyler, you’re going to pay for that!"

"Do tell," he taunted, keeping her at bay with a steady stream of water as he circled her. "What are you gonna do, Dalton? Hit me with your briefcase? Stab me with your pen? No wait, maybe you’ll attempt the most horrible torture known to man... You’ll sing to me!"

Bringing up her arm to shield her face from the water’s spray, she launched herself at him sending both of them toppling to the ground. Domino ran around them barking and wagging his tail.

Cade could barely breathe he was laughing so hard. Water soaked his clothes, both from the wet ground and from Lacy who was now lying atop him.

Her surprise attack had caused him to lose his grip on the hose and Lacy wasted no time in snatching it up. Pinning him to the ground the way Domino had done to her earlier, she turned it on him.

"How come you’re not laughing now, cowboy?" she taunted as he sputtered below her, the water spraying all over his face and shirt. Finally, she relented, turning the hose away. She waited until he opened his eyes to lean forward and say with a grin, "Never underestimate your opponent, Tyler. I can give as good as I get."

Could she ever, he thought as he lay flat on his back with Lacy straddling him. His gaze traveled downward to settle on the glistening beads of water that clung to her lips. Then, without thinking, because that was becoming virtually impossible to do whenever she was around, he buried his fingers in the wet mass of honeyed hair that hung down her back and drew her to him.

With a soft gasp of surprise, she closed her eyes as his lips moved over hers, tasting her, teasing her.

Driven by need, he captured her mouth fully in a hot, hungry kiss. Despite the cold water seeping through his wet clothes, his body burned. For her.

As if reading his mind, Lacy arched up into him with a needy moan.

There had to be no doubt in her mind now as to the power she held over him. The proof of it strained hard and thick against the front of his jeans.

That’s when it hit him. He was lying in the middle of the yard, in broad daylight, seducing Lacy Dalton. Even worse, she made him feel, something he’d sworn never to let happen again when it came to a woman.

Cade ended the kiss with a muttered curse, pushing her an arm’s length away though she still straddled his hips. She was there to do a story on his life, past and present, not roll in the hay with him. No matter how badly he wanted to.

He looked up at her, furious with himself for his lack of control where Lacy was concerned. "Tell me something, Dalton, is kissing me part of your interview process? Because you’re pretty damn good at it."

She let out a gasp and scrambled to her feet. "I should be. I make it a habit of seducing every man I interview. Be sure to read the article when it comes out to see how many stars you get for that performance!"

Her wet clothes molded to her shapely form, a not-so-subtle reminder of what he’d almost had. Heat crept slowly and deliberately up his neck and his jaw tightened in the realization of how badly he wanted her. That knowledge only served to fuel his anger with himself. Mostly because he found himself wanting her more than he had ever wanted any other woman - Karen included.

"Dalton..." He wished to hell he could think straight, but his ability to do that ended the moment they fell and Lacy ended up astride him.

"No," she cried out. "Don’t say it."

"Hear me out." He propped himself up on his elbows and searched for the right words to explain that it wasn’t her. It was him. He hadn’t meant to hurt her feelings, just push her away. She was breaking through walls he’d put up, getting too close. "I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that."

She crossed her arms. "No, you shouldn’t have."

"Lacy, the kiss was a mistake, an accident."

Her amber eyes glared at him. "What are you saying, Cade? That your lips accidentally fell onto mine?" She tapped her bare foot on the wet grass.

He frowned. The hole he was digging for himself just kept getting deeper by the second. "That wasn’t what I meant. It’s just that.... Well, I’m just not interested."

"Not interested?" she repeated angrily.

"That’s right."

Her gaze slid down his prone form. "Then I suppose that’s a roll of quarters you’re carrying around in your front pocket!" Scooping up her wet shoes, she spun around and stalked off toward the house.

Cade looked down at his wet jeans and then back toward Lacy’s retreating form. "Quarters, hell," he mumbled. "Half dollars." He dropped back onto the damp grass with a frustrated groan.

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