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Chapter One


“My life sucks,” Kandee O’Connor slumped into the booth opposite her long-time friend. “Oh, don’t look at me that way. It does.”

Her friend since childhood, Aimee, shook her head, her lips twitching. “Says the woman with two—count them—two degrees in chemistry and bio-engineering. Plus you have a masters and a doctorate. And you have a job where you make killer money.” Now she did laugh. “Yes, I feel really sorry for you. Just let me go grab my violin out of the car.”

Kandee rolled her eyes at the clear lack of sympathy. All of what Aimee had said might be true, but it didn’t mean Kandee was happy. She glanced around the popular diner in downtown Cantonville, Colorado and caught the many curious looks sent in her direction. Even after being away from here for over twelve years she still recognized a lot of the people. Most of them didn’t seem to recognize her, though, as evidenced by their puzzled expressions. She knew she had changed dramatically, but still you would think more of them could figure out who she was. Had she really been that unmemorable? How depressing!

“Nobody knows me,” she glumly admitted and picked up the battered, plastic coated menu in front of her. “Grease, carbs, double the grease, and a mind-boggling amount of carbs.” With a sigh, she closed the menu.

“From the looks of you, you can eat it all and it won’t have any effect.” Aimee gazed down at her loose-fitting shirt and the slight bulge at her abdomen. “Every calorie shows on me.” She thrust her chin up. “But the food in here is as good as always and I’m having the double-blueberry pancakes with whipped cream topping anyway.”

Kandee shook her head sadly, secretly wishing she could allow herself the freedom of ignoring what she knew about all that fat and carbs. She’d worked as a food scientist for four years and the things she’d learned and seen had definitely affected her view of what she allowed into her body. But she hadn’t gone completely vegan…yet.

Sally Mae, the diner’s owner, walked up with her notepad and grinned down at Aimee and Kandee. Pleasingly plump had always been how Kandee had seen the kind-hearted woman and she hadn’t changed a bit. The sixty-something woman cocked her head to the side and studied Kandee. “Don’t tell me. I know you, I’m sure I do.”

“I’ve been away a long time.” Kandee shifted uncomfortably under the scrutiny. Even this woman who she’d seen at least once a week for most of her life didn’t recognize her?

“Kandee O’Connor!” Sally Mae exclaimed in delight, loud enough that everyone in the packed diner heard her. “Good Lord, child, you’ve certainly changed. Prettier than ever now.”

Kandee felt her face heating and she avoided looking at anyone other than Aimee. No one had ever considered her “pretty” when she’d grown up here. In truth, without her parents’ position in the community, few had given her even a second’s glance. She was used to getting admirable glances now, but to be put on the spot here in her hometown was awkward.

Aimee gave her a gentle smile and drew Sally Mae’s attention. “I’ll take the blueberry pancake special, with extra whipped cream. And a large orange juice.”

“How about you, Kandee? Same thing?” She was already making a notation on her order pad.

“No. I just want the fruit plate and coffee.”

Sally Mae looked disappointed. “Are you sure? Honey, you need more than that.”

Not wanting to hurt the older woman’s feelings, Kandee added, “Scrambled eggs, too. Made from egg substitute please.”

With a sigh of acceptance, Sally Mae nodded and then walked off toward the kitchen.

Relieved when Sally Mae left and most of the people gazing at her out of curiosity went back to their meals, Kandee looked around the diner. Not much had changed over the years. A dozen or so mismatched tables and chairs, booths with red vinyl benches and worn wooden tables, a clock behind the long counter that still didn’t appear to work, a neon sign in the window that flashed “O…en,” and what had to be one of the first cash registers ever made on the end counter by the door. In honor of the season, colorful Jack-o-lanterns, small white-sheeted ghosts, and ancient cardboard witches hung in various spots from the ceiling. It made her smile and made her think about what Aimee had told her on their way to the diner.

“Halloween party, huh? I can’t remember the last time I went to one.” Back in grade school?

Aimee straightened in her seat, excitement dancing in her eyes. “Usually the kids have one, but this year they’re spending the weekend at Chad’s grandparents’ home in Denver. So we thought we’d have a party for our friends.”

Kandee had already told her “no” but the idea was growing on her. She knew Aimee had been disappointed at her refusal and decided to change her mind. “I’ll come.”

 There! Now that she’d given her word, she’d stand behind it. Besides, she was trying to step out of the confining, no time for fun box she’d existed in for too long. It was time to let her inner wild woman out…for the first time in her life.

Thinking about letting her “wild woman” side out, she looked past Aimee’s excited face and noticed a man in a blue chambray shirt stand next to a far booth. Wide shoulders stretched the limits of the fabric. His torso tapered down to a lower back that hinted at not a speck of extra fat, probably had one of those mouth-watering six-pack abs. She couldn’t wait to see him turn around. Then he bent over to reach for a wide-brimmed hat on the bench seat and she got a good look at his butt. Without realizing she was speaking out loud, she sighed, “What a great ass.”

Aimee swiveled in her seat to see who Kandee was panting after. “Too bad he’s all great body and no brains.”

Kandee frowned at her friend and then gaped when the man turned around. Sean Masters. Cantonville’s pride and joy. The high school quarterback who had made it to the big time. They had little in common other than their parents had been good friends and she’d had a major crush on him…that he’d never known about. Well, and they had that awful night together. Still, it irritated her that Aimee had bad mouthed him, in her opinion. She’d overheard a lot of unkind things said about her, too, especially as a teenager here.

“He was smart enough to make it out of Cantonville. Smart enough to get drafted by…” She slammed her mouth shut. She’d never told anyone that she’d actually followed his football career. Stupid as it was to do, after how he’d treated her. But crushes don’t just fade away that easily sometimes.

“How can you even think any kind of good thoughts about him?” Aimee’s brow furrowed and she leaned closer. “Don’t tell me you still have a crush on him? Not after… You’re not Sean’s type, never were.”

“I could be.” Kandee snapped in annoyance. She didn’t like being pigeon-holed, being told something she wanted wasn’t attainable. Nobody held her back anymore. Wait! Wanted? Okay, maybe, but not seriously.

She lowered her head, but managed to watch the tall, strikingly handsome man amble toward the front of the diner. Beneath the hat, she noticed his blue eyes still had the power to give her stomach a funny feeling. There were a few scars on his lightly beard stubled face and she longed to touch them, ask how he’d gotten them. Silly woman!

Irritated with herself, she bit out, “What’s his type these days? Still hanging out with the sluts of the town? I can do that now. I can be all super-blonde and brainless, too.” She well remembered the girls who had once been his groupies in high school. And she’d seen pictures of him in the papers and magazines, seen the kind of women who clung to the famous quarterback’s arm. He could do better than that. But why should she care? Why should she want to be one of those women?

 “Sluts? Really? That’s not very nice.” Aimee frowned in disapproval. “You’re better than that, smarter than that.”

Kandee chose to ignore that chastisement. The girls had been loose with their charms and everyone had known it. The boys, especially Sean, had liked that. She hadn’t had any “charms” to be loose with. Okay, she was still bitter about nature holding her back in the physical assets department for a long time. Her assets back in high school had always leaned heavily toward intellectual strengths, which held no appeal for testosterone-driven teenage boys.

“Yes, I’m an overachiever with a high IQ.” She heaved a sigh. Being smart had definite good points and not so good ones. They cramped a woman’s love life. She blew out a frustrated sigh and admitted, “What I want is a stud muffin who will show me some fire in bed.”

Aimee gaped at her. “Stud muffin? Fire in bed?”

“You’ve got a man who is certainly not hard to look at. Maybe not quite the ‘stud muffin’ that Sean is. And you have three kids. There must be some ‘fire’ involved.” Did it sound like she was pouting, envious? Pitiful.

“Well, I think Chad is a ‘stud muffin.’ And I won’t go into the ‘fire’ business.” Aimee leaned forward even more and lowered her voice. “Aren’t you still a virgin? Isn’t that what you told me when we were out drinking last night, celebrating your return home?”

Kandee’s face heated. She certainly had loose lips when she had a few drinks too many. How humiliating! That was her most embarrassing secret. Not that she wanted to spread her legs for just any man. She did have some pride. But pride wasn’t keeping her warm in bed, wasn’t taking care of this need that had been building within her.

Annoyed, she gritted out, “Yes! And if you tell anyone, I swear I will… Well, I don’t know what revenge I will seek, but it won’t be pretty.”

Aimee sat back and remained silent as Sean walked by their table without even looking in their direction. After he had paid his check and walked out the door, she said, “I don’t know what you ever saw in him. He was a jock to the bone in high school. Being the best quarterback in the state gave him such a big head. Having all those idiot girls chasing after him didn’t help his attitude, either. J.E.R.K. was what he was.”

Kandee unwrapped her napkin and set the silverware on the table. Everything Aimee had said was true, but something about him had always drawn her.

Aimee’s expression turned thoughtful. “He’s only been back here six months. I’ve barely seen him, so I guess I don’t know what he’s like now. To be fair.”

Again, Kandee thought about how she’d followed Sean’s football career, but she didn’t want her friend to know just how much. It wasn’t like she’d stalked him or anything. “I heard he blew his left knee in spring training. Rumor has it his career as a high-dollar quarterback for the Denver Mustangs is over.”

Aimee nodded and her expression turned pitying.. “Chad and a couple of the other guys who used to be his friends are worried about him. He’s running his parents’ ranch now and tends to stay out there. This is the first I’ve seen him in town in a while.”

Kandee thought about Chad, Aimee’s husband. He’d once been every bit as wild and flirtatious as Sean. Only Sean had made it out of this small town and had been a success…for a while. Success meaning he’d made some major bucks for almost ten years, gained a serious reputation as a playboy, never settled down. In truth, she thought Chad was far more successful. He had married Aimee, one of the sweetest women ever, had a solid reputation as an accountant, and they had three of the cutest kids. And now that Sean’s football days were over and his time in the limelight faded, he’d come home to lick his wounds. At least that’s what she believed. He’d never wanted much to do with the ranch growing up. Now it helped let him hide from all that he’d lost.

“He needs me.” She thought about her boring job in Houston, about her non-existent love life because of that stupid job. She didn’t want to go back there. She wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted…other than another chance with Sean. Another chance? Okay, she’d never before had a chance with him. But she wanted one now, at least for the couple of months while she was in town. Then she’d walk away, hopefully a “real” woman and ready to move forward with her life. He’d move on to the next woman…just like he always did. No big deal. So why did that idea sting a little?

“Kan, have you forgotten…” Aimee stopped and gave her a sympathetic look.

Forgotten? You don’t easily forget the most embarrassing time in your life. She avoided her friend’s eyes. “Of course I haven’t forgotten. But that was an unfortunate circumstance.”

Humiliating, too. Her sixteenth birthday and—horror of horrors—her parents had given her a surprise birthday party. Since her dad was one of the school’s alumni and the biggest financial supporter of the football team, he’d invited the entire team and their girlfriends. The extra special treat—his words, not hers—was that he’d arranged for Sean to be her date for the evening. She couldn’t say that Sean had treated her badly. No, he’d tried to be as gentlemanly as any hot-stuff-and-he-knew-it eighteen-year-old could be. Still, it had been clear that her braces, no breasts to speak of, and gangliness hadn’t held his attention. Flirting had come naturally to him, except he’d almost pointedly avoided flirting at all with her. She’d seen him looking longingly at several other girls there. Mortified, she’d eventually snuck off alone to her room…and nobody had missed her.

She forced those unpleasant memories away. She was here in town to catch up with old friends, to forget about the drudgery of her job, and to housesit while her parents vacationed in Europe for from now until the end of the year. She was ready to free the inner wanton she was certain had lain buried inside her all these years. It was time to take her first lover. She’d read hundreds of romances, especially the erotic ones. Now she wanted to star in some of those deliciously playful, hot scenes. She’d attained her goal of getting her degree and a good job. Now her goal was…getting Sean Masters. At least for a while.

“So, this party of yours,” she wanted to change the subject. “It’s this Saturday, right? I’d better get a costume figured out.”

Aimee’s eyes were sparkling. She’d always loved Halloween parties and creating costumes. “I’ve probably got something you can borrow. A witch costume maybe. A gypsy.”

Not good enough for what Kandee had in mind. She wanted something attention drawing. People were going to notice her this time, especially a certain someone. She watched Sally Mae start out of the kitchen with their order and asked quickly yet casually, “Sean will be there, right?”

“I don’t think so.”

He had to be there! “Didn’t you say Chad and his friends were worried about Sean acting the hermit out at the ranch? Wouldn’t they want to try and snap him out of it? He always loved to party.” Kandee gave it her most convincing attempt.

“They barely get him to meet them occasionally at the sports bar they all used to like. Chad said he’d asked Sean, but got turned down.”

No way was Kandee going to allow that. Focus on your goal: Sean, sex, Sean.

“I’ll get him there.” How, she wasn’t sure. But determination thrummed through her.

*********

Sean had nearly stumbled on his way walking past the booth where Aimee sat with Kandee O’Connor. As he strode toward his pickup truck parked out front, he thought about seeing Kandee. This was not the skinny little, brown-haired, brainiac in glasses and braces that he remembered. Even sitting down he could tell that she’d blossomed into one gorgeous woman. The woman had some attention-holding breasts, plump and perky. Being a breast man, he couldn’t get the image out of his head. And his dick, gone hard as a steel pole, couldn’t forget it either.

What was she doing back in Cantonville? The last he’d heard she had gone off to some big-ass college back east, wowed them with that crazy brain of hers, and had become a doctor of some kind. His parents kept him informed about her, never failing to remind him that he’d blown his chance with her.  He could still hear his mother saying, “That O’Connor girl would have made you a good wife. Unlike those…those women you are usually seen with.”

He’d never wanted a chance with Kandee, never thought they belonged together in any manner. Mentally, she’d always been way out of his league. All he’d known then was football: how to speak it, play it, and glory in what his skills gave him—attention, girls. She’d been younger than him, but twice as smart. No probably a hundred times smarter. They’d had nothing in common. Plus he’d never been drawn to girls in glasses or braces. Both got in his way when he tried to steal a kiss. Of course, he hadn’t ever done that with her. Not even that one night when he’d been talked into being her date.

He pulled open his truck door and climbed inside, looking back at the diner. Shame curled through him. He’d supposedly been with her that night and yet he’d dared to flirt with every girl who had glanced in his direction, which had been a lot. Big, popular quarterback that he’d been back then. The school super stud. His ego had been huge. Actually, it had stayed over-inflated until his recent problem with his knee and being forced into early retirement from the game he loved.

Shoving that unpleasant thought aside, he pictured for the billionth time how he’d seen tears glistening in Kandee’s eyes when he’d turned back to her after flirting with Beth—Or was it Caroline? Or Tina? She’d spun on her heels and hurried from the room. He hadn’t tried to stop her. He hadn’t gone after her, not even gone looking for her when she hadn’t shown up an hour later. Jerk that he’d been, he’d gone back to partying. No one had even noticed she wasn’t there at her own birthday party. Not even her parents. He’d remembered the incident over the years—because it haunted him. He felt sickened every time. He’d been a real ass. Not that it had changed his behavior. He’d gone on flirting, playing around with lover after lover without ever giving his behavior with women much consideration. But then the women who chased after him and his money didn’t really care about him. That had become startlingly clear after his latest injury. His lovers had abandoned him and gone after the kid who had replaced him on the team.

Through the diner’s front window, he saw Kandee get up and head for the restroom. Yes, he’d been right. she had some incredible curves well revealed in a red dress that highlighted each and every one of them. And her hair was no longer brown or wild and out of control. Blond hair, sleekly straight, flowed down to mid-back. He wanted to touch it, drive his hands through it, and have it draped over him as she…

What the hell are you thinking? She was even more out of his league now than she’d been all those years ago. A big-dog doctor—no matter what her specialty—would want nothing to do with a washed up ex-football player now stumbling around in his attempt to become a rancher.

He turned the engine on, gunning it in his need to get out of here.  His glance slid to the diner and, to his distress, Kandee had returned and was watching him. She wasn’t smiling or frowning…just watching. He was the first to look away and quickly backed out of his parking space. He didn’t look back again, but he was almost certain she still watched him. It made him uneasy, puzzled. And, oddly, aroused.

 

Kandee turned away from the window, heart racing after the silent gaze-to-gaze experience with Sean. He’d looked so…haunted…lost. Even if he’d hurt her all those years ago, she hated seeing him this way. She was even more determined to get him to the party. Maybe they could both find a way to help each other.

She felt the curious gazes focused on her from the crowded diner full of townspeople she sort of remembered. She didn’t like being the center of attention. She understood their curiosity, their second and third glances. Because of her parents’ importance in the community, everyone had known her as she’d grown up here. But the girl they remembered wasn’t the woman standing in their midst now.

“Are you sure you want to do it?” Aimee followed Kandee’s gaze out the window to where Sean was driving away. “He probably won’t come. He’s become a real recluse out at that ranch.”

Kandee’s stomach tightened with nerves. She wasn’t quite as confident as she’d tired to let on. Again, she forced a determined smile. “He’ll come. Even if I have to go out there, rope and tie him, and drag him to the party.” She giggled nervously. “That idea has real appeal.”

Roping and tying up Sean and having her way with him sounded so wicked, so out of character for her. She’d have to dig out those books she’d bought and study up on just what some wicked ways entailed. A brazen idea flashed in her mind, no doubt due to the recent number of naughty books she’d been reading. Books where women challenged their strong, alpha men until the men bent them over their knee for a sound spanking. Or where seductive women enticed their willing men into warming their bottom, leading to some major sex. Spanking foreplay. Now that sounded intriguing.

Her heart pounded at the naughty thoughts and her clit fluttered. Sean had such nice big hands. How would they feel against her bare bottom? And his fingers were big, too, long. She’d read about men putting…

“Are you all right?” Aimee interrupted her heated musings. “You’re looking kind of funny.”

“Just thinking.” Kandee grinned, knowing her cheeks were hot, but not nearly as hot as her visions. “Thinking about some things you don’t need to know about.”

Aimee smiled as Sally Mae set her pancakes down. Then after the older woman walked away, she said pointedly, “I’d bet they have to do with Sean.”

“Most definitely.”

*********

“The Halloween party is tomorrow, Sean. Most of our old teammates and their wives are coming. We want you there, too.”

Sean braced his arms on the top rail of the fence surrounding the paddock where three of the ranch hands were working with some of the new horses he’d bought at auction last week. He studied the scene worriedly and glanced at his long-time friend. “What do you think about those horses? Did I make a mistake buying them?”

This was all so new to him. He should have paid more attention when his dad had tried to teach him how to manage the ranch. But he’d been a teenager with his dreams set on being anywhere but here. Still, he was giving this his best shot. He didn’t want to let his parents down now that they’d decided to retire and have him take over the ranch. He didn’t want to fail again.

Chad shrugged. “You know a hell of a lot more about horses than I ever will. Now, if you want to talk about accounting or taxes…”

“No thanks. You’ve been taking care of that part of my business for years and it’ll stay that way.” He studied the three chestnut Morgans and the piebald Paint he’d bought with the intention of adding having trail rides to help the ranch’s income. The seller had sworn these horses would be perfect for his plan. He’d liked and trusted the man, but had he been duped?

“They look good, boss,” his foreman called out. “We’ll get them settled in and start working more with them tomorrow.”

He nodded, relieved that maybe he hadn’t been an idiot with his first big purchase for the ranch.

“About the party,” Chad prodded. “Aimee really thinks you should come. So do your old buddies. And me, of course.”

Playing football and partying had been almost his entire life for a lot of years. He’d partied long and hard. He’d gone home with women he barely knew, never taking them to his place. He wasn’t sure why, but wherever he lived was home, not a place for bringing women just for the heck of it. He didn’t want to go back down that road of partying to dawn and drinking almost to oblivion. He didn’t want to end up in some strange woman’s bed again. Although having been celibate for over six months was getting damn frustrating. Especially after seeing Kandee last week…every breathing man’s walking wet dream.

“I don’t feel like being the odd man out.” Flimsy excuse, but he’d use it anyway.

“What do you mean?” Chad thought about it a second and then shook his head. “Not all of the guys are married anymore. A couple are divorced. Tim has a significant other who lives with him. And Don is…well, Don turned out to be gay. He’ll bring his current boyfriend, though. Will that bother you?”

Sean snorted. “Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea how many football players are gay?” He shook his head. “That stuff doesn’t bother me.”

“So you’ll come?”

“It sounds like everyone, including Tim and Don, will come as couples. So, no, I’ll pass. But thanks.” He looked back toward the paddock, not liking the disappointment on his friend’s face. “I’m not really fit company right now anyway.”

Chad stood silently next to him for several minutes. Finally, he blew out a breath and said grimly, “Aimee has her mind set on you coming. So does Kandee O’Connor.”

Now that surprised him. He faced Chad, furrowing his brow. “Why? Why would either of them want me there? Aimee was never a real fan of mine, only tolerated me because of our friendship.”

He thought about Kandee and his body battled longing again, just as it had been doing ever since he’d seen her at the diner yesterday. “O’Connor can’t possibly want to be anywhere near me after what I did.” He’d purposely used her last name, wanting at least some kind of distance. They weren’t for one another.

“Do you really think she is still upset about what happened all those years ago?” Chad questioned, sounding surprised. “She’s moved on from then…in a lot of ways.”

His friend was the only one Chad had ever admitted to how bad he’d felt about how he’d treated Kandee. It had happened during one of Sean’s rare serious moods back then. He’d generally kept his real feelings about anything to himself, buried deep. On the surface, he’d always shown the world his bad boy side, his I’ll-do-whatever-the-hell-I-want side. But he’d had his moments of regrets, of knowing he was full of b.s. Chad had always stuck by him no matter how big of an ass he’d been sometimes.

“No. I just can’t go.”

Chad heaved a sigh and nodded. “Okay, I won’t nag you about it, even if I’d really like you to come. But I’m pretty sure Aimee and Kandee won’t give up so easily. Just warning you, buddy.” He turned and headed for his Lexus parked nearby. “Women can be awful stubborn sometimes,” he called over his shoulder.

*********

Was she being crazy coming here like this? Kandee turned her vintage red Mustang into the driveway leading to the main yard of Sean’s ranch. Her stomach tumbled with nerves. She worried her lower lip.

Chad had attempted this morning to press Sean into coming to the party and failed. She’d been helping Aimee with decorations when he returned from the ranch with his bad news. Aimee had told Kandee to accept Sean’s answer and focus on enjoying the party anyway. But her heart was set on having him there.

She couldn’t stop thinking about the sad look in his troubled eyes, about how different he was now from the vibrant boy she remembered. She could help him out of this slump. She’d gotten through bad moments in her life; she could get him through this, too. Yet she wasn’t sure why doing this was so important to her. At first, when she’d told herself she wanted Sean Masters to be hers while she was in town, she’d been more focused on finally having the man who’d barely even noticed her as a boy fully notice her now. She’d dreamed of him for so long—stupid as that was—and how he would take her virginity, make her into the kind of woman that pleased him in bed. But now… Okay, she still wanted him to make love to her.

You can do this. Be confident. You are not going to drive away from here without getting his agreement to come to the party. You. Are. Not.

She looked at the big, two-story house that she’d been to many times while growing up. Her parents and his were good friends. She’d come with her parents here for a lot of suppers. Sean had never once been there. Could she really do this? Panic started to set in.

She stopped the car at the end of the driveway. Her palms were sweating as she turned off the engine. She couldn’t seem to actually get out of the car.

Then he came striding out of the house as if he had somewhere he’d intended to go. He spotted her in the Mustang and froze. Their gazes locked and she felt incredibly foolish for having come here, believing she could talk him into coming to the party.

Her fingers were still on the key, ready to turn the switch, when he walked up next to her door. When she didn’t roll down the window, he pulled the door open. His expression wasn’t encouraging, nor was his tone when he finally spoke.

“If you’re here about the party, I’m not going.”

She bristled. “You’d rather continue to hide out here, away from your friends who are worried about you.” A spark of anger had lit at his stubborn refusal.

“They don’t need to worry about me. I’m fine.” His jaw tightened, a vein pulsed in the side of his neck. But there was a hint of vulnerability in his eyes.

She turned up the challenge another notch. “Fine. Mope around here. I tried.”

He looked surprised that she’d given in so easily. “I’m not moping.”

She gave him a disbelieving glance and pulled her door closed. He took a step back from the car and she cranked the window down even as she turned on the engine. She looked straight at him. “I’ll be wearing this really sexy, really naughty pirate costume. Too bad you won’t get to see it.”

His eyes widened and he swallowed hard, hopefully envisioning her in the outfit. Before he could say anything, she shifted into reverse and started to drive away.

When she looked in the rearview mirror, she saw that he hadn’t moved an inch. Suddenly she stopped and backed up until she was even with him again, cranking down the passenger’s window. This is really crazy. Don’t do this. Don’t say it. The words flew out of her mouth before she could stop them, “Have you ever spanked anyone? In foreplay, I mean.”

His eyes widened even more and his jaw dropped in shock.

Her face heated and she inwardly groaned at her idiocy. She drove away before she could make an even bigger fool of herself. God, if anyone ever found out what she’d asked him… Thank heavens, he wasn’t coming to the party. She didn’t think she could ever face him again.

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