Her eyes climbed up to his, a flush of colour engulfing the freckles on her face. ‘Wow, you’re a real Prince Charming.’
He held her gaze. ‘What? A lovestruck fool chasing after a woman who can’t keep her clothing on? You’re in the wrong fairy tale, sweetheart.’
She gave him a look that could have stopped global warming in its tracks. ‘You don’t need to tell me that.’
His mouth twisted. ‘Let me explain to you how this is going to work, Ms Fox,’ he said. ‘I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to hear you or talk to you. And above all I don’t want to kiss you.’
‘I don’t want to kiss you either.’
She gave him an imperious smile that made him want to instantly eat his words.
‘Good.’ Stalking across the room, he yanked open the door. ‘Stay out of my way. In fact, do us both a favour and stay in your room. Otherwise I might just be tempted to lock you in there until the storm passes.’
SLAMMING HER BEDROOM DOOR, Frankie stalked across the room, her heart pounding, her whole body trembling.
How dare he?
Her fingers clenched into fists.
Sending her to her room as if she was some child. And saying all that stuff about not wanting to see her or kiss her. As if she wanted to kiss him.
Her mouth twisted. Okay, to be fair, she had just kissed him—but it wasn’t as if she’d planned it. And he was at least partly to blame...catching her off guard, his gentleness coming so fast after his anger.
Pulse twitching, she let her mind go back to the moment when she had lost her balance, and her brain conjured up his hand on her hip with such unflinching, high-definition clarity she could almost feel his precise firm grip...see the flare of heat in his eyes...taste her own urgent, unbidden desire to kiss him.
Not out of gratitude but out of a head-swimming hunger she’d neither questioned nor understood.
Remembering the noises she had made as his hands had moved over her body, she felt her face grow warm. It had lasted two, three minutes at most. It had been just a kiss...
Except something that had that kind of power—the power to make your heart stop beating—surely couldn’t be just anything.
Not something, she corrected herself. Someone.
He was like no one she’d ever kissed before. Older, more intense, beyond her comprehension and control. And yet she had wanted him like she had never wanted any man. And for those two, maybe three minutes she’d thought he wanted her in the same way.
Only then Constance had knocked on the door, and he had jerked back from her as if waking from a daydream.
Or a nightmare.
Her hands felt suddenly clammy. Clearly that was what he’d been thinking. Why else would he have pulled away? A hot blush of embarrassment spread over her skin as she remembered how he’d tipped her onto the sofa and quickly moved to put as much distance between them as possible.
Picturing his expression, she still wasn’t sure whether he had been stunned or appalled at what had happened. Probably both.
Her brain froze. But then Arlo thought she was going out with his brother.
The heat in her cheeks made her feel as if her face was on fire. It was a testament to her current state of mind that she had completely forgotten about Johnny.
As Arlo’s lips had touched hers, and he had pulled her against his big body, she had forgotten everything. It was as if her mind had been wiped clear.
But Arlo’s hadn’t.
Her stomach clenched.
Did he really believe she was with Johnny? That he was some kind of stand-in?