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A twinge of disappointment pinched Oliver’s chest, but to his surprise, she took his hand. “But I’m making an exception for this guy.”

Andy’s smirk melted away.

“Wanna get out of here?” she asked, her tone flirty and seductive.

Oliver squeezed her hand. “Lead the way.”

Chapter Eight

EVE’S HEAD SPUN as they walked along the rows of old buildings, neither of them speaking. Part of her had been humiliated when Andy had alluded to her infatuation with him, and she’d wanted to tuck tail and run, to get far away from all of them and never look back.

But then she’d seen Oliver’s face. He’d been staring at Andy as if he’d wanted to separate Andy’s head from his shoulders, and she realized it was because he cared about her. He’d been ready to protect her, and suddenly, she hadn’t cared what Andy or his goons thought of her.

All that mattered was how she felt about Oliver.

“So, you and that guy . . . ”

Oliver’s unfinished question was hesitant, as if he was afraid to ask, and she smiled. “We snuck around one

summer, before I found out it was some kind of challenge his bunkmates and he came up with. Part of the reason I avoid military guys as a rule. They either want me because they want to get at my dad or to prove something to their friends.”

Oliver stopped and pulled her into him, leaning against the front of a darkened clothing store. “You know that this thing between us has nothing to do with your father, don’t you?”

“I wouldn’t be here if I thought that.”

Oliver cupped her face and brushed her lips gently with his, liquefying her insides and setting her knees to melt-down mode. She gripped his arms as he deepened the kiss, coaxing her sweetly to rest her body against his. His hands moved down to encircle her waist, his big palms resting on her lower back, just above her butt.

Pulling her mouth away from his, she gasped, “Maybe we should take this someplace a little less public? After all, we haven’t exactly had the best of luck making out in plain sight.”

“Oh. God, yes,” he groaned. Taking her hand, he strode down the sidewalk, dragging her along with him.

Eve laughed, thrilled he was as caught up in her as she was in him. “Let’s go back to your place.”

“I wanna see yours,” he said.

Nope, bad idea. Not only was her apartment looking a little worse for the wear, again, but it would be just her luck if her dad showed up while Oliver was there.

“But you said that you had to let Beast out,” she said.

“Well, I’ll go let him out and meet you back at yours.”

“There’s no point in you going home, just to drive back out again,” she said.

Oliver stopped, staring down at her with suspicion lurking in his eyes. “Are you a hoarder or something?”

“What? No.”

“Then why don’t you want me to come over?” he asked.

“Because I haven’t had a chance to pick up and there could be things I don’t want you to see.”


“I don’t know, dishes in the sink? Bras hanging over doorknobs? It just isn’t company-ready,” she said. His persistence, while usually endearing when it was in the pursuit of her, was irritating now.

Suddenly, he swung her up in his arms and gave her a smacking kiss to cover her squeal. “Fine, I’ll give you some notice before I invite myself over. But for the record, you can leave the bras anywhere you want.”

Her good mood restored, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and raised her eyebrow. “You’re kind of a pervert, aren’t you? I bet you go through panty drawers, too.”

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