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She reached up to where the tag was, and he narrowly missed getting smacked in the nose.

“Balls, I meant to take that off.”

“Did you just say ‘balls’?” Cracking up, he snapped the tag off and tucked it into his pocket. “There. I have to admit, that is the first time I’ve ever heard a woman use the term ‘balls.’ ”

She turned to face him, and in the porch light, the blush on her cheeks glowed becomingly. “I tried to stop cussing once Noah was born, but I couldn’t do it completely, so I made up my own.”

“Wait, you did not make up ‘balls.’ ”

“No, but I figured it was okay to alleviate my frustration.”

“Isn’t ‘balls’ just as bad as anything else?”

“He doesn’t know it’s that kind of balls.”

Tyler chuckled. “Until he says it at school and someone enlightens him.”

“Please, don’t take it from me. All the other bad words really are off-limits. Just this one.”

“You got it.” They headed down the steps toward his car, and Tyler grabbed the passenger door, holding it open for her.

Just before she climbed in, she said, “You know, you really should thank your mama for teaching you manners.”

“I’ll leave that to you when you meet her.”

She gave him a startled look from the seat, and the moment her foot was in, he slammed the door. Cursing himself, he rounded the front of the car.

Why the hell had he said that?

He opened his door with a heavy sigh. “I didn’t mean it like that. I was trying to be cute.”

Tyler glanced her way, catching her smile, and it nearly knocked him for a loop, it was so bright.

“Mission accomplished,” she whispered.

Fuck, he wanted to kiss her. To reach across the seat and grab her by the back of her neck. To mold his lips to hers and strip her down until she was naked and straddling him.

But no, this was different. It would be different.

Clearing his throat, he started the car and pulled out of her drive, heading toward Watt Avenue. “What are you in the mood for?”

“Anything, I am starving. Plus, I wouldn’t mind a drink or two. Just to loosen up, you know?”

Jesus, was she trying to kill him?

“Cheesecake Factory or B.J.’s Brewery?” he asked.

“Mmm, Cheesecake Factory, but only if we can skip to dessert.”

Why did everything coming out of her mouth sound so dirty?

“Whatever you want.”

Suddenly, her hand was on his arm, squeezing it. “You need to lighten up. Am I making you nervous or something?”

Scoffing, he shot her a look of disbelief. “Hell no, I’m calm as a cucumber.”

“Really? ’Cause I think Mr. Big, Bad Ladies’ Man is scared of little ole me.”