Max took a step toward her and cupped the back of her head with one hand.

What was he doing?

His other arm caught her around the waist, pulling her tight against him even as he eased her backwards, off balance—as if they were dance partners and he was doing a low dip.

Then he was easing toward her, slowly, staring at her lips as if he was going to kiss her—which was ridiculous. She blinked up at him in bemusement until his lips actually touched hers, softly, gently. Her mouth parted on a gasp as her body went lax with sensual overload.

It felt so good.

He felt so good.

He kissed her, closed mouthed, with a slow determination that made something inside her unfurl, like a tightly bound rosebud finally flaring open. Like Sleeping Beauty waking after a hundred years. The slight scent of whiskey on his breath was earthy and hot, like flames on a log fire. The urge to sample more of him ripped through her. She opened her mouth and touched the tip of her tongue to the seam of his lips. Felt him groan in reaction.

Her fingers clenched desperate handfuls of his suit jacket. His heat seared her body like the energy of a solar flare. She felt his lungs expand as he inhaled. Then he pulled slowly away and smiled down at her.

“Because of this.” Warm eyes met her befuddled brain. “Because lonely Supervisory Special Agent Max Hawthorne is infatuated with Lucy Aston and plans to have his wicked way with her.”

He pulled her upright as her body rejoiced “Yes” then sent her crashing back down to earth when he added, “Of course, I’ll sleep on the couch.”


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