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When we reached her door, she slammed into it, and with my hand attached to her death grip, I crashed into her. Breaking free of her hold, I tempered my impact by shooting my arms up onto the doorframe.
She stilled, her key halfway into the lock.
We were pressed against each other in a compromising position, and it struck us both.
I dropped my head down, resting my head against the windowpane, unable to move—only able to breathe. And her delicate scent wafted up. Tropical. Enticing. I closed my eyes, fighting the urge to stay. And losing.
She swallowed. I heard it.
I felt her turn around and drop the platter to her side as it brushed my hip. I opened my eyes to find hers closed as she pressed her soft body up against me.
She inhaled deeply, and her body shuddered.
“Cade, I…” She opened her greenish eyes with those little flecks of gold in them.
Uncertainty washed across her expression.
I exhaled but didn’t move. This was so off-limits. But the fact that I couldn’t have her suddenly made me want her all the more. “Fuck.” I pulled away. Shook my head.
Cold air flooded between us, breaking the spell we’d both fallen under when we hadn’t been paying attention. Hannah looked surprised, like she couldn’t believe I’d rejected her like that.
“I can’t, Hannah.”
She nodded furiously, like she agreed. But I could tell as her expression hardened and she turned to slide the key into the lock with a shaking hand that she struggled with her emotions.
I put my hands on her shoulders, stopping her from pushing in through the now-open door. “Hannah, it’s not you. Trust me, it’s not. I’m…”
Fighting my attraction had been difficult enough. Knowing she also felt the pull made our working together dangerous. I needed her help to keep our dealings purely professional.
Her voice trembled. “You want me? You feel it too? I…”
Ah, fuck. Hearing her repeat my thoughts made this excruciating. Figures. The first girl who challenged my mind, in addition to physically attracting me, would be the one I couldn’t pursue. Damned “no doing the help” rule.
I exhaled, counting to five. “Yeah, but I…we…can’t. Not only would it be a really bad idea, based on past experience, I promised my sisters. It’s as good as a sworn blood oath.” I ground out the words, shocked I could form coherent sentences with my blood flooding much farther south from my brain cells.
I clenched my fists, digging my nails into my palms while I eased back, putting a good couple of feet between us. In desperation, I vowed to maintain said safe minimum distance at all times.
Slowly, she turned to face me again. Confident, proud, a woman now in charge of herself, body and mind, Hannah nodded. “I promise too. No matter our attraction, we keep it strictly business.”
I blew out a fast breath through tight lips. “Good. With you and me both working on that, it’ll be a lot easier.”
A slow smile crept onto her face, a devilish gleam sparking in her eyes. “Oh? You mean if I didn’t play along, things could get difficult for you?”
My face fell. She wouldn’t. Would she?
She placed a palm on my chest, smiling sweetly. “It’s okay, Cade. I promise not to tease you…too much.”
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