For the first time since her broken engagement, she wanted to be with a man. This man. Right now. In the morning, she might well blame it all on the strange circumstances brought about by the snow storm, but tonight wasn’t about tomorrow. She tugged the coveralls zipper down, revealing a mile of toned muscle, and slid her hand inside.

Gabe threw back his head as his fingers dug into her hips, pulling her hard against the large bulge still hidden underneath the mechanic’s uniform. His heated response emboldened her as her own warmth soaked her panties.

Keisha scratched her short nails through the coarse hair across his pecs, her core quaking when he moaned his approval. “I’m going to ride you so hard you might regret seeking shelter here.”

“If you don’t, I’m gonna need to go back out and throw myself into a snowbank just to cool off.”

She reached down between them and stroked his hard dick through the baggy coveralls. “You feeling overheated?” Her hand almost circled his covered girth as she moved her hand up and down.

“Fuck me,” he groaned.

“That’s exactly what I intend to do.”

In the next breath, the radio blared to life, the lights snapped on, and her landline rang, piercing her bliss. She blinked as her eyes adjusted to the sudden onslaught. Sometime between his lips on the base of her throat and his fingers inching up her shirt, the power had returned, blasting reality into the room. She did not want to stop now, but ignoring a call wasn’t in her make up.

She pushed against Gabe’s hard chest. “I have to get it.”

He gave the sweet spot at the base of her neck a quick kiss that liquified her body, then he sat up. Desire darkened his eyes, turning her from warm to molten. It took everything she had not to blow off whoever was on the other end of the line. But…she grabbed the phone off the end table.


“Hey, Baby Girl.” Her father’s voice had a tightness that set off every alarm bell she had. “Are you sitting down? Something’s happened.”

Chapter Five

The view from her kitchen window would have been beautiful if last night’s phone call hadn’t turned her mood as sour as expired milk.

It looked like a holiday commercial or a Christmas card out there. The morning sun’s rays glittered off the fresh hills of snow, giving the icy, top layer a diamond-like appearance. The sky, so gray and angry the day before, had disappeared, replaced by a brilliant, cloudless blue. At any moment, she expected a snowman that talked like Burl Ives to round the corner and break out into song. Instead, the only sound was the crunch of trucks clearing the last of the snowpack from the highways. Just another day in Salvation.

Except it wasn’t.

The delicious man—the one who was hell-bent on buying her family’s business whether her father wanted to sell or not—stood behind her in the kitchen, brewing coffee that had her whole apartment smelling like a Starbuck’s. She’d almost slept with him. And if her father hadn’t brought reality crashing in on her last night, there would be no almost about it.

Way to go, K. Now wouldn’t that have been just perfect?

Add to that mess the fact that the only thing keeping her from going to jail for murdering her cousin was her intense aversion to every shade of orange. Well, that and the fact that Tyrell had high-tailed it out of town as soon as he dropped the bomb that he was moving to Key West. Once she got her hands on him, she was going to put a conch somewhere delicate and very painful.

She glanced down at her phone and the e-mail from her soon-to-be-cursed cousin that she’d received at six this morning. Lifelong dream of being a diving instructor. Blah. Blah. Blah. Opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Blah. Blah. Blah. Knew she’d understand.

Oh she understood all right. She was never getting out of Salvation because someone had to stay here to set things at Jacobs Fine Furnishings straight. And, as usual, that someone was her. Big fucking shocker there.

“Everything okay?” Gabe handed her a steaming cup of heaven liberally doused with cream to replace the empty one in her hands.

“Thanks.” She took a sip and couldn’t help but close her eyes in ecstasy. “Depends on your definition of okay.”

“The Oxford American English one?”

Once again dressed in his own clothes, Gabe looked out of place in her tiny apartment. In the light of day, his style screamed money bags with his high-end designer sweater and the jeans from a store that didn’t even have a place for a discount rack. Rich and privileged, she was not. She was boho chic with oversized fake fur fox scarves and an afro that even a wind tunnel couldn’t dent.

They weren’t two sides of the same coin, they were completely different currencies.

Last night had been an anomaly. A one-time occurrence. With her life, she couldn’t afford play time with the rich and famous—especially when the billionaire in question wanted nothing more than to buy the family business. She couldn’t let that happen. It would kill her dad.

The diesel thunder of a tow truck engine announced Hud’s arrival. Peeking out of the window, she spotted Fix ‘Er Up’s owner getting out of the truck armed with a rarely-used snow blower and wearing a bright red baseball cap adorned with the Salvation Devils high school football team logo.

“Looks like your ride’s here.” She nodded toward the window.

Gabe kept his blue eyes focused only on her. “I’d like to do this again some time.”

Bittersweet didn’t begin to cover it. This whole situation was as shitty as a crap car held together with Duct tape. But that didn’t change anything. So instead of shoving the tall drink of Hottie McAbs into her bedroom so they could finish what they’d started last night, she smirked. Nothing covered up disappointment like distance and distain.

“You want to almost freeze to death in a freak snow storm in an area where the first flake sends folks to the grocery store for all the bottled water and canned goods on the shelves?”

“No.” He settled his hands on her shoulders and turned her until she faced him head-on, sending frissons of awareness crackling across her skin. “I want to see you again.”

It was too much, too soon with the totally wrong guy. “I don’t think so.”


Because she’d been down the bad boy path before, and it had ended with her returning a bazillion unopened wedding gifts and explaining to her family why their perfect almost son-in-law wasn’t perfect for her. But she wasn’t about to hang her dirty laundry on the line for him to see.