The look he gave her revealed little. “That’s debatable.”

“Debatable I’m sorry or that I ruined your evening?”

His forehead crinkled in suppressed humor. “I can’t attest to your capacity for remorse. But rest assured...” He paused before going on, the lines fading from his brow. “It was a dinner function I was happy to miss.”

“Then why were you going?”

His tone grew vague, as if briefly stumped by the question. “Responsibilities, Ms. Lee.”

Curious, Jax paused. The air conditioner kicked on, and cold air hit. Her tank top and cutoffs, perfect for a flash dance mob under the Florida sun, now left her feeling exposed. And next to the sinfully sexy lawyer and his limousine of luxury, she felt positively scruffy. Tugging on her frayed hem, she tried to cover more skin. It was hopeless, so Jax resorted to rubbing her arms to overcome the chill.

Blake glanced at her and then flipped the AC switch, cutting off the blast of air. “Next time you plan on risking arrest, maybe you should choose a more suitable outfit.”

She suppressed a groan. “Can we just agree it wasn’t my finest moment and leave it at that?”

“Since I’ve just met you, I’ll have to take you at your word.” His gaze drifted down to her chest, and the ever-present tension expanded to a level that made the air crackle like the night sky over Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Heat filled her gut as her heart thumped loudly in response, and she prayed her body wouldn’t betray her attraction.

He lifted his hand to point at her tank top. “And you still have some mud from that less-than-fine moment stuck to Paul McCartney’s face.”

Startled, Jax glanced down. A light brown streak was smeared across her tank top emblazoned with the Fab Four. Paul’s forehead covered her left breast and was smudged in a golden-brown color. Humiliation flared as she repeatedly swiped at the spot with trembling fingers, her bracelets tinkling. She knew Blake was watching her, and the tight knot of desire grew. Until her breasts gave her up, the tips pebbling.

“I’m afraid you’re only making it worse,” he said, his rumbling voice tinged with an unidentifiable emotion.

She gritted her teeth, and her bracelets continued their musical sound as she rubbed harder. Please, God, let him be referring to the smudge she’d smeared bigger with her efforts.

Blake leaned forward to shed his coat, his white shirt pulling tight against a wall of muscle that short-circuited her brain. Which was the only reason she dumbly let him slip the jacket around her shoulders.

It was warm. Heavy. With a seductive scent of a fresh sea breeze. Enveloping her like an embrace...

Oh, heck, no. “I’m fine, thank you,” she said with a tight smile, and lifted her hand to remove the jacket.

His fingers encircled her wrist, stopping her movements, and the skin-on-skin contact sent a wave of heat up her cheeks.

“Quit being stubborn.” His usual gray gaze had gone slate, his voice low. “You’re cold, so leave it.”

Flickers of electrical energy continued to skitter out in concentric circles from his touch, until Blake released her wrist to unbutton his cuffs and push up his sleeves. As if he wouldn’t allow further debate.

Brother of her new friend or not, his attitude was hard to take.

“Look,” she said as patiently as she could, “I know I’m not the kind of woman you typically associate with, but—”

“You haven’t known me long enough to determine the kind of women I associate with,” he said without looking at her.

Jax let out a quiet grunt. “Time enough to know all I need,” she muttered.

He lifted his gaze to hers. “That’s highly unlikely.”

Every muscle in her body tensed. There it was again. The same überconfident, master-of-all-he-surveyed look. And right then and there she realized that even attempting to keep the peace was no longer an option.

She folded her arms tight across her chest. “Shall I tell you what I think?”

Leaning back, he studied her carefully. “You appear committed to sharing your every thought,” he said, his voice now laced with amusement. “Why stop now?”

His tone pricked a nerve. Without a doubt, it was time she provided him and that God complex of his with a much-needed reality check. Anticipation soaring, Jax twisted in her seat to face him.

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