Damn him, he was right. She was drowning in both anxiety and desire. Her breaths came in short, tight increments that sounded embarrassingly like small gasps. As she stared up at him Carly’s mind ran through every reason—and there were many—why she should step away. Despite her previous attempts at flirting Hunter had hung back, watching her with cool eyes, a hands-off attitude, and that emotional wall that was always present. Only a fool would believe he’d suddenly changed his mind. And William Wolfe hadn’t raised a fool.

So why was she standing here, frozen like an idiot? She knew very well this was part of some master plan he’d cooked up. Had the partners at Firewell Inc. met, given the matter consideration and then voted unanimously to muck with her mind?

His eyes crinkled in muted humor. Clearly enjoying his effect on her, Hunter said, “You’re definitely incandescent now.”

Paralyzed by the sensual havoc he created, breathing was all she could manage as he cupped her jaw and finally placed his mouth on hers. Carly’s heart thumped in her chest as her body concentrated on the hand on her face, and the lips that slanted softly, yet insistently, over hers. The rest of his body remained disengaged. Only his warm palm and warmer mouth were involved. With just enough restrained heat to melt her tenuous reserve. Until she was kissing him back, her mind whirling from the barrage of emotions.

Doubt. Distrust. And a whole lot of desire.

Being the dominant one of the three, desire seized her in its grasp, and Carly placed her palms on his chest, frustrated by the distance. Longing to feel the hard length of his body again. Why didn’t he pull her closer? Even worse, why was she mad that he didn’t?

She pulled her mouth from his, her breathing labored, and stared up at the slate-blue eyes. “You’re holding back, G-Man.” The need to feel more was driving her on, despite the embarrassing knowledge the whole thing was a ploy. “That’s no way to seduce a woman.”

“Maybe my goal was to frustrate, not seduce.”

Desire still pulsed through her body, but her mouth went flat, the moisture left from his lips momentarily disrupting her thoughts. “Score one for the former FBI agent and his tactics,” she said, as lightly as she could.

But now she was doubly annoyed. At him for being so damn honest it forced her to confront just how caught up in the moment she’d been, and how easy it was for him to maintain his distance. That emotional wall was just as frustrating when it was a sensual one. But mostly she was annoyed at herself, for knowing all of the above and still being so turned on she could barely think beyond the feel of his smooth shirt, the hard plane of muscle beneath her hand.

Gazes locked, she pressed on his chest. “Your mission was a success.” If he wanted to resist her efforts he didn’t let on, allowing her to push him back until she’d trapped him against his car.

“Feeling frustrated already?” he said.

In every way imaginable. “Very.”

“Now you know how it feels.”

Why was she so ticked about his control? She ignored the crippling doubt, beat back the voice that kept telling her to walk away...and popped open the top button of his shirt. Her beef with this closed-off, enigmatic man went beyond his heartless app, now including his ability to arouse her with so little effort. And why him—the man whose story she sought?

It’s just lust, Carly. Show him you’re not afraid. Leave him shaking.

Rationalization complete, unable to wait any longer, she lifted up on her tiptoes and took his mouth, pressing his lips open with hers. Hunter didn’t resist, meeting her pursuit—at this level, at least—with a rasp of his silken tongue against hers. A heated ache throbbed between her legs and she finished unbuttoning his shirt enough to slide her hands inside. Mouths melding, breath mingling, the moment lingered as Carly enjoyed the crisp hair on his chest, the firm muscle. And while the kiss seared her to the core Hunter continued to hold her with nothing more than his hand at her jaw. Palms stroking his delicious torso, desperate for more, she pressed her hips to his, to the hard thighs...and other harder parts.

Firing her imagination. Leaving her knees shaky.

Hunter pulled his mouth away and without a word, his piercing gaze on hers, rolled to his left, trapping her between his car and his unyielding length. Bringing new meaning to the term lethal weapon. His well-honed physique triggered all sorts of wicked fantasies. With the shift of position she’d expected, hoped, for more. But Hunter simply cupped her jaw with two palms instead of one, brought his mouth down, and began to kiss her with a reserve that left her shaking with frustration even as his tongue tasted hers. His grip on her face was self-controlled, yet sensual. Demanding, yet with a protective air that reminded her of being clasped to his side in the alley.

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