Annoyed with himself, he pulled out his towel and clean clothes, tossing them all on the bench. After shedding his clothes and shoes, he entered one of the shower stalls separated by chest-high tiled walls.
The sting of hot water felt good, easing his aching muscles and a bit of his tension as he shampooed his hair. He wished the soap could wash the troublesome journalist from his life as easily.
When the sound of footsteps came, Hunter glanced over the wall of the shower stall. Carly appeared, rounding the last row of lockers. Hunter’s heart pumped hard and his hands stilled in his soapy hair.
As if she belonged in the male domain, she came closer and stopped on the other side of the low wall. The partition was just high enough to block her view of the lower part of his body. A part that was responding to her presence, her bold maneuver, and leaving his every cell crackling with electricity.
Which brought him to the main reason he’d agreed to go back on the show again. He couldn’t lie to himself anymore. He’d duped himself into thinking it was all about his boredom with a job that left him unsatisfied. He could no longer deny the biggest reason he was unable to walk away from her—despite all the reasons he should.
Desire. Want. Need.
A longing so intense it was disturbing.
And he didn’t want her here, testing his ability to keep the lessons of the past in mind. Proving that with every outrageous move by Carly Wolfe those lessons were getting harder and harder to remember.
Frustrated, Hunter stuck his head under the shower, rinsing out the rest of the shampoo. His gut tensed as he debated what to do with the woman who was driving him insane. Wishing she’d leave. Ignoring the small part of him that was hoping she wouldn’t.
Finished, he turned his back to the spray, careful to keep his tone level. “Are you here just to watch or to seduce a story out of me?”
Her lips tightened at his slur. “As I recall, it was you who came on to me in the parking garage.”
Despite everything, a wry smile crept up his face. He wasn’t particularly proud of that moment, but it had certainly been memorable. And having her just a short wall away from his naked body wasn’t making this conversation easy. His blood was enthusiastically lining up on its way to a part of him that was paying close attention. Very close attention. “I’m not even sure it was effective.”
“Oh, it was effective.” She propped her hand on her hip. “And if I turned the tables and tried the tactic on you? Would it work too?”
The question lit the fire that he’d fought so hard to keep banked. The sound of water hitting tile filled the room as he debated how to respond. For some reason he couldn’t stop pushing her. Testing her. “Depends on how good you are.” He nodded in the direction of the condom machine on the wall, multiple Kama Sutra pictures displayed on its front. “And how many of those positions you’re familiar with.”
Carly glanced at the dispenser, her eyelids flickering briefly in surprise at the images. It took a moment for her to respond. “I’m familiar with the first and the third.” She turned to meet his gaze again, her tone dry. “Number five is physically impossible.” After a pause, the sassy confidence was fully back in place and she stepped closer, folding her arms on the tile wall, eyes lit with challenge. “But I’m willing to try number four with you.”
Heat surged, and he fought the smile. He knew what the little minx was up to, and he felt a punishing need to see if she would actually follow through. Almost as strong as the punishing need coursing through his body now. “Here?” He lifted a brow. “Now?”
For the first time her gaze dropped below his waist. “Why wait?”
If he got any harder he’d crack. “It’s your call,” he said, and counted out the pounding heartbeats.
Her pink tongue touched her lips, either in nerves or anticipation—or both—and her breaths came faster. “Got any quarters for the machine?”
“Side pocket of my gym bag.”
Hunter waited, wanting to see just how far the bold woman would go. Knowing that this time pulling back would be impossible...
* * *
Heart thumping from their exchange and intense longing, Carly glanced at the condom dispenser again, conflicted. She wasn’t supposed to be here—not when she’d been trying to convince her boss to let her do a story on Hunter. She’d been refused each time, but sleeping with him now would still be stupid. Massively stupid. Yet, despite that knowledge, she was still torn between what she should do—which was retreat from the challenge—and what she wanted to do...