The coffee gurgled to completion and Sierra grabbed one of the boring, white coffee cups she had picked up at the dollar store when she had moved in. No need to go out and find something that would cheer her up. At least not yet. She’d have plenty of time to do that when she got back home to Tennessee where she belonged. She would likely have to buy another house since hers was currently rented. That would ensure she couldn’t have a momentary relapse and wind up back in the Big D.

A pounding on the front door had her sloshing coffee in her cup, the hot, black liquid spilling over and onto her shirt. “Damn it.”

Setting the cup on the counter and grabbing a hand towel, Sierra attempted to wipe off the now cooling liquid as she headed for the door.

The door. Oh, shit.

Who the hell would be at her door that early in the morning? Whoever it was, she shouldn’t answer it. The knock thundered again, eliminating the hope that it might have been Sam coming to check on her. Definitely not a dainty, feminine knock. Her traitorous legs moved closer to the door and Sierra found herself glancing through the peephole, praying that it wouldn’t be…

Whew! It wasn’t.

Gripping the handle, Sierra pulled back the door, still trying to dry her now damp t-shirt.

“Hey.” Cole’s beautiful face peered down at her, those indigo blue eyes caressing every inch of her skin as he took her in.

“What’s up?” She asked, doing her best to sound nonchalant but feeling a little unsteady from the intensity of his gaze.

“Can I come in?” He was halfway through the door as he asked the question, apparently sure of her answer. Good thing because she hadn’t been… sure that is.

“Ok.” Stepping back so he could come inside, Sierra felt incredibly small once again. She’d gotten used to being around Luke, but Cole still had the ability to make her feel utterly feminine and incredibly fragile.

Realizing she was still trying to dry her shirt, she tossed the hand towel onto the back of the chair and turned away from Cole. “I need to, um, change. I’ll be right back.” See, that wasn’t so hard. She could talk to this man. There was no reason to get all flustered when he was around.

Sierra double timed it to her bedroom, ripped the stained t-shirt up and over her head, tossing it in the direction of the clothes hamper in the corner and missing it entirely. What was wrong with her? When she reached for the dresser drawer, she noticed her hands were shaking. And not some little vibration either. No, this was a full blown earthquake in her limbs.

She wasn’t aware how long she stood there, staring down at her hands, but the next thing she knew, Cole was coming up behind her, turning her in his arms and pressing her against his chest. She pressed her damp – shit, she was crying – cheek against his broad torso, her hands snaking around his waist. His masculine scent filled her nostrils and soothed her frazzled nerves.

“Baby, it’s going to be alright.” Cole muttered, running his hand through her hair as he cupped her head, holding her against him.

How did he know it would be alright? How did he even know what the problem was? She sure as hell didn’t.

And when had he taken to calling her such an endearment? Baby?

A sudden flash of memory had Sierra gripping Cole tighter. The remembered way that this man made love to her while they were alone in Vegas had heat coursing through every limb, chasing away the icy chill that had been in residence since the night before. On top of that, she had the scorching hot reminder of Valentine’s and the way he had settled between her legs…

What was she doing?

To her relief, Cole took a step back, but when he tilted her head back to meet his gaze, Sierra’s stomach nearly plummeted to the floor. The heat in his eyes was hot enough to scorch the sun.

“God, I’ve missed you.” He whispered.

Missed her?

“I’ve missed you too.” She had? What the hell was going on?

Sierra was mesmerized by the midnight blue depths of his eyes, the way he looked at her, the way his fingers felt on her chin, the heat emanating off of his massive body… she was in trouble here.

“I’m going to kiss you, Sierra.” Cole stated, his voice low and intense.

Heaven help her, the only thing she could do was nod and anticipate the sweet, seductive feel of his mouth on hers.

The room disappeared when his lips came down to meet hers, and she was lost to the tender, gentle way he plied her mouth open with his tongue. This wasn’t hot and fierce, though her blood was boiling and she wanted nothing more than to climb his body. No, Cole was making love to her mouth, using his tongue to delve gently, taking up residence, filling her with longing and need.