And sure enough, there were a ton of them. Meagan barely bit back a smile. Sam was a phenomenal kisser, and really brilliant to boot.

“You have to see the mother-in-law house,” Kiki said. “It has three rooms, so I can stay with you and not have to drive out every day.”

Okay, so there went her lusty, Sam-created high. “Let’s go check,” Meagan said.

She moved forward, toward Sam, and his eyes twinkled with mischief and the promise of more kisses, more touches, more fire. Promises she really wanted him to keep. Besides. She owed him a thank-you for telling her about her buttons.

Meagan exited the bathroom with him on her heels, their shared secrets somehow uniting them beyond the passion they shared. And for the first time in a long time, she admitted to herself that having someone at her back wasn’t such a bad thing, not when that someone was Sam, at least so it seemed.

The realization puzzled her. Oh sure, she’d been standing alone for a long while—beating a path through the entertainment industry with a family that didn’t approve and hardly spoke to her. And sure, she’d tried a few times to escape into a man’s arms, into a relationship with a Beta-type guy, when deep down she knew alphas appealed far more. But she also knew that alphas were demanding and controlling, and she’d seen enough of that in her small town to last a lifetime—they’d sent her running for the hills. Sam was alpha—one hundred percent all-hot alpha male. So why wasn’t she running from him?


ONLY FIFTEEN MINUTES after the bathroom kiss, they’d looked at the mother-in-law house and were on to the additional house a mile away that was also part of the lease. Meagan was in the backseat of Josh’s SUV, all too aware of her leg intimately pressed to Sam’s. Kiki was in the front. Kiki, who Meagan couldn’t escape, any more than she could the memories of being in Sam’s truck, and what they’d done together. It all threatened to suffocate her right here and now.

“I can’t get over how perfect the mother-in-law house was,” Kiki said, glancing around the seats at Meagan. “We’ll be roommates.”

“Perfect.” Except for the fact that there had been only two bedrooms, one of which Kiki had excitedly claimed. “We haven’t seen the second property yet.”

“That’ll be for security,” Kiki said, glancing at Sam. “Surely you can work with whatever you get, right?”

And bless Sam, he simply said, “We’ll see,” once again, leaving the power in her hands, doing exactly the opposite of what she’d wrongly assumed he would do. She wanted to crawl into his lap and kiss him. Though she was pretty sure, he could tick her off right now, and she’d still want him just as much.

* * *

MEAGAN SOON STOOD ON the back deck of the extra house, hands on a balcony railing overlooking the dark beach. Unseen waves were crashing on the shoreline and Sam was by her side. Kiki, thankfully, was off somewhere on her cell phone.

“It works for you?” she asked him.

“I’d say the setup is about as perfect as you can get on such short notice, with such a small timeframe to move in and start filming.”

A soft purr—or more like a meow—sounded close by. “Did I just hear a cat?” Another meow, muffled but nearby. She pushed off the railing, trying to figure out where it was coming from, and Sam did the same. “Could it be trapped, Sam? Here kitty, kitty. Here kitty.” More meowing.

Sam walked down the steps that led to the beach, making a motion with his hands for her to keep calling the cat. Meagan followed him, and the sound. “Here kitty, kitty. Here kitty.”

Sam kneeled down at the bottom step, and the next thing she knew, he was holding a kitten.

Meagan rushed forward. A cute little ball of white fur in Sam’s hands. “Is it okay?”

“Let’s go up to the porch where the light is better and check it out.”

Meagan rushed up the stairs. Sam’s big hand was like a hammock cradling the kitten. “Oh, how sweet,” she said, as it curled on top of Sam’s palm. “Oh, no.” She shifted the animal a bit. “There’s a cut, Sam. It looks bad. It’s deep.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “She needs a vet as soon as possible before infection sets in.”

Meagan glanced at him, surprised. “You’d be okay with that? With us taking it to the vet on the way back to the hotel?”

“Oh, my God!” Kiki said. “Is that a rat?”

“It’s not a rat.” Meagan grimaced. “A kitten, Kiki.”

“Well, keep it away from me,” she said. “I’m allergic.”

The look on Sam’s face said he’d had all of Kiki he could take for one night. “We should be leaving anyway,” he said. “We all have an early morning, and we need to take the cat by a vet.” The kitten meowed loudly, as if in agreement.

Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Stepping Up Romance