another, Deke had to win the game Adam was dying to play. If he didn’t, he could very well lose his heart and destroy them all.
* * * *
Well . Sarah didn’t know what to say as she remained plastered to Adam’s side. She knew she should speak up, but her tongue had glued itself to the roof of her mouth and her jaw was clenched to the point of pain.
Unable to do anything to help the sudden tension in her living room, Sarah looked up at Adam with pleading eyes. He smiled at her and nodded. “Why don’t we get some stuff unpacked?”
“Sounds like a plan,” Deke muttered. Getting to his feet abruptly, he removed his suit jacket and folded the fabric in half before laying it on the arm of her couch. “Why don’t you two start in the kitchen? I’ll work in here.” He swiftly turned his back on them, openly dismissing both her and Adam.
Sarah frowned, not liking that he was dumping her with his partner rather than spending a few minutes alone with her. Heaven forbid. “Why don’t you and I start in the kitchen, Deke?” she asked, her voice telling him that she wasn’t giving him an option.
Adam stiffened beside her, but she didn’t back down. “I’ll go work on the bedroom,” he said. “You’re going to need somewhere to sleep, sweet pea.”
Sarah nodded her agreement then smiled up at him gratefully. “Yes I will.”
Deke mumbled something unintelligible. However, he didn’t deny her. “Let’s go in the kitchen and get this over with,” he grumbled. “Then I need to get going. I have important things to do.”
“So do I,” she shot back.
Deke glowered but came forward and clasped her elbow with a firm yet gentle hand, presumably to guide her into the kitchen. But as soon as his warm flesh touched her, she froze. So did he.
Deke wasn’t affectionate, not with her or Adam. Not with anyone. Sarah had accepted that sad fact years ago. Even as children, she couldn’t remember him being openly demonstrative with her, Shane, or Landon. In fact, the only time she could recall that he touched her tenderly as a child was in a worn photo she carried in her wallet.
When she was six, her foster mother had snapped a picture of an eighteen-year-old Deke cuddling her close as she cried hysterically. Shane and Landon had been kneeling in front of her, trying to calm her with whatever they were whispering. It hadn’t worked. She’d been too devastated that all three of them were going away to college and leaving her alone. As expected, the boys had left the next day, and she’d spent months trying to get over what she saw as their abandonment. But now, she kept the photo on her always as a reminder of Deke’s softer side, the one she loved but rarely saw, the one he was showing her now.
Peering up at Deke, she nibbled on her bottom lip to keep a smile at bay. When she noticed his disconcerted expression, she gave up and grinned. “Come on,” she whispered, giving him an out. This time. “We have work to do.”
Sarah didn’t acknowledge the husky tone in her voice. Neither did he. Instead, she allowed him to lead her toward the kitchen without another word. Much to her delight, he didn’t release her, choosing to keep her pressed intimately to his side as they walked.
The feel of his powerful body beside hers heated her blood, warming her own body to a simmer. But even that didn’t drive her nearly as crazy as the smell of his cologne. Raw masculinity flowed off him and danced around her. She felt enveloped by the addictive scent, and she inhaled deeply to garner another whiff of his earthy essence. Wow. I’m in Heaven.
Noticing movement out of the corner of her eye, Sarah slid her gaze as subtly as possible to Adam. He was disappearing down the hallway that led to her bedroom. Soon though, he was gone, out of her sight. And a second later, she heard the sound of a door creaking open then shutting.
Returning her attention to the man beside her, she sighed happily. It was just her and