squad suddenly went quiet. Apparently the game mattered to them too.
Aiden took a deep breath and held it as he threw his last dart, this time aiming for the more difficult triple ring. How better to set sweet Lily Doyle back on her heels than to score a triple twenty the first time he was up?
He did it. To the sounds of breath being sucked in from all sides, Aiden casually strolled over to the board, plucked out the two darts, and then bent to pick up the bounce-out. When he straightened, he gave Lily a deep, exaggerated bow. Damned if he didn’t feel as good as if he’d just thrown out a runner at the plate.
“Jackass,” Morgan Merrifield muttered from behind him.
Lily simply tilted her head, looking more intrigued than worried. “Decent,” she finally said, then eased up to the throw line for her second turn.
Aiden moved in close, practically whispering in her ear. “Not to blow your concentration or anything, but why the hell was Miss Annie so freaked out just now? It’s not like the stuff with the developer and the car ferry vote is a big secret.”
Okay, maybe he
trying to blow her concentration, but as he inhaled her scent, the years melted away. He swore her hair smelled exactly the same as it had that last night in his car, when his lips were trailing kisses over her long, perfect neck and his hands were exploring the gentle swells of her breasts and ass. Her gleaming auburn hair was as sweetly fragrant as the roses that bloomed all over the island.
He couldn’t hold back a smile. Yes, Lily had changed, had grown up. But she’d also remained essentially the same, and he found that incredibly appealing.
Clearly unfazed by his comment—or by the fact that he’d crowded her sweet bod—Lily launched her dart and then turned to face him. “I’m sorry about that. Granny’s memory isn’t what it used to be, and she sometimes thinks people are keeping her in the dark. You remember how much she hates not being in the know about absolutely everything that’s happening on the island.”
“Got it. But she sure still looks and sounds sharp to me.” Annie Letellier might be in her eighties, but she looked like the same fireball he remembered from when he was a kid. He hated to think it might be otherwise.
Lily shook her head, her hair gently brushing over her bare shoulders. “She’s definitely still our Miss Annie, but you’ll notice some differences in her, for sure.” For a nanosecond she looked sad, but then she lifted an eyebrow. “If you stick around long enough, that is.”
She was probing for clues again, but he wasn’t ready yet to give up that kind of info. “I don’t know how long I’ll be here. Depends on a lot of things,” he said.
But after seeing you, babe, I may not be out of here quite as quick as I’d thought.
Lily let out a derisive little snort and turned to throw again, scoring a twenty.
“This match could be close,” she said over a shoulder that Aiden wanted to caress.
“Don’t count on it,” he replied absently, letting his gaze drift down to her shapely ass.
She turned to him and blinked, as if startled that he stood so close. A faint blush washed over her cheekbones, but then she put her hands on her hips. “Then maybe we should make a little wager before we get too far in. What do you think, city boy? You up for the challenge?”
The gentle taunt in her voice tweaked his competitive instincts. “Name it,” he said.
Lily tapped an index finger on her chin, as if pondering a weighty question. “Let’s say if I win, my tab tonight is on you. If you win—like that’s going to happen—I pick up yours.”
“Even if I stay and close the place down?”
“Even if. In fact, be my guest. On Darts Night, I usually don’t go home too early.”
Which means you do every other night?
He liked that idea. Lily tucked up in her bed safe and alone—preferably in a skimpy nightie that only he would ever see.
“You’re on, then,” he