The Virgin Sex Queen
was
hot.
    Her gaze
transferred to his face as she asked dryly, “Have I just discovered
a shoe fetish?”
    “What? No.” He
settled back against the sofa. “Just the Sophie I knew never wore
anything that stood out.”
    “So I’m not the
Sophie you knew.”
    “That’d be a
shame.” The words were spoken before he’d even thought fully about
them.
    Her face
tightened. “You’d rather I stayed under a bush out of sight?”
    “I didn’t mean
that.” All amusement vanished.
    “So what did
you mean?”
    Boy, she was
prickly. “I just meant that you’ve changed.”
    “I think we’ve
already established that.” She pushed to her feet.
    Alan
practically leaped to his. “Where are you going?”
    “Bed. I’m
tired.”
    “Soph,
wait-”
    “Nice to meet
you again, Alan. Good night.”
    No way was he
letting her go, not when he caught the flash of hurt in her eyes.
One lunge and he was directly in front of her. She made to side
step him but he simply moved again, taking her upper arms in a
gentle hold.
    Expression
still tight, she looked up at him. “Alan-”
    “I’m sorry.
Sometimes my mouth runs away with me.” Often, in fact. He gentled
his tone. “Let’s just sit and chat awhile, okay? No more
teasing.”
    Now her
expression was dubious. “You? Not teasing?”
    “I’ve changed
as well.” When she simply stared at him, he released her arms to
raise his hands and hold them palms outwards. “Promise.”
    “I’ll believe
that when I see it.’
    “Hey, I dress
in a cop’s uniform and give out speeding tickets. And save lives.
And do other things.”
    “That’s your
big boy job. Your little boy job seems to be the same.”
    “What little
boy job would that be?”
    Placing one
hand on his chest, she shoved lightly. “Being a tease and a skirt
chaser.”
    “Hey, I didn’t
go chasing skirts,” he replied indignantly. “I went on a date.”
    “Which went
arse up and now you’re teasing me.”
    “Trying to
chat, honey.” Shuffling a few inches to the right, he again stopped
her movement to flee. Reaching out, he placed his finger beneath
her chin to tilt her face up so she met his gaze. “I promise to be
good.”
    She stared up
at him, and then, unexpectedly, a small twinkle appeared in her
eyes. He couldn’t say why that made him feel warm inside, but it
did.
    “You promise to
be good?” she asked.
    “On my
honour.”
    “You have
honour now? You have changed.”
    “Now who’s
teasing?”
    She mimed
zipping her lips closed and throwing away the key.
    Alan pretended
to catch the key and unlocked her lips, feeling the warm, moist
breath on his fingers as he did so. Ignoring the comment that
immediately sprang to his tongue, he smiled down at her. “Talk to
me, Soph.”
    There was no
mistaking the relaxing of her body, the tightness of her lips
easing. “About…?”
    “What you’ve
done since you left. What I’ve done. Let’s catch up.”
    “Hmmm. And you
say you can do this without teasing?”
    He sucked in
his bottom lip thoughtfully before hedging, “I’ll try.”
    She burst into
laughter.
    Grabbing her
hand, he turned and started to tug her along. “Come on, let’s get a
cuppa and share girl talk.”
    “I didn’t think you’d changed that much.”
    “It’s what
comes of having a workmate who just has to talk about feelings.” He
gave an exaggerated shudder.
    “Who would that
be?”
    “You met him
today.”
    Sophie’s eyes
widened. “The Incredible Hulk?”
    Alan gave a
snort of laughter as he led her into the kitchen.
    “Seriously?”
Leaning on the kitchen bench, she watched as he put the kettle on
to boil. “That big, scary monster talks about feelings?”
    “Oh yeah.” Alan
set two cups on the kitchen counter. “Mike has this thing about
clearing the air. Man, he drives his wife nuts sometimes.”
    “I saw his
wedding ring. Thought whoever married him would have to be brave or
nuts.”
    “Trust me,
Maddy isn’t nuts. She’s the only one game enough to

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