“Why not?” she asked, looking thoroughly disappointed.
“Because if I kissed you, I might not want to stop there. And as I’ve said, I respect you too much to—”
Hannah cut off his words by circling one hand around his neck and landing her lips on his, giving him the kiss he’d been halfheartedly trying to avoid.
Logan was mildly aware she’d dropped her purse, and very aware she kissed him like she hadn’t been kissed in a long, long time—with the soft glide of her tongue against his, bringing on a strong stirring south of his belt buckle. He grazed his hand up her side until his palm rested close to her breast, and he heard her breath catch as she moved flush against him. He considered telling her they should take it inside the house before someone called the cops, but then she pulled abruptly away from him and took a step back.
Hannah touched her fingertips to her lips, her face flushed, her emerald eyes wide with shock. “I cannot believe I just did that. And I can’t imagine what you must be thinking about me right now.”
He was thinking he wanted her. Badly. “Hey, it’s chemistry. It happens. Couple that with a few cocktails—”
“And you get some thirty-year-old woman acting totally foolish.”
He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “You don’t have to feel foolish or ashamed, Hannah. I’m personally flattered that you kissed me.”
She snatched her bag from the cement floor and hugged it tightly again. “I didn’t give you a whole lot of choice.”
“You only did what I wanted to do.” Trouble was, he wanted to do it again, and more. “For the record, I think you’re one helluva sexy woman and I’d really like to get to know you better.”
“But we’ve just met,” she said. “We don’t really know anything about each other.”
He knew enough to want to move forward and see where it might lead. “That’s the get-to-know-each-other-better part.”
“We don’t live in the same town.”
“True, but it’s only a ninety-mile drive.”
“You’re busy and I have a five-year-old child who is currently in school, plus I’m looking for a job.”
He remembered another search she should be conducting, and this could be the key to spending more time with her. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you all night.”
“Have I taken total leave of my senses?”
He appreciated her wit, too. “This is about your biological father.”
That seemed to sober her up. “What about him?”
“Just wondering if you have any details about his life.”
She sighed. “I only know that my mother hooked up with some guy who left her high and dry when she became pregnant with me. According to her, he was both ruthless and worthless.”
Some people might describe J. D. Lassiter that way. “Did she ever offer to give you a name?”
“No, and I didn’t ask. I figured that if he wanted nothing to do with me, then I wanted nothing to do with him.” Her tone was laced with false bravado.
He did have a hard time believing J.D. would be so cold and uncaring that he would ignore his own flesh and blood no matter what the circumstances. “Maybe there were underlying issues that prevented him from being involved in your life.”
“Do you mean the part about him being an absolute bastard, or that he was married?”
Finally, a little more to go on. “Do you know that to be a fact? The married part.”
“My mother hinted at that, but again, I can’t be certain.”
“Then maybe it’s time you try to find out the truth. You owe it to yourself and to your daughter. Because if J.D. is actually your father, you have siblings.”
Hannah seemed to mull that over for a time before she spoke again. “How do you propose I do that?”
“With my help.”
She frowned. “Why would you even want to help me?”
“Because I can’t imagine what it would be like to have more questions than answers.” In some ways he did know that. Intimately. “And since I’m an attorney, and I know the Lassiters personally, I could do some subtle investigating without looking suspicious.”
“It seems to me you would be too busy to take this on.”
“Actually, I have a light caseload this week.” Or he would as soon as he asked his assistant to postpone a few follow-up appointments. “But I would definitely want you to be actively involved in the search.”
“How do you suggest I do that from here?”
Here came the part that would probably have her questioning his motives. “Not here. In Cheyenne. You could stay with me for a few days and I’ll show you the sights and introduce you to a few people. You could so some research during the day while I’m at work.”
Hannah’s mouth opened slightly before she snapped it shut. “Stay with you?”
He definitely understood why that part of the plan might get her hackles up. “Look, I have a forty-five-hundred-square-foot house with five bedrooms and seven baths. You’d have your own space. In fact, the master bedroom is downstairs and the guest rooms are all upstairs. We could go for days and not even see each other.” Like he intended for that to happen.
“Good heavens, why would a confirmed bachelor need a house that size?”
“I got a good deal on the place when the couple had to transfer out of state. And I like to entertain.”
“Do you have a harem?”
He couldn’t help but laugh for the second time tonight, something he’d rarely done over the past few years. “No harem. But I have five acres and a couple of horses, as well as a gourmet kitchen. My housekeeper comes by twice a week and makes meals in advance if I don’t want to cook.”
“You know how to cook?” she asked, sounding doubtful.
“Yeah. I know my way around the stove.”
She smiled. “Mac and cheese? BLT sandwiches? Or maybe when you’re feeling adventurous, you actually tackle scrambled eggs?”
“My favorite adventurous meal will always be Italian. You’d like my mostaccioli.”
She loosened her grip on her bag and slipped the strap on her shoulder. “As tempting as that sounds, I can’t just take off for Cheyenne without my daughter. She won’t be out of school for five weeks.”
“Is there someone who could watch her for a few days?” Damn, he almost sounded desperate.
“Possibly, but I’ve never left Cassie alone for more than a night,” she said. “I don’t know how she would handle it. I don’t know how I would handle it. Besides, I’m not sure I could accomplish that much in a few days even if I did decide to go.”
He might be losing the battle, but he intended to win the war. “You could drive up for day trips, but that would require a lot of driving. If you stayed with me a couple of days, that would give us time to get to know each other better.”
“Residing in a stranger’s house would require a huge leap of faith.”
He closed the space between them and cupped her face in his palm. “We’re not strangers anymore. Not after you did this.”
He kissed her softly, thoroughly, with just enough exploration to tempt her to take him up on his offer. And once he was done, he moved away but kept his gaze locked on hers. “There could be more of that if you decide you want it. Again, no pressure. I’m just asking you to think about it. You might have the answers you need about your heritage, and we might find out we enjoy each other’s company. Unless you’re afraid to explore the possibilities...”