|Название||The Nanny Proposal|
|Автор произведения||Joss Wood|
|Серия||Texas Cattleman's Club: The Impostor|
Despite working virtually and only seeing him within the confines of a computer monitor, she’d noticed that he was worried and, day-by-day, she saw his tension levels ratcheting up. Thanks to that amazing, glorious night that could not be mentioned, they were very careful to keep their relationship strictly professional, so she’d avoided asking him what was wrong and whether she could help.
And that raised the question, did she want to help? Should she help? She rather liked being on the outside looking in; it felt safer that way. But lately she’d started to think that maybe it was time to come out of her self-imposed hermit lifestyle, to start engaging with the world again. Meet some new people and, maybe, make a friend or two.
She wasn’t looking for a new best friend or a new lover—she didn’t trust herself or her judgment to go that far—but sharing a meal with a nice man or a cup of coffee with a girlfriend might be fun. But, God, she was so out of practice. She needed to dust off her social skills; Aaron was the only person she spoke to on a regular basis and that was all about business.
Looking after Savannah would pull her out of her rut and make her interact with someone new, even if she was only five years old. But she had to be careful, she’d made a promise to herself to protect what was left of her heart and she couldn’t afford to become emotionally attached to anyone, let alone a little girl who’d lost her mom and maybe—God, she prayed not—her dad.
“It’s a temporary gig, Kasey. Just until we find our feet,” Aaron said.
Kasey tapped her nails against her fake granite countertop, fighting the urge to say no, to crawl back into the security of her quiet and lonely life. If she kept to herself, then no one could hurt her...
But they were talking about a little girl. What harm could she do?
Kasey thought she could handle Savannah but she had to remember that she came as a package deal with Aaron. And she definitely couldn’t handle him!
To give herself some time to think, Kasey lifted her phone to her ear to listen to Michelle’s message. “So, I know you’re not too happy with me at the moment but it’s been a while since we spoke. Kasey, we need to resolve our issues. I need to say sorry for my oops and you need to forgive me.”
Oops? That was what her childhood friend was calling sleeping with her husband? An oops? Holy hell, now she’d heard it all.
“Anyway, I’ve tracked you down and I’m driving to Royal to see you. I should be there later this morning. And we’re going to talk, Kasey. You can’t keep running from me. I’m staying for the weekend, possibly longer if I can’t get through to you, and we’re going to thrash this out.”
Like hell she was. Kasey’s eyes flew to the clock on the wall—it was already ten and Michelle was super punctual. In fact, she was often early. She bit her lip and thought fast. “Would me helping you with Savannah mean me moving into your house?”
“It would make sense,” Aaron replied, his voice as neutral as Switzerland.
Two hours ago the thought of sleeping down the hall from the hottest man in Royal would’ve sent her running for the hills. But dealing with Michelle, rehashing their torrid past, was more terrifying than dealing with a little girl and Kasey’s raging but hopefully well-hidden lust for her boss.
Sold, Kasey thought. Michelle would arrive in Royal, not find her at home and, after a day, maybe two—because she had a low attention span and was easily bored—she’d hightail it back to Houston.
“I’ll help you with Savannah this weekend, as a trial run,” Kasey said. Not giving Aaron time to respond, she whipped around and headed down the hallway to her bedroom. Stepping into her tiny walk-in closet, she stood on her tiptoes and lunged for the suitcase on the highest shelf. A big, burly man from the moving company had placed it there for her; she’d thought it would be months before she needed it again.
Kasey jumped, her fingers grazing the edge of the suitcase, which wobbled and stayed put. Dammit, she hated being short. Kasey took a step back and hit a solid wall of muscle. She tensed and her brain ordered her traitorous body not to push her butt into his groin.
Aaron’s chest connected with her back as his arm reached for the suitcase, easily lifting the case off the shelf. His muscles bulged as he held it in the air and Kasey felt his hard body press up against her back, thought she felt his warm breath fanning her neck. Kasey stared at a pile of her T-shirts, telling herself that she couldn’t—shouldn’t—turn around. That it wasn’t a good idea to rise to her toes and slam her mouth against his.
Kasey heard Aaron’s muffled curse in her ear, heard the suitcase hit the floor and then Aaron’s big hands were on her shoulders and he spun her around to face him. She caught a glimpse of green fire in his eyes before he abruptly stepped back, holding up his hands, broad palms facing her, his chest heaving.
“Kasey.” Her name was both a warning and a plea. As her boss he wouldn’t initiate anything but she could, she had to. Kasey placed her fingers on his jaw and reached up to touch her mouth to his.
They both needed this connection...
Aaron made an appreciative sound in the back of his throat as his tongue slipped past her teeth to slide against hers, long, sexy strokes that heated her skin and made her head swim.
She’d missed this. She’d missed being the object of a man’s desire, of being held and kissed, of feeling feminine and powerful and so, so sexy. Despite only sharing a few, pleasure-saturated hours with him, she’d missed Aaron. When she thought of pleasure and sex and desire, his was the face that came to mind, his hands, his kisses, his touch. And hadn’t that been the point of that night so long ago?
She shouldn’t be enjoying his kiss so much, her hands shouldn’t be exploring the hard muscles under his bare skin. She shouldn’t be pressing her breasts into his chest. And she most certainly should not be twisting her tongue around his, making those sounds of appreciation low in her throat.
My God. What was she thinking? Rationality filtered in as she remembered that he was her boss. What they’d had was a onetime thing. She was moving into his house to avoid Michelle, to help him with his niece, not to warm his bed. Pull away, Kasey. Now.
Just five minutes more...
Aaron jerked his mouth off hers, his fingers digging into her hips. He rested his forehead against hers and she was pleased to see that his face was flushed, that he, also, was short of breath. That they were both struggling for control. At least she wasn’t alone in this madness.
Kasey yanked her hands out from underneath his shirt and pushed the heels of her hands in her eye sockets. This man had the ability to shut down her synapses, to trip the power supply to her brain.
Kasey looked down at her bare toes, noticed a small chip in the nail polish on her middle toe. She didn’t want to have this conversation but she needed to make sure of what she was walking into. “I’m going to be living and working in your house, Aaron. For a couple of nights at the very least.”
She lifted her head to see Aaron’s “Yeah, so?” look.
Man, this was embarrassing, but because her entire marriage had been based on lies, Kasey chose honesty over embarrassment. “Are you expecting more when I move in with you? Because that’s not going to happen.”
Irritation flickered in his eyes. “I never, for one moment, thought it would. You’re still my employee and I’m still your boss.”
“I initiated that kiss but you were as into it as I was, Aaron.”
Irritation morphed into frustration and his muttered curse bounced off the walls of her bedroom. “I know. But we had an agreement and that agreement still stands.”
“Then why didn’t we stop?” Why was she pushing him on this? What did she