From Enemies to Expecting(5)

By: Kat Cantrell

His mouth tipped up in a slow smile that didn’t fool her for a second. “In case you’ve forgotten, we’re partners. That means all tasks require balls, specifically mine. Shove over and let’s do this together.”

Nice. Not only had he called her on her double entendre, he’d done it with a style she grudgingly appreciated. Which was the only reason she stepped a half inch to the right, graciously offering him room at the pad.

His arm jostled hers as he took way more space than she’d intended. The man was a solid wall of muscle, with wide shoulders and lean hips, and yeah, of course she’d noticed how well his jeans hugged the curve of his rear. That part of Logan McLaughlin was a gift to women everywhere, and she’d gotten in her share of ogling.

Without a word, he picked up his own marker and crossed out “Trinity’s Lemonade,” then scrawled, “McLemonade” across the sign. Oh, God. That was perfect. How dare he be the one to come up with it?

Scowling, she crossed her arms and in the process made sure to throw an elbow into his ribs. Which promptly glanced off as if she’d hit a brick wall. And now her elbow hurt.

“Fine,” she ground out. “We’ll go with yours. But the booth will be orange.”

He shrugged, shouldering her deliberately. “I didn’t have an issue with that.”

The man was intolerable. Nowhere near the nice guy she’d pegged him as, and once he opened his mouth, totally unattractive. Or at least that was what she was telling herself.

“Oh, yeah? So the stuff you do have issues with—that’s all getting the McLaughlin veto?” Standing her ground shouldn’t be this hard, but heels coupled with the immovable mountain snugged next to her body threw her off, and not solely because it was impossible to think through the shooting pangs of awareness that she couldn’t seem to get under control.

Instead of glaring, his expression smoothed out and he took a deep breath.

“Let’s start over.” He extended his hand.

Because he’d piqued her curiosity, she took it and he swallowed her palm with his. Little frissons of awareness seeped into her skin at the contact.

“I’m Logan McLaughlin. I run a baseball team and our ticket sales suck. My publicist insisted that this game show would be a good way to get some eyes on the team, so here I am. Any help I can get toward that goal is appreciated.”

His clear hazel eyes held hers, and his sincerity bled through her, tripping her pulse unexpectedly. Well, jeez. Honesty. What would the man think of next?

“Hi,” she said because that seemed to be all her throat could summon as they stared at each other, intensity burning through her. “I’m, um, Trinity Forrester. I sell cosmetics alongside three women I love dearly. Our company stepped in a negative publicity hole, so my publicist came up with the brilliant idea to stick me on a TV show. I’m...not so sure that was a good move.”

That made Logan laugh, and the rich sound of it wound through her with warmth that was so nice, her knees weakened. Weakness under any circumstances was not acceptable. But hardening herself against him took way more effort than it should have.

Was it so wrong to let a man like him affect her? Sure he was insufferable, pigheaded and way too virtuous for her tastes, but he had a gorgeous body, a nice smile and longish hair made for a woman’s fingers. He couldn’t be all bad.

“Oddly enough, I was thinking the same thing,” he admitted, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “But I’ve changed my mind. I think we can help each other if we work together. Willing to give it a shot?”

Guess that was her answer about what else he had up his sleeve—he was going to be pleasant instead of an obstinate jackass. Strictly to mess with her head, most likely.

But she needed to work with him to benefit both of their goals. She bit her tongue and slipped her hand from his. “I can give that a shot.”

They put their heads together, and true to his word, Logan listened to her ideas. She considered it a plus when he laughed at her jokes. No one had to know she secretly reveled in it.

* * *

By the end of the afternoon, they’d amassed a solid four hundred dollars and change with their McLemonade booth. God knew how. They’d fought over everything: how much to charge, where to set up, how much lemonade to put in the cups. Apparently, Mr. Nice Guy only made an appearance when he wanted something, then vanished once he got into the thick of things.

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