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From Rocky Mountain Heat Vivian Arend 2009

It was time to be blunt with Blake. It was hardly right for her to fault Carol and Leo for not talking about their relationship when she was guilty of the same thing with Blake.

“No, I’m not interested in taking any more classes. I figure it’s time for the next stage of my life. Meet new goals, fulfill new desires.” Okay, it wasn’t a totally blunt declaration of wanting to jump him, but it was a start. Especially as she opened her shoulders to face him, pulling one leg up on the bench seat so that her knee bumped into his thigh. A gentle caress. Barely there but enough to get her heart pounding.

“Where’s he live?”

Her mind clouded with the image of him reaching to touch her, smoothing his strong fingers over her thigh. His work hardened hands opening her jeans and unbuttoning her blouse.

“Jaxi, where does he live?” Blake demanded.

She shook her head and lifted her gaze from his hands. What the hell were they talking about again? “Who?”

“This Royce guy.”

The urge to giggle rose and she beat it down unmercifully. Acting like a teenybopper wasn’t the image she wanted to project right now. “Don’t worry about Royce. He’s a nice enough guy but I’m not interested in him.” She adjusted her leg casually, rubbing his thigh again.

Blake changed gears, his legs shifting away from hers. “Well, you let me know if he gives you any trouble, alright?”

She leaned toward him slightly, letting her body soften, letting her desire for him show in her eyes and the tone of her voice. “Now why would you do that? You’re not my father to watch over me and save from the big bad wolves.” Come on Blake, make a move. She was sure she’d seen signs of his attraction but the man was damn stubborn. Whatever held him back was driving her up the wall.

“No, I’m not your father, but I’ve thought about you a lot lately. I haven’t taken care of you as well as I did before you began college classes. I’m going to work on that, Jaxi. You need someone to care for you.”

Hope rose in her heart. Was he coming around? Maybe his earlier anger was because he felt responsible for her and wanted more?

Then he dumped cold water on her dreams as he reached to pat her knee gently. Playfully. As far from a lover’s caress as possible. “You’re a good girl, Jaxi, and you deserve to be cared for. I’m going to be the best big brother you could ever have.” With a final squeeze to her knee he turned up the radio and his strong hands thumped the wheel in time with the song, a peculiar pinched smile on his face.

Jaxi stared slack jawed, her body and mind both rocking as she tried to understand what he’d just said.

He’d gone insane.

A big brother? Like hell that’s what she needed. If he wanted to care for her it wouldn’t be as a big boy reluctantly playing house with a little girl. Making mud pies good-naturedly when he would prefer to be anywhere else. They’d done that already, years ago. It was time to shake things up, time to show Blake she was no little girl and he was definitely not her big brother.

She’d told Jesse earlier she played to win. The game started now in earnest and Blake wasn’t going to know what hit him.

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12 years ago

Oh, nice! Very nice.
Can’t wait to get the rest of it.

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