WHAT IS WITH MIKE McCAULEY?
Every time Delilah Webster runs into Mike McCauley, he practically bites her head off. The rough-and-tumble contractor clearly has baggage. Del has her own emotional scars and knows she’s better off keeping her distance, but Mike’s temptation in jeans and a T-shirt and she’s always been good with her hands…
There’s something about the strong-willed mechanic that sets Mike’s motor running–and scares the hell out of him. Mike has loved and lost and will never hurt like that again, even if that means walking away from a woman who makes him feel alive for the first time in years.
When a simple kiss turns hot and heavy, Mike discovers he can’t stay away, no matter how certain he is they’re destined to crash and burn…
She reached for his hand and entwined their fingers, pleased when he gripped her back. “My mom’s been gone for more than twenty years, Mike. It’s different. Plus, we were never that close.”
He stared at her forearm, but he didn’t ask any questions about her relationship, for which she was grateful. “You think I should talk about Lea with him? Tell him stuff about her?”
“If he’s asking, he wants to know. You loved her, right? And she loved him?”
“Then she’d want him to know her.”
“I hadn’t thought about it like that, but yeah.” Mike sighed. “It’s just… hard.”
She refused to give in to the compassion burning in her chest, thinking about how difficult it must have been for him to lose someone he’d loved so much. “Yeah, well, suck it up, McCauley. Life’s hard. As someone once told me, grow a pair.”
He blinked at her and gaped. “What?”
“Solid advice, if you think about it. I mean, I came back, and then we fucked each other’s brains out.”
He slapped a hand over her mouth and carried her to the front door, away from the hallway. “Would you shut up? You and that F-word.”
He grimaced. “Del, please. Don’t call me Dad or Daddy. Creeps me out.”
“Oh, well. I get that. You being an actual dad and all.” She grinned. “You can put me down now.”
She loved that he could so easily physically maneuver her. And that he’d lost that wounded look in his eyes, his gaze now filled with lust as he regarded her.
“You ever been spanked?”
Immediately turned on by the thought of Mike doing the spanking, she shook her head.
“Didn’t think so. You need it. Discipline, I mean.” He kissed her hard and left her breathless. “Oh yeah. Next time we get together, I’m going to give you exactly what you need.”
She felt him aroused and rock-hard against her. His entire body was like living steel, hot, unbending, yet molten when handled the right way.
“Yeah? Well I’ll give you what you need too, studly. Don’t think you can manage me.”
“It’s on, brat.”
She glared. “Did you just call me a brat?”
“Did I stutter?”
“Dad,” Colin yelled. “I’m done.”
“Be right there.”
They sure did yell a lot. Though annoyed by the big bully, she found the screaming match with his son charming.
So she did it too. “See you, Colin.”
“Bye, Del,” he shouted back.
“Just call us the Manners family,” Mike muttered while she laughed. “Come on. I’ll get your coat.”
“I didn’t bring one. I brought ice cream, remember?”
“Yeah, and don’t think you’re getting it back. Chocolate is my favorite.”
“Mine too,” she reminded him.
He frowned. “Well if you’re going to have a hissy about it, I’ll—”
“Excuse me? Hissy?”
“—bring you one when I see you next. Your place. Thursday night work?”
“Can’t. I have book club Thursday. If I miss it, I’ll never hear the end of it from Abby.” Or Rena, who was salivating at the prospect of meeting the great Abigail D. Chatterly.
“Friday then. I’ll bribe one of my brothers to babysit Colin.” Mike pulled her close and rubbed against her. “I want you.”
“Still? I’m impressed. Thought you’d worked me out of your system.”
“Like you’ve done with me?” He snorted. “Try again.”
“I still want you.” She shrugged. “But then, my standards aren’t that high.”
“Bullshit. I asked around. You haven’t been on a date in forever. I mean, you babysat my kid on Valentine’s Day. Pathetic.”
He kept her close, and she placed her hands on his chest to push him away. Except the feel of his muscle under her palms made her itch to continue touching him. “Yeah? Well at least I didn’t go out on a date with my mom.”
“Hey, I was trying to help her deal with my dad being an asshole,” he said in a low voice. “All the while your dad was making moves on her.”
She grinned and pinched his nipples, pleased when he hissed and ground his cock against her. “What can I say? We Websters are lethal.”
“No shit.” He took a deep breath and let it out, then set her far away from him. “Before I come in my pants, go home. Friday, your place.”
“I have a roommate.”
“Yeah, well I do too. I’m taking care of mine, take care of yours. Besides, I want to see your place.”
“Why?” Did he want to see how she lived? If she was good enough? Just because she looked a little tough and worked in a rough part of town didn’t mean she couldn’t afford—
“Because I want to fuck you hard in that bed. Then you won’t be able to dream without seeing me there.” He pointed a finger at her. “The way I dream about you thanks to the way you took advantage of me Friday night. It’s a real problem not being able to fall sleep with a hard-on.”
She blinked, not having anticipated that answer. “Good. Serves you right.”
“You’re such a cruel woman. But I can deal. Friday. Your place. And if the roommate is there, she can watch.”
“You really are a bad boy, aren’t you, McCauley?”
His leer gave her the shivers. “You have no idea, Webster. No idea.”
She left, seeing him in the doorway through the rearview as she tore down the street. Yet it wasn’t the remembrance of his leer that stayed with her, but the sight of his grief over the monumental loss of his wife that crept into her thoughts when she’d least expect it.