DEA field agent Jarrett Brandt returns home to visit his brother’s grave, not to reconnect with his first true love.
Now widowed with a son, Marissa Reinn Brandt expects nothing from the one who broke her heart—the twin brother of the man she’d married—but then her son offers him a place to stay for Christmas.
As they rekindle the flames of love that once bound them together, an enemy from his past and a trusted mentor from his present threaten to destroy everything they hold dear.
Marissa stood up from the table, grabbed a few plates and headed toward the kitchen. She stuffed the plates in the trashcan and washed her hands under warm water in the sink.
She didn’t want Jarrett to stay with them but how could he refuse? Her son made a compelling argument and it was damn hard to ignore his tears, especially when they weren’t crocodile tears.
Living under the same roof as Jarrett, even for just a few days, wouldn’t be easy. After their amazing night together, Marissa couldn’t fathom keeping her hands off him. His tanned, muscled body nearly made her drool. Just thinking about it doubled the saliva in her mouth. She had vowed just an hour ago to keep her distance and not sleep with him again. Now, she didn’t know how not to sleep with him. With the guestroom bordering her bedroom and Jason’s room down the hall, she could easily sneak inside Jarrett’s room and pleasure his body for hours.
A feeling of unease crept up her spine. She turned to face Jarrett as he approached from the swinging kitchen door. She sighed and turned off the faucet. She dried her hands with a soft towel and refused to meet his gaze.
“I’m sorry, Marissa. If staying here will be an inconvenience, I’ll tell Jason I can’t.”
She shook her head. “He’ll blame me.”
“No, I’ll say that I have to go back to San Francisco for work or Montana for the ski trip. He’ll understand.”
A raw laugh crawled up her throat. “He’ll understand? He’ll scream and beg you to stay. Once you leave, he’ll cry for hours.”
“Marissa, what do you want from me? I can’t stay forever. I don’t want to hurt him or you, I swear it, but I will leave. It’s only a matter of when, not if.”
She grasped the counter to keep steady. She hated how much her foolish heart hurt with those words. “I know that. I don’t expect anything different.” She swallowed hard to strengthen her voice. “I’m not your wife. Jason is not your son. We’re not good enough reasons for you to give up the life you built in California. I don’t want anything from you. I’ll understand when you leave but Jason won’t, not that it’s any of your concern. I’ll deal with his pain when the time comes.”
He clutched his fists and turned away. “You sure know how to make a man feel like shit.”
She folded her arms. “That’s not my intention.”
“It doesn’t change the facts.” He grabbed the cell phone from his pocket and checked the time. “Am I staying here or not? It’s your choice.”
She considered throwing the bastard out on his ass. If it wasn’t for Jason, she would. “You’re staying.”
“Okay.” He gripped the phone tight. “I’ll call my boss and let him know your address.”
“Fine. I assume your bike has a lot of compartments for extra clothes and travel supplies. I’ll show you to the guestroom when you’re ready.”
Jarrett nodded and headed to the swinging door, now still, but paused before passing through. “Thank you, Marissa. I do appreciate it.”
She fisted her hands. “Thank Jason.”
With that, he left the kitchen.
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