"I'm a pretty fit guy. And this class kicked my ass."
"I've heard that a lot. Come on. I'll help you up."
"No. I'm good. The padding on the floor ain't all bad. I'll just sleep here tonight. Or I'll be dead come morning."
"Dramatic much? Since you're the last one here, by default you're selected to help me put away the equipment."
"Mmm-hmm. Give me a day or two to get back to normal."
"But if I die…dyin' was worth it."
"Seeing your ass in yoga pants? Definitely worth havin' this post-yoga paralysis."
Rory leaned over and thumped him on the chest. She shrieked when Dalton's hands circled her biceps and he tugged her to the mat, rolling to pin her body beneath his.
"Omigod, you pervert. Get off me."
He grinned. "Say please."
"I'm so gonna kick your ass, McKay."
"Bring it, but I'm pretty sure I've got you locked down, yogi."
She studied him. God. She could get lost in the masculine planes and angles of his face. The man was just too damn good-looking. Her gaze dropped to his full lips. Lips that could be hard and yet soft. Lips that could coax and tease. Full lips that showcased his panty-dropping smile. Lips that were curled into a very cocky smirk. "Were you faking?"
"Nope. My body aches like a motherfucker right now." He bent to nuzzle her neck. "I wanna taste you, Aurora. Lick the salt off your skin."
Why was this turning her on?
Then Dalton's tongue snaked out and swept down the side of her throat. His deep, male groan vibrated right down the center of her. "I'm dying to learn every inch of you with my mouth."
Rory's body arched when his lips connected with the skin below her ear.
He murmured, "Want you, need you, have to have you. Goddamn, woman, the way you respond to me is such a fucking turn-on."
Somehow her brain came back online. "I figured you were turned on with the way your cock is digging into my belly."
His lips brushed her temple. "I've got a better idea of where I could put my cock so it'd be out of the way."
"It'd still be in my way and hard for me to talk since I'm pretty sure you'd like to shove it in my mouth."
"Mmm-hmm. But that's not my first choice of where I'd like to put it." His lips moved down the side of her face, his teeth nipping at her jawline. Her chin. He eased back and looked into her eyes, their mouths a breath apart. "You gonna let me kiss you?"
"Wow. You're asking? That's a first."
"And that right there, smart ass, is why I don't ask." Dalton pinned her arms above her head and captured her lips.
No sweet start to this kiss. His mouth assaulted hers with pure hunger. A wet, hot clash of tongues, of gliding lips and shared breath.
So much passion. The kiss would've knocked her to her knees if she hadn't already been lying down. Her body reacted to this man-a blood-pumping, dizzy, wet-between-her-thighs reaction. Just when she'd begun to wonder why they hadn't stripped, why his mouth wasn't on her nipples as his cock rammed into her, Dalton ripped his mouth from hers.
He buried his face in her neck and a full body shudder rolled through him. Then he sighed-his breath a hot wash on her damp skin. "I want you like fuckin' air, Aurora, but not here. Not like this." He placed a soft kiss below her ear and pushed upright.
That show of control was not how the old Dalton would've acted. He would've sweet-talked her into believing no one would catch them fucking around.
Proof right there that he had changed.
Sad to think she hadn't changed when it came to him. With his hard body on hers and those intense kisses clouding her brain, she would've gladly ditched her clothes and fucked him right there on the pink yoga mat.
Show some restraint.
Problem was, she didn't want to.
But somehow she did. She rolled to her feet. "You are dangerous, McKay."
"Me? Why do you say that?"
"You know why. I don't care if you're sore, you will help me return the equipment to storage."
After she'd shoved everything in the closet and locked it, she slipped on her jacket and gloves. "So you think you'll become a regular at yoga class?"
"We'll see if I'm alive tomorrow." He buttoned up his black duster. "Speaking of tomorrow…what are we doin'?"
Rory eyed his ensemble. Black gunslinger duster, neon orange hat with fuzzy earflaps. His bare calves stuck out from beneath the duster and he wore white athletic shoes and black socks. He was a prime example of what not to wear-so why was she thinking that he looked so damn cute?
Because you're a fucking sap and this man can't wait to tap you.
"Since when do we spend every evening together?"
Dalton leaned over and kissed her nose. "Since you'n me are a couple."
Her argument dried on her tongue when she realized he'd said that almost with…pride. "That may be problematic tomorrow night since I'm having supper with Addie and Truman."
"Great. I'll come along. I need to clear the air with them anyway."
"So you don't think it might, oh, bother my best friend that I'm coupling with the guy who dumped her?"
"Oh, you and me ain't even started coupling yet."
"You know what I mean."
"Of course I do. But you have my promise I wouldn't hurt Addie again for the world. She never has to know the real reason that I walked out on her was because of you." He stroked her cheek with a gloved finger. "No one besides us ever needs to know that, Aurora."
Such a sweet man.
Stop that. Right now. He is not sweet. He's a manipulative heartbreaker.
Despite the warnings, she found herself saying, "I'll talk to Addie tonight." Rory poked him in the chest. "But if she or Truman don't want you there, you don't get to whine about it."
He scowled. "When the fuck do I ever whine?"
"You used to-"
"I used to do a lot of shit that I don't do anymore. Proving to you I've changed, remember?" He poked her chest right back. "If Addie and Truman won't welcome me into their home I'll suck it up and act like a big boy. I'll probably write a poem about hurt feelings, broken friendships and the rocky path to true love."
Rory's eyebrows rose. "A poem? Really?"
He laughed. "Fuck no. But I did have you worried there for a sec, huh?"
She whapped him on the arm and exited the building.
No surprise that Dalton walked her to her Jeep. No surprise, either, that he laid a big, wet steamy kiss on her before whispering good-night.
But it wasn't a good night. Rory tossed and turned in her bed because she couldn't get the man out of her mind. This thing with Dalton was driving her batshit crazy.
She mentally corrected the word thing and inserted his preferred term: relationship.
Goddammit. How had the man invaded her life and her thoughts so completely that her word choices weren't even her own? The fact she then heard his confident little male chuckle in her head was just another example of why she was so completely screwed up by all of this. In her book, and in her experiences with one Dalton McKay, screwed up equaled screwed over.
Now the man was acting like he was in love with her, for Christsake.
As if he'd always been in love with her.
He'd been in lust with her, but that wasn't exactly news since the man-whore had been in lust with any number of women over the years.
She'd replayed their conversations from the past week on the drive home. More questions bounced around in her brain than answers.
If it'd been a one-time thing between her and Dalton-like the night she'd given him her virginity-she could blame him. But she'd slept with him two other times.
The night she'd spilled her guts to him about her mom's financial woes. They'd both been slightly drunk and had no business climbing between the sheets, but they had. From what she remembered…the sex hadn't been that good, just sloppy, quick and regrettable.
And yes, Dalton had been gone when she'd woken up hung-over as hell the next morning. And yes, he'd used the information she'd shared in a drunken rant to try and screw over her mom. Typical fucking McKay. So it'd been a double betrayal.
But had Rory learned her lesson?
Of course not.
When Dalton had shown up out of the blue at her place in Laramie two years later, a dejected man, admitting he'd been second-guessing everything about himself and his life, she'd taken him in. She'd listened to him. Offered him reassurance. She'd shoved aside the bad parts of their shared past and reminded him he'd always been able to confide in her.
But Dalton hadn't wanted his old friend Rory. He'd wanted the woman, not the girl.
And she'd been so mesmerized by his intensity and by his desire for her that she'd been powerless to resist when he kissed her like her mouth existed strictly for his pleasure. When he'd touched her body as if it was solely his to worship. When he'd whispered such sweet and hot promises she'd wanted so desperately to believe.
The sex that night? Whoo-boy. Dalton had seemed equally blown away that it'd taken them two times to get it right. She'd naively hoped they'd started a new chapter in their lives.
But Dalton had reverted to his love-her-and-leave-her persona, except that time, she'd caught him trying to sneak out in the middle of the night.
Infuriated, Rory had knocked him on his ass as he'd been putting on his jeans. Then she'd morphed into crazy-shouting threats at him, while he was prone on the floor covering his junk with one hand and his head with the other.