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Undercover Love(8)

By:Lucy Score

“Yes, but sometimes even then I end up doing things I don’t really want to.”

“Like hosting a cocktail party?”

He smiled grimly. “Like hosting a cocktail party.”

She nudged his shoulder. “I think we’re depressing each other. Let’s talk about something else.”

They both agreed that football was their favorite sport to watch. They were on opposite ends of the spectrum when it came to TV viewing habits and neither of them had ever had a dog.

He told her that he met Victoria, then fifteen, a week before his father married her mother. “She was a nightmare, even for a teenage girl,” he shook his head.

“How bad could she have been?” Ashley asked.

“Oh, no. You already asked your question. It’s my turn.” Jason leaned back against the wall and she felt heat as his knee brushed hers. She didn’t move away from the subtle pressure and wondered if he was as intensely aware of the physical contact as she was.

Probably not. Maybe he had a nerve problem and couldn’t feel things in his knees. Or maybe he thought her leg was just bench.

“Tell me something that you’ve never told anyone before.”

“Whoa. What kind of something?”


Ashley rolled her eyes. “Fine.” She blew out a breath and considered her options. “When I was in fifth grade, I was walking home from school and I saw a rabbit get hit by a car. She was still alive, but her back leg was hurt. So I picked her up and put her in my backpack.”

“Of course you did.”

“Anyway, I wasn’t allowed to have pets growing up, but I couldn’t just leave her there in the street. So I snuck her into my bedroom and put some Band-Aids on her leg and kept her in my closet.”

“How do you know it was a she?”

Ashley bit her lip.

“Oh no.”

“Yeah, about a week later, she had eight babies.”

He covered his mouth.

“And it wasn’t long after that that I came home and they weren’t in the closet anymore. My parents still talk about the Great Bunny Infestation. They never did find out how all those bunnies got in the house.”

He was laughing now. “You are a piece of work.”

“I like to consider myself piece of art,” Ashley sniffed. “Okay, my turn. I have this theory that beneath her makeup and nail polish and hairspray, Victoria is like an axe murderer or something. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen her do?”

He rubbed a hand over his chin, the stubble making a scratching sound. “Pass.”

Damn it. Maybe she had underestimated his loyalty to his stepsister. “You know that makes me wonder even more. But I will respect the pass. How about this? Why don’t you like Steven?” she asked.

His eyes narrowed. “You’re good.”

Ashley painted on an innocent look and steepled her fingers. “I believe you’ve already used your pass.”

“I never said I didn’t like him.”


“Fine. From what I’ve seen of him he seems like an ass-kissing weasel.”

“Well, don’t hold back or anything!”

Jason shrugged. “You asked.”

“What makes you think he’s an ass-kissing weasel?”

“I said ‘seems like.’ And I already answered your question. It’s my turn.”

Ashley scrunched up her nose. “Fine. What’s your question?”

Jason was taking his sweet time. He scratched the back of his head and leaned forward resting his elbows on his knees. She liked watching him squirm. Hell, she just liked watching him.

“Got one. What’s your biggest relationship fear?”

Ashley’s eyes narrowed. Where was he going with this? She couldn’t quite shake the feeling that she was playing a part is some weird game known only to him. But he was impossible to read.

She sighed. “I have this fear about not ever having that first kiss again. You know, the one that’s all hot and heavy and leaves you panting. The one where the whole world melts away and you know that the only thing he sees in that moment is you. I guess it’s just a fear of never been seen again.”

She spared a glance at him. He was nodding thoughtfully. “I get that.”

They sat in silence for a minute. “We should probably head back upstairs. They may send out a search party soon.”

Jason looked at her, eyebrow raised. God he was good-looking.

“I know,” she sighed. “They probably have no idea we’re missing.” She knew it was true. Steven was probably schmoozing the crap out of a senior partner somewhere while Victoria kicked puppies on the patio.

“One last question,” Jason suggested. His voice was low and he was watching her closely again.