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Undercover Love(9)

By:Lucy Score

“Go for it.”

“What would you say if I offered you something?”

“Depends on the something.” He made her pulse race every time he looked at her. This was not the right kind of reaction to have for someone who wasn’t her fiancé. This was the reaction she should be having to her fiancé.

“A first kiss.”

Ashley’s heart started to pound. She was sure Jason could hear it thudding away in her chest.

What if she never had another chance for a first kiss? What if she was destined for chaste pecks on the cheek for the rest of her life? What harm could one kiss do? How dangerous would it be to have his mouth on hers?

What if he was just teasing her?


“Ashley, do you realize you haven’t said a word or taken a breath in over a minute?”

She laughed nervously. She couldn’t stop staring at him and knew her eyes were probably the size of golf balls. He was just inches away from her.

“What would you say?” he repeated.

Ashley recovered herself. “I’d say ...,” she was sensing danger. “Pass.” She jumped up from the bench and started for the door to the hallway.

“I’d better get back.”

She didn’t even make it to the door. He caught her from behind and gently, but firmly pressed her against the wall. He moved so fast she didn’t even know he had gotten up from the bench.

“Don’t walk away from me.” He said it quietly, lips moving against her ear. There was a steel-hard warning in his tone.

He turned her around slowly, deliberately.

She couldn’t look him in the eye. Her heart was pounding in her ears and all she could do was stare at his perfect mouth.

“Do you want me to explain why ‘Pass’ isn’t the right answer?” He dipped his forehead toward hers. Their mouths just a breath apart.

Ashley shook her head in a jerky side-to-side motion. “No, I’m good thanks,” she whispered. She tried to step to the side, but he merely tightened his grip on her arms.

The contact overwhelmed her senses.

“Let me tell you anyway. If you really didn’t want to kiss me, you would have said no, my ego would have deflated, and we would go back to the party as if nothing happened. But you didn’t say no. And given our honesty clause that leads me to believe ...” he slid his hands from her arms to her waist, “that your answer is yes, but you’re afraid of the consequences of saying it.”

“Consequences?” Ashley was breathless, struggling to focus, but it was hard with him taking up every one of her senses.

“There don’t have to be any consequences, Ashley.” The way he said her name made her shiver. “Aren’t you just a little curious what it would feel like?”

She brought her hands to his shoulders, but instead of pushing him back they betrayed her and just rested on his tailored button down. It was crisp to the touch, but she could feel his heat radiating from underneath it.

“I think I’m having a heart attack,” she whispered.

He smiled darkly and raised a hand to her throat, his fingers resting over the spot where her pulse thundered.

“Just one kiss.” He brushed his lips across her cheek and into her hair. “No one will ever know.”

It was a dark promise. A secret between strangers.

She almost gave in. Almost let herself sink into that mouth. But there was something hard in his eyes. Another secret.

She pressed more firmly against his chest until he backed off a step. “Someone always knows, Jason. And I’m not the kind of person who carelessly tosses aside a relationship whenever it’s ...” she looked him up and down. “Tempting.”

Jason put his hands on his hips and looked away. There was something in his expression, a mix of regret and relief. Ashley didn’t know what his game was, but she felt like she had won this round.

“I’m going back to the party. Let’s just forget any of this ever happened.” Without waiting for his response, Ashley spun around and hurried through the door, leaving him alone.


In the powder room, she was able to right some of the damage to her makeup and hair. But she couldn’t do anything about the dazed look in her eyes or the fact that her pulse was still tachycardic. Her usually chatty brain was stunned into silence.

What was she doing? Almost making out with a stranger in a basement at a party while her fiancé innocently enjoyed cocktails upstairs. Obviously Steven wasn’t the only one who had changed in the past year.

She sighed and stared at her reflection. “Just who the hell are you?” she whispered. What the hell had made her jeopardize everything?