With his six-plus frame and gym-sculpted body, no one would suspect FBI special agent Sam Cooper was once an awkward teenage computer geek-no one, that is, except Casey, the gorgeous girl who captured his heart on the first day of high school and held it for the last fourteen years. When a hunt for a hacker brings Casey back into Sam's life, his long-denied desire becomes impossible to ignore. He knows just how to make her forget the boy he was . . . and show her the man he's become.
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“Not really.” She reached for the plate, which had a little wisp of steam rising from the fluffy yellow omelet. “I make a mean salad from the bag.”
“You should learn to cook. Besides the fact that it’s fun, it could give you total control over what you eat, and I know how you like control.”
She glanced sharply around him around a mouthful of egg and saw that he was smiling at her as if he loved and admired the fact that she was a control freak. Most men hated that aspect of her personality. Sam had always respected her need to lead, and anytime they’d had to work on a class project in school, he’d let her take the reins, offering her support but never trying to take over simply because he had a penis.
“I’ve been told that learning to cook would be a healthy way to heal. Kind of like therapy,” she admitted, “but I haven’t made time.”
“Make time,” Sam said. “I’m going to teach you. I also want to take you out on a date again, therefore we’re going to hang out here and talk so I can learn more about what would be a fun date for you and what is going to push your buttons.”
“We’re going on another date?” She hadn’t meant to add that saucy tone, but it came out on its own. Here was the chemistry she’d been missing in her date with Matt Melles. He’d emailed to say he had a nice time at dinner, but he hadn’t asked her out again, which meant he was also feeling the lack of chemistry. Fine with her, especially since she was finding it with Sam.
He nodded and placed his empty plate on the counter. He stood, got in her space, and wrapped a long strand of her hair around his finger. “Yeah, Casey. We are. I let you get your way in high school, and I gave up on you in college, and then I tried to forget about you the last six years. I’m done. I’ve wanted this for a long time, and now it’s going to happen.”
Words failed her, and her heart pounded at his nearness. She’d suspected—no, she’d known—throughout high school that Sam had a crush on her, and she’d wrecked him for it, mocking him and letting him know he didn’t have a shot. If she’d had an inkling he would grow up to be this tall, smart, compelling man, maybe she would’ve paid attention when he was a teenager.
“We’ll see,” was all she allowed, and didn’t know how to react when he laughed.
“Can’t let me win, can you, Case?” He leaned in, making their lips inches apart. “It’s okay. I like a challenge.”
And then he kissed her.
His lips were soft but intent on hers, and her neck bent back as she craned for more of his taste. It was as if she’d been waiting her whole life to be kissed by Sam Cooper, which was ridiculous since she’d been avoiding his advances long enough to have an advanced degree in it.
Yet he was the one graduating with honors in how to kiss your high school crush. His touch was gentle, and her body ached to be held, yet he kept space between them, allowing only their lips to connect. Their tongues brushed briefly and gloriously then he pulled back to nibble at her lower lip and gave attention to a different part of her mouth. Their breaths mingled as they tasted grapefruit on each other. Her body felt as if it were floating toward him, though she remained anchored on her chair. She hadn’t realized how many sensitive spots there were on her lips, yet Sam unerringly found them all. The man could kiss. He’d learned a thing or two-million since they’d last locked lips after graduation.