As a boy, he was like an older brother to her.
As a teenager, he became her secret crush.
As a man, he’s her target and she’s determined to get him out of her system once and for all.
Jake Wilde doesn’t live a tame existence. He never has. He never will.
His career as a smokejumper in Alaska? Dangerous.
His female conquests? Copious.
His stance on commitment? Never happening.
But when the girl from his past shows up at his door as a woman, Jake Wilde is about to learn a valuable lesson. Never, ever play with fire . . . unless you’re looking to get burned.
“How many guys am I meeting?” I asked after he parked the Jeep outside of the smokejumper base. There were a handful of other trucks and Jeeps staggered around, but it was hard to tell just how many people were inside.
“You’re not meeting any guys.” He threw open his door and crawled out.
“Um, I’m an investigative reporter. My job is to investigate.” I closed the door behind me and came around the front of the Jeep where he was waiting. He was so tall. I didn’t remember him being this massive.
That could have been because the context in which I considered his size was different now. The little girl had seen a big brother who could stand up to a bully. The woman saw a man who could hold her in his arms while he screwed her.
“You can ask me all of the questions you need to. I’ll give you the tour and everything later on. When they’re all gone or asleep.” He leaned into his Jeep and crossed his arms.
“A good reporter has multiple sources.”
“No. All you need is one good source.”
I sighed and clamped my teeth down on my pen again. His forehead creased again, like before. Was he worried about my pen? The integrity of my teeth?
“No, I’d need a really, really great source, so until that happens, I’ll keep to the multiple source way of doing things.”
His smile crept into place. “You have no clue how really, really great my source is.”
Was he making a lewd joke? An innuendo? With me? God knew I’d heard him and Matt go back and forth like a couple of one-track-minded cavemen, but he’d never been so forward with me.
I liked it. I really liked it.
Two could play at this game though.
“Just how great is your source?” I lifted an eyebrow, my gaze dipping to his belt region.
He shoved off of his Jeep and moved closer. “Astoundingly great.”
I chewed the inside of my cheek to keep from smiling. “Does your ‘source’ get the job done?”
He smiled down at the ground and kept moving closer. I hoped he wouldn’t stop until he crashed into me and pinned me up against the wall behind me. “I’ve never heard any complaints.”
Kat Austen is the secret pen name of a New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author. Kat writes short and steamy reads that leave hearts (and other parts) satisfied.