Instant Attraction Read online

  surrounded by a few leftover brownies, before she burst into tears and then consumed every last crumb.

  Damn idiot man! How many ways were there to screw this up? And had she found them all yet? Miserable, she stood up to make herself another batch of brownies.

  Katie opened her eyes. The bright sunlight pierced her eyeballs, making her moan miserably and burrow into her pillow.

  “Yeah, vodka’s only fun for a few hours. They should probably put that on the bottle.”

  Crap. Risking losing her sight, she squinted her eyes open again. She was in her bed. With the shades up, sunlight streaming in.

  And the sexiest, most ridiculously good-looking man she’d ever seen in her life was in bed with her. “Hey,” she whispered.

  “Hey, yourself, Goldilocks. Any more bad dreams?”

  “No.” And that was the good news. “What are you doing in my bed?”

  “You don’t remember?”

  She remembered the trip into town to thank Harley.

  She remembered the vodka shots.

  The wishing on the falling star.

  And then Cam, finding her, Serena, and Harley lying on the snow on the sidewalk staring up at those stars.


  And nothing.

  Try as she might, she couldn’t remember anything past that. Narrowing her eyes at him, she lifted the covers to see if she was still dressed.

  She wore her bra and panties. Okaaaaay…

  Cam was looking pretty damn amused, so she lifted the covers higher to see his body, but found him fully dressed. “Why am I half naked and you’re not?”

  “Are you asking me to get half naked?”

  “That would be great, except—” She sat up, then groaned and held her head, because otherwise it might fall off.

  “Yeah,” he said at her groan of misery. “I wouldn’t recommend any fast movements after six shots of vodka.”

  “Three. I only had three.”

  “Serena pours doubles.”


  Still looking amused, he rolled over and out of bed, stretching that long, leanly muscled body before running his hand over his hair to tame it. Not fair. He looked great. It would take her an hour minimum to get even halfway to great.

  “Back to what was our first argument,” he said, his morning voice husky and sounding like sin. “You snore way louder than I do.”

  “I do not!”

  His eyes were lit, his mouth full of laughter. “Oh yeah, you do.”

  “Wait a minute. We didn’t…?” She waggled a finger back and forth between them. “Did we?”

  He looked more curious than guilty. “You really don’t remember?”

  “Nothing past you showing up at Wishful Delights.”

  “Ah,” he answered sagely.

  Dammit! “How did I get in my underwear, Cam?”

  He rocked back on his heels. “Keep thinking.”

  Ohmigod. “Please fill in the blanks.”

  “I put you in my truck and drove you home, but we made a stop first. Well, two. One at the doc’s for supplies for Annie, and one to do donuts in the snow because you begged me to.”

  “I did not beg—” Oh God. “I did. I remember that part now, and then I remember—Oh no.”

  “Yeah,” he said with a nod.

  She groaned through her fingers. “You saw me puke.”

  “I held back your hair. I believe I get brownie points for that.”

  She sighed miserably. “And then…?”

  “I brought you home.”

  “Where you took off my clothes?”

  “You don’t remember your little striptease?”

  She stared at him as the rest of it all came slamming back into her. Pulling off her shirt. Getting it stuck on her own head. Shucking out of her pants without taking off her boots first—

  “Oh God,” she moaned.

  “Yeah, there it is.”

  “Oh no. No, no, no…Tell me it didn’t happen.”

  “I’m afraid it did.”

  She covered her face. “I don’t know what’s worse, puking in front of you, or the striptease, or being so bad at it.”

  “Definitely the puking.” He shrugged at her expression. “Okay, so that was a rhetorical question, sorry.”

  “Oh my God.”

  “You’ve said that.”

  She wasn’t ever going to be able to look at him again. “So we really didn’t…”

  His lips quirked. “Nah, I prefer my women conscious.” He opened the second set of shades and she cringed, diving under the covers. “Sorry, Goldilocks. You have work. End of the month stuff, and you know how Stone loves his reports. So does T.J., who’s going to be home tomorrow.”

  Oh, God. Another Wilder. She couldn’t handle the two she had. “What time is it?”

  He tugged the covers off her head. Looking way too cheerful, he said, “Past time for you to get your cute little ass out of bed.”

  She sat up and moaned at the quick movement.

  He was watching her, both sympathetic and annoyingly not hungover. “You going to live?”

  “Yes,” she lied. Because with a bottle of aspirin, maybe she’d have a shot, but it was not going to be pretty. “I’m good. You can consider yourself relieved of baby-sitting duty.”

  She’d have figured he couldn’t wait to run out of here, but he took the time to lean in and kiss her. “Try some pain reliever.”

  “Oh, I’m all over that, trust me.”

  “Good.” He paused, smile fading. “Katie, about your dream.”

  “What about it?”

  “I know you say you’re doing great and everything is all just peachy, but can that be true if you’re still dreaming like that?”

  She felt herself close up just a little. “It was a fairly big trauma. I think it’s understandable.”

  “It is. It absolutely is. It shook you up, left you grieving and guilty, and—”


  His gaze, stark and green and unfathomable, met hers, and something inside her tightened uncomfortably. “You know,” she said. “You had a trauma too. I’d think you’d get it.”

  “I do. But mine didn’t involve survivor’s guilt. Mine was my own stupidity, and my own fault, so I have no one to blame but myself. I think that’s why I sleep at night, because I know it, I accept it.”

  “You accept it? Is that why you roamed the planet for a year?”

  “Okay, so it took me a while,” he said quietly, not rising to the bait. “I fully admit that. I let it fuck with my head, but I’m working that out now. You—”

  “Are fine.” Dammit, her heart hurt, and she didn’t know why. “I’m fine. You’re right, my situation is different from yours. I wasn’t living my life, I was just breathing through it. Now I’m doing things differently. Taking chances—”

  “You went looking for something else in your life, something to soothe the ache. I get that. I believe in that. But I’m beginning to believe something else too. Yes, you took a chance leaving LA, but don’t mistake it for what it is. Maybe you’ve risked a new lifestyle, you’ve certainly risked life and limb on certain adventures out here, but as for the biggie, your heart, you haven’t put that on the line at all. Instead, you ran away from your world to escape the memories.”

  She couldn’t scarcely breathe. “Don’t even try to tell me you know what it’s like to put your heart on the line.”

  “I realize I haven’t mastered that particular skill. Haven’t even tried. But at least I know the difference between being a little reckless and truly taking chances. And you, Katie Kramer, aren’t truly taking chances. You’re hiding.”

  “That’s ridiculous.”

  “Is it? Then tell me about the accident. All of it.”

  “Now’s not a good time.”

  “When would a good time be?”

  “Never. Does never work for you?”

  He was quiet a moment. Then he let out a very quiet, very final sounding “fine,”