He doesn’t let go of my hand. We’re close enough that I can feel heat radiating from his body. I breathe in the scent of him, pine and snow. He’s only wearing a thin black tee shirt, and I’m pretty sure I can pick out the definition of every part of his body.
He still hasn’t let go of my hand. Lightly, he runs his thumb across my palm.
“I don’t know if you got the full tour of the house. Best thing about it, in my opinion, is the spa hot tub. It’s just outside.”
“Oh?” I should take my hand away, but my body won’t do what I tell it. “It’s a little cold out there, isn’t it?”
“Once you’re in, you won’t even notice. I’m planning on a midnight soak.” He pulls me a little closer, mischief in his expression. “Why don’t you join me?”
“I.” There’s nothing I can say that’ll make sense. Ace grins. It’s a wicked smile, that’s the only way to describe it. “I don’t think I should,” I manage. “There’s a perfectly functional tub in my bathroom, anyway. So. I’ll just take a raincheck. On the hot tub.”
“You don’t want to try it?” He lets go of my hand and touches my face. “Or is it that you’re afraid of me?” He trails his fingertips across my cheek. “Which is it? Door one or two? One of them leads to a fabulous destination vacation.” His voice drops to a lower register. A sexy one. “You should loosen up, party planner. It’s just hot water. And I promise you’ll still be your tough and capable self afterward.”
My breath hitches in my throat. I’m almost ready to say something stupid, like ‘I don’t have a bathing suit’ or ‘which way to the pitch black snowy outdoors?’ when common sense crashes through the window to truss me up, sling me over its shoulder, and race away.
“It’s going to be a long day tomorrow. I should get some sleep. Good night.” I break away from him as not-awkwardly as possible and head upstairs. I have to stop halfway up, though, and lean against the railing and close my eyes. My heart is still racing, and all the heat in my body has pooled, not so unwelcomely, between my legs.
I told the truth—I do have to grab a shower and go to bed. But the thought of Ace out there in the hot tub, stripped down, his muscles relaxing under the beat of the jets…