The Montana Rancher (The Endeavour Ranch of Grand, Montana 3)

Page 24

“When I didwhat?” He stared at her, his brain a complete blank as he racked through it, trying to sift out what she referred to. Then, he had it. Her teambuilding session the day she’d arrived. He’d been so intent on showing her the flaw in her self-defense display that he hadn’t considered how it might be construed. “I didn’t grope you. I was proving that in a real-life situation, an attacker isn’t going to play fair.”
“Po-tay-to, po-tah-to,” she said with a sniff. “Groping me deserves a broken leg. Kissing me doesn’t, even though apparently, you can’t count to five. But I am curious as to why you did kiss me,” she added, sounding interested on a purely clinical level, which he found damned insulting.
Social workers were the worst. She wanted him to explain, which in itself was no big shock, considering how many therapists and social workers he’d dealt with during his misspent teen years. They were always asking for explanations, and more often than not, he’d had none to give them.
This time he did. He’d kissed her for the same reason he’d once stolen cars. She was beautiful and sleek and untouchable, and he longed to possess her for the high it would give him.
But he sure as hell wasn’t going to give those reasons to her. “Move it along, city girl. We don’t have all night. There’s work to be done in the morning and the animals won’t wait.”
She fell in beside him, surprisingly quiet, to his intense relief. He hadn’t expected her to give up her line of questioning quite so easily.
She’d left the outside light on at the bunkhouse. They reached the front steps. She paused with one foot on the first stair tread and turned.
“You didn’t answer my question,” she said.
She wasn’t going to let it go, after all. Her expression was impossible for him to interpret. His stomach bounced off his ribs. He thrust his hands in his jacket pockets. “Curiosity, mostly. I wanted to see how you’d react.” Then, because he’d never liked being put on the defensive, he raised a question of his own. “A better one might be, why did you let me?”
Her smile, honest and wide, shone from her eyes. “Because I wanted you to.”
She skipped up the three remaining steps to the veranda, unlocked the door, and had it opened and closed behind her, leaving him standing outside alone, trying to figure out what had just happened.