He smiled that smile she imagined the spider gave to the fly. “Bet me. If I fix it, I win.”
Her heart tripped. “You win what?”
“Winner’s choice,” he said, and casually sipped his coffee.
Casual, her ass. “So if you can’t fix it?” she asked.
“Your choice,” he said simply. Except nothing with him was simple for her. Not a single thing.
“Now?” she asked, stalling for time, but she was talking to his back because he’d passed by her and was studying her haphazard display. “You’re in workout clothes,” she said. “You’re not packing any goodies in your shorts.”
He chuckled low in his throat, as if he knew damn well he was packing plenty of goodies, just no tools.
“Is sex all you think about?” she asked.
“Around you, yeah. You have anything stronger than the ties? Rope, maybe?”
“I’ve got two sets of handcuffs to go with the police costumes I ordered.”
He craned his neck and looked at her, his expression showing first surprise and then a wicked, sexy mischievousness. “You feeling playful?” he asked softly.
She bit her lower lip and made him laugh.
“Good to know,” he said. “But one thing at a time.”
Half an hour later, he’d fixed the display. When he was done, he rose to his full height, the silk ties she’d used in hand.
He smiled, a badass smile, and then headed toward her.
“Wait,” she said with a laugh, backing up right into her desk, lifting a hand to ward him off. “I never said—”
He kept coming at her until her hand bumped into his chest and then got sandwiched between them, his eyes shining with both amusement and heat. “I win,” he said.
Her heart skipped a beat. And there were all sorts of other reactions as well. “And you pick…?”
“You,” he whispered, and slid his hands to her wrists and pulled them behind her back.
Cole smiled against her jaw, she could feel it, and then she felt the soft silk of the tie as he began to wrap it around her wrists, and then…she felt something else.
His phone vibrating.
“You going to get that?” she asked.
With a rough exhale, he let her go, pulled his phone from his pocket, and stared at the screen. “Shit.”
“It’s Tanner, and we have a rule. We can’t ignore each other’s calls unless we’re in a life-or-death situation.”
Olivia had to smile at the look on his face. “This is hardly life or death, Cole.”
He looked down at himself and she followed suit. His arousal was making a tent of the front of his basketball shorts.
“Speak for yourself,” he muttered, and answered the phone without a greeting. He listened for thirty seconds, swore viciously, and shoved the phone back in his pocket.
“Well?” she asked, already knowing.
“I’ve got to go.” He set himself away from her with grim regret. “Remember where we’re at,” he said, shoving the ties in his pocket.
Her thighs quivered and she took another look at the way he was straining the front of his shorts.
He followed her gaze and a sound like a growl escaped his throat, along with a rough laugh. “Not helping,” he said gruffly, and adjusted himself.
And then he was gone.
Remember where we were at? she thought, having to lean against the desk for support.
She wasn’t likely to forget.
Cole headed straight for the hut after Tanner’s call.
Tanner wasn’t there, but Sam’s dad was. Mark worked for them part time, along with Becca when she wasn’t teaching. He answered phones and handled client needs.
Mark looked up from the gear he was cataloguing and nodded at Cole. “How’s the shoulder?”
“Totally fine,” Cole said.
Mark grinned at the lie. “You’re as bad as the two idiots you’re saddled with.”
“Speaking of the two idiots, what’s up?”
“Sam’s in the warehouse. Tanner’s here somewhere, checking diving equipment, seeing what we need to order for next year.”
Their diving season was just about over. Not many people out there wanted to brave the fall and winter waters. Sam would spend the winter holed up in the warehouse making boats to spec for clients who had disposable cash. Tanner tended to head south. Way south, across a few borders into South America, where he hired himself out as a diving expert for big bucks.
Cole didn’t get much of a break, but that was by choice. There were plenty of clients who wanted to go winter deep-sea fishing, or out cruising, so he more than anyone tended to keep busy all year long.
Heading down the dock, he boarded the boat. There was a line of equipment portside, in three piles. As Cole stopped in front of the gear, Tanner emerged from the water onto the swimming platform, pulling the diving gear from his face.
“What’s up?” Cole asked.
Tanner shoved his wet hair back and tossed the mask into the far right pile. “Separating the shit gear from the good gear. I’m going to need to spend some money. The rental gear didn’t hold up.”
They had done a much bigger rental business this year than they’d anticipated, which was good. None of them had realized how hard they’d be working, which wasn’t quite as good. On the rigs, they’d worked their asses off for years. The goal had been to come here and enjoy life.