Kicking off his covers, he shoved himself into the jeans he’d left on the floor. As he padded to the door, he shrugged into a shirt, looking out the peephole to brace himself.
It wasn’t what he expected.
Instead of a cop, it was a woman. The one woman who had the ability to turn him upside down and inside out. She was in jeans and a tee now, looking unsettled and anxious. Dammit. He pulled back and stared at the door.
“Don’t make me beg,” Pru said through the wood.
Resisting the urge to thunk his head against the door, he unlocked and opened up.
Pru stared up at him, squinting through the long bangs that hadn’t been contained and were in her face. “You left,” she said.
“You shoved me in the dumbwaiter.”
“You left,” she repeated.
He crossed his arms over his chest and refused to repeat himself. She’d stuffed him into the dumbwaiter so she didn’t have to reveal to Jake what they’d been up to on her kitchen table. He’d talked himself into filing that away in his head, in a file drawer labeled STUFF THAT SUCKS. He’d thrown away the key.
But apparently he’d forgotten to lock it.
She closed her eyes. “Can I come in?”
She opened her eyes and leveled him with those warm brown eyes. “I wanted to apologize.”
“Okay. Anything else?”
“Yes.” She sighed. “I know this looks bad, Finn, but it’s not what you think.”
He leaned against the doorjamb. “And what do I think, Pru?”
She put her hands to his chest and gave a little push. A complete sucker, he let her squeeze in past him, taking some sick delight in the fact that she smelled like him.
She strode straight into his bedroom and he followed because he was Pavlov’s dog at this point.
She checked out his room, the unmade bed, the moonlight slanting in through his window, casting his mattress in grays and blues. When he came in behind her, she turned to face him and kicked off her shoes.
“We both know what you thought,” she said. “But Jake and I aren’t a thing. I wasn’t hiding you, at least not like that.”
“Then like what?”
She held his gaze for a long beat. “I don’t always act with my brain. Sometimes I act with my heart, without thinking about the consequences. Jake is my boss and my friend, and he looks out for me.”
“He thinks I’d hurt you?”
“No,” she said and looked away. “Actually, he thinks I’ll hurt you. And he’s probably right.”
“You going to break my heart, Pru?” he asked softly, only half joking because what he knew—and she didn’t—was that she could absolutely do it if she wanted. She could slay him.
“Actually,” she said very quietly. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the other way around.” She reached for him and pushed his still unbuttoned shirt off his shoulders, assisting it back to the floor.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“What does it look like?” Her fingers drifted down his chest and abs to play with the top button on his jeans.
“You’re trying to get me naked.”
“Yes,” she said. “You going to help?”
Good question. First things first though. He gathered her hands in one of his and cupped her face with the other, tilting it up to his. “You and Jake are—”
“No,” she said without hesitation, eyes clear.
He might regret this later but he believed her. “No more hiding, Pru. I won’t be anyone’s dirty secret, not even yours.”
“I know,” she said and freed her hands to caress his chest. “We weren’t done with each other.”
She gave a small head shake and let her fingers drift southbound. “Unless . . . you were done with me?”
Not by a long shot. “You’re wearing too many clothes,” he said and then proceeded to get her out of them. He tugged her T-shirt from the waistband of her jeans and yanked it over her head. Her bra followed the same path and her breasts spilled into his hand, warm and soft, tugging a groan from the back of his throat.
Her hands and mouth were just as busy, landing on whatever they could reach, which at the moment meant she was nibbling at his collarbone, her fingers unbuttoning his Levi’s.
Quickly losing control, he crouched in front of her, taking her jeans and panties down with one hard tug. With his face level with one of his favorite parts of hers, he clasped her hips in his hands and tugged her a step closer.