Suddenly Sexy

By: Kendra Little

Sam rubbed a jaw peppered with vacation stubble. Or maybe that was his everyday stubble. Maddie had no idea how Sydney-siders groomed. The cowboy look might be in.

"Sounds dangerous," he said.

"Are you kidding?" Pete waved his fork in the air. "Imagine having women fall all over you when you walk down the street. I'd volunteer for the trial in a second."

Linda flicked a spoonful of Ronan's pumpkin mush at him. It landed on his cheek with a plop and slid onto the table. David and Emily found it more amusing than their father.

"If I were a single guy, that is. Which I'm not." He patted Linda's knee. "And I love you."

She humphed.

"A love potion like that is completely unethical," Sam said, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms.

Maddie blinked at him. Was he for real? She studied his finely-honed face. He had the most sensual lips on a man she'd ever seen—other than Antonio Banderas —and eyes that expressed more than he probably would like judging by the stiff set of his jaw. He looked serious. He also looked like he'd just stepped straight out of a Diet Coke commercial. Men who looked like that weren’t supposed to care about the ethics behind scientific testing. They were supposed to think about hair care products and tanning lotions.

Maybe he meant environmental ethics. "It's non-toxic and non-allergenic," she said.

"I'm talking about manipulation. If this stuff actually works, then the implications are enormous. Imagine if people start having..." he glanced at Emily who blinked big brown eyes back at him, "...s-e-x with people they're not really attracted to. Imagine if people start thinking they're in love when in fact it's just a false hormonal response. It could ruin lives."

Great. Not only did the unattainable hottie have a conscience, he also had a brain. The Gods must have been having a party when they made him.

"I don't see how love can be a bad thing," she said, stacking Linda's empty plate on her own with a deliberate clatter. Most people found the idea of a love potion amusing, interesting. No one had ever questioned the ethics of it. Certainly no one at BioDerma whose jobs depended on fulfilling the contract.

"It can be if it's directed at the wrong person. And if the subjects believe they're in love."

She scraped David's uneaten broccoli onto her plate. "Since when do CEOs of multi-national corporations concern themselves with ethics?" The ice in her tone froze the room. "Or are you going to tell me the paint sold by National Paints is completely harmless to fish if I tip it into the ocean?"

She leaned across the table to collect Sam's plate but his large hand clasped hers so she couldn't move. She didn't want to. She glanced up into the blue eyes studying her, sucking her into their depths. Prickles of heat crept across her skin to the tips of her ears. But as embarrassed as she was, she couldn't turn away. His mesmerizing gaze triggered a familiar memory that made her knees wobbly and her mind wobblier.

"You're right," he murmured in a low rumble. "Let's not argue about this. Although it's an interesting discussion. Maybe we could—"

"Auntie Mad." Emily tapped Maddie's arm. "Can I have ithe cweam?"

"Huh?" The spell broken, Maddie jerked her hand away and picked up his plate. "Oh, ice cream, sure thing, Sugar. Want to come and help me?"

"I'll come too," said Linda handing the unfinished task of feeding Ronan over to Pete.

Safely in the kitchen, Maddie placed the plates in the sink then opened the freezer door and stuck her head inside. The cool rush soothed her burning cheeks and she sighed. Damn Sam Hennessy. He'd done it again. Baited her. Got a reaction.

Even worse, he’d made her infatuated with him AGAIN. Made her lust for him AGAIN.

This time she wasn't going to let him make a fool of her. She was older, wiser and could control her hormones. No way would she fall for a guy who taunted her for fun.

Emily tugged her skirt. "Auntie Mad, what are you doing?"

"Looking for ice cream."

"And if she doesn't find it soon," said Linda, bending down to her daughter's level, "she's going to turn into an Eskimo."

Emily giggled. "What’th an ethkimo?"

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