“I said you’re perfect and apparently you didn’t hear the but.”

Her eyes flew open. “There was a but? But what? You know that when you compliment someone and end it with the word but that it automatically nullifies everything before that word, right?”

Shrugging, he said, “Yes, but I can’t help it. There was a but and I’ll tell you what was after it, if you want to know. You know you do want to know—all women want to know what is after that but.”

Playfully, Tavia swatted at him. “Well, for your information, in case our limited time together hasn’t shown you, I’m not all women, I’m not most women; hell I’m not even some women. I’m one of a kind and I know it. It won’t make you less of a man to admit that, you know. I promise it won’t damage your macho reputation, or otherwise emasculate you in any way.” She snorted laughter at his knotted brow expression that tried to mimic anger.

“No, you’re definitely one of a kind.” He kissed her gently and deeply. Pulling back, he said, “So, do you want to know what’s after that but or are you going to let it hang between us and fester as you wonder what dreadful thing lies there?”

“Oh, my gosh. Just tell me already.”

“Told you that you’d want to know.” Kissing her and pulling back again, he said, “You are definitely unique, and you’re beautiful, and you’re perfect right down to your little perfect nose but you snore like a grizzly bear.”

Tavia was stunned for a moment and then his façade shattered into gales of laughter. She swatted him on the arm. “You liar! I do not snore!”

Nodding, he rolled away and slid off his side of the bed. “I swear you do. I’ve been right here beside you, listening and watching for the last half-hour. Little Husqvarna chainsaw is what you are.”

Tavia threw her pillow at him and flung back the covers slightly embarrassed that she had been snoring in his face. “I’ve never been told that I snore. I still think you’re making it up.” She went to the bathroom and slammed the door on his laughter.

Emerging from the bathroom, her bladder at ease, she climbed back onto the bed and flipped the cover back over her. It was funny that she apparently snored and had no idea and that she’d snored while sleeping with Daric—the sexy gorgeous perfect man—no that wasn’t embarrassing at all.

“Fine. Don’t believe me. I bet all your girlfriends know it and just haven’t told you. Maybe they didn’t want to embarrass you. Or, maybe they’re mean and didn’t want you to know that you were snoring all over guys. See, I’m a kind-hearted fellow; at least I brought this fault to your attention so some other poor schmuck doesn’t have to suffer through a sleepless night as you saw logs.”

She hit him with her pillow as he climbed in bed again. They had a full-blown pillow fight that ended when Daric pinned her to the bed underneath him.

Panting and laughing like teenagers, they took a breather for a moment; Daric pinning her wrists above her head.

Leaning down, he kissed her again and not just on her lips, but her cheeks, her forehead, her eyelids, and the tip of her nose. When she opened her eyes, he said, “I don’t want you to go. Stay here with me.”

Tavia’s lungs refused to pull in air for several ticks of the clock. Did he really mean that? How long was he talking about? Was she ready for any kind of commitment?

“Daric, I can’t stay here. I have to get back home in a few days. That’s where my life and my work are.”

Rolling his eyes, he grinned. “I know that. That’s where my life and work are too, remember? I don’t want you to go back to that other guy who brought you down here. Your not-boyfriend Jensen.”

Tavia could only nod. She had so many questions for him before they could be in a real relationship. Those questions would have to be answered sooner or later, but not right now. Right now she thought she could live with the questions long enough to enjoy the rest of her morning with him.


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Tags: Scott Wylder Black Mountain Bikers Romance
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