Read An Extraordinary Match (The Match Series Book 3) Online

Authors: Barbara Dunlop

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance

An Extraordinary Match (The Match Series Book 3) (10 page)

BOOK: An Extraordinary Match (The Match Series Book 3)
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“That has got to be the most bizarre defense I have ever heard.”

“There is nothing about this situation that is not bizarre. Believe me when I tell you, I cannot wait to get out of here.”

“Yeah, well, you never liked Mirror Falls?”

She glanced around at the warm kitchen, out the window to the town lights along the lakeshore. “It’s growing on me,” she admitted. “Or at least it was. You were a good tour guide yesterday.”

“I don’t want to talk about yesterday.”

She could understand that. “For a few minutes there on the river, I thought I’d goaded you into killing yourself.”

“You’re not that lucky.”

“You know that’s not what I meant.” She met his gaze.

His eyes darkened, then softened, and a surge of desire spread from her stomach, flowing the length of her limbs.

“Thank you for this,” she told him softly.

He swore under his breath, rocketing out of his chair.


Logan tried to
operate on logic and reason. Though, as a pilot, he had to trust his subconscious to take good care of him, so he also operated on instinct. It had happened over and over in the air, a reflexive action at just the right second keeping him from getting into real trouble. Afterward, the logic of the move made perfect sense.

Trouble here was that his logic was screaming Jade was guilty, while his instincts were telling him to pull her into his arms and protect her. He’d never dealt with such an extreme disconnect between the two.

It was lust messing with his mind. It had to be the instinct to make love to a beautiful woman was lodged deep in his primordial brain, obliterating instincts further along the evolutionary scale. He should ignore it. He had to ignore it. Ignoring it was the only realistic option.

Anxious to get this night over with, he led Jade into his bedroom. There was only the one bedroom in his house, which suited him just fine tonight, since he wasn’t giving her any latitude at all. He moved a potted plant out of the way then shoved his big bed flush against the wall.

“I’ll give you some privacy,” he told her and left her alone.

He took the stairs back down to the living room. He’d have loved a shot or two of single malt, but he’d be in the cockpit in nine hours, so that was out of the question. He moved automatically through his house, shutting off lights and checking the locks. He started the dishwasher then double-checked the weather report for the morning. It looked like they’d have decent weather into Denver.

He repacked his flight bag, ensuring he had the right maps, plugged in his phone and GPS, then he moved to the laundry room off the kitchen, stripping out of his clothes and pulling on a pair of worn gray sweats. He usually slept naked, but tonight was hardly usual.

Finally, he figured he’d given Jade plenty of time to get into bed. He mounted the stairs, stopped to wash and brush his teeth, then knocked on his bedroom door.

“Yes?” came her response.

He opened the door and entered.

“Is something wrong?” she asked from where she was tucked under his chocolate-brown quilt.

“Nope.” He moved to the side of the bed.

She sat up to watch him. “What are you doing?”

He sat down. “Going to sleep.”

“Is this a joke?”

He twisted his head to look at her. “No joke.”

“You’re not sleeping here.”

“It’s my bed.”

“Okay.” She threw back the covers, revealing a white tank top and a pair of soft cotton shorts. “I’ll take the couch.”

He reached out to grasp her arm. “Oh, no, you don’t.”

She wrenched herself away from him. “What are you doing?”

“It’s a big bed, Jade. And it’s the only way I can keep an eye on you.” He knew it was unorthodox, but this wasn’t 1950.

“That’s ridiculous.”

“Is it? I can’t fly tomorrow if I don’t sleep tonight.”

“I’m not sleeping with you.”

He drew back the covers and pulled his feet under, laying his head back on a pillow. “Sleep, don’t sleep. I don’t care. Just don’t leave the bed.”


He turned to look at her. “If I don’t sleep, I don’t fly you to Denver. I don’t trust you, so you can leave my house, or you can stay here where I know you’re not up to anything. Your choice.”

“How can I trust you?”

“I guess we’re even.” He paused. “Honestly, Jade, the last thing in the world I’m going to do is accost you.”

The hesitation was clear in her green eyes. He didn’t blame her. But it was what it was. He couldn’t trust her, and he needed to sleep. It might not be a perfect solution, but it was the best he could offer.

“You should have let me stay with Amy.”

“That wasn’t going to happen.”

“I don’t deserve this.”

“You think I do? I’m not a hundred percent convinced you won’t harm me while I sleep.”

She was silent for a moment. Then she laid her head down on the other pillow. “This is ridiculous, Logan. One day, I’m going to be exonerated, and you’re going to realize just how ridiculous this has been.”

“Until that day”—he turned onto his side, facing away from her—“shut up and go to sleep.”

It took about fifteen minutes, but then her breathing evened out, and her body relaxed into the mattress. That it happened so fast, under these bizarre circumstances, proved to Logan that she was exhausted. He couldn’t help but feel sorry for the day she’d had. She might have brought it on herself, but she was definitely stuck in a predicament.

She’d said her job was in cybersecurity. He couldn’t help but wonder if she’d be fired over this. She’d mentioned a sister, and her grandmother seemed to have quick access to money. Hopefully, her family would take care of her.

Then he admonished himself for that train of thought. What did he care how her life ended up? He had his own family to worry about. Twin Peaks was going to have to contact its past guests and tell them about the breach in security. It was going to be a public relations nightmare. His brain sorted potential problems as he drifted into sleep.

When Logan awoke, he guessed it was nearing seven. It was still mostly dark outside, and the moon was dropping down behind Evergreen Peak. During the night, he’d rolled over and Jade had backed into his arms. Her soft bottom was pressed up against him, and her legs were entwined with his.

He’d been dreaming about their day together, her smile, her laughter, her kiss. In the dream, he could smell the fresh fragrance of her hair, feel the satin of her skin. He breathed deeply now, reveling in the scent, even as he realized his fingertips were brushing the bare skin of her stomach.

This was so much better than the dream, and so agonizingly worse. He swore he’d never felt like this before. He was warm, content. His world felt ridiculously complete. The thought wafted through his mind that if he never moved from this spot, he’d stay a happy man.

He couldn’t help himself, he feathered his fingers along her stomach, the sensation sending sparks of arousal along his spinal cord.

Her quick breath of reaction told him she was also awake.

“I’m pretending to be asleep.” He rumbled the confession in her ear.

It was a moment before she answered, “Me, too.”

“If I’m asleep,” he told her, “then I don’t have to move.”

There was a catch in her voice. “I know.”

He splayed his hand over her stomach, ordering himself not to move it a single inch. Her body was soft, molded against his, and there was no way she didn’t feel what she was doing to him.

He let his lips skim the back of her neck. “I want you so bad, I can barely breathe.”

“We can’t.”

“We won’t.”

“We might.”

“I don’t think so.”

She shifted, and he groaned at the intense sensation.

“Sorry,” she said.

“Not your fault.” He kissed the crook of her neck, moving along her bare shoulder.

“Bad idea,” she told him, voice a feathery rasp.

“Don’t turn around, and we’ll be fine.” He kissed her again, tasting the salt of her skin while his hand flexed around her waist. “Whatever you do, don’t turn around.”

, you trust me?”

He couldn’t help but smile. “On this, I’m hoping like hell you’ll betray me.”

“Oh, Logan.”

“I know.”

“This is bad.”

“So bad.”

“I’m turning around.”

He clamped his forearm tight around her. “Oh, no, you don’t.”

“Then I’m moving away.”

“Don’t do that either.” He couldn’t stand the thought of letting her leave his arms. “I’ll behave. I promise.”

“How are you going to do that?”

Good question. His mind scrambled for a toehold on something else, anything beyond Jade’s delectable body and his raging hormones.

“I was never in any danger,” he told her.


“On the river. It’s wasn’t dangerous. I mean, it was hard, but it wasn’t that hard.”

“Well, it’s that hard now.”

“You didn’t just say that.”

There was a thread of laughter in her voice. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist.”


“I will.” Her hand rested lightly on his forearm. “I would have liked to see you climb a rock face. I’d have even gone hiking.”

Something fluttered in his stomach. “I don’t understand you.”

“You don’t know me.”

“I don’t know you at all.”

She shifted onto her back, a dark outline in the moonlight. “I like you, Logan.”

He opened his mouth, but she quickly pressed her fingers to his lips.

“I know I’m never going to see you again. And I actually do understand that you don’t trust me. But I did like that man who took me flying yesterday. And I’m sorry it’s ending this way.”

He was going to kiss her. He was absolutely going to kiss her, and then Lord help them both.

A pounding sounded on the front door.

Logan jerked back.

“It’s them,” Jade rasped, her hands grasping his tight. “Please don’t let them in.”

Chapter Six

eart pounding in
her chest, Jade hovered at the top of the stairs while Logan descended to the front door. She didn’t know what she expected, Ewan and John to burst through the door with guns in their hands? Surely they wouldn’t overpower Logan and outright kidnap her. Then again, she wouldn’t have predicted any of the things that had happened already.

“Logan?” a man’s voice called through the door.

“Can I help you?” Logan responded.

“It’s Sam Finnegan.”

Logan stopped.

“I know it’s early, but I need to talk to you.”

“Sam?” Logan unlocked the door and threw it open.

Jade inched back, fearing it could be a trick of some kind.

“What are you going in Mirror Falls?”

An older man walked into the entry hall.

Jade took a couple of sideways paces toward the bedroom door, instinct urging her to get out of sight.

“I heard there were some shenanigans at the Twin Peaks yesterday.”

“How did you hear that?”

The man named Sam obviously caught sight of Jade, because he looked up.

“Forgive me,” he said to Logan. “I didn’t mean to interrupt—”

“You’re not interrupting anything.” Logan paused, closing the door behind Sam. “Wow. Okay, this is a complicated story. But this is Jade Korrigan. Jade, Sam is my uncle.”

“Ahhh,” said Sam, moving toward the stairs. “So this is the young lady in question.”

Jade couldn’t shake the fear in the pit of her stomach. “Are you here to re-arrest me?”

Sam gave a reassuring smile. “That’s a different uncle. Other side of the family. The Finnegan side is quite harmless.”

“What are you doing in Mirror Falls?” Logan repeated.

“She’s very beautiful,” said Sam, still gazing at Jade. He had intense, intelligent eyes, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that he was evaluating her.

“What does
have to do with anything?” asked Logan.

“Nothing.” Sam turned away, and Jade found herself breathing a sigh of relief at no longer being the subject of his scrutiny. “We need to talk.”


Sam glanced up the stairs again. “You, too, Jade. This conversation involves you.”

She pressed back against the wall. Sam might claim to be harmless, but she knew nothing about him.

“What about me?” she asked warily.

“I’m here to help you,” said Sam.

She shook her head in denial. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Maybe not. But can you come down anyway?”

She reflexively glanced at Logan.

“You might as well,” he told her. “This can’t get very much stranger.”

She moved her bare feet along the plush carpet, making her way cautiously down the staircase. From there, they entered the living room. It was chilly in the big room, and Logan surprised her by producing a throw blanket, wrapping it around her shoulders as she sat down in an armchair.

Sam took the opposite armchair, and Logan perched on the sofa. It was clear that he was as confused as she was.

“I heard there was a computer break-in,” Sam opened, watching Jade as he spoke.

“You heard right,” said Logan.

“You say you didn’t do it?” Sam asked her.

“I didn’t.”

BOOK: An Extraordinary Match (The Match Series Book 3)
4.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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