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Refusing the offer of a ride, Rex put on his coat, preparing for the grueling trek back to his hotel. Kala walked him to the front door and stepped out onto the dark porch, already covered in a fine layer of white from the blowing snow.
"Come for pancakes and sausage in the morning." She shivered in spite of her bulky knit sweater. "About eight or anytime after."
Without thinking, Rex opened his jacket and wrapped her up inside, folding her into his embrace. Instinctively, Kala lifted her face and his mouth covered hers. The kiss, which began as a friendly goodbye, took on momentum as he deepened it into a hungry tangling of tongues when she responded. The effect left them both breathless when they finally pulled apart.
"Maybe," Rex whispered, before he plunged into the drifts and disappeared in darkness.
Kala stood there for a moment, touching her lips with her fingertips, wanting to call after him, "Don't go. I need you. I ... I love you." Love? Stunned by the unexpected realization, she hurried inside. Thank goodness, she had guests to feed. She didn't have time to worry over Rex now. Her feelings would have to wait until later.
Although his feet were numb with cold, Rex plowed with dogged determination toward his apartment, wishing his mind were as frozen as his limbs. He could have stayed, so why did he invent an excuse not to? Because being with Kala Vandergriff, even with a houseful of people, would be too tempting. She made him lose control, forget his resolve. Like kissing her just now, the taste of her lingered on his lips. He wanted her, he admitted candidly to himself, in a way he never intended to want anyone again. And wanting her scaredthe hell out of him. She wasn't the kind of woman to have a casual fling, and he wasn't sure he was willing or capable of offering her anything more. He saw the lights of the Ritz ahead and quickened his pace. He'd make a stiff drink and consider his feelings later.