Her hands stilled on the shoulder strap. She looked out at the moon- and fluorescent-washed parking lot. “What? “
He shifted on the seat beside her, checking to see if Jack still slept, and his knee brushed her thigh. With the engine shut off, the car’s interior was warm and close and very silent.
“I respect that you don’t have room for a grand passion in your life. Neither do I. Thing is,” he continued slowly, “I’m already spending too much time thinking about you. Wanting you. Imagining how it could be between us. Maybe it would be less...distracting for us both if we found out.”
She turned to face him, choosing indignation over the quaking in her stomach. “Are you suggesting we sleep together to get it out of our systems?”
“That’s one way to put it. Neither one of us wants a complicated relationship in our lives.”
With an effort, she kept her voice low, to avoid waking the child in the back. “And am I supposed to be flattered by this limited offer?”
He shook his head, his smile gleaming in the darkness. “Not flattered. Interested, maybe.” She was interested, all right. More tempted and more scared than she’d ever been in her life. She folded her hands tightly together in her lap to disguise their shaking. “I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.”
“Kate.” His deep voice was gentle. “I don’t want to hurt you. I like you. But you need to know up front how things are with me. I may want you until my teeth ache with it, but Jack is the center of my life right now. If that’s not enough for you, if I misunderstood you, just tell me no.”
Her nails dug into the backs of her hands. Kate had long ago accepted that she wasn’t the kind of woman men wanted to marry. Wade, brutally breaking their understanding, had gone so far as to suggest she wasn’t the kind of woman men wanted, period. But Patrick wanted her. And maybe she owed it to herself, just once, to experience a man like Patrick MacNeill.