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Master carpenter Lucas Black will do whatever it takes to prove his son's innocence against a charge of date rape, even hire the woman he lost years ago. But the woman who opens the door to his plea is far removed from the wildly passionate woman he once loved.
Frantic about her grieving daughter's latest rebellion, defense attorney Taylor Adams is determined to turn Lucas away. But Lucas won't take no for an answer, and finally Taylor agrees to help. While Taylor works the case and tries to keep her daughter from becoming involved with his son, she and Lucas regain their previous closeness.
Soon an accident turns the tables, and Taylor has to reveal her most protected secret when she's the one begging Lucas to save her daughter's life.
Page Count: 220
Word Count: 54225
He spun her around, his hands gripping both of her arms, his body a breath away from brushing against hers. She felt the unexpected temptation to be drawn into his glorious energy even as she knew it was imperative she pull away from its lure.
The one time she’d given into that temptation had altered her life.
“The only favor I want is for you to get Micah out of this mess.”
“And any other time I would,” she began.
“I don’t have any other time. I need your help now.”
“Lucas, from the facts you related, there are plenty of other good attorneys in this state who can get your son released.”
“Are they as good as you?”
Professional pride made her hesitate. She’d worked long and hard for her reputation. Her marriage might have opened doors for her, but she’d made damn sure her work kept those doors wide open.
“Then why are you telling me no, Taylor?” He shocked her with a tiny shake, his hands tightening on her arms. Before her stood not the boy of her past, but a man desperate enough to do whatever it took to get what he wanted. “Because you hate me?”
A part of her wanted to loosen the bonds of control she’d adopted and indulge the luxury of freedom she’d always felt in his arms. But she’d learned the high price of letting her emotions guide her actions.
“No, Lucas, I don’t hate you. I did,” she said, letting some of her personal feelings slip into the admission. “That kind of thinking or blame solves nothing.”
“Then help me. I know another attorney can handle Micah’s case, but I don’t want another attorney.” For a fraction of a second he lowered his forehead to hers. Then he lifted his face to stare into her eyes while he continued to hold her.
“It’s you I want.”
For a heartbeat she felt everything inside her freeze. His voice had lowered, gentled. All of the confusion and aching loss of their separation, along with the turbulent emotions of tonight’s meeting, simply vanished. It was the past, the good past with its layers of understanding, acceptance, and love that surrounded them. It was in that good past that she’d known, for the first time with Lucas, how it felt to be wanted, not for the dollars the state agency handed out, but wanted for no other reason than herself.
Taylor felt a sense of peace, coupled with the forgotten joy of being held by him, seep into her bones. She might have gone with it, might have softened and let old emotions and longing rule her actions. But the strident teenage voice carrying over the threshold had her blood running cold.
“That’s certainly the way it looks from where I’m standing.”
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