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As she stepped up to the lane again, he should’ve tossed another cocky taunt at her, some barely disguised innuendo, but he could only watch. Despite her protests regarding bowling, they were having a good time. His head had been quiet so far. Not once in the last hour and a half had he thought of that fucking cell in Iraq. The crowd around him, the deafening noise, hadn’t triggered anything ugly, because he was lost in her, in keeping her smiling and laughing.
By the fourth game two hours later, they both played so lousy he laughed every time he stepped up to the lane. Cassie, though, was ahead by five points. This game would decide who won his little bet.
As it turned out, his ball curved off into gutter. Leaving all ten damn pins still standing.
Cassie let out a victorious squeal behind him, meeting him at the ball return with a grin plastered across her face and her chest puffed out with pride. She stepped into his personal space and poked him in the chest. “You. Are. Mine. I won, fair and square, soldier boy.”
He leaned down and touched his nose to hers. She might have won, but he could still pull a few punches of his own. “I’ve always been yours. Believe me, princess, I’m going to enjoy letting you have your way with me.”
That got her. Cassie froze, heat flaring in her eyes. A heady shiver moved through her as she stared up at him. “So, what now?”
“Well, that depends on you, but”—he leaned his head beside her ear and lowered his voice—“I’m dying to peel you out of those jeans.”