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**~~**

She felt her temper rise. He wasn’t being reasonable. He was being overbearing and dominating. Her lashes flickered up, and his smile slowly faded. The four healing gashes in his lean cheek were nearly white as his jaw tensed, sensing her growing outrage.

“You can’t keep me prisoner here. You have no right—!”

“—I thought I made it clear to you,” he cut her off. “You’re not done here.”

“What are you talking about? You’re up. You’re standing. You’re—”

“—Feeling things I’ve never felt before,” he interrupted again. “And I need you to help me find out what they mean.”

“There’s no mystery there,” she said with stiff jaw. “Since you’ve never experienced them before they might be new to you, but they’re typical human emotions—like charity, humility, and gratitude.”

He slowly smiled, seeing her rebellious little face. “You’re a hell of a lot spicier this morning, Baby-doe. I wonder if it has anything to do with the sexual liberation you’d experienced on the bear rug last night.”

She stiffened and her face shot scarlet red.

“Or can it be you’re trying to rile me up so I’ll touch you again—”

“—Oh you-you arrogant, egocentric ra—!

“—See what I mean?” he cut her off calmly, but the gleam in his eyes told her he was anything but. “You’re emotional and confused. I believe it’s because I worked you too hard. I’m convinced you’ll be right as rain after you’ve gotten some rest. You know? Take some time away from your daily grind to gather your thoughts. Give yourself a little vacation.”

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