Keene blinked.

Sophie had the awful sinking feeling she had assumed too much. In her effort to back away, she slid, probably on the same patch of ice that had done her in before. Whenever she was around Keene, her normal grace—or at least normal ability to avoid predicaments—deserted her. Both feet went in opposite directions, and she fought to plant them on the layer of snow-covered ice.

Keene caught her around the waist and jerked her against him. For a second they both wavered as her face plowed into his midsection. Then he raised her upright. She wasn't sure why she did it, perhaps to reassure herself that he was really here, but she brushed her fingers across his cheek. His hand closed over hers, his skin warm where hers was cold.

The moment hung in the air like the white puffs that marked their expelled breath. His dark eyes searched her face and dropped to her lips. He pressed against her, and found her mouth with his.

There was a second of the gentle pressure she expected, but then the kiss changed. His breath mingled with hers. His flavor invaded her mouth. The wet swirl of the kiss was like nothing she had ever experienced. This was no namby-pamby kiss, it was wild. It was scorching. And she loved it . . .

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