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By´╝ÜTiffinie Helmer

While the GPS coordinates got them close to the cache, it didn’t put them on top of one. The excitement of the hunt replaced the twisted pleasure of messing with Gage.

Served the deadbeat right.

Six months she’d waited for him. And nothing. She was disappointed in herself that she still gave a damn. She should have been able to turn off her feelings like a faucet. But then she’d never been so deep before.

Tern mentally shook herself and concentrated on finding the cache. The light bouncing off the glacier hurt her eyes. So she reached into her front pocket—where she’d stored her sunglasses when they’d been in the darkness of the trees—and put them on. As she did, it cut the rays of the sun and allowed her to see the sharp corner of something square. As far as she knew, Mother Nature hadn’t gotten around to perfecting the square.

She hiked up a few more feet and knelt down on the icy crust. The coldness melted into her jeans, but she didn’t care. Someone had chipped a small cavity in the ice of the glacier and set a five gallon cooler into it. She dug around the edges and pulled the cooler free. She pivoted the handle, which acted as a lock, and opened the top.

Moose steaks, smoked salmon, many different kinds of cheeses, and a bottle of wine. Hot damn. Her mouth watered. Whoever was running this game was one smart cookie. Encasing the cooler in the ice of the glacier kept the food from spoiling and animals from sniffing it out. She liked the way he thought and couldn’t wait to sink her teeth into one of the steaks.

“What did you find?” Gage’s tall shadow fell over her.

“The mother lode.” She shared a real smile with him this time. When he returned it and held out a hand to help her up, her traitorous heart flipped-flopped. “You’re cooking tonight.”

“It’d be my pleasure to feed you.” He pulled her to her feet and kept pulling until she was pressed up against him. “And you’re right. You scare the shit out of me.” His hand came up and framed her face, the other anchored behind her back keeping her close. “But I scare you too.”

Before she could utter a protest, his lips seared hers. Heat erupted between them and flushed her body with enough warmth to melt the glacier they stood balanced on.

Damn, she’d missed him. The way their bodies naturally curved together, the way her insides liquefied in readiness for him, and the way his body hardened to steel. She’d loved his body. Roped with muscle, strong and flexible, she’d loved lavishing attention on his body for hours. Her fingers itched to touch his skin again, feel his flesh hot against hers as he—

“I’m not the only one who wants to do wicked things,” he murmured, his voice husky with arrogance. He nipped the skin below her ear, and licked the sting.

Her fingers curled into fists, and she pushed him. He slipped on the ice and fell on his ass at her feet.

She stood over him, enjoying the view. “The wicked things I want to do involve sharp implements.” She brushed her hands over her clothes as though that would erase his touch. “I found the cache. You can carry it back to camp.”

Trying to look as if she wasn’t running away, Tern took her time and carefully watched her footing as she descended the ice. She could hear Gage cussing behind her as he struggled with the cooler and his slippery toehold on the glacier.

Serves him right for putting the moves on her after all this time. Like he had to disprove her earlier statements of fear. There was no way in hell she was afraid of him.

A shiver caught her by surprise.