“My brother and I are all the family Nan has left.”
Liam smiled, patting Elle on the shoulder. “Your grandmother is fortunate to have you. We lost our grandson in a skiing accident last year. We’ve been considering selling the resort or turning it over to a management team.”
“Brandon Ethridge will try to use your grief to his advantage,” Logan said.
“It won’t work,” Liam said. “Not after hearing the truth about him.”
Elle and Logan said their good-byes, but she stopped at the door and returned to Liam. “This place wouldn’t be the same without you and Alana. Your charm and love for each other makes the castle warm and welcoming. I’ll bet your grandson loved being here and wouldn’t want you to sell.”
Elle hugged Liam and Alana and hurried out. Logan paused. His dark eyes sparkled.
“What?” Elle asked. Her heart expanded. Breath caught. His expression confused her. Was it pride, confusion, or affection radiating from his face?
“You’re amazing.” He cupped her cheeks and kissed her.
Elle melted into him. Right there in the lobby without thought as to who might be watching, she slipped her arms around his waist and returned his kiss.
“Thank you.” She barely managed to force out the words. She’d really wanted to beg for more.
“My pleasure.” He turned her toward the restaurant. “I don’t know about you but I’m starving. I didn’t eat a muffin.”
A few minutes later, they had been seated, and bowls of steaming hot chili were sitting in front of them. According to the menu, this meal was guaranteed to defrost the body and warm the soul.
Elle wasn’t sure she could handle much more heat. Every cell in her body had fired, and only one thing was going to cool her off. Logan.
She reminded herself why she’d come to Castle Alainn.
Elle checked the nearby tables before she spoke. Privacy was critical. Luckily, everyone must have eaten earlier. Having a late lunch worked well to ensure they wouldn’t be overheard. “Surely you know someone who can unlock Brandon’s files. Someone not associated with law enforcement.”
Logan finished his bite, washed it down with a sip of beer, and studied his spoon for a long minute. “I’ll see what I can do when we get back to the suite.”
Her request had put Logan in a difficult position. His willingness to support her, to help her right this wrong, touched her heart. For him to agree so easily spoke volumes. He was doing this for her. Deep down she’d known it for years. Had she and Logan been in love all this time and ignored or refused to admit it? Had fate given her the chance to answer that question?
“Thank you.” She slid her hand across the table palm up. He wrapped his fingers through hers and squeezed.
“Let’s get to it.” Logan asked for the bill, signed it, and then stood.
She took his hand and walked to the elevator. The doors had closed when Elle remembered Nicki’s request. “What do you think Nicki wanted?” Elle laughed when his right eyebrow lifted. “Besides your body.”
“My money. I suggested that I might be disappointed in my current investment strategy.”
“Smart. You should call when we get to the room.”
“No. Let her wait. After Liam and Alana turn them away, I’m willing to bet that I’ll become a serious target.”
“If they come after you, anything you learn can be used against them. Right?”
“Right.” Logan slid his card key into the door lock.
“Then I hope that works, even if it requires exposing you to that female piranha.”
Logan glanced over his shoulder. “I’m touched that you’d worry about me.”
“You misunderstand. I worry that you’ll fall under her spell and slip up,” she said, walking past him into the suite.
His laugh followed her. She loved the quick and hearty sound. It made her knees weak as hell.
“Okay, smart girl. Get out your laptop.” He pulled his cell from his pocket. How could he switch from oozing sex to serious detective mode in the blink of an eye?
Elle set her laptop on the bar, turned it on, and waited for it to boot up. Logan was still on the phone when the program loaded. He winked at her. That simple gesture sent her heart dancing in her chest.
“What’s your email address?”
She answered him and then retrieved a coffee pod, dropping it in the dispenser and pressing the on button. Not that she needed the caffeine. Her nerves were already spring boarding around her body like a kid on a trampoline.
“Fix me a cup too, please.”
“What do we do next?” She selected another pod and waited for the first cup to finish.
“My friend is sending a program for me to install on your laptop. It’s top of the line and should open your stolen files.” Strong hands slid around her waist, pulling her close. Logan’s face pressed into her neck. “You smell good enough to eat.”
Laughter bubbled out of her. She couldn’t deny it sounded like a corny line, but it was also a great idea. She turned into his arms and kissed him. His tongue penetrated her mouth, and the ridge of his erection pressed against her belly. She leaned into him, wanting to feel his need. She deepened the kiss, putting herself out there, leaving no question as to what she wanted. Logan’s arms drew her in tighter. Elle cupped his cheek, rubbing her palm against the stubble. How would it feel against her skin?
Logan moaned a low rumble. His chest vibrated, generating electric shocks that travelled through her system. Why had she waited so long to show him her feelings? The wait was over.
“Elle. This is your call.” His voice was soft against her lips. His head tilted back, and his gaze zeroed in on her face. He studied her as if looking for a sign.