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From Chapter 8 -
Kincade was finishing the salads when he heard her approach. She had on the soft light blue fleece sweat suit that he had swept off of her two hours earlier. Her tresses were freshly brushed, but were still damp from their wonderful interlude in the shower. He made a mental note to make love to her in the shower more often. The vision of her lusciously naked body with hot droplets of water cascading off of it was a tantalizing image and one he was not soon to forget.
"So what do they call this meal anyway?"
Her question broke through his revelry. "Huh?"
"Well, it's not lunch and it isn't dinner. So what is it?"
Kincade's laugh was low, but full. "Late," he said placing the salad in front of her at the table, "or early, depending on how you look at it. Now, eat that. I have some sliced turkey, as well. I'll make you a sandwich to go with that salad."
Meghan stared at the plate sized salad in front of her. "Don't worry about the sandwich. This salad is huge."
"I said that I'm going to make you a sandwich and you're going to eat it. You've hardly eaten a thing in two days. You need to keep up your strength."
Meghan narrowed her eyes. "You're used to giving orders, aren't you."
Kincade smiled down on her. "Yes, I am, and in this case, you will obey them."
"Well, it's sweet of you to make me a meal, so I guess I will have to eat it."
"Sweet?" Kincade asked in utter disgust.
"What's wrong with calling you sweet?"
"Lady, there are many things you can call me, but sweet is not one of them. I am not sweet. Is that clear?"
Meghan's laughter sailed throughout the room. "Why do I have the sudden urge to salute?"
"Ok, ok. I get the point. You have my word of honor that I will never call you sweet again. My God, Kincade, you would think I just insulted your manhood or something."
He ignored the last part of the statement. "What do you want on your sandwich?"
"You have got to be kidding! Mustard on turkey is disgusting."
That got Meghan out of her chair. "It is not. How dare you? I call you sweet and you throw a fit and now you insult the way I eat my sandwich?"
Kincade's amusement went into his eyes. "I'm sorry, honey, you're right. If you want to eat a totally disgusting excuse for a sandwich, by all means, I have no right to stop you."
Meghan rounded the table and slammed both of her hands against his chest. Between the force of her forward progression and the pushing of her hands, Kincade found himself pinned against the refrigerator. This fact only made his amusement grow.
"You are a complete pain in the ass, Kincade Lewis!"
A slow smile grew on his face. "It does take one to know one, my lover."
The expression on her face became serious. "What did you just call me?" she asked in a low tone.
His amusement began to fade. "My lover. That is what you are, right?"
Her hands dropped to her sides. "Yeah, that's what I am all right."
"What did I just say?"
"Nothing. Listen if you don't like the mustard idea, just make my sandwich plain."
Both of his hands rested firmly on her shoulders. "Somehow I just screwed up here and you're going to tell me exactly how I did that. Now, what the hell did I just say to upset you?"
"It's nothing, really. Don't worry about it." She tried to turn back to the table, but his grasp on her shoulders got tighter.
"Damn it, Meghan, tell me!"
"You called me your lover, but does that mean that you actually . . ."
"That I actually what?"
"Do you actually love me, Kincade?" He gaped at her. For a moment, she thought his mouth might hit the floor.
"How can you ask me that?"
"Well, you've never . . . I mean . . . Kincade, you've never said that . . ."
"After the way I just made love to you for the last two hours, how can you not know?" he asked in a stunned voice.
"I . . . well . . .," she stuttered.
She almost gasped as his hands rose to cup both her cheeks. "Forgive me, honey, but I'm pretty new at this love thing. I guess I was being to subtle for you so allow me to be extremely blunt. I love you more than my life. I would die for you in an instant. Hell, I would give you anything that I have. You're already the owner of my heart, body, mind, and soul. Do I love you? Hell, yes, I love you. Did I just answer your question?"
"Yes," she said in a daze.
"Shit. You really didn't know, did you?"
She smiled joyously. "I do now and I'll never forget it."
He gave her a bright smile in return. "That's one of the reasons I love you so much. You're a fast learner. Now, sit down and eat your salad while I make you a mustard and turkey sandwich."
"Yes, my master of love and cooking skills," she answered with a giggle.
The amusement was back in his eyes as he looked at her. "Master of love and cooking skills?"
"What? Do I have to add those words to the same list as the word sweet and never call you that again?"
Kincade shook his head. "No, on the contrary, honey. I would like you to call me master." Kincade ducked his head just as the fork went sailing over it. "Hey, you got yourself into that one. I told you to start thinking more before things just come flying out of your mouth."
"You provoked me!"
"Now, honey, you need to take responsibility for your own failings. You can't blame me for them."
Meghan stood slowly with the plate of salad in her hands.
Kincade saw her movement and raised a brow. "Don't even think about it."
"Where would you like your salad, darling?"
Kincade chuckled. "In your stomach. Sit down and eat it."
Meghan took two steps toward him. "You're forgetting that I no longer have a fork."
"I'm sure as hell not going to give you another weapon. Use your fingers."
With the plate in hand she made a made dash for him, but he side stepped her to the opposite side of the table. "You will pay for that comment, Kincade Lewis."
"Is that a threat or a promise?" he asked as he armed himself with his own salad. "We both know that there is no way you would ever actually throw that at me."
Meghan nodded and started putting the plate on the table. "Maybe . . . maybe you don't know me as well as you think you do."
This time Kincade didn't duck fast enough. He honestly didn't expect her to throw it. The plate missed his head by mere inches, but the contents hit their mark perfectly. As the lettuce and ranch dressing dripped down his hair and face, he gave her a menacing smile.
Meghan raised her hand to her face. "Oh my God . . .," she said right before her hysterical laughter ripped through the kitchen.
"I wouldn't laugh too much, honey, because I'm going to hurt you." He slowly stepped around the table bringing his salad with him.
"No . . . Kincade . . . I'm sorry," she said between bursts of uncontrollable laughter. She tried to outrun him around the table, but he was much too fast. "Kincade . . . no . . . please!" Her pleas were futile and she knew it. He whipped the salad on the seat of the chair closest to her and threw both his arms around her waist. Her giggles were assailing the room as he wrestled her to the floor. He sat on her legs and grabbed both her wrists in one of his huge hands.
"Kincade. I mean it. I'm really sorry."
His reckless smile consumed his face. "You're sorry?"
"Oh God, yes, Kincade," she said still giggling out of control.
"Believe me, honey, you soon will be." he used his free hand to retrieve his plate of salad. He dipped his fingers into the ranch dressing and began systematically smearing it on her face and hair. This only made Meghan laugh harder. "This is just way too slow. Don't you think honey?" Her only response was more uproarious laughter. He picked up the plate and dumped the contents directly on her face.
Meghan heard his laughter join hers as together it rang to the rafters of the cottage.
"See what you've done," she stated with a voice full of her own laughter. "Now we're going to need another shower." Her eyes widened as a lecherous smile came upon his face.
"I am truly going to hate that," he said sarcastically.
"Oh, no. After what you've done, you will take a shower alone. Consider that your punishment."
"After what I've done? You started all of this!" he reminded her.
"It's not my fault that you didn't duck fast enough," she said in her sweetest voice.
His eyes narrowed, but never lost the wicked sparkle. "You really do want me to hurt you, don't you." He threw his arms under her and lifted her to her feet. His laughter began again when she screamed in surprise as he tossed her over his shoulder.
"Kincade . . . put me down. This is without a doubt the most neanderthal thing anyone has ever done to me!" she exclaimed watching the salad from her face hit the floor.
"Neanderthal? That's not a bad idea. You had better be careful, honey, or I'll hit you with my club."
"That's not at all funny," she screamed hitting his back with her hands.
"Neanderthal, yeah. I could get used to this," he stated as he stepped out of the kitchen heading for the shower. He smiled widely as he heard her hysterical giggles begin all over again.
By the time they returned to the kitchen, it was dinnertime.