“I hope you don’t think that if I were to hit on you, that you have to give in because I paid for Ricky’s operation,” Cody said. Kelly’s head came up swiftly. “I don’t think that.” Another beat passed while he regarded her with an inscrutable gaze. “Maybe you think that no woman would want me unless I gave her a large sum of money?” “No, of course not. That’s ridiculous.” She eyed his faint beard scruff, tousled black hair and his melted dark chocolate eyes. “You’re passably attractive.” “Yeah?” An irresistible gleam lit his face and crinkled his eyes and the laughter lines around his mouth. He was like one of those hot fudge sundaes with a donut and candies and whipped cream on top. Tempting and delicious and an indulgence she would no doubt come to regret, but one she would give in to, anyway. And love every decadent mouthful. “Are you planning on hitting on me?” she asked. “Do you want me to?” He tapped her forearm in mock attack, making her smile. His humor and tenderness were gradually neutralizing the poison of Dean’s insinuation. She narrowed her eyes, thinking. “We don’t want to give Dean any ammunition.” “Dean has no power over what we do, or don’t do.” “Fair enough but this is a small town and we’ve seen how people talk.” The power imbalance between them was never going to go away. Not unless she won the lottery or inherited a fortune from a wealthy relative that didn’t exist. “I don’t pay heed to what people say,” Cody said. “If I did, I’d have changed my ways long ago.” Devil or angel? Kelly wasn’t quite sure what he was. She was half afraid to find out...and one hundred percent looking forward to it.