Raising Kane Page 9

Ginger grinned.

For the next hour, they convened around the kitchen table. Kane was extremely patient in teaching Hayden the basics. He didn’t criticize his choices nor did he offer him false praise. He explained.

The most entertaining aspect was watching her father and Kane measuring each other, gauging their opponent’s skill level, trying to figure out each other’s tells.

Ginger called a halt to the card competition so they could eat supper.

Again Kane wouldn’t let her do anything. He made her sit as he heated up the soup. Between the four of them they finished the pot. Hayden flopped on the living room rug with his Lego set. He could amuse himself for hours. Ginger counted herself lucky her son was such an easygoing kid.

They’d conned Ginger into playing banker for the McKay versus Paulson card tournament. Both Kane and her father bought in with twenty-five bucks worth of poker chips.

Despite the throbbing in her shoulder, Ginger gritted her teeth, determined not to take a pain pill. She propped her cast on an extra chair and sipped a glass of water.

Watching Kane deal kept her focus on his hands. Long fingers, thick in width, but surprisingly nimble with big, rough-skinned knuckles. Little spots of black hair dotted the backs, above his wrists. She imagined those masculine hands caressing her body. The deftness of his fingers moving inside her. The coarseness of his calluses dancing across her skin. The sheer size of his palms on her breasts or spanning her hips.


Startled out of her mental skin flick starring one high-handed cowboy, Ginger looked over at her father. “Sorry. What?”

“Do you want a beer?”

Her dad was drinking beer? Didn’t he prefer wine? “Probably better not mix alcohol with my medication.”

Kane passed Dash the deck of cards. “Your deal. Your choice.”



The rheumatoid arthritis had done a serious number on her father’s body; the most obvious place was his hands. Some days he had difficulty eating, or holding a pen, or poking buttons on the remote. She didn’t baby him and offer to help him—unless he specifically asked. Respecting his privacy meant she had to watch him wrestle with simple tasks such as brushing his teeth and cleaning the lenses on his glasses.

Seeing his gnarled fingers struggling to shuffle the deck of cards caused an ache inside her. But he hid his frustration well.

Her father’s slowness didn’t bother Kane in the slightest. He sipped his beer, toyed with his chips. Not once did he offer to shuffle and deal for Dash. Not once did he urge the man to hurry up. Not once did he sigh or stare.

Kane’s consideration brought a lump to Ginger’s throat. This man was so much…more than she’d ever imagined. Sexy. Thoughtful. Sweet.

“Read ’em and weep, boy,” her father taunted.

“Yee-haw, here’s a chance to win some money back from the card sharp. I’ll double down and split,”

Kane said.

Dash had an ace showing. He flipped over a Queen of Hearts on one of Kane’s cards.

“That one’s good. Hit this one.”

He turned over a nine of clubs on the other.

“Good. Now let’s see what you’ve got.”

Her father turned over his hidden card. A Six of Spades. “Seventeen. Dealer stays on seventeen. Let’s see them.”

Kane had split a pair of tens, winding up winning with both twenty and nineteen. He grinned and scooped the chips to his side of the table.

The give and take of the game went on for another hour. Ginger almost felt invisible, listening to her dad and Kane talk about their gambling experiences. The highs and lows. The Vegas trips. The rhythm of the male voices soothed her and she drifted off.

She jerked awake with a gasp and found herself the center of three different scowls. “What? I was just resting my eyes.”

“Right. You’ve been out for a good ten minutes.”

“No way.”

“Mom. You were snoring.”

She blushed.

Kane stood. “It’s time for you to call it a night, Red.”


“You’re supposed to be restin’, remember? And somehow I don’t think fallin’ asleep at the table is what Doc Monroe had in mind.”

Hayden hopped off his grandpa’s lap, slipped his arms around her neck. “Night, Mommy.”

“Night.” She whispered, “No goodnight kiss?”

He kissed her cheek.

“Don’t stay up too late and no drinking beer.”

His nose wrinkled. “I don’t like beer.”

“No whiskey either.”

He smiled that sweet little boy grin that turned her insides as gooey as a marshmallow. “I promise.”

“Good.” She swung her cast around and stood.

Kane lifted a challenging brow. “I’ll help you and make sure you don’t fall on your face before you get to bed.”

The automatic response to deny his help was strong, but she let it go. “That’d be great.”

“Play a couple of practice hands for me and keep an eye on your grandpa so he ain’t stackin’ the deck against me.”

Dash rolled his eyes.

Ginger kissed his cheek. “Night, Dad.”

Kane’s body heat nearly scorched her back as he escorted Ginger to her room. The bed she’d cursed hours earlier looked like an oasis. “I’m so tired.”

“I know you are. C’mere.” Kane gently wrapped her in his arms. “It ain’t so bad, havin’ my help, is it?”


He whispered, “Liar.”

“Okay. You’re right. It’s not all bad.” She sighed and relaxed into him.

Kane didn’t seem to mind holding her. “Since I’m the only one who didn’t get a goodnight kiss, I’ll take a rain check.”

“Maybe you could come and get it later.”

His eyebrows lifted. “You invitin’ me into your room, counselor?”

“Is that so surprising?”

“I’m not sure if that’s the best idea I’ve ever heard or the worst.”

Ooh. Rejection. “Forget it. Kissing me goodnight is not part of your caretaking duties.”

“Now, don’t go and get all pissy on me. We both know there’d be more between us than just one kiss.”

“That’s what I want. Don’t you?”

“Like you wouldn’t fuckin’ believe.” He sighed. “Look. I’ve kept my hands off you because of Hayden. That’s it. You and me bein’ together, especially now, would confuse him. He’s a great kid. I won’t hurt him, Ginger. Not for anything in the world.”

Right then, her heart stumbled. She knew she should’ve probably left it at that.

But she couldn’t.

Ginger wanted to explore this sexual sizzle, a one-two punch of lust she’d never experienced with any other man. “I won’t hurt him either, but I’m more than just a mother. Didn’t you tell me you required an invitation? Well, here it is. And…” Dammit. She sounded needy. Horny. Stupid. She turned her head away.

Kane placed a finger under her chin, forcing her to look at him. “And…what?”

“I want you like crazy, Kane.”

“Since when?”

“Truthfully? Since always.”

“You find me appealin’ because I’m the only man around here that you ain’t related to?”

Smartass man, tossing her words back at her. She drilled him in the chest with her index finger. “Not.

Even. Fucking. Close.”

Kane blinked at her, slowly, sexily, gifting her with the captivating grin that transformed his face from merely handsome to devastatingly gorgeous. “I’m likin’ this sneaky, wild streak, Red.”

“I’m trying it out; it’s brand new.”

“Lucky me,” he murmured. “I’ll accept your invite. But you oughta know I have a condition if you wanna fuck around with me.”

“Which is?”

Kane loomed over her. His eyes darkened. His entire posture changed. “I’m in charge of what goes on between us behind closed bedroom doors. Period. Leave the lawyer out of it because there ain’t gonna be any negotiating for a more even split of who’s in control. You need to be fully aware of what I am.”

“What are you?”

The bad-boy smile he gave her rivaled the devil’s. “In bed? About as far from gentlemanly as you can imagine. Think you can handle that?”

Hell yes, she was on board with handing over all sexual responsibility to him. But the lawyer in her had to poke him. “No humiliation and pain games. Because if that’s what you’re into, I’m afraid I’ll have to decline.”

“Good pain is subjective as well as erotic. But when I’ve got you nekkid and at my mercy, the last thing I’m gonna be thinkin’ about is humiliation. I’ll be too focused on seein’ how many times I can make you come.”

A man with his purported sexual experience could afford to brag about his inventiveness. She swayed a little.

“You’re fallin’ asleep on your feet. Let’s get you in bed.”

Once she was settled, Kane brushed his warm lips from her temple to her ear. “Keep your door unlocked tonight. Try to get some rest.” He shut off the lamp and left her in the darkness.

How was she supposed to sleep now?

Chapter Five

Kane felt like a horny teen as he snuck down the hallway toward Ginger’s room. He almost turned around and climbed back into the bottom bunk.


He slipped inside her bedroom, pressing his back against the door as he shut and locked it behind him.

Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Would you look at that?

Ginger had fallen asleep on her back with her left arm gracefully curved above her head. The arc of her hip mimicked the angle of her arm, creating the impression of a 1940s pinup queen.

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies