Secret Identity. Hidden Lust. Overwhelming Temptation.
“Let’s take that walk anyway.” Dane offered Shasta an encouraging smile. “While we’re getting that fresh air, I’ll explain the Macho Marauder to you.”
“Wait.” She looked down at her bare feet. “My shoes…” She wiggled her feet into a pair of canvas slip-ons, then shoved her house key in her pocket. “I guess I’m ready.”
He laced their fingers together. Her hand felt so good in his, as if it belonged there. They walked along the sidewalk in silence for a couple of minutes as he tried to collect his thoughts about how to explain things to her and exactly how much of his past to reveal. And even more confusing were his thoughts about why he wanted to explain something so very private and personal, something he had never confided to anyone.
“About my Macho Marauder alter ego…it has to do with money. Stripping provides the maximum amount of money for the least amount of time and effort while not interfering with my real career. I’ve worked hard to establish my computer consulting business. I don’t want to jeopardize that, but I need all the extra cash I can get my hands on as quickly as possible so that I can…uh, pay off some heavy bills.”
An uncomfortable ripple of anxiety invaded his consciousness. The last thing he wanted to do was reveal any details of his dysfunctional family background. He had spent most of his adult life trying to disassociate himself from anything and everything family related. “For medical expenses.”
“Medical expenses?” She stopped walking, bringing him to an abrupt halt, her alarm obvious. “Are you ill?”
“No, not at all. I’m in excellent health. I don’t even catch colds.” They started walking again as he collected his thoughts. How to explain without really revealing things he had tried so hard to bury deep inside him?