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Lexi's family didn't say a word about her disappearance into the woods, which made life easier as the next round of weekend events got underway. Croquet was one of Lexi's favorite games, and she had been eager to see how many opponents she could take out, but her mind was elsewhere as she helped Dion set up the wickets on the lawn.

Luke Carrington had to be the most amazing man on the planet. He was chivalrous, poetic, handsome...and that kiss. It was better than any description she'd read of a kiss. And she could tell Luke had enjoyed it too in the way he shared more than his lips with her.

"What did Dad say to get you so pissed off?" Dion asked as he tapped a wicket into place with his mallet. "He wouldn't tell me."

Lexi put her scandalous thoughts on hold to respond to her brother. "Of course, he wouldn't tell you. It was his fault. He wants me to stop hanging out with Luke. He says I'm ignoring everyone and chasing off the boys he invited. Well, I say good riddance to bad rubbish."

Dion snorted. "You really showed up that tight-assed Pennsylvania boy. How're you feeling, by the way? Can you swing a mallet?"

Lexi rubbed her elbow and grimaced when pins and needles radiated down her arm. "I'll be reminded of his stupidity for a few days, but it was worth it. Maybe he'll have a clue now." She counted her steps to the location of the next wicket and pointed it out for Dion. He followed her direction and started the tapping process again.

"So, you like Luke, huh?" Dion kept his head lowered as he pounded the wicket. Was he hiding a scowl? Surely, he wouldn't judge Luke harshly after their lively conversation on the beach. Luke had done everything right.

"Yes, I like Luke. And I think he likes me."

"What makes you think he likes you?" Dion continued to talk to the wicket.

"Well, he came to my rescue when Jackie O threw me. And he stayed with me on the couch when he could have gone riding with the other guests."

"Any other reason you think he likes you?" Dion finally lifted his head, making sure she saw his raised eyebrows. "Did anything happen on the beach last night before I got there?"

Lexi popped her hands onto her hips. "That's none of your business. I don't ask you about your personal life."

"I have nothing to hide. Ask me anything. I'll tell you what I did and who I did it with."

"No, thanks. I don't need those images haunting me. Let's put a wicket over here." Lexi walked several paces toward the rose garden, pointing out the spot with her shoe as Dion joined her. "Why is it so important for you to know who I like? I don't need your permission to kiss people."

Lexi's mouth unhinged when she realized her memorable kiss had mingled with her speech, and Dion's head snapped up. The mallet he was holding came to a halt just above the wicket, narrowly missing his fingers.

"So, he did kiss you. That sly devil."

"I didn't say he kissed me, and how do you know it wasn't me kissing him?"

Dion let the wicket wobble loosely in the grass as he stood and brushed dirt off his pants. "Lexi, I'm not about to tell you who you should and shouldn't kiss, but I know something about Luke. He's not a guy you want to pin your hopes on."

Lexi relieved Dion of his mallet and spoke through a clenched jaw as she bent down and hammered at the wicket. "If you know something," – Slam! – "feel free to share it." – Slam! – "Otherwise, shut the hell up about Luke." – Slam!

Lexi stood and handed back his mallet. Dion eyed her cautiously as he knelt to adjust the wicket  she had hammered all the way into the ground.

"I can't tell you what I know," he said. "But you'll find out soon. Let's just drop it and play croquet."

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