Cover image for In a class by itself
Title:
In a class by itself
Author:
Brown, Sandra, 1948-
Personal Author:
Edition:
Bantam hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, 1999.

©1984
Physical Description:
196 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780553104134
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

One of romance's most beloved authors, Sandra Brown creates love stories of unsurpassed passion and emotion. Her "larger than life heroes and heroines make you believe all the warm, wonderful, wild things in life" (Rendezvous). Now, the author of more than thirty-five New York Times bestsellers delivers a powerful, erotic, and deeply moving tale of a woman reunited with her first and only love--a man who wants what she denied him ten years ago. Dani Quinn walked into her high school reunion with dread and anticipation. She knew Logan Webster would be there, and she had no idea how she would react the first time she saw him. She had left both Logan and the small Texas town years before. Her departure had been abrupt, painful, and not of her choosing. She'd never had the chance to tell Logan the truth. After all these years, she wasn't even sure he was interested in hearing her side of the story. She had come to the reunion to prove to herself that she wasn't afraid to see him again. And to ask him for a favor. Handsome, charming, and dangerously charismatic, Logan has grown into a man who exudes all the power and confidence of a self-made success. He listens as Dani describes her work for Friends in Need, a charitable organization that raises funds for mentally and physically challenged children. He is attentive as she explains the foundation's hope that he will donate one of his properties for a much-needed summer camp. Then he suggests a shocking proposal of his own. A coldhearted "business" deal that conceals a hurt that Logan has never gotten over. Frightened by her own feelings for Logan, hoping to heal the pain she has caused him, Dani agrees to his unconventional terms. What she never expects is the chance that their love will be rekindled. But it is not that simple. Once again Dani is forced to leave Logan without so much as an explanation. For unbeknownst to Logan, Dani has passed through a heartwrenching tragedy that has changed her life forever, and where she must go not even he can follow. Poignant, sensual, and unforgettable, In a Class by Itself is classic Sandra Brown, available in hardcover for the first time.


Author Notes

Sandra Brown began her writing career in 1980. After selling her first book, she wrote a succession of romance novels under several pseudonyms, most of which remain in print. She has become one of the country's most popular novelists, earning the notice of Hollywood and of the critics. More than 60 of her books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. There are eighty million copies of her books in print, and her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. Prior to writing, she worked in commercial television as an on-air personality for PM Magazine and local news in Dallas. The parents of two, she and her husband now divide their time between homes in Texas and South Carolina.

(Publisher Provided) Sandra Lynn Brown (born 12 March 1948 in Waco, Texas) is an American bestselling author of romantic novels and thriller suspense novels. Brown has also published works under the pen names of Rachel Ryan, Laura Jordan, and Erin St. Claire. Brown began her writing career in 1980. After selling her first book, Love's Encore, she wrote a succession of romance novels under several pseudonyms, most of which remain in print. Prior to writing, she worked in commercial television as an on-air personality for PM Magazine and local news in Dallas.

Brown has written over 70 books including Mirror Image; French Silk; The Switch; The Crush; Hello, Darkness; Chill Factor; Play Dirty; Smoke Screen; and Smash Cut. She has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Circle of Success from the American Business Women's Association in 1992, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the romance Writers of America in 1998, and the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature in 2007. Sandra Brown frequently appears on the bestseller lists. Recently she's appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List with Deadline, Chill Factor and Mean Streak (2014), Friction (2015) and Tough Customer (2016).

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Dani Quinn returns to the small Texas town where she spent her high school years to attend her tenth reunion. While there, she has the opportunity to renew a relationship with Logan Webster with whom she had eloped when both were teens. Her parents subsequently took her away and had the marriage annulled. Dani moved to the big city and briefly married and divorced; she then became actively involved in working for an organization that helps disabled children. Logan tries to determine how Dani really feels about him and why she never came back until now. In the first half of this audio version, romantic interludes dominate to the extent that one loses the thread of the story line. It is not until the second half that a plot takes shape and the motivations of the main characters are revealed. Elaina Erika Davis does an adequate job of conveying the emotional exchanges between the couple. Recommended mainly for Brown fans.¬ĘCatherine Swenson, Norwich Univ., Northfield, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

She was nervous. "You're being ridiculous," she muttered to herself. "Stop it." Unfortunately, knowing such nervousness was ridiculous didn't make it miraculously disappear. And when one began talking to one's self, things had come to a sad pass. Her clammy hands shook as she locked the car door behind her and tucked the eelskin purse under her arm. She ran one of those damp, trembling hands over her golden hair. It had been wound into a chick, tight chignon at the nape of her neck. If only her anxiety could be as easily controlled as her hair. Taking one last deep breath, she followed the sidewalk to the Elks Lodge. Music popular a decade ago was blaring from the building. She went through the door which had been propped open to prevent a bottleneck. The bass percussion of the music hit her like a soft blow to the chest. Brilliant beams of light struck her eyes as the spotlighted mirrored ball rotated overhead. Laughter and noisy conversation rippled over her in palpable waves. Her senses were stimulated by the very vibrancy of the party, yet she stood uncertainly just inside the door. "Dani! Oh, my heavens, it's Dani! Dani Quinn!" The woman sitting behind the table that served as a registration desk jumped from her post and rounded the table with her arms spread wide. Dani was enclosed in a vigorous hug against breasts that were even more pillowy than they had been ten years ago. At that time those breasts had been the envy of every girl in the class; indeed, in the school. The bearer of the enviable bosom pushed Dani back and gave her a long, thorough once-over. Disgust registered on her animated face. "I swear to God, I hate you. You haven't gained one damn pound in ten years! You're gorgeous. Gorgeous!" Dani laughed. "Hello, Spud . . . I mean Rebecca." "Hell, it's still Spud!" the woman shouted on a raucous laugh. "You mean you still like french fries?" Spud patted hips that had finally caught up to the proportions of her chest, possibly even exceeded them. "Can't you tell?" The women laughed and hugged each other again. "You'll never change, Spud. It's so good to see you." "And you, though we see you in the Dallas papers all the time. I was hoping that up close I would be able to see signs of age or at least detect telltale scars." She inspected Dani's hairline closely. "No face-lift. Just naturally beautiful and ageless, dammit. Stay away from Jerry," she growled. "You and Jerry are still together?" "Hell, yes. Who else would put up with me?" Jerry and Spud had gone together since their sophomore year in high school. Dani envied them their uncomplicated life together. "Children?" "Four. Heathens all. But they're with a sitter tonight and I've forgotten them for several blessed hours in which I plan to get downright tipsy." She turned back to the table. "Here's your name tag, not that anyone will have forgotten you. Most beautiful girl in the class." "Thank you." Spud yanked the back off the sticky side of the name tag and maternally attached it to Dani's raw silk sheath. "You put us hicks to shame, Dani. Just look at this dress." She ran her friendly gaze over Dani's svelte figure, took in the wide, braided belt with its overlarge brass buckle, the eelskin pumps that matched her handbag. "Neiman-Marcus? But then you always did make the rest of us look like we should go home and start over." "Should I have worn jeans?" Spud patted her arm. "Honey, class has nothing to do with clothes. You'd look just as good in a toesack." She lowered her voice and leaned closer. "Have you seen him yet?" Dani wet her lips and averted her eyes. "Who?" "Ah, hell, Dani. You know who. Logan." There. It was over. Now she didn't have to dread it anymore. For weeks, ever since she had received the photocopied letter from Spud informing her of the ten-year class reunion, she had dreaded hearing his name spoken for the first time. Well, she had survived. Her vital organs played musical chairs before they found their way back to their proper places, but she was still standing, still breathing. Admittedly, she was breathing erratically, but she was still breathing. "Logan? No, I haven't seen him since . . . Well, let's see . . . it's been ten years. Is he coming?" "Our class president? Varsity star? Of course he's coming. He's into everything that goes on in Hardwick. A regular pillar of the community. He helped me notify everyone about the reunion." Dani's trembling hand found its way to the hammered gold medallion suspended around her neck from a strand of chunky malachite stones. "How is he?" She didn't think her air of indifference fooled Spud. "Do you mean how does he look?" Spud laughed lustily. "Let's put it this way. I've warned Jerry that there are three men in the world I'd risk ten happy years of marriage for one night with. Robert Redford and Richard Gere are two of them." "Oh." "Unfortunately, Logan's always considered me his good buddy." Spud grasped Dani's arm and pushed her toward the throng. "What am I holding you here for? Go! Mix, mingle, get something to drink. A lot of people want to see you. We'll catch up on all the rest later." Shyly at first, then, as she recognized more of her former classmates, with more enthusiasm, Dani got caught up in the party. She renewed acquaintances, met spouses, listened to capsuled versions of the last ten years. The class Romeo, who had always been on the make and after three unsuccessful marriages and six children was still on the make, took Dani under his wing. "Dani, baby, are you thirsty? Name your poison." "Coke, please." His eyes widened in delighted surprise. "Our Dani has finally shed her scruples! I've heard that Greenville Avenue of Dallas really knows how to swing. Care to teach your old buddies some new tricks?" "Coke as in Coca-Cola, Al. On the rocks, please." "Oh," he said, crestfallen. "Well, sure, wait right here." Laughing to herself, she glanced down at the ballot someone had shoved into her hand. Later in the evening, when everyone had had a chance to see everyone else, they were going to award white elephant prizes for the baldest, the most changed, the one who had fathered or mothered the most children, the one who had come the farthest for the reunion, and other such categories. "Who gets your vote?" It had been ten years, yet she knew his voice immediately. It was deeper, more mellow. But since he was two years older than the rest of the class, by the time they'd graduated, his voice had already matured to that low timbre. It was achingly familiar and straight out of her dreams. She raised her head and looked at him. Everything inside her stilled. He was more handsome, more magnetic, than she remembered. With no more power than a leaf in a whirlpool, she was swept into that magic aura that surrounded him, that made him appealing to men and women alike. Straight off a Scandinavian travel poster, his face had borne the last ten years well. Indeed, the lines faintly etched around his eyes and along either side of his mouth only added another dimension to his attractiveness. Wheat-colored hair, as tousled as ever and defying control, fell across a wide forehead. Thick eyebrows only one shade darker than his hair sheltered eyes as crystal blue as a Texas summer sky. His slender nose flared slightly over a mouth that testified to both sensitivity and strength. The vertical cleft in his chin was deeper than she remembered, but the jaw was just as square and just as determined. "So," he said, "who gets your vote?" Her belly felt warm, her senses inebriated as if she had just swallowed a gulp of the strongest brandy. A steamy fog seemed to invade her peripheral vision so that everything around her faded and blurred. Only Logan's image was startlingly clear. "My vote? For which category?" "Most Surprised To See You Here." He wasn't smiling. His eyes were busy exploring every feature of her face. "You didn't think I'd come?" "I didn't know." "Why didn't you think I would?" "I didn't think you'd have the guts." Now he smiled. And the lazy grin was a taunting slap in the face after what he had said. Dani was affronted and hurt. Before she could reply, Al was pushing a glass of cola into her hand with such an abundance of exuberance that it sloshed over. "Oops, sorry, Dani. Hiya, Logan." "A napkin?" Dani asked, waving the dripping cola off her hand. "Napkin?" Al repeated stupidly. "Uh, no." Logan somehow managed to wiggle his hand into the hip pocket of his jeans and pull out a snowy handkerchief. Unfolding it, he ceremoniously handed it to Dani. "Thank you," she said stiffly, wishing she had the courage to fling it in his face. After she had blotted her hand, she handed it back to him. "You're welcome." His eyes stayed on her as he asked, "Which wife did you bring tonight, Al?" "Very funny, Logan." Dismally Al sipped his Scotch. His flushed face indicated it wasn't his first. "God, man, they're bleeding me dry. I'm paying alimony and child support out the nose. Kids are always needing braces on their teeth or dance classes or God knows what." Logan's sympathy was transparently insincere. "That's what you get for trying to populate east Texas." "Yeah, well, you had the right idea. Love 'em and leave--Oh, damn, I'm sorry, Dani." She wished at that moment she were anywhere on earth but there. Why had she come? It was going to be worse than she thought. "It's all right, Al." Her smile was brittle and she thought her face might crack under the pressure. "Well," Al went on single-mindedly, "you had the right idea staying single. Marriage is a pain in the butt." "Marriage or divorce?" Logan asked. "In my case, they're one and the same." Even Dani joined Logan's laughter at Al's bleak expression. "Honey, I'm parched." A redhead sidled up to Logan and wrapped one sinuous arm around his waist. She put her other hand kittenishly on his chest. Dani was instantly offended. The woman had a mass of red curls that surrounded her petulant face and cascaded over her shoulders. Her white satin jumpsuit was out of place for this kind of party. Its halter top barely contained her voluptuous breasts. Her nipples were rosily, grossly, apparent through the shiny cloth, a fact she seemed to take delight in as she looked up at the men through her lashes. She exuded sexual invitations with as much subtlety as a whistle blast from a rolling freight train. Dani wondered how Al's optic muscles were keeping his straining eyeballs in their sockets. Logan draped a proprietary arm around the redhead's bare shoulders. "Lana, meet Dani Quinn. You know Al." "Hi," she said sulkily, then turned the wide, blinking eyes toward her date. "Honey, I'm dying for something to drink." "Okay." Turning her away, Logan said over his shoulder, "Catch you later." They headed toward the bar. "Hell. Webster always did have all the luck with women," Al grumbled. Dani watched the couple disappear into the crowd. Her gaze was riveted to Logan's back. He was masculinity epitomized. Broad shoulders stretched the starched cotton of his western-cut shirt. His torso tapered to a narrow waist. As she watched, Lana's restless hand slid down the groove of his spine and dipped beneath his belt at the small of his back. Dani couldn't reproach the girl. She ached to touch that shallow hollow herself. Logan had "the walk," that saddle tramp saunter that was inherent to native Texan men, passed down through generations of cowboys. It was, without even trying to be, sexy. The unconscious roll of the hips, the slow strut, the flexed knees, the slouching stance, the deceptive laziness that hid a latent aggressiveness, were all intensely sexual. The jeans that one who had "the walk" invariably wore were always tight, snugly fitting both the front and back of his anatomy in a sex-declaring manner. Logan's jeans fit better than most. They had more to fit. They molded to his taut buttocks and long, lean thighs with breath-stopping appeal. "That's why I never could figure it out." Dani was brought out of her trance by Al's perplexity. "Figure what out?" "How he ever let you get away." She felt like gnawing her bottom lip until it bled. Instead, she said brightly, "It just wasn't meant to be." "So," Al said, glancing around, "wanna dance with me, Dani?" Because he was twenty-eight and looked twenty years older, because he was pitiful, and because she knew the only way she was going to survive the weekend was to brazen it out, she smiled up at him radiantly. "Sure. Why not?" The principal of Hardwick High School, who had been there ten years ago when this class had graduated, was at the microphone. "You're fortunate tonight--" He stepped back quickly when feedback made the sound system screech loudly. He tentatively approached the mike again, dousing everyone's hope that he was finally finished. "You're fortunate tonight to have your class favorites, Logan Webster and Dani Quinn, here. As I close my little speech, I'm going to ask them to come forward and lead off the next dance. You were a class that the faculty could take pride in. Have a good time and know that you're always welcome at Hardwick High School." There was a polite smattering of applause over the clinking of cocktail glasses and the murmur of conversation. Half the people in the room were watching Logan; the other half were watching Dani. Everyone waited expectantly. There had been hilarity over the awards given out. Too much booze had been consumed. Diets had been blown at the buffet table. Old gossip had been spread. New gossip had been started. Everyone was enjoying himself. But this was the evening's first moment of drama. Everyone could remember when Logan and Dani had danced exclusively with each other at every party. Dani wished she could vaporize and not have to endure the two minutes playing time of the record that was now being placed on the turntable. She looked across the dance floor at Logan, who still had one arm casually draped over his date. Hooked between the index and middle fingers of his other hand was a long-necked bottle of beer. Palm up, he brought it to his mouth, tipped it, and took a sip, then, his eyes blazing at Dani, passed the bottle to a pouting Lana. With the slow measured gait of a predatory animal about to devour his dinner, he came across the dance floor to stand within inches of her. "Dance, Dani?" "I guess I have no choice." "That's right. You have no choice. Everyone's watching. You couldn't chicken out even if you wanted to." It was a dare, a sneaky, understated dare she couldn't refuse. Her chin went up a notch and resolution brought sparking lights to her golden eyes. Logan watched the transformation and a satisfied smile curled the corner of his lip upward. He opened his arms and she stepped into them. The crowd applauded. "Yea, Dani! Yea, Logan!" Dani heard Spud's loud cheerleader voice cry out. They were subjected to hoots, hollers, and wolf whistles as Logan drew her closer, his enclosing arms firmly securing her against him. He held her in the old way, with both arms tightly linked around her waist. There was nothing for her arms to do but to rest on his shoulders. "Lana's watching." "Who gives a damn?" "She will. You're holding me too close." "It's a slow dance." She could feel his breath in her hair. She could feel everything. As though they had been asleep for years, her senses now awakened with an intense craving to experience everything they had missed. She was feeling deliciously reckless and knew that her gaze was provocative when she lifted her eyes to his. "Did you want it to be a slow dance?" "Yes." "Why?" "Dumb question, Dani." He couldn't move any closer because they were already touching everywhere. But he pressed into her. "So I could hold you. See if you've changed." "You would remember?" "I would remember." "And?" "There've been some changes here and there." "Where and where?" She smiled coquettishly. "Here and there." As he spoke the words, his gaze sliced from one of her breasts to the other. Self-consciousness deflated her smile. "Oh." A rumbling chuckle hummed through his wide chest into hers. "Embarrassed?" "You never talked to me like that before." "Ah, but I was a callow youth with sweaty palms then. I'm a man now and can say exactly what's on my mind." He squeezed her playfully. "I'm impressed with your mature figure." "I'll never catch up with Spud." He laughed. "Poor Jerry. He'll go through life knowing that just about every guy in the class tried his damnedest to cop a feel of his wife." "Did you?" "What?" "'Cop a feel.'" "I think I tried when we were in eighth grade. She clouted me on the side of the head. I saw stars for a week and never had the courage to try again." Other couples had joined them on the crowded dance floor so they were no longer so conspicuous. They smiled at each other, but Logan's smile faded as he gazed at her with hot eyes. "You look good, Dani." "Thank you." "Don't say that," he hissed angrily. "I'm not passing out idle compliments. You know you're as beautiful as you ever were. More beautiful. And you know that your particular brand of beauty appeals to me mightily." As if to show her just how much, his arms tightened another degree. Their thighs aligned, bellies pressed together, hips meshed. Her breasts were flattened against his hard chest. The music stopped. She tried to move from his embrace, but he wouldn't allow it. "Logan, the music," she said breathlessly, avoiding his gaze for fear it would scorch her. "It'll start again." "But your date," she reminded him feebly as the strains of another slow ballad filled the room. "She'll wait." "You're confident of that?" "No. It's just that I don't give a damn if she doesn't." "That's not a very flattering thing to say." He scoffed. "If Lana thinks there's a good time in it, she can be rented for the night." "That's the kind of relationship you have with women now?" "Sure. Nice and uncomplicated. What have I got to lose?" "Self-respect." He laughed harshly, but there was no humor in the eyes that glared down into hers. "I lost my self-respect a long time ago, Dani. When you--" "Please, Logan, don't." It was the way she said his name that dissolved his anger. That, coupled with how she bent her head forward and rested her forehead on his chest. It completely undid him. Anger gave way to a compulsion to hold her tight, to take her for his, to protect and love her as he had always wanted to. He held her just as securely, but there was a gentleness to his embrace now. He looked down at the crown of her head and longed to plant a soft kiss in the part of her hair. Her hair was still pale and lustrous, moonlight and honey spun together. Her body was dainty and compact, yet utterly feminine. As they slowly swayed to the music, he could hear the soft rustle of her clothes against his. He yearned to peel them away layer by layer, to see the texture and color of her skin, to compare it with his. Her fragrance had the sweet, spicy headiness of plumeria and the light elusiveness of citrus flowers. He longed to nuzzle her ear with his nose, to touch the diamond stud in her earlobe with his lips, to feel the peach-fuzziness against his tongue. He wanted to taste her. All of her. He brought one of his hands up and lowered hers from around his neck. Their hands clasped tightly. Dani's fingers relaxed and uncurled, stretched between his, and slid down into his palm to examine the calluses there. "I still work hard for my living, Dani." "On that farm your folks had?" "Not exactly. Same land, but . . . Well, you'll see it tomorrow. That's where the picnic is. At my place." "Do your parents live there with you?" He shook his head. "They moved into town. They're both old now and keep a small house." "I know you've made a success of your life. I read about you in Texas Monthly. " "A real rags to riches story, isn't it?" "I never doubted you could do it." "But others did. Like your parents," he added bitterly. Her gaze fell away and that angered him. "Tell me, Dani, what would they think if they saw us dancing together now? Would these dirt farmer hands still be too dirty to touch you?" "That was a long time ago, Logan." "Not so long ago that I've forgotten. Am I clean enough, good enough, rich enough, to touch you now, Dani?" "It never mattered to me!" she cried softly. "Oh, but it did," he said silkily, leaning over her. "When it came to the showdown, it mattered a helluva lot!" "Let me go." She pushed against his chest and forced him to release her. Turning blindly, she bumped into Al. "Ready for another partner, Dani?" he asked drunkenly. "Not now, Al. I'm going to the ladies' room." She fled from the dance floor and found the rest room where she remembered it to be. She and the other girls had clustered there to share combs and lipstick and gossip during every dance Dani could remember. Now she sought the privacy of one of the stalls, not wanting to face anyone until she had composed herself. Logan had held her and it had been blessedly, painfully, the same. But not quite the same. They were no longer children blissfully in love. Both of them had lost their innocence through heartache. She was no longer a girl finding romance in everything, thinking that the end of the story would be as marvelous as the final pages of a fairy tale. She was a woman now. Her desires had matured and refined. Where once she had been naive about her need for Logan, where once the urgings of her body had been a mystery, an unknown quantity, she now knew exactly what she wanted. All of him. Full and hard and deep inside her. But her predicament was the same. She couldn't have him. It was more impossible now than it had been then. Calming herself, she left the rest room and went through the deserted hallway toward the dance hall. On her left, she passed a door and on impulse opened it. It was a storage closet, just as cozy as she remembered it. "The make-out room." Spinning around, she was startled to see Logan looming behind her. He came forward imperiously and backed her into the small space, closing the door behind them. "What did you say?" she asked breathlessly. "That's what the guys used to call it. The make-out room. We took turns tricking our dates into coming back here during the dances. I wonder if the Elks know just how legendary their storage closet is?" She smiled weakly. Her heart was thudding and her throat had gone dry, but she tried to put up a good front. "We girls knew what you were doing." "Oh yeah? We thought you did. But that just made the game more fun." He took another step forward. The wall behind her blocked any retreat. She didn't want him to know how helplessly trapped she felt. "It's been wonderful seeing you again, Logan. I was just on my way out and--" "Do you remember the last time we were in here together?" "What about Lana?" "What about her?" he demanded impatiently. "She'll be looking for you." "No, she won't. I gave her to Al." He came nearer. "Forget Lana, forget everything except the last time we were in this room. Do you remember?" "No. I mean, yes. I'm not sure. I'm leaving now, Logan. Good night." He grabbed her arm as she tried to squeeze past him, and pressed her against the wall. "You remember. And so do I. You had on a pink dress. It was off one shoulder and had a ruffle here." His hand cut a burning swath from one shoulder across her breasts to beneath the opposite arm. She moaned softly. Every erogenous cell in her body was sounding alarm signals. "You had tiny pearls in your ears and a single strand here." His finger traced the base of her throat and stayed to tickle and stroke. "Your hair was pulled up, but you had curls that touched your cheeks, here." He tugged gently at strands of hair around her face until they fell from the sleek hairdo to caress her cheeks. The memory was vivid, but she denied it, both to herself and to him. "I don't remember." "Yes, you do." His voice was as close as his body, just as compelling, just as urgent. She turned to face the wall, giving him her back. But he wasn't deterred. He stepped close enough for her to feel his breath on the back of her neck, to feel his thighs against the backs of hers, his hardness against her bottom. "We had been dancing so close, rubbing against each other until we were about to melt. We came in here and kissed and kissed till our lips were bruised. You were delicious and sweet and I couldn't get enough of your mouth. When I begged you to touch me, you pulled my shirttail out of my pants and laid your hands on my chest." "Stop, Logan." "That's what you said then. When I touched your breasts, you said 'no.' But you didn't want me to stop. Not really. I went on touching you, petting you, until we were both on fire. You wanted me just as much as I wanted you." "Don't do this," she pleaded raggedly. Her head dropped forward, but that only allowed him to place his lips against the back of her neck. "Why not? I want you to remember. I want you to remember how much in love we were." "I do." "Do you? Then why didn't you tell your parents how we felt about each other?" She whirled around to face him. "I did!" "Obviously they weren't convinced," he growled. "Can you imagine how I felt when you chose them over me?" "I had no choice." "You were eighteen. You were legally independent. You had a choice." "I didn't!" she shouted. For a long, silent moment the words reverberated around them. "Well, you chose to come back now," he said with slow precision. He inclined toward her until they were touching full length, breast to knees. "You left with them then, but you're here with me now." The white-hot gleam in his blue eyes frightened her, but she made a vain attempt at bravado. "Let me go, Logan. We're not kids necking in the coat closet any longer." "You're damned right we're not. I want a helluva lot more than a few minutes of necking from you." She tried to twist away from him, but his body only sealed hers more firmly to the wall. "You should never have come back, Dani. Not unless you wanted me to collect my debt." Her throat was congested with fear and passion. "What debt? What do you want from me?" "You've gotta be kidding. You know what I want." He lowered his face over hers until their lips were scarcely an inch apart. "You owe me a wedding night." Excerpted from In a Class by Itself by Sandra Brown All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.