has taken on a dreamy quality, and it feels as if I’m buzzing in a sort of
tipsy state that has nothing to do with the wine I’ve consumed and everything
to do with my renewed sense of confidence.
staring at me with an expression I can’t quite read. It’s part contemplative,
part desire, part something else. I wait for him to speak, but he remains
As I start
moving toward his SUV, he grabs my hand and draws me around to face him. We’re
standing so close I can smell the remnants of his aftershave and feel his
breath on my forehead. Ryan brushes an errant strand of hair away from my
cheek, his callused thumb ghosting over the sensitive spot below my ear. I
swallow, my chest tight, as though there isn’t enough space for my heart to fit
inside my rib cage.
his hand around to cradle the back of my head, while the other travels down and
settles on the curve of my hip. “If I kiss you again, is there going to be
a jail cell on the other end of it?”
one way to find out,” I say with a breathless laugh.
He pulls me
flush against him, and then his lips are on mine. An electric jolt shoots
through me as the pressure of his mouth changes from tender and coaxing to
needy and demanding.
right there with him, matching everything he’s giving. My palms skate over his
broad shoulders and arms, his shirtsleeves stretched over the hard muscle
beneath. He tastes like the chocolate cake we shared for dessert. Like
something I could eat every day for the rest of my life.
I weave my
fingers into the soft hair that curls slightly at the nape of his neck, tugging
gently at the roots. Ryan lets out a sexy grunt that I want to hear over and
over again. He lifts me off the ground, and I hook my legs around his waist. He
steps backward until I’m pressed against his car. With the dark surrounding us,
it feels as if we can do anything and not get caught. A rush of heat shoots
through me at the idea. I reach for the buttons on his—
barking makes us jump apart, our chests heaving.
I sway a
bit before regaining my balance. I glance at Ryan, who looks as disoriented as
I feel. Sticking her head out the open window, Bordeaux paws at the inner door
handle. Ryan pushes on her nose and mutters what sounds like, “Great
timing.” Snorting, Bordeaux ducks back inside and drinks from the water
bowl on the floor mat. Ryan turns to me, rubbing a frustrated hand down his
face. “She’s a resource guarder, and I’m her favorite toy.”
I let out a
shaky laugh, my whole body vibrating with pent-up energy. “Or maybe she’s
warning us that we’re about to have an audience,” I say, gesturing to the
hostesses emerging from the side entrance of the restaurant. They walk around
the building to the service lot.
expression morphs from slightly irritated to focused and determined. He leans
in close to me, his lips grazing the hint of collarbone peeking out from
beneath my shirt. Air catches in my lungs and my skin prickles, but I force
myself not to fidget, not to move for fear I may collapse right here on the
gravel. Skimming his mouth up my neck, his breath stirring wisps of my hair, he
whispers in my ear, “What happened to living recklessly?”
My brain is
a fog, so I only manage to blurt, “Show me.”
devastatingly wicked grin spreads across his face. “Follow me.”