Lauren’s pursed lips slowly parted as,
in a tone both low and lightly suggestive, she asked, “Is this
“It could be.” He nodded toward her backpack. “If
you have anything to eat in that bag of yours that I can pay you for.”
Her eyes grew both wide and bright and Anton felt a strange stirring
in his gut. An unease that told him he was asking for the sort of trouble
that had a good chance of turning his well-ordered life upside down.
“Hey, we’re in luck. One for each of us. And my treat. None
of that macho sexist crap,” she added when he reached for his wallet. “We’ll
call this a first date warm-up if it’ll make you happier.”
From the front compartment, she produced two high-carb energy bars and
tossed him one. Then she unzipped the main part of the pack and pulled
out a bottle of water. “But the water we’ll have to share.”
The thought of sharing her things, of how many of his things he wouldn’t
mind if she shared, finally sent him across the elevator car to her side.
He sat facing her, his hip at her thigh, her hip at his.
She offered him the bottle. He pulled up on the sports cap and drank,
keeping his gaze locked on hers as he handed it back, as she brought
the same spout to her mouth, as she grinned before drinking, giving him
a glimpse of the tip of her tongue.
He forced himself not to groan when his entire body wanted to scream. “What
was it you said yesterday? A little wine? A little candlelight?”
He cast a glance up toward the bare bulb, looked back in time to see
her running the drinking spout back and forth over her lower lip. He
couldn’t stop the sound that seemed to roll straight out of his
groin. He reached for the bottle, pulled it from her hand and set it
on the floor.
She looked from the water bottle back to his face. And then she gave
him a soft smile.
“That, a lotta lovin’, and trying not to get caught.”
His mouth descended. And she was waiting. She didn’t feign surprise
or pretend he’d caught her off guard. She was waiting, and she
responded with more than her lips and her tongue, threading her fingers
into his hair and holding him close. He swore she smiled. Her lips slanted
over his, even while lifting upward. Nothing had ever aroused him so
quickly. Like the head of a match, he burst into flame.
And this was only a kiss. He moved his hand to the back of her neck,
holding her close while he nipped at her lips, while he tasted her mouth,
while he slipped his tongue the length of hers and told her with the
kiss what he wanted to do to her body. To penetrate her slowly, to slide
his sex into hers the way he’d taken her mouth. He wanted to feel
her skin with his skin. Her mouth was soft, and the hair trapped beneath
his palm slid over her nape like pure silk. His imagination already had
her undressed and naked beneath him.
This time when he groaned, he knew she felt the echo in her mouth. And
when she whimpered in return, the sound turned him inside out. He pulled
his mouth free, his hand holding the back of her head as he stared into
her eyes. So bright and so blue and so beautifully beguiled. She’d
caught her lower lip between her teeth, then bathed it with her tongue,
whether savoring his taste or healing the skin roughened by his whiskers
he didn’t know.
He didn’t care.
He wanted her.
He wanted her more than he’d ever wanted any other woman.
And he wanted her now.