Blaze slaps me on the back. “Smart. Wait out the curse. Don’t even talk to a girl tonight.”
An hour later, I’ve had a couple of beers and leave to grab another round for us when I see her again, still dancing. Damn. Isn’t she tired? I stop and stare as she dips down then snaps back up as she slings her hair. She moves like a pro. Stripper? Nah. She’s too young and fresh looking. Maybe a dance major…
My fascination from earlier resurfaces, intensifying tenfold. I’ve imagined her before, like in a fantasy. The slope of her bare shoulder, the dimple at the base of her spine, the weight of her breasts in my hands—
Impossible. I’ve never seen this girl before tonight.
It’s the beer talking.
Another lingering look at her and my skin hums, the beat of the nearby speakers pounding, syncing with the thrumming rhythm of my heart. I swallow thickly and nerves fly at me, the same way I feel as I look down a football field with the ball in my hands. Barely aware of what I’m doing, I set my drink on the ground and walk her way. I’m behind her in ten seconds, wondering what the hell is happening.
Don’t even talk to a girl chimes in my head, but I ignore it. I can’t resist the temptation. What’s wrong with just having a little conversation?
The wind rustles through the trees, carrying her scent to me, something tart and fruity.
“Hey,” I say softly.
She doesn’t hear me.
“Hey!” I call.
She turns to me, her lips curled in a smile, and my stomach does a weird flip. An errant thought flies through my head—Wish I could see the color of her eyes—yet I don’t need the light to see the teasing quality of her smile.
Ah, I get it. She’s beautiful. She’s used to guys coming up to her. Right.
But I’m different. I’m the one she’s been waiting on.
Her hair is a rich mahogany color, intermingled with pops of copper and pale honey, and long, the soft ends brushing her mid-back. I picture my hands sliding through those strands as I spread them out on my pillow. I see her sleep-glazed eyes looking at me when she wakes in the morning—
Whoa… That’s just insane.
“Hey?” Her voice is husky and low as she tilts her head, eyes peering deep into mine. The hairs on my arms rise, goosebumps erupting as instinct kicks in.
I pick you whispers through the right side of my brain while simultaneously my left side yells Danger, danger.
I kick the negative thought down as I lean down, my big hands awkward as I cup her face and brush my lips against hers softly. It’s barely anything.
Holy shit, what have you done my brain yells.
She lets out a startled sound as we pull apart.
That’s it, I tell myself, just a little taste and I’m not going to take it any further, but I do, ignoring that voice as I go in and slant my mouth across hers again. My tongue twines with hers, crushing her soft, pillowy lips under mine. She tastes like cherries, rich and sweet. There’s a moment when she hesitates, then she melts into me, a whimpering sound coming from the back of her throat as she parts those luscious lips. Her hair blows around us, caressing my face, tickling my cheeks. The universe tilts, shifts, and spins off in a new direction.
The kiss burns a hole right through me and blood rushes to my groin. I’m in over my head—Who cares?—and I groan, deepening our connection. My hands slide down her cheeks, her throat, then to her arms at her sides. Our joined breaths mingling, I trace my thumbs over the rapid pulse in her wrists. My head swims with images of her body draped on top of me, her fingers tracing my heart as she counts the beats of my pulse—
A cry comes from her as she breaks away. “Jerk! Don’t do that.”
“You liked it, babe.”
“Um, I don’t care. Step away.”
“What’s your name? You got a number?” Dillon McQueen does not give up easily. When he sees what he wants, he goes after it. He also sometimes talks about himself in the third person. “Are you a freshman? I play football. Quarterback.” Usually that’s enough to catch a girl’s interest.
She shakes her head, looking almost surprised as she touches her lips briefly. I think she mutters pigskin-toting Casanova. Then, she flips around.
“No, wait! Don’t go!” I say, reaching out for her, but she’s gone, daring one look over her shoulder as she disappears into the crowd of people.
I take off after her, navigating through the throng, jostling into dancers. One of them, a big barrel-chested guy, shoves at me when I bump into him. I fall on my ass. Heart pounding, I scramble back up, dirt and grass on me as I dart through the crowd and look around. My height gives me a decent vantage point, but she’s vanished.