“And that’s not all,” he admitted after a few minutes.
Carson gave a slight smile. “I hate myself for even thinking this, because I know how important getting your memories back is, but if you get your memories back—”
“Will I be like I am now or like the old Sammy?” I finished for him, chagrined. “I don’t know, Carson. I like to think that, if anything, I’ve gotten a second chance at a personality improvement, and that won’t go away.”
He chuckled. “That’s good to hear.”
I bit my lip. “Will you still like me if I remember everything?”
His brows furrowed as he glanced at me. “Sam, I liked you before you lost your memories. You just didn’t see that.”
“I see it now,” I whispered. “And I’ll still see it, no matter what I remember.”
He flashed the smile that warmed me to the core as he pulled onto the road leading to our homes. I took a deep breath. “I don’t want to go home yet.”
The smile sort of froze on his lips, and even in the darkness, I could see the blue of his eyes deepening, becoming the color of a summer sky. “It’s my dad’s weekend off. He’s visiting his brother in Pittsburgh.”
Empty house? I swallowed again, but for a different reason. “Do you…want to hang out a little while longer?”
“Do you really need me to answer that?”
I gave a nervous laugh as my fingers started working on the beads sewn into my clutch. He parked the truck in his driveway. “Sit still.”
“Okay,” I said, curious.
Flashing me a quick grin, he hopped out of the truck and came around to my side, opening the door. Then he offered his hand with a bow. Just like that, most of my nervousness vanished as I placed my hand in his.
“I can’t remember the last time you were in my house,” he said as he unlocked the front door. “At least six years or so.”
“I spent a lot of time here, right?”
“Practically every day,” he said quietly.
Memories of our childhood together were locked away from me, but knowing that we shared that time calmed the rest of my anxiousness.
Carson’s house was dark and quiet. With his hand wrapped around mine, he guided me through the living room. I bumped into the back of a couch and then a small desk, sending several sheets of paper fluttering to the floor.
He led me to his bedroom, and my heart rate picked up. Letting go of my hand, he turned on a small lamp beside the bed. It wasn’t much light, but I could make out a small desk in the corner, a dresser with a bunch of clothes folded atop it. For a guy’s bedroom, it seemed awfully clean. I placed my clutch on his desk.
Carson shrugged out of his tux jacket and his shoes and socks, draping the jacket over the back of his chair. Not sure what to do, I took off my shoes and sighed with relief. My poor toes were killing me.
Turning off the lamp, he moved back to me and stopped short. “We didn’t get enough dances.”
“No, we didn’t.”
He snaked an arm around my waist, lifting me up so my feet were on top of his bare ones. I laughed as he started to sway, moving both of us in a silent rhythm. “Is this making up for it?”
“Yes.” I smiled, resting my head on his shoulder. “I like this better.”
“Why? Because Scott’s not here to be a douche?”
I laughed. “One of the reasons.”
His hand squeezed mine. “Did I tell you how beautiful you looked tonight?”
My smile grew to epic proportions. “You did, but you can tell me again if you want.”
Carson’s laugh rumbled through me, and his other hand pressed on the small of my back, bringing us closer together. Our chests met, as did our hips and every other place. A flush started to spread down my throat.
“You look beautiful,” he whispered in my ear, his hand moving up my spine to rest at the nape of my neck.
I lifted my head, pulling back so I could see his face. With only the light of the moon flowing in through the window above his bed, he almost didn’t look real to me. Slowly, I reached up and placed my palm on his cheek. “Thank you,” I whispered.
He didn’t smile, but his eyes took on a hooded, lazy quality that tightened my stomach muscles. The longing in his stare matched what I felt inside, increased the yearning until I could hardly stand the intensity.
“Are you finally going to kiss me?” I asked, dizzy with anticipation, want, and a thousand other things.
One side of his mouth tipped up. “Maybe.”
I leaned in, breathing the same air as him. “I’m not sure I like the sound of that.”
“Me neither,” he teased, his chest rising unsteadily against mine. Letting go of my hand, he cupped my cheek, running his thumb along my jaw. My hand fluttered to his chest, and his heart was pounding as fast as mine.
And when his head lowered, the sheer look of passion in his eyes stole my breath. His mouth moved against my forehead, trailing a path down along my cheek. I shivered against him, my eyes drifting close. And finally his lips brushed mine questioningly, once and then twice. My lips parted in response, and the velvety, supple kiss deepened. His tongue moved against mine, as if he wanted to capture my very essence with a simple kiss.
He made a deep sound in the back of his throat, and my fingers dug into his crisp shirt. Everything fell away, and there was just him and me, the way he kissed, the way he held me against him, as if I was something precious and invaluable to him.
And then we were moving. His legs hit the edge of his bed, and he folded down, cradling me close to him. My knees were on either side of his hips, sinking into the mattress. Our kisses didn’t stop. Not once, not even when his fingers moved to the straps on my dress, slipping under them.
He paused, and when he spoke, his voice was thick. “You okay with this?”
“Yes.” I nodded, too, just in case the one word wasn’t enough.
Carson’s lips pressed against mine once more, and with shaky fingers, I undid the buttons on his shirt, pushing the sides over his shoulders. His skin was hot under my fingers, taut and smooth. My hands slid over his chest, down the ropy muscles of his stomach. Years of playing baseball had done him well.
All this felt like the first time for me, and I had a deep sense of gratitude for that because I wouldn’t have wanted to share this moment with anyone else. His lips left mine, traveling over my chin, down my throat.