It was also a way of dealing with the sexual tension in the air.

The light was gone by the time we ran out of wine. I leaned back against my bed, buzzed and happy in the glow of the candlelight. Derek lay on the floor across from me, his long, muscular frame stretched out and his head propped up on his hand.

God, he was hot.

“Did you like dinner?” he asked.

“It was great,” I sighed. “Thank you.”

“My pleasure.”

“I feel bad, though…”


“That must’ve cost you a ton of money.”

A ton of money for a guy who lived in Crack Central, anyway.

He shrugged. “It was worth it.”


“Hey, I wanted to do something nice for you, okay? Just say ‘thank you.’”

“…thank you. It was wonderful.”

“You’re welcome.”

I sat there, my face flushed, my insides warm…

…and not just from the alcohol.

“What now?” I asked, and yawned. Damn wine.

“Looks like somebody needs a nap.”

“Mmm… maybe just a little one…”

“You don’t drink much, do you?”

“Mmm… no,” I said, shaking my head. Then I narrowed my eyes and said in a mock-disapproving voice, “You probably planned on that, didn’t you?”

“No, not at all,” he said as he shook his head ‘yes.’

I giggled again… and then slowly grew somber. “Look… about last night…”

His eyebrows raised slightly. “Yeah?”

“…we can’t do that again.”

“I thought it was amazing,” he said softly.


It was, it was, OH MY GOD it was amazing. But…

“…I have a boyfriend,” I whispered.

He nodded his head. “I know.”

“Well… that’s why we can’t do that again.”

He didn’t say anything.

“It wouldn’t be… right…” I said, and stifled a yawn.

“Why don’t we get into bed?” he suggested.

His words sent a sexual charge of syrupy sweet desire from my belly down below.

“W-what?” I asked, dumbfounded.

“Relax,” he grinned, “we’re just going to let you take a nap, that’s all.”


I didn’t mean to sound as disappointed as I probably did.

“…no kissing, though…” I slurred.

“No kissing,” he promised.

“…and no… funny stuff…”

“I can’t be funny?”

“You know what I mean.”

“Okay, no funny stuff.”

“…just a nap… right?...”

“Just a nap.”




I stood up gracelessly, plopped down on the bed, and removed my shoes and socks.

He moved the dishes over to Shanna’s side and put up the picnic basket.

“…wow… a guy who makes me dinner, and cleans up…” I giggled as I stretched out on top of the covers.

“Damn straight.”

He started blowing out the tea lights.

“…no… leave them… they’re pretty…”

“Okay,” he agreed, but moved the ones on the floor over to the window ledge. Then he kicked off his clunky boots, pulled off his socks, and laid down next to me on the bed.

The weight of his body next to mine sent another jolt through my lower extremities.

“Turn over on your side,” he commanded me gently. “I want to spoon you.”

“…oh…” I said, catching my breath. “…okay… but no forking…”

He frowned. “Forking?”

“…joke… sounds like…” and I silently mouthed ‘fucking.’

He burst out laughing. “Okay – no ‘forking.’”


I turned over onto my side and he snuggled up against me.

Sweet baby Jesus.

As soon as I felt him against me, I was wide awake, and I wasn’t going to sleep.

His body felt hard and firm against mine. His legs pressed against the back of my thighs… his pelvis against my rear end… his firm, muscular chest against my back. He draped one arm across me and pulled me in close to him, pressing me against him. I crossed my arms over my chest in an ‘X’ – otherwise his muscular forearm would have been resting against my breasts. His breath tickled across my neck, and I could feel heat radiating off his body like a furnace.

GOD I wanted him so bad.

And it only got worse as the moments ticked by.