“I’ve changed my mind,” she murmurs, pulling me away from the nightmares that have settled into my bones.
“If I get kisses like that, you can call me Mouse any day of the week and twice on Sundays,” she says, her voice completely serious, but tinged with a sweetness, a wonder in it that I laugh without thinking.
I feel joy… despite the blackness inside of me.
“Jessie.” Allen’s voice wakes me up.
My eyes open slowly and I look around. I’m on my sofa, lying against Allen’s side. His arms are around me and my head is on his chest. I close my eyes again and drink in the pleasure of being here—like this—with Allen. It’s been a perfect night. Well, it has been since he decided to stay. We talked, we held hands, ate pizza and watched a marathon of Bruce Willis movies.
“Hi,” I whisper, opening my eyes once again, but more slowly this time.
“Sleepyhead.” He smiles as his finger drags across my cheek. “I take it you’re not a Sixth Sense fan?”
He’s right… I’m not. I saw the outcome of that movie a mile off, the first time I watched it. But I’m a very big fan of Allen. This might be the single best night of my life and he has barely kissed me.
“I liked the Die Hard ones.” I grin. His finger slides back and forth, closer and closer to my mouth. When I smile his thumb rests on my lip. It brushes against the small opening where my lips meet. On instinct I open, letting the thumb push deeper in.
“You’re a dangerous woman, Jessie Hart,” Allen murmurs, his dark eyes staring at me so intently they shine, reminding me of liquid—hot, molten liquid.
I find myself licking the tip of his thumb. I don’t do it intentionally; I just can’t stop myself. I watch Allen’s face tighten, and he takes a breath that travels through him so noticeably I’m hypnotized at the way his chest moves. I bring my gaze back to his face and I can read the desire there.
Desire for me.
“Dangerous?” I ask, every nerve ending in my body feeling as if it is on fire.
“Very dangerous,” he responds. His thumb pushes deeper and I bite on the tip, my eyes never leaving his. “Dangerous to my peace of mind,” he says and then his thumb is gone and his hands latch onto my upper arms and he pulls me against his body.
“Allen,” I gasp, just as his lips crash down on mine.
It’s an intense kiss that takes my breath away. He takes control of my mouth, devouring me. Our tongues tangle as if they’re warring with each other. His hand moves to my neck and he holds me in place, leaving me unable to pull away even if I wanted to—which I don’t.
It’s a kiss like I’ve never experienced. It steals my breath and my ability to do anything other than to submit to his demands. I do that willingly. Without realizing it, my hands go to his back, my nails digging in, and he groans into my mouth. I swallow it down, matching it with my own. His fingers move down to the curve of my breast. I feel him squeeze it, his fingers brushing against my nipple. I whimper because it feels so good, but I wish I could feel it without my shirt and bra in the way.
Allen pulls away and I cry out in disappointment. I open my eyes, dragging air into my lungs. His hand tightens almost painfully on my breast.
“You’re so dangerous,” he groans.
“I wouldn’t hurt you, Allen,” I tell him because something in his eyes compels me to assure him of that.
“You could hurt me more than anyone ever has, and that’s admitting to more than you could ever guess, Jessie.”
“I better get home.”
“What if I asked you to stay?”
“I want to,” he answers, and joy begins to spread through me—right before he ends it. “But I won’t.”
“Not tonight, sweetheart. But I’ll be back tomorrow.”
“I don’t want you to go,” I tell him, completely honest.
“And I don’t want to, but I’m going to.”
“There’s things you don’t know, Jessie.”
“So tell me,” I urge him.
“If this keeps going in the direction it is, I will, Mouse. I promise,” he says, his fingers combing through my hair.
“I really like you, Allen.” My words make his lips twitch so that he almost smiles. I want him to smile and suddenly I need him to… because I can see sadness in his eyes. I want that sadness gone. “I like you so much, I don’t even mind your calling me a rodent.”
That does it. He does smile and this one helps to lift the sadness from his gaze and for tonight that feels like a victory. With Allen, I’m beginning to realize being with him might be a war… which means victories—no matter how small—are a good thing.