“I think I like it better, too.”

His fingers caress the back of my neck, and the soft touch relaxes me. Maybe it’s the wine, too, but it’s nice to sit next to him, surrounded by his scent. The warm amber and honey clings to my dress. The scent is now becoming ingrained in my mind.

“What is it you do for fun, Oz? Are you always renting out whole buildings to entertain yourself? Sounds expensive.” I pick up my wine and take another sip, noticing that he pays attention to my every move.

He lets out a little laugh. “I’m afraid not. I keep to myself for the most part. I wasn’t lying when I said all I do is work. The closest thing to a friend I have is my head of security.”

“I really only have Paige. I seem to get lost in my work, too,” I admit. Seeing something else we both have in common.

“Not anymore. Now you have me, too.” He sounds so sure that he’ll always be around. That whatever this crazy thing is will last forever. The waiter appears again and this time brings us one small plate of antipasti. After he walks away, I look down at it. I guess we’re going to share.

There are olives and cheeses with a few dried meats and some tomatoes. Oz reaches out, picks up an olive and holds it out for me. I open my mouth slightly, and he places the salty olive on my lips. I bite it, loving the taste. He eats the other half while his eyes stay on my mouth, and the act is so erotic. Something about his feeding me is turning me on, and excitement rushes through my body.

He continues to feed me little bites of everything, always offering it to me first. When the plate is empty, I’m a little sad it’s over as the waiter comes and takes it away. But as fast as the empty plate is gone, a new one appears with a single plate of tortellini in a red sauce.

Reaching over, Oz takes his fork and scoops one up, offering it to me. It makes me smile, and I open up and take a bite. The combination of the spicy flavor of sausage and the sweetness of tomato is perfect, and I moan at the taste. Oz’s eyes narrow on me, and for a second he looks like he wants to come at me. I take another sip of wine, and after a moment he takes a bite of the pasta, too.

“Are you close with your mother?” I ask between bites. I normally don’t like to talk about family because it can be a little awkward for me but I want to share these things with him. To know what makes Oz, Oz.

“I am, yes. We have lunch together every Wednesday. Would you like to come with me tomorrow? I think you’d like her.”

My eyes must show some kind of alarm because he smiles gently at me.

“Or not. Another time perhaps,” he says, feeding me another bite.

All of this is happening so fast, but meeting the mother might be a bit too hasty. Even if a little part of me wants to jump at it.

“Speaking of this week.” There’s aggravation clear in his voice, and I see his brows furrow. “I have to go out of town on Thursday, and I won’t be back until Saturday. I’ve tried my best to avoid it, but our London office requires that I physically be there, and I can’t put it off another day.”

“Oh.” I’m suddenly disappointed, but I shake it off, trying to find the positive. “That’s okay. It’s only for a couple of days. I’ll be here when you get back.”

He doesn’t seem happy with my answer, so I try another tactic.

“I’ll miss you while you’re gone. Maybe we can talk on the phone while you’re away.”

This seems to be better, because his smile returns. “You’ll miss me?” he asks, leaning forward a little.

“Yes.” My answer is a whisper as his lips are a breath away from mine.

When our mouths connect, his tongue sweeps in, and I give him what he wants. The flavor of the wine and his warm scent turn me into a puddle in his arms. His hands wrap around me as I slide mine along the back of his neck. My fingers grip his hair as his teeth bite down on my bottom lip, and suddenly I have this overwhelming urge for him to take me to the floor.

Potent desire runs through my body, and need pulses between my legs. My nipples ache, and my panties are drenched as his kiss consumes my whole being.

Just as quickly as he begins the kiss, he stops it, placing one final soft peck on my mouth before putting one hand on the back of my chair and wrapping the other around my fingers.

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