It’s beautiful and too good to be true.

But it’s all true, and it’s happening.

She leans into me, inching closer. A soft sigh seems to fall from her lips, a sound that reveals how much she likes this soft, gentle kiss.

I want to know what else makes her feel this way.

I want to be the one to make her feel this way.

The intensity of those twin thoughts shocks me, maybe even scares me a bit, given my past experience.

But everything feels so right about tonight.

And I know that we could easily spend the whole night in here kissing, but I also suspect she’ll be ticked if we don’t get out of here before the clock.

I separate, even though my skin is buzzing, and my blood is humming. And I’d really like to do that again. Stat.

She blinks. “Wow, now my head is foggy. I don’t know if I can concentrate.”

“I don’t know if I can either. But you know what I like more than kissing you?”

“I can’t believe there’s anything you like more than kissing me,” she pouts.

I loop a hand around her hip, my thumb stroking against her. “I like getting to know you.”

She practically purrs. “Herb, let’s get the hell out of here, go to a diner, and get to know each other more.”

We work, solving the final clue when we position all the mirrors in the room so that they’re shining into the portrait’s eye. As soon as they do, his eye works like a laser, then opens the door to the escape room.

We laugh and tumble out of the warehouse. The gamemaster tells us that was one of the fastest times that two people have actually executed an escape.

“Guess we had something we wanted outside of the room,” I say, glancing at Olivia, who smiles back at me. We want to keep getting to know each other.

I thank the man and turn down the street, reaching for her hand.

She links her fingers through mine.

And am I ever glad I’m moving beyond the past.

Maybe this is insta-like. Heck, maybe it’s insta-falling. But screw it. I’m feeling it everywhere.

We wind up at a nearby diner ordering burgers, French fries, and iced tea, and talking. We both agree Madison Square Park is our favorite park in the city, declaring the bench near the MetLife Building a great spot for kissing, then I tell her I like rock, and while she prefers pop, we agree we can coexist on the music front, since everything else is in sync.

Oh, and we also manage to squeeze in some diner kisses. She slides over to my side of the bench, and I wrap an arm around her shoulders, then bring her in close. As kisses go, this one is relatively chaste. We don’t want to lose our diner privileges, after all. But the thoughts rushing through my head as I rope my hand in her hair and brush my lips to hers are anything but innocent. When I seal my mouth to Olivia’s, I’m not only savoring this connection, I’m imagining where it’ll lead to the next time, and the next. I’m picturing more nights, and dates that last well past midnight, and wind up in bed, tangled up together, sheets twisted, skin hot.

And the mornings too.

I’d like to wake up next to her.

I’d like to have breakfast with her.

I’d like to walk her home.

Holy hell, is this insta-something?

I’ve never been bitten by that bug before, but I’m feeling it now.

This woman and I—we just click.

And I don’t want to play games.

We kiss and we chat until we close the place down.

At the end, it feels like we’ve been on three dates.

“Does this kind of feel like we’ve already hit the trifecta of three great dates?” I ask.

“It kind of does.”

“And each one has been better than the last.”

“They’re all so good . . . it’s almost as if it’s too good to be true,” she says, her tone light and breezy.

I stop, tug on her hand, and pull her flush against me. “But it’s real.” My voice is serious.

“It is?” Her tone is pocked with nerves. She looks unsure.

I nod, then cup her cheek and kiss her lips once more, savoring her taste, learning the flavor of her kiss, taking mental snapshots of how she feels in my arms.

Like she’s giving herself to me.

And it’s entirely what I want.

One freaking date, and I’m sold.

Yup, I’ve been bitten, and I don’t want the antidote. I just want more.

“It’s not too good to be true,” I say as we break apart.

“Are you sure?” She seems even more flummoxed.

“I’m sure,” I say, squeezing her hand. “Besides, who are we to argue with Evie?”

She laughs, but it sounds forced.

“Let me walk you home.”

“Okay,” she says, her pep and sass nowhere to be found.

That’s okay. I’ll provide the pep for two.

Tags: Lauren Blakely Romance