Page 32 of The Dating Proposal

“Why’s that?”

“Because we wouldn’t expect it to happen today . . . now,” I whisper, and her lips part. Her eyes blaze with a desire that matches my own.

“I definitely didn’t think it was going to happen now.” She grabs my face in both her hands and yanks me toward her, and I laugh, loving, absolutely loving, how much she wants this.

But I want to kiss her, not the other way around.

“Let me kiss you,” I say.

She lets go of me, huffs, grumbles, then commands, “Fine, but do it now.”

“If you insist,” I say, cupping the back of her neck.

“I insist.” She shudders, and that’s another thing about McKenna I note and file away. I put it in my drawer of Absolutely Awesome Responses to Kissing.

My lips brush hers, tasting her sweetness, and her want too. She tastes like she’s vibrating, humming with the need to get closer.

She murmurs as I sweep my lips over hers, and that sound sends a jolt of lust down my spine, making me picture all sorts of permutations of that sound and possible next steps—grabbing her hand, taking her out of here, taking her to my place, having my way with her, making her feel so damn good.

Like she deserves.

Like those idiots she’s dated so far could never make her feel.

The thought of other guys even having the chance to kiss her rouses the caveman in me. I ratchet up the kiss, harder, deeper, like I’m telling her with my lips that this could lead to hot, late, dirty nights.

But I know this is only hypothetical, like we’re playing a game.

I know in a bone-deep way we aren’t going there today.

I know today is for first steps, for testing, trying.

Breaking the kiss, I pull away slowly, taking my time so I can register the look on her face. Her eyes are hooded, hazy; her lips are bee-stung and parted.

She’s the image of longing, and I want to take her home.

“So . . .”

“So,” she says, her breath uneven.

My lips curve up in a crooked grin. “That’s what it would be like if we dated.”

“So now we know.”

“Now we know,” I echo.

I know we can’t go there, we got caught up, but I want to know what could happen next, and what the hell this means. Except, I don’t think I’m going to get those answers. Sometimes you have to hit pause in the middle of a game instead of playing on.

That’s what we do when the waitress shows up a few seconds later, asking if we need anything else. We pause, and I tell the waitress just the check, and McKenna and I instantly return to work chatter, talking about how today went.

It’s easier than saying Wow, or Let’s do that again, or So, should we try this thing?

I don’t say those words, nor does she.

Maybe neither one of us knows what we want to happen next.

Correction: I know what I want. I just don’t know if my wishes make any sense.

I ignore them, pasting on my best let’s have fun working together face. “So, Miss Rock Star with the dating answers, any type of questions in particular you want me to find for you to tackle in the next segment?”

She purses her lips, gazes at the ceiling, then seems to find the answer. “I was thinking I could answer questions about how to meet people in real life these days. I can talk about the girls’ night out I have planned for this weekend. We’re going to The Tiki Bar on Fillmore. It’s such an old-school way to meet someone, but I kind of love it and am curious if it still works. And I have a coffee-making class too. I thought it would be a great way to meet new people. And maybe some new guys. Don’t you think it’s a good idea?”

It’s a horrible idea. I swallow past the stone in my throat. “Yeah. Sounds like a great plan.”

“Don’t worry.” She pats my arm and shoots me a sweet, tempting grin. “If we were dating, I’d cancel it.”

I nearly jump on that. My lips and tongue are ready to say Cancel it now.

But I remember Carly and all the shit that went wrong when our plane sputtered to the ground.

A voice in my head says, You have trust issues.

Another voice says, Time to get over them, dickhead.

I’d like to take her out.

I’d love to do this again.

But by the time I’m ready to ask – What if we just went out on a date?— McKenna has moved on to other topics, and I don’t have the chance to reveal how seriously I want her to cancel her class.

Or maybe it’s better I don’t take the chance.

Because I’m not so sure if that’s what she wants me to do.



I should be upbeat.

This is going better than expected.

Tags: Lauren Blakely Romance