She stares at me inquisitively. “And am I licking it off now? Or are you?” Her tone is purely coy, thoroughly playful.

This time, I swipe off the cream, and before either of us can say a word, she grabs my finger and licks it off me, humming around the tip.

Holy fuck.

Vanessa swirls her tongue, licking and, dare I say, simulating, and also stimulating, as she gives me one snug, tight suck and a flick of her tongue, as if she’s letting me know what she’d like to do.

I’m starting to get some answers to my questions.

More than starting.

I want more of this woman. Pretty sure I want all of her. The question remains, what does she want from me?



Well, that escalated quickly.

It’s not as if I asked Shaw to the cabin to seduce him with whipped cream, and I definitely didn’t buy it for that purpose. I’m not even into food play.

And yet I completely wanted his finger in my mouth. When I get near him, I want him madly.

Most of the time, there’s a built-in barrier between us. A sex blockade in the presence of other people. I haven’t been alone with him in ages, and that’s made it easy, relatively speaking, to ignore the ache inside me.

Now that it’s only the two of us, my want is like a parrot on my shoulder, squawking, demanding crackers. Yes, Polly, I want a Shaw cracker too.

I grab my mug like it’s a shield so I can sort out my thoughts. “It’s snowing harder.” Grasping that excuse to snag a little space, I head to the living room, set the mug on the coffee table, and march to the window. Outside, the snow falls faster, heavier. I point to the white carpet blanketing the ground. “Look! I think we’re here for a little while.” The thought of being stuck with him tonight is both nerve-wracking and thrilling.

Will it last all night?

I grab my phone from the coffee table to check the weather app.

“What’s the report?” he asks as he walks over from the kitchen.

I shrug. “No service, but I’m not surprised. It tends to be pretty spotty at the best of times. I managed to get a signal at the end of the driveway when I called you earlier.”

After putting his cup on the table too, he joins me at the window, his shoulder nearly touching mine. “Then the Shaw Keating Amateur Meteorologist Report says . . . it sure looks like it’s going to snow all night.”

But does he want it this way? Does his parrot want a cracker too? Does he even have a parrot for me?

I try to keep the mood light, easy, and bird-free. “That’s Tahoe for you. One minute it’s sunshine and smiles, the next it’s snowstorms.”

He stares through the glass at the sky. “Bet it’s going to last the whole day.”

My eyes stray to the clock above the mantel. It’s nearly eight. “The whole night is more like it.”

He turns his face, his gaze catching mine. His eyes darken, his voice deepens. “Looks like we’ll have to figure out how to pass the time.”

My throat goes dry. Is he saying what I think he’s saying? Or is he flirting like the gold medalist flirt he’s been my whole life? “We have board games,” I blurt out. “That’s what you do in a cabin to pass the time, right?”

A grin seems to tug at his lips. “Absolutely. Break out Monopoly. Bring on Chutes and Ladders. Let’s go crazy with Candy Land.”

I tilt my head, giving him a sharp stare. “Do you think I don’t know you’re teasing?”

He holds up his hands in surrender. “I love Candy Land. I swear. Let’s play it after we finish the most amazing hot chocolate ever.”

“Fine. Hot chocolate and Candy Land it is.”

I wish it were hot chocolate and kisses . . . kisses and stripping . . . stripping and hot, sweaty fireplace sex . . . hot, sweaty fireplace sex and promises.

But Candy Land it’ll be for now.

We move to the couch. He’s quiet at first as he reaches for his mug. “It’s a damn good thing we have hot chocolate as well. To pass the time.”

“Try it first. But if you don’t like my special hot chocolate, we can never be friends again,” I say, feeling the need to emphasize our friendship, perhaps so I can figure out if that’s where he still is. Just because I sucked on his finger like it was his dick doesn’t mean anything more will come of it. After all, we’re whiling away the hours drinking cocoa, not licking whipped cream from each other’s navels.

But when I say “friends,” he looks like he’s chewing on the word and it tastes like kale to him.

When I chew on the word, it tastes a little like guilt.

Tags: Lauren Blakely Romance