Was it the liquor? The music? The way the lights from the tree twinkled in her brown eyes?

Her gaze drifted upward to the sprig of mistletoe, and she stopped under it, wearing an inviting little grin. I walked to her, accepting her invitation on the spot. “Merry Christmas, Vanessa,” I’d said, then swept my lips over hers.

She’d gasped, a sweet and delicious sound that wove through my entire body. On her lips I tasted gingerbread and champagne, and a little lip gloss too. I’d been buzzed from the drinks, but then it was from the possibilities, from the idea that I could wrap a hand around her waist, jerk her close, and kiss the breath out of her. I could take her upstairs and have her, like I’d always wanted to.

I pressed one more kiss to those fantastic lips. Before I spiraled into a haze of Nat King Cole and her, I forced myself to stop.

I had to get away, or I’d want more than one kiss.

“Merry Christmas,” I’d said, and walked off, the memory of one sweet kiss lingering with me for weeks.

Hell, for years.

But this?

Here in front of the fire? With my hand cupping her jaw, her lithe body warm, and her lips parted?

I’m not walking away. I’m seeing this through.

This is my new favorite kiss, and nothing will top it. I brush my lips over hers, and the taste of her—chocolate and sweetness and that hint of gloss—lights me up.

As our mouths collide, my thoughts go foggy. My body sparks. Electricity shoots through every damn vein, cell, and molecule.

This is the only way to kiss.

No one to find us, not a soul to stumble down the hall. And no one to remind us why we shouldn’t do this.

No one except us, and I’m not issuing that reminder tonight.

Because . . . we should do this.

I hold her tighter and deepen the kiss. My tongue skates over hers, and our lips devour each other.

I heat up everywhere, and it’s not from the flames in the fireplace. It’s from how she responds. From the way she loops her hands around my neck, tugging me closer. She kisses me with a ferocity I’ve dreamed of, with a passion that underscores years.

Like she’s wanted to kiss me for ages.

My God, that’s what I’ve wanted—to know how she feels under my touch. Our lips explore each other’s desperately, like we’re running out of time, running out of air. But we don’t care. We need this.

The temperature in me ratchets to the sky as I claim her mouth with mine. Her hands thread into the back of my hair. Like a desperate woman, she jerks me closer.

I’m a desperate man, and I want us to be as close as possible. But this position isn’t going to work much longer, me on my knees, her slinking under me—it’s good, but I’m about to topple over, so I slide her down to the floor.

She moans, opening her legs for me. I groan, a carnal growl. I don’t think I can stop groaning, because . . . holy fuck. Vanessa Marquez is arching her back and rocking her hips into me in front of the fireplace, and I’m in my perfect dirty heaven, even though we have clothes on.

Stupid clothes.

But hell if I’m breaking this connection. This mind-blowing, skin-sizzling connection as our bodies grind faster. Her fingers twist in my hair, tugging and pulling, and her noises—they grow louder, more insistent. Like desperate pleas.

I kiss harder. I can’t stop kissing her, can’t stop wanting her.

I rub against her, and my hard-as-stone dick announces all its plans. Get inside her. Feel her warm heat wrapping around my length.

With that image in mind, I press my hard-on right there, where she wants me. Instantly, she moans, swiveling her hips. Push, grind, press, groan. We’re dry-fucking.

Which is awesome, but also not the endgame.

I need real fucking, and this woman needs it too.

I pull back and look at her face, her hazy, sex-drunk eyes. Finally, at last, I say the words that have spun on my tongue for years. “I want you so fucking much, Vanessa. I want you now. I want to make you feel so good. That’s how I want to pass the time with you.”

Her lips part in a sensual yes, then she says something in Spanish, practically purring the foreign words.

I laugh. “You’re going to need to translate.”

She yanks me closer, gazes into my eyes, and whispers, “I said, ‘I’ve never wanted anyone like this.’”

Did I say nothing would top that kiss?

I was wrong. Because everything keeps getting better and better.

Like right now.

I kneel and tug off my sweater to find she’s the fastest undresser in the West. The second my T-shirt’s off, she’s tossed her sweater on the couch, and is unhooking her bra.

My brain short-circuits, but even as the wires fry, I retain some semblance of rational thought. And I need a moment.

Tags: Lauren Blakely Romance
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