She moaned and arched into him, seeking more of the warmth and hardness that was so very Sam, so very right. Yet she’d have sworn he was wrong. And he was wrong for her. He was, in fact. He would be trouble but he didn’t feel like trouble. Not now. Not in this moment. Okay, maybe in this very moment, she did, because she needed him. Her hands traced the rippling muscle of his shoulders.

A low growl escaped his lips, and he pulled her closer, one hand sliding up her back, molding her against his chest. His hand caressed her thigh, under her skirt. His tongue delved deeply, caressing hers in another long, lavish tasting that had her feeling it in all the places he wasn’t touching, but she wanted him to be.

“You smell good,” he murmured, kissing her jaw, and along to her neck. “Like vanilla and flowers. It’s driving me crazy. I know we need to go see that house, and this is not the place for this, but I’m struggling to let you go.”

The words, the gruff aroused tone of his voice, overtook her. She didn’t want to let him go, either. She didn’t want to think about why they shouldn’t do this. “Then don’t,” she whispered, and barely had the words out before they were kissing again. A blur of passion followed, his hands all over her. Hers all over him. She was on her back, her blouse open, with him on top of her, and she barely remembered how it had happened.

Sam’s phone started to ring and he tore away from her. He cursed softly, echoing the frustration she felt at the interruption. “I have to answer that.”

“I know,” she said, her voice breathless even to her own ears. “Especially since I don’t have my phone.”

“Right,” he agreed, but he didn’t move. “I need to get it.”

She didn’t want him to move. She wasn’t ready to let go of this time they were sharing.

The phone stopped ringing, still he didn’t move. He brushed his lips over hers. “I didn’t mean for this to get so out of control. One minute we were—”

“And the next,” she finished.

He smiled and pulled back to look at her, and the mood shifted, the air thickened. They stared at one another, and Meagan felt their connection in every part of herself. There was something happening between them, something that she’d never felt before, and didn’t understand.

The phone started to ring again and he sighed with the inevitable demand to get up, and then, he did the most unexpected thing. Sam kissed her nose before bringing her with him to sit up.

He reached for his phone on the dash and checked the missed numbers. “It was Josh both times,” Sam said. “He left a voice mail.”

Meagan nodded, but she was still thinking about Sam kissing her nose. It was silly, but there was something about that small act that had her stomach fluttering.

Light flickered behind them, snapping her out of her reverie. Meagan shifted around to see a car pulling into the driveway. “Someone’s here.”

Sam set his phone down. “Per Josh’s voice mail, Kiki insisted that he drive her out here so—”

Meagan didn’t hear the rest. She shoved open the door, desperate to escape their close proximity before Kiki arrived. She tripped, and went tumbling out of the truck.

Sam was there in an instant, but she was already getting up. “Are you okay?”

“No, I am not okay! I’m embarrassed, Sam. I don’t want them to know what just happened. I don’t want them to think badly of either of us.”

“They won’t know.” His gaze slid top to bottom. “Not if you button your shirt.”

Her jaw dropped at the realization. Meagan rushed to fix her gaping shirt, but her fingers were shaking. “I don’t do things like this. I know better. I know they backfire. Sam—”

“Easy, sweetheart,” he said, wrapping her in his arms. “Take a deep breath and we’ll get through this. What happens between us, is between us. No one will know.”

Sweetheart. Why did that endearment sound good now, when it had bothered her before? And why did his vow that everything was going to be okay, calm her? For the first time in years, she’d felt she had her life in the palm of her hand. Neither her parents, nor her ex-boyfriends, who’d tried to control everything from her career to her politics, had control. She had control. Only tonight, she’d let this thing, whatever “it” was, with Sam, take it away from her.

“Stop calling me sweetheart, Sam.”

He held her tighter and kissed her. “Whatever you say. Meg.”

And despite being a nervous wreck over Kiki and Josh’s arrival, the familiar banter with Sam made her laugh, and that laugh had a remarkable impact. Meagan felt just a bit more in control.

Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Stepping Up Romance