He pulled back to look at her, seeking a glimpse of the passion on her face. When his eyes met hers, he felt the punch in his gut, the connection that defied one night of sex. And when he did start to move, to make love to her, passion expanded that look, that emotion. A gripping sensual rhythm quickly built, until they were crazy with kissing each other, rocking and pumping, both trying to get closer, to get more of each other. And when they eventually collapsed together, Sam pulled her into his arms and held her. They lay like that for a long while, her head on his shoulder, her hand on his chest.

Sam turned to his side to face her, and she did the same, curling her hand under her head like a pillow. “Tell me more about the town you grew up in,” he prodded, wanting to learn everything about her.

She laughed. “We’re naked and you want to hear about the town I grew up in? They’d be appalled that we’re laying here naked and having a conversation, I can tell you that for sure. Apart from that there’s really nothing to tell.”

“How do your parents feel about you scoring a national television show?”

“I don’t talk to them about it,” she said. “We decided years ago that it was the only way we could handle my decisions.”

“You can’t mean they don’t approve of the show?”

Immediately, he could sense the tension in her. Sam reached over and brushed her hair out of her eyes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.”

She wet her lips and looked at him. “I know you didn’t. And every time I tell myself I don’t care what they think, that their opinion of me doesn’t hurt, something happens and it does again.”

“They really think what you’re doing is bad?”

She nodded. “Yes. They do.”

Sam took her into his arms. “Well, all I see is a beautiful, successful woman, who inspires me with how she charges after her dreams. Albeit, a little bossy, but I apparently like that in a woman.”

She smiled and kissed him. “Do you now?”

“Seems that way.”

“Maybe I should test you,” she said, and pushed him to his back, before climbing on top of him. And all Sam could say was please and more. He wanted more.

12

MEAGAN SHOT FROM THE DEPTHS of a hard sleep to a sitting position. Her gaze tracked around the hotel room—Sam. Where was Sam? Gone. He was gone, and for reasons she was too groggy and panicked over to fully grasp. The realization twisted her stomach into knots. And, oh God, what time was it? And where was the ringing phone?

She scrambled across the mattress that smelled of musky male sensuality and grabbed for the phone, her legs twisted in a sheet. Under said sheet she was naked. She’d been very naked, and very happy being naked, with Sam. Who, she was reminded again, was gone. And she really didn’t want to know what time it was, considering the prospect of being late to set was very real at this point.

She grabbed for the receiver and it fell. She cursed and yanked the cord, bringing the receiver to her ear. “Hello?”

“Wake-up call, sweetheart.”

“Sam.” His voice did funny things to her knotted stomach. “What time is it?” She reached for the clock at the same moment that he said, “Five-fifteen. You have forty-five minutes to be on set.”

Samantha meowed loudly.

He chuckled. “I hear the cat. She wants to be fed as badly as I’m betting you want to go back to sleep.”

“Please tell me no one saw you leave.”

“No one saw me leave.”

“You’re—”

“Absolutely positive, which is why I left when it was still a ghost town, when I honestly wanted to stay in bed with you.”

A memory of him curled around her, spooning, flashed in her mind. It was the last thing she remembered. She’d told herself she’d only lay there a minute and then she’d get up, she’d send him away, but she hadn’t wanted to send him away. She’d wanted him to stay.

“Although,” he added, “you do snore.”

“I do not snore!” She scooped up the meowing kitten who was trying to climb up onto the bed, and put her on the bedspread.

“You now have forty-one minutes until set, and a hungry, loud kitten on your hands.” His voice softened. “And yes. You do snore. I guess I’ll have to record you next time to prove it.”

Next time? Next time. He’d said next time. “Sam—”

It was too late. He’d hung up.

* * *

FOUR HOURS LATER, Meagan still hadn’t seen Sam, and she hated how much she pined for when she would. But she’d managed to get enough footage of the contestants and hotel, which the curse had forced them into, to head to the editing room at the rehearsal studio. She’d told everyone to rest. They’d practice at the rehearsal studio again the next morning.


Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Stepping Up Romance
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