She could feel the flush. Frustration merely made it worse. ‘Actually I prefer to think of them as a little different, a little dangerous and definitely desirable.’
His smile sharpened. ‘Definitely,’ he repeated softly. ‘But I still think you’d be better off without them.’
He kept walking and she tried to hold her ground, but as he came right into her space she couldn’t stop her steps back. He followed, and she kept backing until there was nowhere to go unless she was suddenly imbued with the power to walk through walls.
‘What are you doing?’ Did she have to sound so breathless still?
‘I’m the winner. I’m collecting my prize.’
OK, so now she was breathless. ‘We didn’t get round to discussing prizes.’
‘No. So we didn’t.’ He looked thoughtful. ‘I won. I get to choose.’ He grinned—looked as if he’d decided.
‘What does the hero always ask of the princess?’
‘I’m not sure you could be called a hero.’
‘A kiss,’ he declared and didn’t bother to address her point. ‘It’s always a kiss.’
‘I don’t think that’s a good idea, James.’ It was a moment of cool sanity in the heat of her vexation and failure. She refused to let the knot of desire inside uncoil.
His eyes narrowed. ‘There’s no crowd for you to hide behind now. You’re actually going to have to deliver.’
So he was still thinking of the near-miss kiss too. She’d thought of not much else every night since in her apartment with its soulless walls and its big lonely bed. She’d got so close, pulling away like that had left more regret than she’d expected.
He rested his hands on the wall either side of her head. His body a hard plane leaning slightly over hers.
The ambient temperature spiked. Despite her reluctance a wave of want washed over her.
‘This isn’t a good idea,’ she repeated. But she couldn’t quite bring herself to say no.
She couldn’t be sure he’d hear her anyway, he was staring so intently at her mouth, seeming so focused as to be oblivious to everything else.
‘I know,’ he muttered.
Regardless of that admission, he lowered his head. She kept her eyes open so she could see him right up close—the faint darkness on his jaw where his stubble was starting to show, the fringe of thick lashes over those golden lit brown eyes, the fullness of lips.
He too kept his eyes open—barely. Golden lights gleamed beneath his lashes and all she wanted was for them to move closer. He didn’t press his mouth to hers immediately. For a moment that felt like for ever he stood, lips a millimetre from hers, until she was the one who made the first minuscule move—almost unconsciously, a tiny lift to her chin.
At that his tongue flickered out and touched the corner of her mouth. Then his lips descended that last infinitesimal distance. Soft and gentle at first, then any sense of reluctance vanished. In that instant the pressure was harder and the sensations deeper and suddenly it was no sweet, simple kiss but one that was hard and hot and hungry and without end.
Some time ago her eyes had shut, she didn’t know exactly when, but now it was dark and velvety and warm and with every timeless moment she felt herself slipping further under the spell of sensuous desire that he was weaving.
He was good. Oh, yes, he was very, very good.
She thought he was about to pull away so she moved. Pushed fingers through his thick hair, holding him near so she could keep kissing him, keep him kissing her.
Their noses brushed and hers was filled with his clean soapy smell. Her body arched, seeking the strength of his. His hands were still planted on the wall behind her. She wanted him to move them, wanted them on her. She could sense the strength in the arms that made bars—a prison she had no desire to escape from.
She just wanted the bonds to be tighter and right around her.
She arched her body closer to his again, restless and irritated that he was out of reach. His lips left hers, but only so they could press kisses along her jaw and she groaned, not wanting the deep kiss to stop, but at the same time wanting him to explore all of her the way he was now exploring her neck. At the sound he returned to her mouth, his tongue at first toying and then taking. She opened for him and fought back, her fingers twirling through his hair, her tongue twisting round his.
She was unprepared for the sudden slam of his body as he flung forward, melding his body length against hers. The impact was a shock, but one of pure pleasure, forcing from her a cry of surprised delight, followed by a sigh that blatantly asked for more.
She tried to breathe but he was there and taking deeper from her, not giving her the chance to get oxygen —no chance to clear her head. She spread her legs a fraction more and he pushed closer so his hard thigh hit the spot she needed it to.