Elijah rounds the desk with loose steps, picking up the first frame and studying it in the darkness. “Where did you get these?”
Pleasure steals through my blood at the awe in his voice. “I stole the key to your storage locker.” You sound like a pathetic lovesick goober monkey. “They were right on top. I didn’t even have to dig.”
“You lying little Goose. I didn’t have time to label boxes or categorize when I packed everything up. These must have been spread out and buried.” He sets down the frame and begins to sift through the bag, taking out a few more framed photos. Don’t notice how his lip tugs at the right corner. Don’t notice how sexy and rumpled and huge he is. My lungs are starting to ache from holding my breath when Elijah looks up. “You weren’t going to take credit for this, were you? If I hadn’t caught you.”
I don’t answer.
“Thought so.” With a frown, he leaves the framed photos in a stack on the desk and roots through the remaining ones. “There are none of us.”
My heart is trying to beat inside a jar of honey. It’s all slow and sugary and thick. I shouldn’t have had so much to drink. The last time I drank liquor…I was probably imbibing from the same bottle of Grey Goose I offered Elijah outside the church. My thoughts all have a pining quality to them. Is he staring at me? Is he laughing at my jokes? And holy hell, I just want to be touched. Ever since he whispered in my ear back in the conference room about hair cuts and snowman buttons, my thighs have felt restless beneath my dress. I’m unsatisfied.
Months of existing around this sexy, earthy, heroic, sexy man have rendered me useless where I stand. I’m bust. I can feel the bad decision manifesting before I’ve even made it. The alternative to not following my impulse is more suffering, though. More brushing against Elijah in the kitchen and mentally begging him to drop the spatula and kiss me to no avail.
If I can make it through tonight, there’s a good chance I’ll be fine in the morning. Well, not fine. But more capable of withstanding this never-ending yearning. The need.
Right now, though? With him frowning over having no pictures of us? The hunger is rampant and the bourbon is giving me permission to do something I would never consider in the light of day. Never. Not when the potential consequence is losing Elijah.
Don’t think of that, whispers the liquor heating my blood.
“Well…” I stop to clear the rasp from my voice. “If there’s no picture of us together, we should take one.”
“Good idea.” He crooks his finger at me, unwittingly sealing his fate. “Come here.”
I put my jacket on downstairs when I thought we were leaving, but I take it off now, simply letting it fall. “I want you in the mayor’s chair.”
His eyes stray to my pooled jacket, then tick to mine. “You what?”
“In the picture. I want you sitting in the chair.”
“Oh. Right.” He slides out the brown leather, high-back executive chair and drops into it. “What about you?”
My bravery slips. Whose wouldn’t? This powerful, gorgeous man sits before me, outlined by the city he’s been elected to run. His thighs are thicker than my waist, his sleeves caught up around his elbows. A strong man. A man of conviction who will not be seduced unless he really wants to be.
Or is driven out of his mind and can’t resist.
Before I can second-guess myself, I move between his outstretched thighs and ease myself onto his lap. “Addison.”
I send him an innocent look over my shoulder. “Yes, Captain?”
His chest rises and falls. Once. Twice. “Take the picture.”
The fact that I’m playing with fire stops psyching me out…and begins to excite me. Maybe it’s the gravel in his tone…or the big fists that come to rest on the desk. No…it’s definitely the way he presses his nose to my hair and inhales. As if I’m not going to notice. But I do. I do and it makes me braver. Makes me throb between my legs.
“The picture, Addison.”
“Sorry.” I lean across the desk where I set my purse, taking my time digging through to find my cell before pulling it out, searching for the camera app. All the while, his muscles bunch beneath me, harder and harder…and that’s when I feel it. His erection lifts under my backside, so thick and glorious, I bite my lip to stop from crying out. I want to, though. I want to sob at the proof that he’s physically attracted to me and at least I have that much.
My hands are shaking as I lift the camera, my instincts screaming at me to grind down. Elijah’s breath is pelting the back of my neck. Other than that he’s completely still, though. But when I flip the camera around to selfie mode and get my first look at his face, there isn’t a jury on the planet that would rule him unaffected. His eyes are closed, nostrils flared, mouth open against my hair. “You’ve got five seconds,” he says. “Take it, or—”