Marston doesn’t lead me to his table but toward the mass of dancing bodies. He pulls me into his arms, his hands slipping from my hips—lower. I can feel the hard length of him through his dress pants. Just holding me turns him on, and I know if he were to slide his hand under my skirt, he’d find the same was true for me.

“Tell me why you came,” he says against my ear. His mouth brushes lightly there, and at first I think it might be an accident, but then his teeth skim across my earlobe and he sucks it into his mouth.

A shiver runs down my spine, and that touch of his mouth undoes me. Reaching up, I thread my fingers into his and roll onto my toes, bringing my mouth to his ear. “I couldn’t stop thinking about you, and I decided it was time to prove to myself that I’d worked you up in my mind to be something you weren’t.”

He dips his head, pressing his hot, open mouth against my neck just below my ear. “Had you?”

I shake my head. “The second I saw you walking toward me, I felt it again.” I try for a second to figure out how I can explain what I mean by that, but he just nods and returns his mouth to my neck.

“Tell me I get you all night.”

“I don’t want to be anywhere but where you are.”

The song is somehow both fast and sultry, and it makes me think of silken sheets and frantic hands, candlelit bedrooms and desperate mouths, of the slide of sweat-slicked bodies and passion. I miss passion. My thighs clench together, and I squeeze my eyes shut.

When he twirls me around, I instantly miss his heat, but then he pulls my back to his front and presses his palm flat against my stomach. This is good too—the hard length of him behind me, the heat of his breath on my neck.

I don’t know what I’m doing here or why I thought seeing him would help me figure out what’s next for me at home, but I can’t regret it. I’ve missed feeling this—adored and beautiful, a way only he has ever made me feel. Maybe it’s as simple as chemistry, but what we have has always seemed more than attraction. Like the stars waiting behind the clouds. Like the promise of the sunrise after a long night. Like the sea rolling into the shore. Inevitable. Fated.

When the song ends, I step out of his arms. My whole body is tense with need, but it’s a delicious kind of torture, and I’m not in any rush for it to end.

He nods to the table. “Drink?”

“Yes,” I breathe, relieved to break the intensity of this moment.

We return to our booth to find all the food has been cleared away. Alec and Savvy are huddled together on one side. Alec notices us first, but doesn’t bother putting any space between himself and my friend.

I catch Savvy’s eye. “You two having fun?”

She grins. “Of course.” The music’s louder than it was when we left, and she has to shout to be heard. “Why would we choose anything else when fun’s a choice?”

Marston holds my hand as he slides into the booth, pulling me in beside him and wrapping an arm around me. Savvy’s eyes track the movement, and her smile stretches wider.

“Savvy’s never played at a blackjack table before,” Alec says, leaning toward Marston.

“Only the computer,” she says with a shrug.

“You’d love it,” I say, smiling. “Do you want me to take you to the casino?”

Savvy shakes her head and waves me off. “Alec’s going to take me. I’m sure you two will be okay here,” she says with a wink. “Text me if you need me.”

“Same,” I say, reaching out to squeeze her hand.

Savvy climbs out of the booth, Alec behind her, then stops suddenly. “But first, let me see the new shoes.”

I scoot to the edge of my seat and stick out one foot.

She groans, hand to her chest. “Those are fucking hot, girl.”

“Marston bought them for me.” I throw a smile over my shoulder for the man in question. “Even though I told him not to.”

“You lucky bitch!”

“She deserves it,” he says.

Alec slides his arms around her, pulling her back to his front and whispering something in her ear that makes her grin.

“Shoe shopping and then the casino,” Savvy announces. She waves goodbye with a wiggle of her fingers.

“Behave!” I call after her.

“Don’t behave!” she calls in return.

“I think Alec is smitten,” Marston says.

I shift around so I’m looking at him. “I hope so. Savvy deserves a night with a guy who treats her like a queen. She hasn’t had enough of that in her life.”

Marston quirks a brow. “What will you think if Alec takes her shopping and buys her shoes, designer clothes, and jewelry?”