“It would have been different. I would have approached it differently.”
“Be careful, that sounds almost—sensitive,” she said, trying to joke.
“I want a do-over. A last kiss when I know it’s the one. The only kiss I’ll ever get to give you,” I said. My heart pounded. I felt an urgency, a blinding need to do this, to kiss her once and for all, to let my mouth, my body tell her everything I couldn’t say.
She nodded, “Okay. That’s fair.”
I felt a flood of relief. I hadn’t expected her to agree. I’d thought I’d have to persuade her, to demand it. So the unfamiliar sensation of gratitude filled me for an instant. Then I flexed my hands, took in a long breath.
“Do you have to prepare yourself?” she said, teasing.
“Maybe. This is going to be the kiss you compare every other kiss to for the rest of your life. So I think we should both be sure we’re ready,” I said, dead serious, seeing the humor in her eyes drain away and become a dark glitter.
I brushed her hair back from her face, taking a moment to memorize the wild, silky mass of her curls as they wrapped around my questing fingers.
I brushed a kiss on her cheek soft as a shadow. She tried to turn her head, press her lips to mine.
“Don’t rush me,” I almost growled.
Nuzzling her ear, the spot just below it, and I felt her arms around me, her hands on my back. I knew she wouldn’t sit there passively, but the pressure of her arms, the clutching of her hands was a powerful sensation. I parted my lips, gave a slow suck on her throat just beneath her ear. Her body bowed to mine in response, fingers digging in on my back from the shock of that.
I kissed her jaw, her chin, making my way to her lips slowly, making her moan a couple of times, even though my hands hadn’t moved south of her hair yet. She was supple and responsive, arching against me, parting her kiss-reddened lips and wanting it from me. It was so hard to keep myself leashed, to go slowly and savor this.
I could have her right now, could take her in the front seat of this car and she’d beg for more. She’d never object. I could spend myself inside of her, sate us both and never have to apologize. She was as hungry, as needy as I was. She would regret it, probably weep over it later. Why did I care about that? I could have what I wanted, what I had a primal drive to finish. It was in my power to take her now, and she’d thank me for it in the moment, feel sorry later, perhaps a little betrayed or taken advantage of. That shouldn’t bother me. Why couldn’t I overlook that? Why couldn’t I just charge ahead and make her mine?
Instead, I did exactly what I’d promised her. I gave her a goodbye kiss to burn down the record books for greatest kisses of all time. If there was such a record book, this would have turned the book to ashes with its passion and fire.
My mouth rocked over hers, locking our lips, clinging, frantic and wistful and achingly slow at the same time.
I wish I could give you more than this, my mouth told her without a word.
Her lips parted, her tongue darted out to touch mine.
My tongue slid inside her mouth, gentle and questing.
I cradled her head in my hands, tender, cherishing, treasuring her in a way I had never imagined holding any woman. The woman I’d wanted to take hard and fast in the front seat of a car, just to get inside her, just to pound her until I came—I was holding her like she was made of porcelain, like she was the most essential thing in the world to me. I could no longer imagine having her anyplace but a bed, an old-fashioned, four poster bed with that red hair fanned out on the pillow as I worshiped every curve of that body.
I kept kissing her, sensual and tender, rocking my tongue into her mouth, in and out, nipping her lips, sipping at them, then going deep with my tongue and making her shake in my hands. I gave her every longing I had, every fantasy I’d had of her, every way I wanted to make love to her, every idea I’d had during that dinner. Kissing her was another place, another planet. Eventually I had to stop, to press her into my arms, kiss her tumbled hair. My heart pounded like I’d run a marathon or climbed a mountain. Which I had. I had kissed her without making love to her.
I pressed her into my chest, let her cling to me, hold on to me for a moment until we could both recover. When she lifted her head, her eyes were bright as if with tears. She leaned up and pressed her lips to mine, our lips clinging to each other, a soft, sweet kiss. Then I got out of the car, opened her door.