We Were Once - Page 34

Catching her wrists, I hold them between us. “I’m not going anywhere.”

Holding tight to my shirt like she’ll lose me, she asks. “Are we moving too fast?”

“We can slow down—”

“Sorry,” she says with a light laugh. “I’m nervous. I don’t want you to be a one-night stand.”

“If we’re numbering our dates, this won’t be the first one.”

She tilts her head, amusement reaching her eyes. “How do you figure?”

“I’ve been over here at least seven or eight times. You’ve been to the diner twice. There’s Lucky’s tonight. The Art Gallery. Kline building, and the time I caught you by the water fountain. That’s . . .” I think that’s it. “Am I missing anything?”

With her arms tightening around my neck, she says, “I’m going with thirteen then.”

“Exactly. Technically, this is a thirteen-night stand.”

“Lucky number thirteen.”

“The luckiest.” I don’t say that’s me because I plan to show her tonight. I lean down to kiss her, missing those frenzied kisses.

Pulling back quickly, she presses her finger to my lips. I pretend to bite it, being careful. She says, “It’s never been about the quantity but the quality, and you give excellent quality.”

“I’ll take the compliment. But I want you to remember, this between us may be fast for some, but we set our own pace. So if it feels good and you’re happy, I’m happy. Just say the word if you ever feel otherwise.”

“You make me happy. Also . . .” She kisses my chin. “I’ve never had thirteen dates with anyone.”

“Their loss. My win.”

“Kiss me, Joshua?”

I release her hand to caress her cheek. “It’s all I’ve wanted to do all night.”

“It is?”

“I haven’t stopped thinking about you since I stood outside that door with a delivery.”

Her lids slowly dip down, and the smallest smile, one that seems to exist for me, appears. When she looks up, long lashes tipping near her brow, she breathes a sigh of relief. “Me too.”

Holding her closer, I lean down, closing my eyes, and pressing my mouth to hers. It takes all my willpower to pull back instead of taking this further, though. This time I groan and rest my head against hers.

She whispers, “What’s wrong?”

“I need a sheet.”

“Huh?” Her eyebrows crease just a little and I just want to kiss it away.

“The window. I don’t want anyone watching us.”

“No one’s out there,” she says with a laugh, walking toward it, sliding the jacket down her arms. It falls to the floor, and she reaches for the hem of the top.

“Oh, no, no.” I rush over there, blocking the window with my body.

The shirt is left on as her shoulders shake with her head tilted back in laughter. I say, “Anyway, we can’t do anything with Frankie watching.”

She spies the plant behind my leg, still laughing. “She doesn’t mind, but if it will make you more comfortable, we can move into the bedroom.”

“It will.” I follow her into the dark room.

With the lights off, I walk to the window and look down one side of the street and then the other. It’s a quiet street, considering how close we are to some of the popular hangouts.

She comes to rest against my back, the feel of her chest and her cheek pressed to my skin. I reach an arm around to hold her to me, realizing she’s bare. Turning around, I whisper, “You started without me.” I bend down and lift her up. Our lips meet in fiery passion while her legs wrap around my middle.

Her thighs grip, lifting her higher. The scrape of her nails along my scalp feels so good, but I know it’s not just her nails. It’s her. She feels so good. I can’t do this to her against a wall.

Sliding my hand up her spine, I move to the bed in two big steps and send us toppling over. In a fit of laughter, she says, “That was the twist I didn’t see coming, and so sexy.”

“I’ll show you sexy.” I jump up and then pop the top button of her jeans before pulling them off in one swift motion. “Oh fuck, you showed me.” I rip my jeans down because the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen is lying in front of me, summoning me to bed. Vixen. Goddess. Mine.

By the back collar, I tug my shirt off over my head and drop it as I work my jeans off as fast as I can. She scrambles up toward the headboard, then tucks her legs under the covers.

Once the sheet covers her chest, she rubs the mattress on either side of her, looking proud as a peacock. “Come here, baby,” she purrs with a mischievous grin.

Fuck the jeans. With my ankles still trapped, I dive right the fuck onto that bed and maneuver over her, pinning her to the headboard with a kiss. Kicking at my jeans, I finally free one ankle and shuffle out of the other. Thank fuck.

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