The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 88

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I nodded.

“Do you still want me—”

“Always,” I said, not needing to hear anything more.

That rare, full smile of his appeared, and I melted like snow on the first warm winter day. And then he was stripping off the rest of his clothing.

I should look away. Wasn’t that the polite thing to do? But I couldn’t. And I didn’t think Luc wanted me to, either.

Even with just the light of the candles, I got an eyeful of everything. It felt like my skin had been heated with the Source, just like the water. This wasn’t the first time I’d seen him, but it felt like it, because there was a certain awareness that throbbed between us, full of sharp anticipation and bone-deep yearning.

I started to scoot forward, but Luc’s hand on my cheek stilled me. He tilted my head back as he knelt on the outside of the tub, kissing me.

“Let me wash your hair first,” he said when he lifted his head.

“You don’t have to.” My blood trilled. “It was just a ploy.”

“To get me naked?”

Grinning, I nodded. “It worked.”

“It did.” The pitcher ended up in his hand. “But I want to do this. It’ll give me time.”

“For what?” I watched him from my curled position, still keeping myself from being exposed. It seemed fairer now since the wall of the tub hid all of Luc’s interesting bits.

“So I don’t end up embarrassing myself.”

It took me a moment to realize what he meant, and when I did, all I could whisper was a soft Oh. Despite all of Luc’s experience and his playfulness, this could be his first time.

It could be our first time.

Luc was quiet as he set about washing my hair, taking his time. I’d never had anyone wash my hair. Or at least I hadn’t remembered it, and I didn’t think I’d like it, but instead of feeling coddled, I felt … loved. He was careful not to tangle his fingers in my hair, and he warmed each fresh pitcher of water, making sure none of the suds or the conditioner ran down my face but into the container he’d brought in so that we wouldn’t be soaking in the water used to wash my hair. I honestly wouldn’t have thought of that.

“Thank you,” I said.

“You don’t have to thank me.”

“I just did, and I think I’m now spoiled and I’m going to forever demand that you wash my hair. You’re really good at it.”

“It’s not my first time. I used to wash your hair when you were sick.”

Why was I still surprised to hear that? I watched him refill the pitcher, placing it on the ledge of the tub. God, he would’ve had to have been fourteen or younger, and something like that seemed like a simple gesture, but it required a level of maturity and intuitiveness that I knew even most adults lacked. Luc was, surprisingly, a care—

He rose without warning, and my eyes widened. This time I did look away, because goodness, he was …

Every inch of him was beautiful.

Because I had no sense of propriety whatsoever, I peeked over at him. His back was to me as he dipped his head over the sink, wetting his hair. Then he added some shampoo. That was all. No conditioner. Within five seconds, he’d washed his hair out in the sink, no worry about tangles and knots the size of my fist.

Such a dude—a dude with a lovely backside.

He was turning back to me, and I averted my gaze. “You going to join me now?” I asked, hoping my request sounded mysterious and sexy, and not as high-pitched and squeaky as it did to my own ears.

“Nothing in this world could stop me,” he replied. “Not even a marching band. They’d just get an eyeful of my goodies and have to deal with it.”

“Goodies?” Laughing, I scooted forward. The water lapped at my back as he stepped into the tub behind me and sat. I was trying to play it cool, but I felt as if I were seconds away from a heart attack. “They’d probably enjoy their eyeful.”

“You did.”

Smiling, I dropped my forehead to my knee. “I can’t deny that.”

“I wouldn’t want you to.” His legs slid against my hips, the hair along his calves sending a riot of shivers through me.

Taking a deep breath, I lifted my head and leaned back just enough that my front was no longer plastered to my legs. He touched first the center of my back and then brushed my wet hair over one shoulder. A heartbeat passed, and I felt just the tips of his fingers on my waist. A moment later, his lips touched the nape of my neck. I bit down on my lip as I reached back, curling my fingers around his hands. I guided them forward as I uncurled my legs and straightened.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance