Once I know that for sure, I can let down my guard.
I can tell Sanniyah is taken aback, but any attempts I might have made to explain why I am acting strangely are lost to me the minute her lips touch mine.
The minute her lips touch mine, I am a man possessed.
I knew they would be soft. I knew she would taste sweet. I knew all of this instinctually, just like I knew her moans would drive me insane. The moment I hear her let loose and sigh against me, I knew I had to make her make that sound again and again and again.
The good thing about Benson is that he doesn't let anything distract him from his job. He flies the helicopter and doesn't look back into the cabin at all. But I think he knows what I am doing, because the ride out to Annika is taking a lot longer than it normally should. I feel a slight shift under me as we bank and I realize he is circling.
Good man. I need to give him a raise.
Sanniyah's eyes are wide and bright, and her breath is coming in shallow, heaving gasps that do amazing things to her perfect, caramel colored tits. They are teasing me, hidden away as they are underneath that no-nonsense black dress. I mean to have that dress lying in a puddle on the helicopter floor in a second. My fingers itch to shove her panties aside and let my tongue dance into her wetness.
But then Sanniyah groans, arching herself away from me. The shining hunger leaves her eyes and she blinks like she is awakening from a drugged sleep. "Carter..." she says, and her voice is an apology.
I swallow back a rush of frustrated desire. "Are you okay?" I ask instead.
"The pilot," she whispers, darting her eyes towards Benson.
I sigh and pull back, plopping next to her. She doesn't know Benson like I do. He's been approached at least a million times by the tabloids to sell his stories and every time he comes directly to me. The man is loyal to a fault, even though their offers keep getting more and more lucrative. I match their offers every time. Loyalty is one thing, but cold hard cash is an even more effective way to buy silence. "I can wait," I tell her instead. "I don't plan on rushing, tonight."
Sanniyah smiles softly and it is so damn beautiful I feel my heart stop. "I thought you don't plan, period," she says.
"Ah, you were listening?"
"I'm really good at it. Part of the job and all."
"Well how about this." I lean in, brushing an escaped strand of hair behind her ear and bringing my lips close to it. She shivers and I swear it sends a shockwave directly to my groin. I want to make her do that again too. "Listen to what I'm saying. Are you listening?"
She nods, and bites her lip.
"Tonight I'm going to feed you dinner. Watch you eat. And then?"
I pause deliberately, unable to finish my sentence. I can see her heart beating rapidly under her skin. I am as hard as a diamond.
"And then?" she prompts.
"I'm going to watch you eat. And then I'm going to watch your face while I eat you."
She flushes over her whole body, her caramel skin suddenly scalding to the touch. I can see her squirming and I know the idea appeals to her. I make a mental note to send my sister an extravagant gift for having the good sense to hire Sanniyah Jones to plan her wedding.
She squirms again. "I wasn't...I wasn't sure...that you..." she clears her throat and looks me in the eye again. "Let me try that again," she says, tossing her head, and my mind is filled with thoughts of how her neck tastes. "I wasn't sure you liked me, Carter. You were so...formal."
"Ah." I lean back. Benson is slowing as we hover over Annika Island before our descent. I am almost in my safe haven. My thoughts are consumed with Sanniyah and the image of her naked body spread out before me. I swallow, hard, then laugh lightly. "I guess I'm old-fashioned."
She laughs loudly. "Hardly." Her hand rests on my thigh. "You don't strike me as a gentleman."
I place my hand over my heart. "Why, I'm insulted," I feign shock, then grab her hand and deliberately move it up my leg. She is laughing and blushing in an instant and I am saved from having to explain my paranoia. She doesn't need to know that I am crazy. She doesn't need to know she is dealing with a broken man.
This strawberry torte is divine.
This wine is entirely too drinkable.
It is just us, on the deck above the bay. The waves are shushing against the shore like they want the whole world to quiet down so we can be alone. There is no noise except the clink and scrape of my fork as I try to gather every last delicious morsel. I take another sip of the wine, letting the nectar slip like honey down my throat, and I watch Carter watch the ocean.
He is gorgeous. I'm half drunk on the wine and completely drunk on him.
He sets his plate down on the table between us and points to where he was looking. "Down there, right? Right on the beach?"
I lean forward, uncertain of what he means until it clicks that he is talking about Camilla's wedding. I banish the lascivious thoughts of what he could have meant and nod.
"That's what I pictured the minute I first came here," I agree. "The weather in October should be perfect."
"What do you think of decorations?" he asks me, cocking an eyebrow.
I lean back in my deck chair and consider as I balance the dessert plate on my lap. "You really don't need much," I say. "The surroundings are enough."
"I was imagining fairy lights in the trees," Carter says
I press my lips together. "Fairy lights are a little...cliche," I tell him, "I mean, in my professional opinion." I lick the last few crumbs of the strawberry torte off my fork. Carter's is watching me, the heat of his gaze threatening to set me ablaze.
"Your professional opinion?" he echoes, with his eyebrows raised.
There it is, that hunger again. I see it in his eyes, dimly lit by the dancing torchlight and I am instantly on fire.
"Yes," I say primly, arching my back like I am stretching. His eyes go right to my breasts. "Professional." I set my plate down firmly.
"I think I've had enough of professional for one evening," he growls. His eyes move up to my lips and rest there, blatantly. He watches them, and I see him bit his own lip in reply. "Remember what I told you in the helicopter?"
I am panting in an instant. "Yes," I answer.
"You were listening?"
"Tell me what I said."
"You said," I swallow hard. "You said you were going to watch me eat."
I gulp. "And then you were going to eat me," I whisper.
"I hope you are done eating."