Also he hadn’t thought ahead to the landing problem coming out headfirst, so there was an awkward moment when he nearly took a dive out face-first before he managed to right himself.
He stared at the damn fire escape and then rattled it. It held and he blew out a breath. “You’ve fucking lost it,” he told himself as he began to climb.
He passed the second floor and began to sweat. He was outright shaking as he counted each story off to himself to keep his sanity. “Three.” He held his breath and kept going. “Four.”
Finally, level with the roof, he made the mistake of looking down. “Fuck. Five. Fuck.” He had to force himself up and over the ledge, and flopped gracelessly to the rooftop.
Willa turned her head at the sound of a body hitting the rooftop, wide-eyed at the sight of Keane flat on his back like the bones in his legs had just dissolved.
“Keane?” she asked in disbelief.
He didn’t move, just lay there with his eyes closed, breathing erratically. “Yeah?”
She’d been sitting here alone contemplating her life and watching the occasional glimpses of the moon through the slivers of clouds streaking across the midnight black sky. The moonlight did strange things to the world, leeching out the color so that everything seemed like nothing more than a web of shadows cast in silver. Maybe she’d hit her head when she’d taken a header out of the bathroom window.
But then again, she’d rarely thought clearly while operating under high stress. And it seemed at the moment, she wasn’t the only one.
Keane finally spoke again. “What the hell?”
“What the hell what?”
“What the hell are we doing on the damn rooftop?”
“I come up here when I want to be alone,” she said, emphasis on alone. But then she took in the sheen of perspiration on his face, the way his chest was rising and falling like he’d just run a marathon. “Are you afraid of heights?”
“No,” he said, still not moving a single inch.
“No?” Her gaze was glued to his lips, the ones she wanted hers on again now that she was thinking about it.
“No, I’m not afraid of heights.” He paused. “I’m terrified of them.”
This ripped a laugh right out of her. Her own troubles momentarily forgotten, she leaned over his big, long, tough body, the one she dreamed about at night. Every night. “And you still came all the way up here to save me?”
“At the moment, I’m the one that needs saving. Pretty sure I’m going to die of lack of oxygen.”
Still leaning over him, she lowered herself until she nearly-but-not-quite touched him from head to toe. “Don’t worry, I know CPR.”
He kept his eyes closed but his mouth curved. “You’re teasing me. And I’d make you pay for that but I can’t because seriously, dying here.”
Keane both felt and heard her laugh at him as she kissed one corner of his mouth.
“Take it from me,” she whispered. “When facing your worst fears, all you need is something else to concentrate on.” Then she kissed the other side of his mouth.
He liked where this was going. “Like a distraction,” he said.
He opened his eyes. “I like the sound of that,” he said, knowing the logic was more than a little faulty but unable to concentrate with all sorts of dirty, wicked scenarios of how they might “distract” each other playing through his mind. “Maybe I’ve already died and gone to heaven.”
She lifted her head with a smile. “You think this is heaven?”
“You’re touching and kissing me,” he said. “So yeah. I think this is heaven.”
He felt the brush of her hair on his face and then her teeth sank into his earlobe, making him groan. The dilemma—let her continue, or stop her before they took this where she hadn’t intended to go . . .? Before he could decide, her hot, sexy mouth made its way back to his and her hands slipped under his shirt, landing on his abs, her fingers spreading wide.
“You’re hard,” she whispered against his lips. “Everywhere.”
Her fingers danced up, up, up, teasing his nipples for a beat before heading southward, and he stopped breathing.
She shifted and then jumpstarted his heart by straddling him.
“Willa,” he said but she was kissing her way down his throat and he was having trouble drawing air into his lungs. Fisting his hands in her hair, he tugged her face up so he could look into her eyes. “Willa—”
“That’s my name,” she agreed and bit his lower lip, tugging a little bit so that he mindlessly rocked his hips up into hers.
Jesus. He sat up and caught ahold of her hips, tightening his grip to keep her still. “What are we doing?”
“Oh, sorry, I thought you knew.” She took his hands in hers and brought them up to her breasts. “Any further questions?”
She filled his palms perfectly, her nipples pressing through layers of clothing for his attention. Yeah. He was most definitely in heaven.
“I’m ready now,” she said softly.
She had his full attention and he searched her gaze. For the first time he could see her expression clearly and it was filled with heat and need and banked anger.
She was looking to defuse that anger, on him. And he was okay with that. More than. She needed him and God knew he needed her. “Come here,” he said, nudging her even closer, his hands taking over, cupping her breasts, his thumbs rasping over her tight nipples as she let her head fall back, a gasp escaping her.
“More,” she demanded.
“We’re outside, Willa, on the roof. Anyone could come up—”
“No,” she said against his mouth, “that fire escape’s nearly a hundred years old. No one’ll use that rackety old thing but me and the gang, and they’re all in the pub.”
His life flashed before his eyes again. “You mean I could’ve died on that thing? Is that what you’re telling me?”
“You’re in heaven, remember?” Her hands were on the buttons of his Levi’s, popping them open one at a time.
And he was rapidly losing the ability to think rationally. “What if someone uses the inside stairs access?” he asked.