“I can feel you staring at me. Still pissed?” He finally looks up, those deep brown eyes meeting mine, filled with amusement, the smile stretching into a full-on grin, and I can’t help but smile at him in return.
“Why can’t I stay mad at you?”
“I don’t know. My irresistible ways?” He raises his brows, making me laugh.
“Not so sure about that. We seem to argue a lot.” The laughter fades. I don’t know how I feel about that particular fact. It’s disconcerting, how easily we fall into an argument and then into each other’s arms. I’ve never experienced anything like it before.
“They call it passion,” he says.
I go completely still. “What?”
“What’s happening between us. It’s called passion.” His smile fades and he leans across the table, his voice lowering. “You get mad at me and then you want to kiss me and then you’re yelling at me and then … we’re fucking. Passion.”
He makes it sound so simple. But it’s not. It feels terribly complicated. “Passion,” I repeat.
“Yeah.” He shrugs, as if it’s no big deal. Which, of course, infuriates me.
“Have you ever experienced this with someone else?” I ask. That has to be the reason for his total nonchalance over it. He talks of passion like it’s nothing special, while I sit here filled with it. I feel like a bottle of Champagne that’s been shaken up so much the cork is this close to popping across the room and sending half the alcohol shooting out in a white frothy mess.
That’s me. I’m the white frothy mess.
His jaw works and he leans back, as if he needs the distance. “No,” he says, his voice short. And he doesn’t look very happy about it, either.
Pleasure fills me at his admission and I want to say more, but the waitress makes her reappearance with our drinks, setting them in front of us before she takes our dinner order.
“What are you drinking?” he asks after the waitress leaves.
“It’s called a Trafalgar Tease.” I swirl the thin red straw in the glass, mixing everything so I won’t take a sip of straight alcohol.
“I should call you a Trafalgar Tease,” he says, his voice deepening in that way of his that makes me think of naked skin and twisted sheets and sex.
“Why?” I pluck the cherry out of the drink and pop it into my mouth, the tart sweetness spurting all over my tongue as I chew.
“There are a few reasons.” His gaze is locked on my lips, and my breasts grow heavy the longer he stares. “First, for the way you just ate your … cherry.” Okay, that sounded incredibly dirty. “And second, for the fact that you’re not wearing panties. Again.”
I swallow the cherry. “How do you know?”
“I caught a peek up your dress when you were climbing the stairs.” He flashes this wicked, one-sided, closed-mouth smile that makes everything inside of me go fluttery and weak. “Like you didn’t do that on purpose.”
“I didn’t.” I had no idea that he was looking up my skirt. Though I should’ve known.
“And then there’s the way you were grinding your ass against my cock in the elevator.” He shakes his head but he doesn’t look mad. No, he looks very, very pleased. “You were just daring me to lift your skirt and fuck you right there, weren’t you?”
“N-no.” Oh God, I’m stuttering. He’s saying these things so casually, all while we’re surrounded by plenty of people. The rooftop restaurant is crowded. I can hear the chatter, the laughter, the clinking of glasses and silverware against plates, but it all fades as we continue to stare at each other. Until I feel like Caden and I are the only two people in this restaurant, in this city, in this country.
He leans back in his chair, looking every inch the casual playboy hell-bent on seducing me. Though it wouldn’t be much of a seduction. I’d give in too easily and he knows it. Whatever he wants to do to me, I’ll take it. And I’ll enjoy it. Because he’s not a selfish lover, oh no. He makes sure I get my pleasure.
Lots and lots of pleasure.
“I think I’ll make an attempt when we leave,” he declares as he grabs his beer and drinks straight from the bottle despite the glass the waitress left for him.
“An attempt at what?” My mind is awhirl with all sorts of … things. I can’t keep up with the conversation and I feel a bit of a wreck.
“Fucking you in the elevator.” He takes another swig. “Don’t give me that look. You know you want me to.”
He’s right. I do want him to. God, what’s wrong with me?
My throat is dry. Reaching out with a shaky hand, I grab my drink and take a big sip, the sweet liqueur going straight to my head and empty stomach. I feel Caden’s eyes on me and I lift my gaze, my lips still wrapped around the straw, to find him staring at me, his dark eyes filled with hunger.
Slowly I withdraw the straw from my mouth and set the glass on the table, my breath increasing, my skin growing hot. The table we’re sitting at couldn’t be called a table at all, more like a narrow counter attached to the low wall, a candle burning in between us, our chairs sitting next to each other but at an angle. We have the best view in the entire restaurant, straight out over Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery lit up like an elegant beacon in the night. Tons of people still fill the square, spilling all over the stairs that lead to the gallery.