Closing time comes a lot faster than I’m prepared for. Self-doubt rears its ugly head and I wonder what possessed me to try and play this game. Damon’s still sitting on his stool, watching me while I go through the motions of cleaning up. Gina’s gone up already, I guess, since she’s disappeared. John keeps giving me looks in his not-so-subtle way, urging me to get the hell out of there. But it’s like my shoes have lead lining the soles.
“Lucia, if you don’t want me to stay, just say so.” Damon’s wearing a wry smile on his lips.
“What are you talking about? Of course I want you to stay.”
He looks pointedly at my hand, still scrubbing the surface of the counter with a rag.
“You’ve been staring into space, cleaning that area for about five minutes now.”
When I look down, it’s as if it’s not really my arm. The movement is foreign, detached. And it’s still moving, though I have no earthly idea why.
Embarrassed laughter bubbles up as I drop the cloth and pull my hand back. With a deep breath, I meet his eyes. Decision made.
“No. Let’s go now.” I search out John and make eye contact. “You’re okay to finish up?”
The look John gives me tells me how stupid that question is and I meet Damon by the door.
“Are you sure?”
I place my hand on his arm. Just sex, I remind myself.
We climb the stairs to my loft without speaking, and with each step my heart pounds harder against my ribs. The beats remind me of a Color Me Badd song from the early nineties. Physically shaking my head to keep I Wanna Sex You Up from taking hold in my thoughts, we reach the top.
Damon’s hand rests in the curve of my lower back, and though it might be considered a way of urging me forward, I get the impression it’s more a matter of contact for him. Almost like he needs to touch me, physically. Like how I need him to touch me.
The keys in my hand don’t want to cooperate and it takes me a second to get the right key in the lock, and another second of fumbling to get the door open. I blame the fact that he leaned forward and inhaled near my hair—I can’t get over how in tune I am to this guy’s movements.
Once the door is open, I holler, “Gina,” but there’s no answer. I walk to the kitchen area and flip the lights on, glancing at her “room.” Her bed’s empty and the bathroom door is open, indicating she’s not in there.
Finding ourselves alone snaps the control I had. Insecurities are ruthlessly squashed as I take in the sight of Damon, politely surveying the apartment. My eyes wander over his broad shoulders, the way his shirt clings to his biceps, how his jeans show off the curve of his as—
He clears his throat and I look up to see his amused expression.
“Are you hungry?” he asks.
Hell, yeah. Somewhere in my lust-clouded brain I realize he’s holding a piece of paper toward me.
“Gina left some food for us in the fridge,” he continues. “I’m not going to ask how she knew I’d be here.”
Oh. He meant actual food. Well, I still have other things on my mind.
I take the note from him and set it on the counter without looking at it. Raising my face, I step closer, reducing the space between us to centimeters. I’m close enough to tell he’s stopped breathing, and my mouth goes dry as I smell his cologne. Clean, masculine, not cloying like some men’s fragrances. A twitch in his neck catches my attention and I lean forward to run my tongue along the area where his pulse races.
“Mmmm…” I hum as I savor the feel of him.
I don’t get much of a taste before his hands slide up my arms and one snakes into my hair, pulling my mouth to his.
The kiss is possession, pure and simple. Maybe not pure. My hands wrap around his neck to help support my weight—my feet aren’t doing their job anymore—though I have a feeling he wouldn’t let me fall.
He growls and I can feel the rumbling from his chest through mine. I caused that, and that realization creates a burst of confidence. Twisting my head, I deepen the kiss, and I’m rewarded by his hands inching down my back, splaying over my ass and hauling me tighter against him, before gripping my thighs and lifting my legs without seeming to exert much effort. He arranges them around his waist and braces me against the wall—all without breaking the kiss.
My whole body is tingling in anticipation of what he’ll do next, and he’s taken control from me in this position. The support from the wall allows him to use his hands for things other than holding me up…and he uses them well. They slip under my shirt and his palms heat my ribcage, his fingers wrapped around my sides, and his thumbs…
Dear God, his thumbs. They’re tracing the underwire of my bra, and my body is responding to the teasing, urging him to explore further. But he’s taking his time.
I pull back from the kiss to unbutton my shirt for him, hoping he’ll take the hint and move faster. His expression is intense, but even when I pull my shirt open, he keeps his eyes on my face.
Reaching one hand up to brush my cheek, he asks again, “Are you sure?”