Velvet, Leather and Lace

“The pizza was excellent,” Jake agreed. “And the beer. And so is the company.”

She looked into his eyes, prepared to roll hers at his obvious line, but he appeared nothing but genuine. Reaching out, he wrapped his finger in a lock of her hair, tugging very lightly, reeling her in enough to bring her face extremely close to his. “Let’s do it again when you can manage,” he said softly. “Another evening of no work and fun.”

Her heart skipped a beat. “What exactly did you have in mind?”

His smile went positively wicked. “I’ll think of something,” he murmured. “Or you can. Date?”

She stared at him for a long moment, at the strand of hair eternally falling over his forehead and into his eyes, at the mischievous sparkle in said eyes, at the day’s rough growth on his jaw. Damn, he had a quality of irresistibility. “I don’t know–”

“Just say ‘yes, Jake’.”

“It’s not that simple.”

Very quietly he made the sound of a chicken, and she had to laugh. “Fine,” she said, caving. “But it’s your fault then if…”

“If what? What’s the worst thing that could happen? I fall for you? Done. You fall for me? I can only hope.”

Before she could say a word to that ­ and good God, what would she say! — he stood and pulled her up, too.

She stared up at him, into his eyes, at his mouth. She realized he was looking at her mouth too, and something deep inside tingled. Surely he wasn’t thinking about kissing her…No.

But she was thinking about it.

And then proving her wrong, he brushed his lips to hers in a short, quick kiss that was over so fast she blinked in confusion ­ even as she wanted more.

He’d not only thought about it, he’d done it!

“Night,” he said with an expression that said he knew she wanted another kiss, an expression that said ‘Gotcha, you’re already mine’, an expression that said he knew she was in way over her head.

And standing there, lips tingling, she knew it, too.