I don’t want the date to be over. We get out of the Uber about twenty feet from the tour bus.
“Let me walk you to your door?” Hero says.
I huff out a half-laugh, smile, and nod. “Yeah, the marathon it is.”
“If it were, I would carry you,” he says softly as he takes my hand for the few steps it takes us to get to the bus.
He turns to me when we get there.
“Kate,” he says softly, saying my name reverently like it’s the best sound in the world. “That was the best date I’ve ever had.”
“And I bet you’ve had a thousand.”
Hero rolls his eyes and mumbles softly to himself under his breath, “I’m not Ryder or Hit Man.” He rolls his eyes again. “Yeah. Hundreds of thousands. That was still hands down the best.” He lightly caresses the top of my ear, a feather-light touch, but I feel it all over and I shiver. “And it’s not over yet.”
He looks down at my mouth, up into my eyes, down at my mouth again. His gaze burns. I know I shouldn’t. Know. But I feel powerless to stop it. The draw to him is so strong. Since that first day since I saw him by my sister’s car I’ve wondered what it would be like to kiss him.
I lick my lips.
He presses his mouth to mine, so gentle, but I can’t breathe. My heart is beating too fast. My lungs are too tight in my chest. My legs too weak to hold me up. He pulls back.
“Oh,” he says with a smile and takes a step back. “I guess I’m really bad at that.”
“My God, no! It’s not you, it’s me.” I grab the edges of his biker’s jacket. “I can’t think. I can’t get any oxygen to my brain when my world hangs in the balance because I want something so bad and I can’t have it.”
“You want something so bad?” he asks and one eyebrow goes up.
I blow a lock of hair off my forehead.
“Maybe you should do what you want,” he says, his voice sandpaper over steel. “Maybe you have to do what you want.” He puts his hands up in the surrender pose.
I can’t have him think I’m rejecting him, that I hate him.
I lean forward and I touch my lips to the corner of his mouth intent on letting him know he’s okay, but it’s like getting the first taste of the best chocolate in the world, but better. I tighten my grip on his jacket. His lips twitch. He pulls back.
I touch my lips to his. It’s a soft, barely-there, almost non-existent kiss. But this time my heart is singing and I exhale a sigh at its perfection.
He pulls back more and goes to the bus.
“Thank you for a perfect date, Angel,” he says over his shoulder.
I can’t help but be disappointed.
I follow him into the bus.
I spend way too long in the bathroom. I’m hiding out. I’ve brushed my teeth and my hair over and over, washed my face twice, looked at myself in my pink camisole and white girly boxers again and again. I feel different. More dissatisfied. More torn. More…hopeless. Less…whole. I feel different but I look the same. My heart aches. Did I think one chaste kiss would rid me of my secret lust for Jase? Prove my fantasies weren’t as good as reality so I could stop harboring this crush and move on? Did I really think that? Yeah. Part of me did.
I’m like an addict who says one grain of cocaine will stop her cravings.
Well, now I know.
Unfortunately, I can’t sleep in this tiny bathroom, so I have to go out there. At least I’ve been in here so long I know he’ll be asleep.
I walk down the aisle, my head down, watching my feet as if in a trance. I’m reliving that barely-there kiss. Just the merest of tingling touches yet the most powerfully sensual one I’ve ever had.
Too late I look up to see Hero’s not sleeping but sitting up on the edge of his bunk.
“Angel,” he says, the edge to his voice so gruff and needy and powerful it’s almost angry. “You. Are. So. Beautiful.”
Hero stands up, spears one hand into my hair, places the other firmly on my lower back and presses me until I’m trapped against the bunks. He crashes his lips down onto mine. It’s blazing hot. He slants his mouth over mine. His tongue runs along the seam of my lips, begging for access and I part my lips for him, reveling in his taste. He uses his grip on my hair to tilt my head where he wants it, ravaging and taking, giving and pleasing, dancing. Overloading me with pleasure. It’s only his firm hand on my back that keeps me standing as my entire body burns too hot, my toes zinging, my core flooding, my brain short-circuiting.
I grab his shoulders because my want is overwhelming. I want to touch him everywhere and the desire is threating to overwhelm me to the point of panic. He’s just wearing his sleep boxers and his body heat is so perfect, so male, necessary, that I need more of it, right now, but I can’t handle it.
Because it’s more joy than I’ve ever had and it’s so fast, so new. My wants are running rampant. I can’t touch him everywhere fast enough.
He grabs both my hands in one of his and pins them together in front of my chest.
“No,” he says firmly.
My head is spinning in a haze of lust and I don’t understand what he says. I’m breathing so hard I’m worried I’ll hyperventilate. I need him so much. I struggle. But my hands are trapped between us and my two wrists against his big hand is no contest.
“No?” I ask breathily.
He nips my bottom lip.
He kisses my jaw, the top of my shoulder, gently nudging the thin strap of my camisole, the sensitive spot behind my ear that makes my whole body turn to jelly.
“No,” he says again quietly.
He pulls back. It feels like my whole body is faltering, and every cell is straining toward him, craving and straining and crying.
He lets me go.
My body actually leans toward him, my hands still clasped in front of my chest as he lies down on his bed and turns away from me, hugging his body pillow.
“Goodnight, Angel,” he says firmly.