“Are you done hiding from me?” The smooth tenor jump-started her heart.
Paige whipped around to see Brenden leaning in the door frame. A smile curved his lips as she struggled through heavy breaths. “Hi… Hiding from you?” She gulped down a mixture of fear and excitement as butterflies began dancing in her stomach. She wasn’t sure if she wanted them to stop because at least the fluttery feeling confirmed she wasn’t dreaming.
He slid his hands into his pockets while his eyes intently scanned her face as if he were committing every inch to memory. “You didn’t give me a chance to tell you Happy New Year.”
A flush crept along her neck before stinging her cheeks. She peeked up, afraid of how the energy in her body was responding to Brenden. “Ditto,” she muttered. “Happy New Year! I guess chivalry does exist.”
He shrugged and began moving towards her. Face to face, he looked upon her, again studying her like a work of art. “Not sure if the thoughts I’m having of you would be deemed chivalrous, Paige.”
She felt her mouth form a little “o” while her heartbeat triple timed. The sincerity etched across Brenden’s face and the want laced within his husky voice began casting a spell, unraveling inhibitions she’d clung to for fear of failure or rejection.
“Why are you here by yourself?” He shifted his gaze beyond her to the ocean before taking a few steps to claim the space at the balcony rail.
“I could ask you the same,” she replied before returning to her place along the rail that was now a few feet from the sexiest man alive.
“True, but I suppose neither of us wants to share what we’d rather forget.”
Paige nodded. How did he know? She’d been trying to forget for the last twenty years. And now, seeing the sliver of tension twitch at Brenden’s jaw, it made her curious to learn what he wanted to forget.
“Forget?” she asked out loud, and not on purpose.
He faced her. Sweet Jesus, the man’s eyes could read a girl’s soul and betray her most private thoughts. “Don’t you want to?”
Something in him whispered to her deepest, darkest desires. Her body slowly began overriding her mind. “How?” she asked, desperate for her next breath. She then swallowed an inhale and reached up, pushing strands of his tousled hair from his face.
Brenden stepped in, closing the distance between them. He looked down into her eyes, lowered his head, and brushed his lips across hers. His fingers threaded the strands of her hair before he tilted her neck and pressed his lips to her bouncing pulse.
Her breaths became more unpredictable, fueling the sharpening ache between her legs that halted rational contemplation. Mind versus body. Never before had she been uncertain of which would win.
Another stuttering breath escaped her lips, and her eyes closed as Brenden’s teeth sank into her skin. “Mmmm…feels good.”
“Tastes good.” His body pressed harder against hers. “And now you know my most indecent thoughts.”