He smiled, stroking my hand. Then he turned serious. “Xia, does skin contact still bother you?”
“Only a little. I’m trying to get used to it.” I lifted my head off his chest and put my legs under me, turning to face him. “Give me your hands.”
Shilah placed both of his hands in mine. I squeezed them, trying not to freak out from the warm, electric feeling spreading up my arms. Swallowing, I slowly ran my hands up his forearms. His skin was so soft, so smooth. I’d never felt anything like it before.
I stopped at the crooks of his elbows and looked up, embarrassed. “Do you mind?”
He shook his head. So I continued running my hands over his muscular biceps, up to his shoulders. His skin felt so soothing against mine that I wanted to do this all night. I couldn’t get myself to stop.
I slid my hands over his shirt, up to his neck. He watched me closely, and my heart throbbed as I traced his jawline with my fingertips. I didn’t think either of us were breathing by the time my fingers brushed his lips. His lips were even more tender than his skin.
His warm breath caressed my fingers as they lingered for a moment. That weird stirring of emotions hit me again, jolting my entire body from head to toes. If I had been human, I would’ve thought I needed to see a doctor. This feeling felt natural, but unnatural at the same time.
I looked up, into his staring eyes. Blushing hard, I yanked my hands away. “S-sorry. I was…just…”
Shilah leaned in closer. Our faces had already been inches apart; now there was only one inch between us. I couldn’t take my eyes away from his lips.
My breath caught in my throat as he hesitated. Maybe he was waiting to see if I’d pull away again. Waiting for me to object or run or something.
But this time, I stayed.
And then his tender lips pressed into mine. I closed my eyes and inhaled sharply through my nose, caught off guard by the incredible sensations that coursed through me. This touch felt a hundred times better than any other. My whole body felt like it was lifting off the ground. I was tingling all over.
My mind was telling me to pull away. I knew I shouldn’t be doing this. Kissing a human must be completely against the Rules. A grim reaper should not be having these types of feelings.
But it felt so…right.
I wrapped my arms around the back of his neck and used my lips to explore his. It was a good thing I’d picked up some tips from those romance movies. Shilah responded by putting his hands on my waist and moving in closer.
I don’t know how long we kissed. It could’ve been minutes, or even an hour. The morning sky was starting to turn purple and pink here, so I knew it must be getting late in Arizona.
Shilah pulled away first. Holding my face in his hands, he opened his eyes and breathlessly asked, “Is this okay for you?”
I nodded. “Definitely.” I wanted to pull him back toward me so bad, but then I realized how much time must’ve passed by. “Oh, should you be getting home?”
He sighed. “Yeah. My curfew is eleven.”
“Right.” Still a bit lightheaded from the kissing, I grabbed his hands, and we stood up together. In less than a second, we were standing back at Chad’s Cliff.
“Well…goodnight,” I said, gazing up into his brown eyes.
“Goodnight.” Shilah made no move to leave.
I didn’t want him to go. I rose up on my tiptoes and started kissing him again. He put his arms around me and pulled me against him, his hands caressing my back.
Nothing else seemed to exist in that moment. It didn’t feel like we were on Earth anymore. It felt like we were floating somewhere way up high, maybe in outer space. I lost sense of time and place.
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