Diverted anew, Candy brightened. “Really? I have a friend who teaches high school in L.A. Well, Malibu.” Not that she’d seen Jen in the six months since she’d married super-hunk millionaire Brent Maddox. “Maybe you know her.”
“It’s a big city.”
“Yeah, but she was big news. Jen Maddox? Married a gorgeous rich guy. Their romance was on TV and all over the web. As a matter of fact, I was maid of honor at her wedding.”
“Did you have frosting on your face then, too?”
“What?” Candy brushed at both cheeks. “Where?”
For a guy who wore government-issue nerd glasses, he had a very smooth move. Before she knew it they were practically nose to nose, and he had her hand in his.
“No, not there,” he murmured in a voice half an octave lower than usual. Wait. I’ll get it.”
Later she’d decide he’d had no right to lay a finger on her. She’d remember she should’ve told him to keep his big hands to himself, right now, or else. She’d be appalled to realize Pinhead Price had reverse-hypnotized her with a single look. She’d curse him for it. She’d curse herself.
But now, trapped in gray eyes gone smoky, she let him brush the corner of her mouth with his index finger. Eyes locked on hers, he brought the same finger to his mouth and licked.
She needed oxygen, but her lungs wouldn’t work. Her heart, on the other hand, was working overtime, fluttering against her chest like a butterfly in a bell jar. Her mouth was dry, and her muscles felt all ... quivery.
An internal alarm sounded, but faintly. Quivery was a definite danger signal.
She tried to pull back. “I don’t think—”
“That’s right,” he said, pulling her close. “Don’t think.” And then he kissed her.
Uh-oh. I am in so much trouble.
Because this wasn’t your standard, tentative first kiss. Nor was it the inept kiss of a dyed-in-the-wool dork. This was an incredibly ept kiss, a kiss that triggered a hormonal chain reaction that unleashed her inner wanton.
Wrapping her arms around his neck, she molded her mouth to his and let him drag them both deeper. Needs she’d never known she had boiled up and over as his arms slid around her waist, as he pulled her into his lap, as the glider rocked like a rope swing in a wind storm.
Their mouths were fused and she still wasn’t close enough. She speared her fingers into his hair, where they clenched ... and slid. At which point her brain sat up and said, Hello! followed closely by What the HELL are we doing?
Candy tore her lips away, scrambled off his lap and the glider. Stopping with a good five feet between them, cloaked in horrified disbelief and heavy breathing, she gaped at him.
Oh. My. God. I let George Price—Pinhead Price, for Heaven’s sweet sake!—kiss me senseless. I must be losing my ever-loving mind!
He stood and started toward her. Candy leveled a Valvoline-slick finger. “Not another step, buster! You stay right where you are!”
Price stopped, his expression a transparent, and thus completely unsuccessful, attempt at injured innocence. “What’s wrong?”
The man had just lip locked her into a terminal case of lust, and he wanted to know what was wrong? Okay, she could handle this in one of three ways. She could jump his bones. She could strangle him.
Or, “Go home.”
His mouth opened, like, Huh? “Huh?”
“I want you to go home.”
“If not sooner.”
His voice dropped to that seductive purr she belatedly recognized as risky business. “Are you sure?”
“Absolutely positive.” No matter how piteously her hormones wailed.
He eyed her speculatively. She braced, half expecting him to push, half hoping he would, except she didn’t know what she’d do if he did. Her circuits were still pretty scrambled.
Then he walloped her with The Smile, and the circuits in question sizzled, sparked, and blew.
“Have it your way,” he said. “For now.”
He glided off into the darkness, a predator trailing testosterone. Legs like Jell-O, she stood on the patio amidst the rack and ruin of her peace of mind and thought, Help.
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