red skirts rustled as she leaned that little bit closer. Her breath brushed his cheek, so warm, so sweet.
What now? Should he back off? Did it count as moving too fast if she was the one doing the moving?
She whispered, “I promised myself I wouldn’t kiss you....”
“All right.” It wasn’t all right. Not really. And she was too close, making it way too hard to remember that he wasn’t going to kiss her. Not now. Not tonight....
“But, Noah. I really want to kiss you.”
He held very still, every molecule in his body alert. Hungry. He wanted to go for it, to grab her and haul her into his aching arms. He wanted that way too much for his own peace of mind. “Remember,” he said on a bare husk of sound, “you have a plan.”
“What plan?” Her gaze kept straying to his mouth.
“You promised yourself you would think before you jump.” Did he mean to be helpful? Maybe. But somehow it came out as a challenge.
And, as everything he’d read about her had made crystal clear, Her Highness Alice never could resist a challenge. “To hell with my plan.”
“Tomorrow you’ll feel differently.”
“Tomorrow can take care of itself.” She swayed that fraction closer. “Right now I only want to kiss you.” She lifted those plump, sweet lips to him.
He made himself wait. He managed, just barely, to hold himself in check until her mouth touched his.
Then, with a low groan, he reached out and wrapped his arms good and tight around her.
A lice knew very well that she shouldn’t be kissing him.
Kissing him, after all, was exactly what she’d said she wouldn’t do.
But the scent of him was all around her—like his big strong arms that held her so very tightly. His chest was broad and hard and wonderful beneath the snow-white evening shirt.
And his kiss? Deep and demanding at first, thrilling her. His hot breath burned her mouth; his tongue delved in.
But then a moment later he dialed it down, going gentle, easier. He tempted her all the more forcefully by using tenderness, by taking it slow. His big hands roamed her back, making her shiver with delight. And his lips... Oh, my, the man certainly did know how to kiss. She could go on like this forever, sitting under the moon with the soft sigh of the sea far below them, all wrapped up in Noah’s arms.
Then again, anyone might come up on them out here in the open like this. The paparazzi were everywhere. She’d learned that the hard way, over and over again.
If someone got a shot of her now, plastered all over a virtual stranger, soul-kissing him deeper than she had that redheaded barmaid during the karaoke escapade...
With a low moan, she put her hands to his hard chest and pushed him away. He made no move to stop her.
Breathless, still yearning, she faced forward again. Sagging against the iron back of the bench, she stared out beyond the railing at the moonlit sea.
Noah said nothing. She was grateful for that.
Back on the path behind them, a woman laughed. It was more of a giggle, really. A man spoke as though in reply, his voice low and intimate, the words unclear. More feminine laughter, and then the man said something else, the sound of his voice retreating as he spoke. Whoever they were, they had turned and gone back toward the palace.
There was silence. Only the breeze off the sea and the distant cry of a gull.
Alice smoothed her hair and straightened the bodice of her strapless gown. “Sometimes I really disappoint myself.”
“Is it possible you’re trying too hard to be good?” he asked in that lovely sexy rumble that had stirred her from the first.
She shot him a scoffing glance. “More likely, I’m not trying hard enough.”
He caught her hand. Before she could pull away, he pressed his wonderful lips to the back of it. His mouth was so warm, so deliciously soft compared to the rest of him. “You’re amazing. Just as you are. Why mess with a great thing?” His words were pure temptation. She wanted only to
Jody Lynn Nye, Mike Brotherton