Heir to Scandal(10)

By: Andrea Laurence

Xander walked her around to the passenger side of the SUV but stopped short of opening the door. “I’m not ready for tonight to be over yet.”

Neither was she. She’d been hesitant to spend this time with Xander, but she’d had a nice evening. This was the first real date she’d gone on in forever. Adult time with nice clothes and good food and, for once, no worries. She had thoroughly enjoyed herself and she didn’t want to go home and start her old life back up again. “It doesn’t have to be,” she said.

The skies were dark and clear tonight. The nearly full moon hung overhead, casting everything in a silvery light. It made it hard to read Xander’s expression, but his tense body language made it clear he was holding something in. She wanted to put her hand to his cheek and urge him to tell her what he wanted to say.

“Rose...” he said, hesitating for a moment. “I’ve waited eleven long years to kiss you again. When I was writing the chapters about our time together, I realized how special you were to me. And the moment I saw you in the diner, kissing you again was all I could think about. I’ve missed the feel of your lips and the soft sounds you made when I touched you just right.”

Rose’s breath caught in her throat. Had he really been thinking of kissing her all this time? She didn’t know what to say. It was the most romantic thing she’d heard in a long time. Maybe ever. Every joint in her body softened like room-temperature butter as he spoke the words to her.

He ran his hand through his hair and shook his head softly. “I know I have no right to ask anything of you, because I’m not staying around for long, but I’d kick myself if I let you out of my sight and didn’t at least...” His voice trailed off. Then his gaze zeroed in on her own. “May I kiss you?”

She knew she should say no for a million reasons, but none of them mattered at the moment. Not with the intense way he was looking at her. His eyes were devouring her as if she were a cool glass of water and he were stranded in the desert. It felt nice to be that desired again. How could she turn that down? Besides, what could a kiss hurt? Just one harmless little kiss? It didn’t mean anything. As long as she kept the situation in perspective, it would be fine.

“How could a girl say no to that?”

Xander smiled and his elusive dimples appeared. Suddenly, she was seventeen again and his boyish charm melted away all her defenses. He stepped forward until her back was pressed against his SUV. He reached out to touch her face, cradling her cheek against his palm. Rose couldn’t keep from closing her eyes and leaning into his touch.

“You are so beautiful,” he whispered, his lips centimeters from her own.

She could feel the featherlight caress of his breath as he spoke. A chill ran down her spine, making her shiver softly. He brought his palms to her upper arms, gently rubbing up and down to warm her skin. His hands were large and masculine. Not rough, but powerful as they held her. He closed his eyes for a moment. Rose wondered if he was reconsidering kissing her. She couldn’t bear the thought.

“Xander?” she said, barely louder than a breath.

His eyes opened and then...contact. Xander’s mouth pressed softly against hers. The moment their lips touched, it was as though they’d never been apart. The suppressed passion reignited and the chaste first-date kiss quickly unraveled into the heated embrace of old lovers.

His tongue sought hers out, gliding like silk into her mouth. She drank him in, losing herself in the pleasurable buzz of the wine and the hum of desire moving through her nervous system.

It had been so long since she’d let herself indulge with a man. Any man, much less Xander. He was the one who knew her every hope and dream. The one she’d given her virginity to. Her heart to. And through some weird twist of fate, here she was, back in his arms again.

Xander broke away from their kiss, but only to move on to new, unexplored parts of her body. His hungry mouth traveled over the curve of her throat, tasting her skin and nipping gently with his teeth. Rose clutched at him, tilting her head back to give him better access. Her neck was always so sensitive and he remembered it. Every caress sent a shiver of pleasure down her spine that urged her to press against the hard wall of his body.

Xander moved his hands over the soft fabric of her dress. She could feel the heat of his skin penetrating her clothes and warming her body. His touch was electric, bringing to life each neglected part of her body as he caressed it. Her breasts tightened and ached painfully against the confines of her bra. Her stomach tensed and twitched under his fingertips, her center nearly boiling over with the need he quickly built in her.