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.“My place isn’t too far from here,” she filled the quiet.“I have some chicken marinating.You eat meat, right?”“Yeah.That sounds good.” I glanced at her forearm, the muscles flexing slightly as she gripped the wheel.Fine hairs caught the sunlight.I wanted to reach out and run a finger over her arm to see how soft her skin felt.I started to lift my hand before I caught myself and pulled it back.“My parents are coming to visit this month,” she said.I remembered her comment about trying to live up to their expectations.“You looking forward to seeing them?”“I am.” She paused, then said it again.“Really I am.I do miss them.Of course, the moment I’m around them, they drive me crazy, but it will be good to see them.” She sounded as if she were trying to convince herself.“What do they do to drive you crazy?”“Little comments and suggestions, passive-aggressive stuff that sounds innocent but is pointed.Or maybe I’m being overly sensitive and imagining those barbs.”“My folks say exactly what they mean.There’s no doubt about it,” I said.“My neighborhood is too dangerous.I’d be safer moving back home.The message is that I’m disorganized and bound to screw up eventually, and they’ll be left picking up the pieces again.”“But you’re doing all right on your own, aren’t you? I can understand you not wanting to be dependent on them.Still, they almost lost you in an accident, so you can’t blame them for worrying.”“I can’t blame them.That’s the problem.So I don’t say anything when they start in on me.”“Gotta love parents.” She smiled, and I stopped thinking about my parental problems as my mind filled only with her.“You’re so hot.” The words popped out before I could stop them.Her eyes widened.“Uh, thank you.”“Sorry.I didn’t mean that.” I dug myself in deeper.Dimples flashed.“You didn’t?”“Well, I did, but I didn’t mean to say it out loud.Sometimes that happens.Bad impulse control.”She laughed.“That’s all right.I think you’re hot too.”Even if she was just being polite, I enjoyed the ego stroke.Katie had told me more than once that I used to be a hopeless flirt, but I didn’t remember that life.Flirting was all new and shaky ground to me now.I continued petting Baby and kept my mouth shut the rest of the drive to Anna’s apartment.She lived in a nice neighborhood.Her monthly rent must’ve been about what I earned in six months.I couldn’t help but be impressed and a little intimidated by the building and the décor of the apartment, which looked like something out of a magazine.Everything was clean and new, except the antiques, which were supposed to have a patina of age.Anna unleashed Baby, and the dog scampered across plush cream-colored carpet.That carpet would be dirty gray pretty soon, I thought.“Nice place.”“Thanks.I haven’t had a chance to decorate yet so the colors are neutral.I should’ve painted before I moved all my stuff in, but I couldn’t decide on colors, and I ran out of time.Now I’m too busy.”She led the way to the living room.I sat on the couch while she went to get us something to drink.I gazed out the window at the beautiful architecture of an old church backed by the glass faces of office buildings.The view was quite a contrast to the crumbling brick wall that faced my window.Anna returned with wineglasses and handed one to me before sitting beside me on the couch.“Are you hungry yet? I could get the grill going.”“I’m in no hurry,” I said, though my stomach was growling.I just wanted to sit there with her for a while.If sitting happened to turn into kissing, hell, I’d be happy to postpone dinner for the rest of the night.We sat close but not touching, side by side on the couch.I sipped wine and considered putting the glass down and lunging for her, but damned if I could bring myself to make a move.Every cell inside me was vibrating with the need to kiss her.I moved my leg as if trying to get more comfortable and pressed my knee against hers.Progress but hardly passionate.Baby returned from the kitchen with dog-food breath and jumped up on the couch between us.We both reached to pet her, and our hands touched.My gaze met Anna’s, and I stopped thinking and simply leaned to kiss her.The wine tasted better on her tongue.The soft skin at her nape was hot beneath my hand.I closed my eyes and did what came naturally—tasted the lips of a beautiful woman and pulled her body closer.Baby growled, as she was trapped between us.Time flowed, formless and free, seconds or maybe eons passing, distilled to this intimacy of breath and touch [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]