Genres: Contemporary Romance
Cassie was glad Luke had decided to drive back because her hands were shaking with a mixture of excitement and nerves. They tried to make light conversation, but the sexual tension between them was too much to sustain a topic.
They walked into her kitchen together; the mounting anticipation was palpable. Cassie didn’t realize she was hanging onto the doorknob until Luke gave her a curious look.
“We don’t have to do this if you’re not ready, Cassie,” he said gently.
She’d felt brave in the restaurant and excited on the drive, but now, back at her place, she was nervous. “I am. At least I think I am. It’s just been a long time.”
He caressed the side of her neck lightly with one hand, and she sucked in an audible breath. “How long?”
His touch sparked flames of desire through her. She closed her eyes and savored the feeling before answering in a whisper, “Four, maybe five years.”
She opened one eye and peered up at him to assess his reaction. His expression was difficult to discern. “You don’t remember?”
Cassie turned her head away. “I was lonely, and he didn’t matter. I didn’t even know his last name. I’m not proud of who I was back then. I wasn’t in a good place.”
Tenderly, Luke turned Cassie’s face back toward his. “Don’t hide from me, Cassie. You can tell me anything.”
Cassie blinked back tears. Unless I tell you I may be pregnant. I can guarantee that would be a mood breaker. “Why am I so nervous? It’s not like I’m a virgin.”
He unbuttoned his coat, lifted her hand, and placed it on his chest above his heart. “You’re not my first either, Cassie, but can you feel that? My heart is beating like I just finished a sprint. Do you know why? Because unlike every other time, this feels different—like I’ve been waiting my whole life for this moment.”
Cassie’s hand shook against his chest. His heart, like hers, was indeed beating a wild dance. “We barely know each other.”
He placed his other hand over hers on the doorknob. “We can fix that.” He gave her that lopsided, boyish grin of his that melted her heart. Again. “But you’ll have to let go of the door, Cupcake.”
She laughed nervously and did. He took her hand in his and brought it up to his mouth, kissing the inside of her wrist while never breaking eye contact with her. “Let’s go upstairs to your room. We don’t have to rush. I want to make love to you slowly, learn every inch of you, and watch you come again and again for me.”
He swung her up in his arms and carried her out of the kitchen, up the stairs, and into her bedroom as if she were precious to him. Cassie buried her face in his neck and clung to him. His consideration for her almost brought her to tears. She was used to people who took from her. Even if he left before she woke in the morning, she wouldn’t regret choosing to be with him. He wasn’t like the fumbling boyfriends she’d had in high school, or the selfish short-term lovers she’d experienced as an adult. He was a man who knew how to please a woman and intended to enjoy doing that.