He told me to say when, but I can’t. Not with Andrés. It’s so hard to say anything when he’s trailing feather soft kisses down my neck, or when his touch sends hot currents of lust rippling across my skin.
Then there’s the way he smiles and offers soft words of encouragement when I’m creating art, almost like he believes I have talent.
He’s not like any guy I’ve ever met. Not like my ex-fiancée. Not like my father. He’s got me thinking that maybe we can have something more. More than just lust, degradation, and abuse.
And now I’m scared, because that means I’ll have to trust him with more than just my body, but with my heart, too.
“So it’s your birthday?”
I gasp as I look up to see Andrés standing between two dilapidated candy shelves. How had I not noticed he’d come into the store? He walks forward, his boots clicking on the grimy tiles. He slants a smile at me as he joins me inside the beer fortress.
“Yeah.” I shrug, feeling the blush creep into my cheeks and unable to do anything about it. Mechanic or not, the boy is smokin’ hot. Images of random stranger sex flash through my mind.
“Happy birthday, Christina,” he says. I love the way my name rolls off his tongue and sends a ripple of heat across my skin, like pouring warm chocolate fudge over cool vanilla ice cream .
“How’d you know my name?” I ask as my pulse quickens. I also love that he says my entire name and not some made-up shortcut. Christina. Not Teenie, Tina, or Christy, I think. The name on my birth certificate. The name I wish everyone would call me.
His smile widens, revealing two perfectly white rows of teeth. “I heard your friend call you Christina. It’s a beautiful name.”
“Thanks.” Even though I consider myself a relatively fun loving person, my smile feels contrived. That’s when I realize I’m in trouble. This guy unnerves me. I force myself to break eye contact, missing his warm chocolate gaze almost instantly. I focus on the first thing that catches my eye, his gleaming silver belt buckle.
This is a very bad idea, because my gaze instinctively travels lower, and I notice the bulge beneath his zipper. Despite the fact that my back is chilled from the refrigerated wine section behind me, I feel a bead of sweat on my temple.
“This isn’t the best side of town,” Andrés says to me, in a voice that carries a note of concern.
I pull my gaze from his crotch and nod. My head bobbles maybe a bit too hard, and I feel like my brain is stuck in an earthquake. “I know.”
“I’ll wait with you until your friend gets here.” He takes a seat on a beer display, never taking his gaze off me.
The chill from the fridge causes me to shiver. My nipples feel so hard, they could probably cut glass. I resist the urge to look down and confirm it. I realize they’re probably already poking through my lacy bra and sheer dress fabric. Knowing Andrés is getting an eye-full mortifies and excites me at the same time. Still, modesty forces me to cross my arms over my chest.
“She was at Dylan’s,” I say, trying to sound casual and not all hot and bothered, “so it shouldn’t take long.”
“That’s where I was going,” he says as he motions toward his boots. “Maybe I’ll see you there.”
Weird, how just a few moments ago, I didn’t feel like celebrating anymore. Now I’m thinking about dancing with Andrés at Dylan’s. I’m not a very skilled dancer, but I can follow someone else’s lead if I have a good enough partner. I wonder if Andrés is a good dancer. I wonder how it would feel to have his rough denim pressing against me.
My knees wobble at the thought. I look down at my stupid stilettos and realize I’m not dressed for dancing.
“I don’t have my boots,” I say as my lip turns down in a pout.
“We’ll slow dance. Come on, Christina.” My name slides off his tongue in a sensual purr. “It’s your birthday.” He jumps down from the beer display and bridges the distance between us in a few easy strides.
Having Andrés this near me sends a jolt straight up my spine. My flesh buzzes and I feel it all the way to the core of my body. He smells like leather and spice, and right now the only dancing I want to do with Andrés is between the sheets.
In my spare time, I loves to read, exercise and spend time with family and friends. I contribute the cover art for my Whispers Series and have designed covers for over 500 other books.
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