‘So I did.’ I lean forward conspiratorially. ‘You’re not some kind of stalker, are you?’
His laugh is heaven. ‘Not until the last hour or so.’
More pleasure. His compliments are doing everything they should, and even though I’d like to think I’m genuinely hard to impress—thank you, Jeremy—I feel myself soften towards him.
Curiosity is as rampant in my body as desire. ‘So,’ I say, leaning in closer towards him. ‘What’s your name?’
For a second I have him fooled. Surprise etches across his face and then he bursts out laughing.
‘What?’ I continue the charade, my eyes wide, expression droll. ‘Why is that funny?’
He sobers. ‘It’s not.’ He clears his throat. ‘I’m... Christopher Smith.’
A smile tickles my lips. ‘Pleased to meet you, Christopher Smith.’
I wonder how often Ethan Ash gets hit on by girls who are more drawn in by his rock god status than anything else? I wonder if that makes him cynical about women? Or if it makes him think he’s God’s gift? In my case, I’m definitely not doing anything to disabuse him of that notion. In fact I seriously suspect that if God did gift women a man purely for pleasure it would be this guy.
But, hang on. He’s hot, sure, and he has the voice of a husky alpha-angel—but he could be awful in bed, right?
The thought brings a frown to my face. Isn’t there some rule of thumb about that? The really gorgeous guys don’t have to work for it so they never learn to be good? Am I going to test that theory with Ethan one-look-will-melt-your-panties-off Ash?
I shift a little in the seat. Our knees brush beneath the table and I suck in a sharp breath. Apparently I am.
He catches the involuntary gesture and his smile is sensual. ‘You’re nervous?’
I don’t know if I’m nervous or surprised. This juggernaut has picked me up and it’s dragging me along with it, and I feel a strange disconnect with my own autonomy. ‘Maybe.’
He lifts a hand in the air without taking his attention from my face. ‘Because of me?’
I shake my head, biting down on my lip. His eyes roam my face like it’s a continent he must conquer. He sees everything.
The sense of familiarity is as overwhelming as it is bizarre. I’m sitting in a booth with a bona fide rock star. I should feel strange, but I don’t. It all feels so right.
‘What’s your name?’
He rolls it around his mouth as if tasting the two symbols. His accent is even hotter when he’s saying my name. He makes the A sound like a sigh...‘Ah’.
‘Is that short for something?’
‘Gonna make me guess?’
I grin, and my eyes lift as a waitress approaches, her pale blonde hair pulled into a braid that wraps around her head like a crown.
‘Good evening. Here are some menus.’ She places two dark books on the tabletop. ‘Can I get you a drink to start?’
Ethan turns away to address the waitress. He orders a beer and a gin and tonic, then adds some onion rings for good measure. In profile, he’s fascinating. I hadn’t noticed until then the bump halfway down his nose that speaks, presumably, of it having been broken at some point in his life. In an accident? Or a fight?
Goosebumps dance down my spine as I imagine the rather sexy image of Ethan Ash in a fist-fight with someone. He’d be a good fighter. Not prone to aggression, I’d bet, but definitely able to take care of himself.
Wow. I didn’t even know that I found that kind of thing attractive.
‘Alexandra?’ he says as he spins back to me.
I don’t instantly understand what he’s saying, and then I realise. He’s guessing my full name.
‘Hmm...’ A low, gruff growl.
Help me, Jesus, I am about to sin.
Beneath the table his fingers find my knee and he strums it like a guitar, gently lashing his fingers over my flesh so that my breath is raspy.
‘Do I get a penalty?’
‘And what would that be?’
I tilt my head to the side, my eyes dancing with amusement even as desire makes my lids heavy.
‘Every time you get it wrong,’ I say, after a long beat of silence has stretched between us, ‘I get to ask you anything I want.’