“I’d heard that,” she answered.
The storm outside was increasing its wrath. Wind and rain had the windows rattling and the lights overhead flickering. Scooter tried to concentrate on that—what was happening outside of the room, not what was happening inside him—but the feel of Josie snuggled against his bare skin was impossible to ignore, and impossible not to react to.
He kissed the top of her head, hoping the action would help satisfy a part of the desire rippling through his veins.
She leaned back slightly. A tiny frown made her brows knit together. “What did you want to apologize for, then?”
His throat locked tight. He wasn’t sorry he’d asked her to marry him, was just full of remorse it couldn’t happen. At least right now. If he worked hard, doubled his income, he’d be able to build a house and then he could ask her again. The possibility of that had him lowering his mouth to hers again. This time he didn’t release her lips for a very long time. Not until his lungs were burning. Even while drawing in air, he didn’t lessen the hold he had on her hips, how he kept them pressed against his. A gentle rhythm had overtaken them both. A dance given birth by the music of their bodies, drawing them together with teasing and lusty promises. More overpowered than he’d been by anything, ever, Scooter slid his hands around to her backside and pressed her more firmly against him as they kissed again.
The intense burning and throbbing coming from her very core was as exciting as it was foreign. Once before, the night of the fireworks, while dreaming about Scooter, Josie had experienced this unfamiliar need. She’d awoken that night, withering beneath the sheets and squeezing her thighs together. There’d been a great craving inside her, a need that had burned like no other.
It was there now, too.
Kissing Scooter, twirling her tongue with his, made that need spike, as did his hands, the way they squeezed her behind and pressed her more firmly against him. She could feel him, and thinking of that, realizing what she felt, made her heart quicken and her breath catch. Her breasts felt heavy, too, and her nipples stung in a rather spectacular way. The pressure of them against Scooter’s bare chest was encouraging all of the wonderful chaos inside her to grow.
As if he knew what she was thinking, his hands roamed up her side and his thumbs rubbed the sides of her breasts before working in between their bodies to caress the very tips of her nipples. She could very well have been the one dripping wet and talking on the telephone. The jolt of pleasure that shot through her was as bold and hot as lightning.
Scooter’s lips moved off her mouth, over her chin and down her neck, leaving a tingling trail of kiss that made her giggle.
“We need to stop, sweetheart,” he whispered, while still kissing her neck. Up one side and down the other.
Being called such an endearment by him filled her with sunshine and optimism. “No, we don’t,” she insisted. “I like kissing you.”
“And I like kissing you.”
His whole hands, not just his thumbs, were working their magic on her breasts now, and the pleasure made her groan. She had to press her hips harder into his. The longing in her center was growing more needy. Scooter caught her backside again with both hands, holding her tight against him.
Breathing beyond the sensations filling her was practically impossible, yet she asked, “What did you want to apologize for, Scooter?” She had to know before she could go any further.
His lips were working their way back up to hers. “For making you so mad,” he said between kisses. “Someday I hope you’ll realize your safety will always come first and foremost to me.”
She caught his lips with hers, kissing him even while smiling. His answer had certainly made her happy, and gave her hope. Lots of it. She was even able to understand that telling her father had been just one more way he’d rescued her.
The smell of him, made more powerful by the rain that still dampened his skin beneath her fingers, excited her. Closing her eyes she breathed in deeply, luxuriating in ways she’d never fathomed.
Scooter’s lips left hers. When they didn’t return, she opened her eyes. His lids were closed, but when he opened them and looked at her intently, he shook his head.
“What?” she asked, not giving in to a little quiver prickling up her arms.
“We have to stop.”
Although she knew what he meant, she asked, “Stop what?”
“You know what.” He took a step back and drew his hands away. Grasping her arms, he lifted them off his neck. He kissed each of the backs of her hands, before lowering them to her sides.
A loud crack of thunder made her flinch.