If Lina had to plan the perfect kiss, this would be it.
The way Carver slid a hand up to cup the side of her neck as he tilted his head and deepened the kiss made her heart thud once then speed up like she’d run a marathon. Shifting her head in the opposite direction of his and allowing his tongue full access, she sank into the delicious slow pace of the kiss, moaning as she lifted her arms to wrap around him.
His hand eased around to the nape of her neck, blunt-tipped fingers kneading the area, releasing every bit of tension she’d harbored, stoking the embers of desire she’d ignored for longer than she cared to admit. He slipped his other hand around to her back and pulled her even closer, until she was flush against him, as he leaned back against the seat.
Lina couldn’t believe she was kissing her childhood best friend the way she would kiss a long-lost lover. But hadn’t they been long-lost? It had been years since she’d seen or even spoken to Carver, and now she knew she’d missed him in a way she’d never fathomed was possible.
He pulled back slightly so that his lips still touched hers but they could both take a much-needed breath.
“I’ve dreamed of doing that so many times.”
She hadn’t dreamed of it. She’d refused to, but now a big part of her wished she had.
“I don’t know what to say,” she confessed. Her eyes were still closed when he touched his forehead to hers.
“It was better than my dream,” he told her. “Much better, and now it’ll be even harder to leave here tomorrow knowing we won’t do it again.”
They wouldn’t? Her heart sank at the thought. But he was right—it couldn’t happen.
“Temptation really isn’t that far.” She heard the words but had no idea why she was saying them. She didn’t want a long-distance relationship with Carver. Her schedule could be unpredictable and extensive. She loved that part of her job and wasn’t willing to give it up.
Stability, consistency and dependability were a big deal to Carver, and she couldn’t offer him any of that, not while living in New York and working in the fast-paced fashion industry.
“Would you really be willing to run back and forth between the city and Temptation?”
She knew he was looking at her, could tell by the way her cheeks warmed and his hand had tightened at the back of her neck. “I travel all the time anyway.” Still, Lina knew it would never work. She’d never feel comfortable knowing that Carver was just sitting there waiting for her to show up for a visit. So why did she keep making comments as if it were a possibility?
“Look at me, Lina.”
Her eyes opened slowly to see his staring back at her. Their foreheads still touched, and she kept her arms wrapped around his waist.
“If you tell me that’s all we can have, I’ll take it.” The intensity in his gaze, even in the dimness of the back seat, illuminated only by a streetlight, was enough to have her gasping. The promise of something she hadn’t known she longed for was suddenly so close.
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