Her skin broke out in gooseflesh from the heat of his breath and the warmth of his mouth against her skin.
“Every time you leave the bathroom in the morning after you shower, I swear I get a whiff of brownies. Then I come to find out that sweet-smelling temptation is all you.”
“It’s, ah, my cocoa butter lotion and my vanilla bean shampoo,” she admitted in a breathless rush.
“Whatever it is, it blows my train of thought completely.”
Was she supposed to apologize?
Devin raised his head and stared into her eyes. “You doin’ all right?”
Then he dropped his gaze to her mouth. “You really did a number on your bottom lip.”
“I imagine it was a misguided attempt to keep myself from crying out.”
“Does it hurt?”
“Maybe this will help.” Devin dipped his head, placing a butterfly-soft kiss across the spot. He eased back and stared into her eyes. When she didn’t utter a peep of protest, he kissed her again. Just as softly. But he didn’t stop at one kiss. He brushed his mouth across hers over and over. Teasing her. Making her want more. But leaving it entirely in her control to take it.
So she did. Liberty wrapped her hand around the back of his neck and turned the soft glide of lips into an openmouthed kiss, packed with passion and laced with lust.
Devin didn’t push her against the wall or clamp his hands on her ass and grind their lower bodies together. He put every bit of his energy into the kiss, drugging her with the fast-slow-fast movements of his tongue. Tasting her thoroughly and letting himself be tasted in turn. He traced her upper lip with his tongue and then the lower lip. They paused, their lips barely brushing, and breathed each other in.
It was glorious.
“Omigod! Are you two at it again? It’s been, like, fifteen minutes since you rolled out of bed,” Odette said, and then she was trying to insert herself between them.
But Liberty wouldn’t let go of his neck, and he had a lock on her eyes.
“You kissed her so hard she’s bleeding? Dammit, Devin, you don’t have to act like such an animal all the time.”
That’s when Devin’s gaze moved to Liberty’s mouth. “Looks like we opened up that cut on your lip.”
“I don’t care.”
The heat in his eyes when he looked at her again made her belly cartwheel.
“I care,” Odette inserted. “Go put Vaseline on it or something.” She poked Devin in the chest. “Get your guitar and get up front. You’ve been a lousy songwriting partner the last three weeks, and we’re behind on new material.”
Devin made a whip-cracking sound.
Odette muttered and stormed off in her four-inch heels.
“Duty calls. You gonna be all right?”
No. She would be thinking about that kiss all damn day. “Yeah.”
He grinned. “Me either. But we’ll talk about this later.” He headed to his room for his guitar, and Liberty crawled into her bunk.
While the tour bus was luxurious, it also gave Liberty claustrophobia when she had to hole up in her bunk for more than just sleeping time.
Devin hadn’t told her to keep out of the main living area when he and Odette were working, but it’d feel weird to sit around and watch as they created music.
During the day when they were on the road, Devin pretty much kept to himself. Occasionally, she heard the strains of his guitar, but when he was in the back of the bus, she mostly stayed up front.
But for some reason, today she hadn’t pulled the divider between the front and back spaces. So the music and their voices drifted to her in her cozy alcove across from her bunk.
“No, that bridge is too close to the one on ‘Alibis and Ammo,’” Odette said.
“It’ll sound different when we add bass and drums.”
“Not different enough. Jase, Gage and Steve will take the easy way and play what’s familiar to them, so this has to sound unique.”
“How about no instruments? Just my voice?”
Silence. Then, “That would work. Let’s hear it from the top.”
Devin sang about love being broken beyond repair.
The haunting vocals coupled with the words caused goose bumps to break out across Liberty’s skin. She fought the urge to cry. What had happened in his romantic life that caused so much bone-deep sorrow?
After that she couldn’t concentrate on her work. She listened as they fine-tuned rollicking drinking songs, followed by a sappy ballad. Somehow she held back her laughter as they discarded the words scour, dour, shower and plower, which were meant to rhyme with flower.
Odette said, “How much of what we’ve been working on is for your next album?”
“Some. Most. Hell, I don’t know. My audience knows what they’re getting with me. Some of what I’ve written isn’t my style. Doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s good. It’d just be better suited to someone else.”
“For instance?” Odette prompted. “Because everything I’ve heard today is suited to you.”
He strummed a few chords. “I’ve been workin’ on something. It’s a little rough.”
Liberty closed her eyes when he started to sing, letting his velvety smooth voice wrap around her like a silken promise. The song spoke of a great divide. By the second verse, she understood what the words meant. Standing on the precipice of something great but being unable to take that first step. This time when Devin finished, Liberty was crying. Not an escaped teardrop or two but a flood of tears.