“Honestly? I don’t give a shit about the maze. I want to hold you for a few minutes without having those yahoos watching us.”
“’Yahoos?” She laughs. “Who says that these days?”
I laugh with her and nuzzle her nose again before gently kissing her cold lips. “Me.”
“Your lips are warm,” she whispers.
“Yours aren’t.” I kiss her again. “Maybe I should warm them up.”
“I have other parts that have gotten cold out here too.” She grins and tugs at the hem of my shirt under my wool jacket and lays her cold hands on the small of my back, making me jump.
“Jesus, baby, you’re fucking cold!”
She giggles and presses herself against me so I can’t back away. Not that I would back away anyway.
“Do you want me to stop touching you?” She bats her eyelashes at me, making me chuckle.
“Fuck no. I don’t care if your hands are cold or hot or somewhere in between, as long as they’re on me.”
Her smile fades as she watches me, and her breath begins to come in pants, visible in the cold air, and her eyes are sparkling with pure lust.
She rises on her toes and presses her lips to mine, brushing back and forth softly, and unable to handle it anymore, I pull her closer to me and kiss her like mad. My tongue slips between her plump lips and explores her mouth leisurely. When we have to pull back for air, I glide my nose down her jawline to her neck and place a tender kiss on her soft skin.
“You can’t possibly know what you do to me, Lauren.”
“Ew!” Seth exclaims as he and his dog bound out of the corn. “Yuck. Come on, Thor, you shouldn’t have to see this.”
Lo giggles and smiles up at me. I cup her face in my hands and kiss her once more, gently, before pulling back and taking her hand in mine, just as Zack and Jill come out of the maze.
“You guys made it out already?” Jill asks with a scowl on her pretty face.
“You were too slow,” Lo responds with a shrug, and winks at me. “Come on, counselor, let’s go buy some apples and cider. And jam. And I have to go fetch my pumpkin. Oh! And I want some cornstalks for the front porch too.”
“Is there anything else you need?” I ask sarcastically.
“Just you.” She grins.
“The feeling is entirely mutual.”
“I want to bake a pie,” I announce as Ty and I approach my front door upon our return from the pumpkin patch.
“Tonight?” Ty raises his brow and sets my pumpkin on the porch, then jogs back down to his Jeep to gather my cornstalks and leans them against the house under the cover of the porch.
“At”—he checks his watch—“almost ten in the evening?”
“Do you have somewhere you need to be?” I laugh. “Got a hot date?”
I unlock the door and key the alarm code into the pad on the wall and then lead Ty into the kitchen.
“Most people just don’t start baking pies this late at night.” Ty takes the heavy bags of apples from me and sets them on the counter.
“My parents used to go with me to the pumpkin patch, even when I was a grown woman,” I reply softly, my heart heavy. “It was tradition for my mom and me to bake a pie when we got home, so I want to bake a pie.”
“Then we’ll bake a pie.” Ty kisses my head, then strips out of his coat, pushes the sleeves of his long-sleeved T-shirt up to his elbows, and washes his hands.
“Do you know how to bake pie?” I ask as I also pull off several layers of sweater and scarf and then set apples on the countertop for peeling and gather the other ingredients, including a frozen pie crust, and set the oven for preheat.
“Frozen crust?” Ty grins.
“I have never been able to get them right.” I shrug and wash my hands. “They always fall apart on me. My mom could make them with her eyes closed.”
“I can make a decent pie crust.” Ty’s voice is nonchalant as he roots around in my pantry for the flour.
“You’re gonna make a pie crust from scratch?”
“Sure. If we’re gonna bake a pie, we’re gonna do it right.”
“Okay, you do that and I’ll peel these apples and get them in the pot.”
We work side by side for several minutes, brushing against each other as we pass by and grinning at each other, in relative silence. I get the apples peeled and sliced and into a pot with all the spices to boil.
“Where’s your rolling pin?” he asks softly.
“Over there.” I point to a nearby drawer and watch as he balls up his crust dough, spreads flour over my kitchen table, and begins to roll out the dough, his forearms flexing with his smooth movements. A lock of his hair falls over his forehead and he reaches up to push it back, leaving a streak of white flour across his skin. “That looks like a great way to get out some aggression.”
“It is.” He grins at me. “Wanna try?”
He passes the rolling pin to me and stands back as I coat it in flour and roll it over the already-flat dough on the table.
“Your ass looks fantastic bent over the table.” A smile is in his voice.
I smirk and pinch some flour in my fingers and throw it at him. “Behave!”
“You just threw flour at me.” He laughs.
“Observant, aren’t you?”
I throw another handful of flour and giggle when he throws some back at me, making it snow over me with white powder.
“You’re making a mess!” I cry, and run around the table to the other side and scoop some flour in my hand and toss it at him.
“You started it, sweetness.” He throws a handful back at me just as I hear the pot on the stove begin to bubble.
“Time out! I have to stir the apples.” I laugh and run to the stove to stir the thickening mixture of apples and cinnamon and sugar. “It smells so good.”
I grab a pie plate and turn around to find that Ty has moved the first pie crust and is rolling out the second one to lay over the top.
“Do you have a pizza cutter?”
I pull the tool out of a drawer and pass it to him, and he makes long strips out of the crust.
“You’re fancy.” I grin while I line the pie plate with the first crust and tuck it around the edges, then walk back to the stove to fill it with the bubbling apples.
He just smirks and raises an eyebrow when he sees me pull a squeeze bottle of caramel sauce out of the pantry.