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When they walked into her apartment, he was ready to throw her down on the couch, but she walked into the kitchen before he could reach for her.

“Do you want some wine?” she asked him.

Hmmm. He couldn’t be wrong about why he was in her apartment, could he? He had been here before, and nothing had happened then.

No, this was different. She’d seemed like she’d wanted to pull his clothes off in the car. Maybe she was just nervous now that they were back at her apartment? He wasn’t sure what was going on, but he’d better take her lead on this.

“Sure.” He sat down on the couch. “More of that rosé, maybe?”

She laughed and opened the refrigerator.

“I think you’re making fun of me and my rosé, but I don’t even care, because I love it. As a matter of fact, yes, I do have another bottle of rosé open now—though this time it’s a different one—and I’m going to pour us both glasses of it, take that.”

She came over to the couch with glasses of wine for each of them. Okay, she sat down right next to him; she was clearly not keeping her distance. He put his arm around her and pulled her close.

“I have to confess I have been known to make fun of my sister for her love of this wine, and it kills me that I actually liked the one you gave me last time because now I might have to eat my words to Angie.” He took a sip. “Actually no, there’s no way I’d do that. But this is terrible—I definitely like this wine.”

He let his fingers drift into her hair, and she relaxed against him.

“Oh no, you’ve discovered a kind of wine that you like, and it happens to be pink wine. What will you ever do with yourself?” She swatted his thigh. And then left her hand there. “You can’t possibly let a woman know that she was right about wine; that’s impossible.”

He shook his head. He finally pulled that ponytail holder out of her hair and let her curls spring free.

“No, that’s not it. I’m happy to let women know they’re right about many things. My boss was right about the diagnosis of the kid I saw today. You were right about the books I bought for Jessie. Jessie was right when she told me I’d get into med school. It’s just that I can’t ever admit to my little sister that she was right about something I’ve been teasing her about for years. Come on now.”

“Mmmm.” She looked up at him. “I’m an only child; it’s possible that I don’t get all of the big brother–little sister relationship nuances, so I’ll that one go.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “Oh! What did Jessie say her favorite of the books was?”

He was trying to concentrate on what she was saying, but between her fingers gently massaging his knee and feeling her sigh as he stroked her hair, his mind was in many places.

“Um, what did she say? Oh! She said her favorite was the Jeffrey Dahmer book. I don’t understand either of you. If I read those books, I would have nightmares for weeks.”

She set her glass, still half full, on the coffee table.

“People have said that to me. Maybe I just don’t have very vivid dreams.” She brought her hand up and drew it through his hair. She plucked his glass out of his hand and put it on the coffee table next to her own. “Or maybe I just dream about other things.”

He smiled. The preamble was apparently over. He turned to face her and pressed her down onto the couch until she was underneath him.

“Yeah? What is it that you dream about?”

She grabbed the bottom of his button-down shirt and pulled it over his head.

“This.” She pulled him against her and kissed him.

Mother of God. He thought he liked kissing her when they were making out in the front seat of his car, but that was clearly only an appetizer. There, she’d seemed enthused, but still tentative. Now, she was both passionate and forceful, as if to make it clear she was all in. Her hands moved under his T-shirt and up and down his back, pressing him harder against her. He moved his attention to her neck, kissing her smooth brown skin.

“Do you dream about that, too?” he asked her.

“My God, yes,” she said.

He blew gently over her skin and kissed the cool spot. He did it again lower, and then again lower. He loved the way her fingers tensed on his back. He drew his hand up and plucked her nipple. She arched her back and moaned. He kept kissing her neck and playing with her nipples until he thought both of them were going to explode.

“We both have way too many clothes on.” He pulled her tank top off, to reveal her black lace bra underneath. “Mmmm, this is a very pretty bra. But right now, it’s in my way.” He reached around and unsnapped her bra and tossed it over the couch. He sat back to admire her.

“That’s better.”

She shook her head.

“You said we both had too many clothes on, but I didn’t see you take any off.”

The woman had a point.

He stood up, tugged his pants off, pulled his T-shirt over his head, and stood in front of her in his boxer briefs.

“Is that better?”

She smiled and nodded, her eyes roaming all over his body, but coming back to focus somewhere right around his waistband.

“Much better.”

She didn’t bother to get up, but pulled her jeans off and threw them on the floor next to his clothes. He took a long look at her curvy body. Holy shit. He climbed back on top of her.

* * *

• • •

Oh thank Athena, Aphrodite, and all the other gods for the many crises tonight that had resulted in Carlos in her bed. Okay, it was her couch, but this wasn’t the time for details. She was very glad she’d gotten over her weird—and stupid, in retrospect, now that she’d seen him without clothes on—anxiety about this guy. The way that he looked at her body . . . well, that kind of look was exactly what she needed after this past week and a half. He looked at her like her body was a joy to behold, like he couldn’t wait to touch her, kiss her, like he was lucky to be here with her without any clothes on. Damn right he was.

She was feeling pretty fucking lucky herself right now. This man definitely knew how to touch a woman, that’s for sure.

“We need to get these off of you,” he said, caressing her sensible black cotton underwear. She’d had no idea she was going to be having sex later when she’d left the house that day, okay? At least they were bikini cut. She lifted her hips to give him better access.

He shook his head.

“No, not that way.” He got up off the couch, pushed her coffee table back out of his way, and turned her around until she was sitting forward. “Okay, now.” He hooked his fingers in her underwear and pulled them to the floor. Then he pushed her legs apart and knelt at her feet.

“Mmmm.” He stared straight in front of him with a hungry look on his face. “That’s even better.” He reached back and pulled her toward him. Well, maybe he tried to pull, but she was so eager for what she knew was coming that she fairly launched herself at him.

Good Lord. She lay back on her couch pillows, gasping for air. She thought she liked it when he kissed her mouth, that was nothing to what those lips and that tongue—dear God, that tongue—could do to other parts of her body. It felt so good she wanted it to go on forever. She thought there was no way for it to get any better. And then he added his fingers to his lips and his tongue, and she came so hard she saw black spots floating in front of her eyes.

“Holy shit,” she said as soon as she could talk. And then she did something she’d never done after an orgasm before: she started giggling uncontrollably.

“What’s so funny?” He sat back up on the couch, and she leaned against him until they were laying down again, her tucked into the curve of his arm.

“Nothing,” she choked out. “This was just not at all how I expected my day to go. I didn’t even . . .” she tried to catch her breath. “I didn’t even have my good underwear on!”

He glanced at the clothes littered across the floor, then back at her.

“Who cares about what kind of underwear you had on when you have that body underneath it?” He ran his hand down her torso, the side of her hip, her thigh. Something inside of her melted.


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