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At the first gut-wrenching note of one of the most erotic songs I’d ever heard, my head instinctively flies up; and I make eye contact with the band’s rhythm guitarist. He looks like he’s having a great time. I feel like I just got sucker-punched.
I lean in to my best friend, Bonnie, and shout, “I’m going to get some fresh air, OK?”
She flips her blonde hair over her shoulder, and her worried dark brown eyes meet mine. “You, OK? You need me to come with?”
I paste a fake grin on and shout back, “No, no. I’m good. Just need a minute. Keep dancing, ma belle amie!”
With one last glance at the stage, I make my way through the sea of elbows and hips. When I reach the back porch, I take a huge breath and let the lyrics permeate my brain. Oh my goodness! Was there a sexier song than this on the entire planet? I think not! And him up there strumming it. I think back to all of, what I hope were, my surreptitious glances of the evening. Geez, he is gorgeous. I think about running my hands through that shaggy darkest of brown hair and staring into those exquisite ice blue eyes. What if I had enough guts to place my hands on his chiseled jaw and bring his impossibly full lips to mine? I close my eyes and revel in what had to be the most luscious lips I’d ever laid eyes on.
I know I’m not supposed to want him. He’s my own hunky slice of forbidden fruit—my deceased husband’s outcast cousin. Could I get any tawdrier than that? Pretty sure that’d be a no.
My conscience takes a nosedive and picks up where I left off with my explicit daydream. I’ve only allowed this one other time, and I’d promised myself I wouldn’t permit it again. But, surely, I could make an exception because of this my favorite among favorites of songs.
So I allow myself to imagine my lips mumbling his name against his lips…Adrian…even his name is sexy. I feel a shiver course throughout my body. It’s on this thought that I hear the screen door bump closed behind me. My eyes fly open, and I take another deep breath to collect myself and know immediately that it’s him. Yes, his scent is that unique. It somehow reminds of the desert and the ocean all at once—hot yet quenching. Why does he have to be an assault on all my senses? Wait…What in the world is he doing out here? He’s supposed to be on stage! I search frantically for some semblance of control over my body. What is the proper etiquette for getting caught in your lustful musings by the very object of your desires? Hmm…
His rich timbre reaches across the porch as he asks, “Celeste, everything good?” If whiskey possessed the ability to speak, that’s what it would sound like—his smooth, sultry voice.
I spin around too fast, and my head seems to keep spinning. There he is in all his glory. Even with my heels on, he is incredibly tall. He’s so broad that I could imagine him double-timing it up a couple of flights of stairs with me thrown over his shoulder and I’m no waif. My eyes meet his, and I’m lost. Lost to this song. Lost to his look. Lost to my fantasizing.
I stride over to him as the guitar plays out a little stalking march for me. I’m gonna do this, I think. I’m really gonna do this. When I get close enough to him, I can see the worry in his hypnotizingly beautiful eyes. He’s worried about me. He must care about me on some level. Is it enough, though? I’m close enough now to breathe him in fully, and when I do, I hear Zach sing out, “‘Breathe out, so I can breathe you in, hold you in.’” I take a deeper breath and my eyes flutter to half-closed as his scent saturates my every pore. Even though my eyes are almost closed, I don’t miss the flare of his eyes; and I take this as encouragement. That’s all it takes. The edge I was clinging to seemingly dissipates from my tenuous grasp.
When the guitar rift hits its crescendo, I watch helpless as my hands dart out and pull his face down to mine just like in my fantasy. Maybe I’m still fantasizing? My doubt is quickly shredded as his lips are softer than anything my feeble imagination could ever envisage. I move my lips over his in what, I hope, is an enticing way. I’m not sure yet because he hasn’t responded. He hasn’t thrown me off, though, so I continue my assault. I slant my head to the side a little more and my tongue, apparently with a mind of its own as well, darts out to help itself to a taste. Mmm…His taste can barely register, though, because as soon as my tongue touches his lips he opens his mouth under mine, scattering my would-be thoughts.
That’s all I need. Desire like I’ve never felt before wars with my good sense. I feel his tongue move with mine hesitantly; nonetheless, it moves. Thank you, God! Oh my…This is…everything. Everything I’ve never felt, everything I’ve never tasted, everything I’ve never had.
When the song breaks off into what I call “the voices in my head” section, my conscience decides to make itself known again; and I wrench myself free. Adrian wasn’t holding me. I was holding him, but I was suddenly overcome with self-doubt, which was quickly followed by self-preservation. This would lead to absolutely nowhere good.
As I back away slowly, my frantic eyes assess his also frantic eyes. Then, his look changes, and he just looks downright unhappy. I clear my throat and offer, “Adrian, I’m so sorry. I…I don’t know what I was thinking.” My hand flutters up to push my hair back off my face. “I wasn’t thinking, I guess.”
He just stares at me like he’s never seen me before, and it scares me. Panic seizes my throat. He’s been amazing to my boys and me. We can’t lose him. I’m such a fool. I open my mouth to continue groveling when that damn stalking rhythm starts up again and all of the sudden Adrian is the one stalking toward me, but he looks…pissed. I lick my lips, swallow hard, and stumble back until I feel the porch rail behind me.
When the crescendo hits this time, it’s Adrian who assaults me; but I am a more than willing participant so that when his hands run down my back my body melts into his. Even though I feel melded to him, it’s not enough for Adrian because his big hands keep going until they clasp my behind so hard that my right leg springs up to rest around his hip. Oh my God! It was great the first time. This, this is spectacular.
I moan in time with this new knowledge and Zach sings Dave’s lyric, “You gotta promise not to stop when I say when.” One realization crashes into another as I realize I never want this to stop. I never want to stop kissing him. Squeezing my eyes shut tighter and tightening my grip on him, I throw myself even more into this soul-stealing kiss. Mmm…His hair is just as soft as I thought it would be. I pull it through my fingers roughly. When I do, he groans into my mouth and deepens his kiss momentarily before completely throwing me by pulling back a little and softening the kiss. It’s excruciatingly tender. Desire wars within me as I want to savor it but also want him to devour me again. Greedy—I feel so greedy.
When he pulls back to place closed-mouthed little kisses on my lips, I fulfill my fantasy and mumble, “Mmm…Adrian.” Adrian’s shudder reverberates through me, and he leans back to grasp my hands and pull them down from around his neck. I hear the song come to its beautiful end, and Zack tells the crowd they’ll be back in ten.
The kiss I never wanted to end has ended, and I feel bereft. I finally open my eyes to stare into his most expressive ones. Like I thought, expressive. His eyes are filled with regret.
I gasp at the sudden sharp pain that pierces my heart. I snap my mouth shut, drop my leg from around his hip, and pull my hands from his. “Adrian—”
“No, that’s all on me, Celeste. I’m…” He runs his hand through his hair, proving what I thought impossible by making himself even sexier with mussed hair. “Shit…I’m sorry. I’m a shit. It’s just…”
“I’ve had too much to drink,” I blurt out. “This is the first time I’ve been out, and…I was just having fun but feeling lonely and I had too much to drink.” So, about one-third of that statement is true. I’d only had one glass of wine, and I did not feel lonely. I can’t tell him that, though. Best he think I’m inebriated and missing my husband rather than know the truth of the matter—I want him for my very own.
He pulls his big hands down over his face and massages it for a second. Blowing out a deep breath and intoxicating me with his essence a little bit more, he insists, “Yeah, and pig that I am, I took advantage of all that.”
“You’re not a pig,” I protest. “And, to be honest, I really needed to be kissed. So…thank you.” Oh my! Did I really just thank him for kissing me? I. AM. SO. PATHETIC!
He scrunches his face up a little bit. “So, we’re good then. No, uh, awkwardness?” He asks me with a look of disbelief crossing his features.
“Of course, I’m not one of your simpering groupies. I promise not to stalk you and demand any more kisses.” I joke. None of what I said sounds funny, though, so we just kind of stare at each other for a couple of, you guessed it, awkward beats.
His hand comes up and the look on his face tells me he’s going to console me or something. I pull back a little. He lets his hand drop before putting them both in his pockets and rocking back on his heels a little. When he does this, he draws my attention to his nicely toned pecs. I groan inwardly. “You ready to come back inside then?”
“Umm…I just need another minute. I’ll be right in, OK?” I give him a small, albeit shaky, smile.
“OK,” he agrees. He makes his way back to the door before turning back to tell me, “See ya inside.”
“Yep,” I lie. The second the door snaps closed, I yank out my cell phone and fire off a text to Bonnie and Farah telling them that I got a cab and would talk to them tomorrow.
There’s no way in hell I could go back in there, I punctuate that thought by hitting my lock button. I snicker—a lock button—if only it were that easy for me.