He squeezes my hand. “Do you want me to let go?”
I shake my head then discover the courage to speak. “No.”
With his other hand, Noah frees a tendril of hair sticking to my cheek. As if the brush against my skin is a lightning rod, energy zaps from my head to my toes.
“I want to kiss you,” he murmurs.
I’ve lost the ability to breathe. “I want you to kiss me.”
Noah releases my hand and as he leans forward, I inch back and find myself against the cold wall. It’s a strange tingle in my body, to be warmed on one side and cold on another. As Noah presses against me, the wall starts to absorb my heat, and I’m suddenly toasty.
I take in Noah’s heady scent. It’s a mesmerizing smell, one that causes my mouth to water and my muscles to relax. As if sensing my give, Noah wraps an arm around my waist and cups my face with his other hand.
I feel Noah. In a different way than I ever had before, and I wait for the panic or the insecurity, but none of it shows. As I stare into Noah’s eyes, I only sense peace, as if this moment is natural and is meant to happen.
“I love you.” So much that sometimes it hurts.
Noah tilts his head down, and his nose skims against mine. “You’re my whole world, Echo. Someday, when you’re ready, I’ll show you how much.”
Small drops of water trail down our faces, and it’s like little teasing fingers. I run my hands up his back, exploring. When they tangle into his hair, I whisper against his lips, “Maybe soon.”
Echo’s different, and as I take her lips with mine, every ounce of my being responds to the change. She holds me closer, melts farther in and she’s lost her hesitancy. Her hands are everywhere, and mine behave the same. I can’t touch enough of her fast enough, and the urge for more drives me to press my body against hers. The flames are consuming both of us, pushing us to transform into a blazing wildfire.
My tongue slips between her lips, and Echo arches into me. I bite back a growl, terrified of scaring her. My hands tangle in her hair and skim along her wet body, enjoying each sensual curve.
The kiss is wild, passionate and deep. Kissing Echo has always been steaming, but this is beyond. As if a dam’s been breached, and the pent-up attraction floods out.
Echo gasps for air, and my mouth brushes down her cheek to her neck—nipping, kissing, devouring. She tilts her neck to the side, granting me access, inviting me to explore more…explore lower.
“Noah,” she says in the way I’ve dreamed of since the night I backed her against a wall outside of Mike Blair’s house in January. My name falling from her lips has been a major part of every erotic dream.
She glances up at me from below her eyelashes, and my world stalls into slow motion. There’s a depth in her eyes that’s never been there before—a slow sexiness, an expectation. With the shower angled at her body, running down her beautiful curves, steam rising into the air, Echo’s red hair reshapes into ringlets.
I slide my hands down her arms until I link our fingers together. “I need you to be sure.”
Her chest moves as she inhales deeply. A bit of the tentativeness I’m used to with Echo returns as her fingers tighten around mine. “I think I am.”
I want her. More than I’ve ever desired anyone. Need is a damn pulse in my body, and I can barely breathe with trying to keep myself under control. Image after image of taking Echo, right here, right now, becomes a virus in my mind. “Not think, Echo. You’ve got to know.”
Echo places a hand on my chest and nudges me back. I’m cautious, watching her stare at my stomach. She’s thinking, weighing, and I need to give her space. A rush of air escapes her lips, her arms fall to her sides, and my damn little siren switches her focus and looks down.
My lips edge up as her eyes widen. “No,” she whispers.
“There is no freaking way that will fit.”
The smugness radiating from Noah is nauseating. He wears this infuriating grin that encourages me to smack him upside the head, but the guilt from throwing his clothes into the pool prevents me from tackling him.
With a towel wrapped around his waist, he lays out his clothes on the floor, on the table and over the chairs. Basically anywhere there’s an open spot. The cross tattooed on his biceps stretches as he hooks a hanger holding his dress shirt onto the heater vent near the ceiling.
I saw Noah tonight…all of him, and he was gorgeous. I mean, I knew what to expect as I’m not a nun. We have biology books at school, and I’ve had sex ed, but it was different, standing there, seeing him…and then I went and said the most epically tragic thing ever: There is no freaking way that will fit.
Sitting on the bed in a tank top and pair of boy shorts, I press my hands over my blazing cheeks. Saying that was like handing a match and a can of gasoline to a pyromaniac. “I didn’t mean it that way.”
Noah chuckles. “Yes, you did.”
“No, I didn’t. I meant that…you know…there’s a limited space and you just appeared…and it’s not what I meant.” Stop digging the hole. It’s already too deep for daylight.
Will this ever cease being so uncomfortably weird and agonizing and strangely glorious? I like the glorious part. The rush of discovering something new, but I wish I could leave uncomfortable and agonizing behind.
Noah glances at me from over his shoulder. “So you saying I’m not abnormally large?”
“Yes.” That sounded bad. “No.” Somehow that sounded worse. “I’m sure you’re normal.”
The stubble on his face moves as he smiles. Noah places his hand near the knot on the towel hanging at his waist. “Would you like to have another look?”
My mouth goes dry, and I fumble with my hair pick before combing it through my curls. I’m doing my best for casual though casual seems impossible. I saw Noah tonight. “No, I think I’m good.”
“Regret skipping the conditioner?” Noah asks.
Yep. “I didn’t need it. Using too much can cause buildup.”
Not true at all. There are certain things needed to survive in life: water, food, conditioner. For the millionth time, the pick catches on a tangle, and I consider scissors. Lots of girls cut their hair short before college. Why shouldn’t I be one of them?
“Could have stayed in longer,” Noah says. “The hot water didn’t run out as fast as you thought it would.”
“Well…you know…it had been running for a while, and what type of guests would we be if we drained the water tank?”