Dante's Girl (Page 32)

Dante’s Girl (The Paradise Diaries #1)(32)
Author: Courtney Cole

“What’s funny?” Dante asks curiously, his fingers resting on my arm.  Every nerve ending immediately explodes into flame, as every cell in my body is aware of his fingers.  I like the weight of it on my skin.  I hope that he never moves it.

But he does.  And I feel its absence immediately.

“Nothing,” I answer.  “This just feels surreal.  And I’m sure that my parents will say yes.  How in the world could they tell your father no?”

“Not many people do,” Dante agrees.  “It’s a hard thing to do, trust me.”

He looks regretful, which makes me instantly curious.

“Why do you look sad?” I ask.  “You live in a beautiful country with the world at your fingertips.  Your dad is amazing and nice and you’re a billionaire.  What could possibly make you sad?”

Dante studies me, his cobalt eyes serious, his expression unreadable.

“Let’s go for a walk,” he finally says.  “Someplace quieter.”

A quiet place with Dante?  Yes, Please!

I scramble to my feet and walk with him through the crowd again, this time oblivious to the stares.  He has a huge stride and I find myself hurrying to keep up, two steps for every one of his.  He weaves us through the people and out the doors in record time.

Before I know it, we are on a terrace.  In the dark.  Under the stars.

With Dante.

This may as well be Heaven.

In fact, it might actually be.

Have I died and didn’t realize it?

I flex my fingers and poke at my thigh.

My mind is fuzzy and I feel like I am moving slower than I actually am.  Is life in slow motion right now or is it me?  I blink hard then poke myself again.

“Are you alright?” Dante asks, watching me curiously.  I nod.

“Yep. I’ve just never had three glasses of champagne before.  In fact, I’ve never even had one.  Until now.”

I giggle at the thought and Dante smiles.

“Okay, drunk girl.  Let’s sit you down.”

He guides me to a lounger and eases me onto it.  I clutch at his arm, not wanting to let him go.  He stares down at me.

“You really have had too much to drink, haven’t you, little sunflower?”

The name warms my heart and I decide that he is the handsomest person in the world. 

“Is handsomest a word?” I ask him.

He looks at me blankly.

“I don’t know,” he answers slowly.  “Why?”

“You’re the handsomest person in the world,” I announce.  “I don’t care if it’s a word or not.  You are it, one way or another.”

Dante smiles and runs a hand through his hair, as though he’s trying to decide what to do.

“Oh.  Okay.  Um, thanks?  What am I going to do with you?  You’re adorable when you are drunk.  But I made you drunk, even if it was an accident.  How was I supposed to know that you’re such a lightweight?”

He sounds like he is waging some sort of battle with himself.

“Who exactly are you arguing with?”I ask, the champagne clouding my thoughts in a very thorough way. “You will get no arguments from me tonight.  No matter what.”

He sighs, a husky and ragged sound.

It’s sexy.

I scoot closer to him and drag him down until he is sitting on the lounger with me.  His warmth feels nice out here because the air has turned cool.  It’s dark and I feel like we’re in our own little world.  I run my fingers over his arm, then grip at his shoulders.

“You’re so strong,” I tell him.  “And your fingers are so long.”

I don’t know what that has to do with anything, I just feel like pointing it out.  Because his fingers are long.  I pick up his hand and slide my own against it.  His hand is at least a full inch longer than mine.  Probably more.  I curl my fingers around his and hold tight to his hand.

I look up at him.

He is so devastatingly beautiful in the moonlight.

I tell him so.

He stares at me, his dark gaze unwavering.  Except for my knees.  It definitely wavers my knees, if that is possible.  I know I wouldn’t be able to stand up if I tried. Which I’m not going to.  I’m staying right here…with Dante.

“Kiss me,” I whisper.  “Please.”

Dante is silent, his blue eyes frozen on me.

And then he lowers his head and his soft lips are upon mine.

And I might seriously die this time.

For real.

I’m kissing Dante.

Kissing.

Dante.

The thoughts won’t stop running through my head as Dante kisses me in the most romantic and soft kiss I’ve ever experienced.  My thoughts blur together and all I can do now is immerse myself in the moment.  The world actually seems to explode for a second.  This is the most amazing kiss in the history of the world.

Dante smells so good, and his arms are so strong and his tuxedo jacket is so soft against my skin and this is the most romantic terrace I’ve ever seen.  So, so romantic. I am clutching at him, trying to get closer and closer.  The flowers that surround us throw their luscious scents into the breeze and I never want this moment to end.  Not ever.

Not.

Ever.

But it does.

Exactly one moment later, actually.

Dante’s phone rings in his pocket and the loud noise brings us both back to reality.  I stop clutching at him and he reluctantly reaches into his pocket and answers his phone.

“I’m sorry.  I didn’t hear it earlier.” Long pause. “No, I’m not there at the moment.  I didn’t realize you were coming.”  Longer pause.  “I’ll be there in a few minutes.”  Pause.  “Yes.  See you then.”

He hangs up and my heart falters for a moment because I know who he was speaking with even before I ask.

“Elena?”

My voice seems small and suddenly the terrace seems like it is moving.  I steady myself with my hands on the lounger and I blink hard to clear my fuzzy vision.

Dante nods without saying anything.

But I have liquid courage raging through my veins and I’m suddenly not afraid to ask the question that I’ve been wondering all along. It’s burning within me and I have to know.

“Is she your girlfriend?”

There is utter silence on the terrace and I am afraid to look at him.  I’m afraid of the answer.  I’m afraid of the expression that might be on his face.  I’m suddenly afraid of everything.