When a woman talked “sex,” he listened. But this time, Kevin wasn’t really sure he liked what he was hearing. “So you’re saying we take love off the table and focus entirely on sex, and that somehow that would keep my daughter out of it and avoid all potential complications at Knight and Day.”
“Exactly.” Cassie beamed a pleased smile up at him. Then a frown drew her eyebrows together. “You said ‘somehow’ in a very skeptical tone.”
“Sorry. I don’t mean to be skeptical. But—”
She poked his chest. “There you go again. That ‘but’ was also very skeptical.”
God, she was adorable. And that, right there, was the problem. “I’ve done the no-strings-sex thing. A lot. In fact, it’s all I’ve done since Sylvie and I split up. I know exactly how it works.”
Her eyelids flickered. “And so have I. In my case, it’s because I’ve moved around so much. There you go! We both already know the drill. It’s perfect.”
“It’s not perfect.”
“Okay, of course it’s not perfect. But we could make it work.”
“We couldn’t make it work,” he said firmly. Because as much as it pained him to do so, he had to nip this idea in the bud before she took it any further.
“Why not?” She glared at him in a blaze of indignation. “You think I’m not sophisticated enough, that I can’t separate sex and love? You’re totally wrong, I can do that, and—”
“That’s not the problem.” He splayed his hands across her lower back, feeling the micro-adjustments of the muscles along her spine. The silky material of her dress was like magic, the way it allowed him to feel her body underneath.
“So what’s the problem?” Despite her frown, she was so appealing, so alive in the deepening starlight, as if she herself were a star who had landed in his life.
And finally, finally, he kissed her.
Not the almost-kiss of the first time they’d met, or the close call from Knight and Day. This was the real thing—and it felt as if he’d been waiting for this moment for years. As if kissing Cassie was like throwing himself down a waterfall, his entire being tumbling end over end, completely immersed in the moment. The warm champagne sweetness of her taste was everything, the eager opening of her mouth, the slide of her tongue, the oops of their teeth clicking against each other before they figured out exactly how to fit together.
A tight quiver ran through her body, and for a moment he wondered if he’d gone too fast, kissing her like this.
In the next moment, she linked her hands around his neck and lifted herself on tiptoe, pressing her breasts against him. He felt the points of her nipples against his chest, and thanked God once again for that miraculous dress that hid nothing from him. Skimming his hands up her sides, he cupped the soft swells of her breasts. The perfect, delicate curves triggered a pulse of lust inside him, but even more than that, a fierce sense of rightness. As if her body and his were meant for this moment, and for so many moments to come.
And that…that…was why her plan wouldn’t work.