But I didn’t do that. Because against everything I hold dear, his words did this slinky thing in my brain, sliding down into my heart and between my legs. It made me want to clench my thighs together to keep the heat building even though it had nowhere to go.
It revved an engine inside that I tried my hardest not to think about.
I swallowed hard and kept my eyes focused on the shrubs in front of me. The wedding sounded even further away, as if it were leaving in order to get us alone.
Bram gently placed two fingers underneath my chin and slowly turned my head, so I had no choice but to look at him. “If I tell you you’re beautiful again,” he said, whispering, “will you blush? Or will you believe it?”
Damn. Damn, damn, damn. I’d be a fool for falling for this swarmy little act, but boy did I want to believe it.
At least I didn’t blush. There wasn’t any time to.
Before I knew what was happening, Bram leaned in a millimeter and kissed me. His lips were soft and wet, tasting like rich tobacco and mint. I sucked in a breath, my body frozen and caught-off guard, exactly what he wanted. The back of my brain screamed, “The best man and maid of honor, hooking up at a wedding, what a cliché!” and “He’s a player and he’s playing you” while my lips, spurred by alcohol and a deep-rooted ache for something, kissed him back.
It all went in slow motion. The voices in my head quieted down, turning to a hazy hush, and all that was left was this stoked fire burning deep inside. His hands went to the sides of my face and he held me there with strong, warm fingers. It steadied me as his tongue slipped against mine and our mouths danced with each other in perfect rhythm. If I could have formed any thoughts, I would have considered that this wasn’t at all what I thought kissing Bram McGregor would be like. This was soft, sensual and, dare I say it, meaningful.
Just as I found myself relaxing into his body, though, wanting more from his hands, wanting to slip my own underneath the tuxedo jacket and feel the hardness of his chest, he pulled back, eyes closed and breath ragged.
“You’re beautiful,” he said, clearing his throat. His eyes opened, gazing at me lazily through long, dark lashes, lashes I would kill for. “You’re still blushing, though. Actually, you seem a little more than flushed.” He raised a brow, his face still inches from mine. “Did I turn you on?”
My God, this guy was forward. I know that Linden had always been rather lewd and definitely very vocal with Steph, but Bram was taking it to another level.
My mouth parted while I tried to think of words and he ran his thumb over my bottom lip. “Such a beautiful mouth. What else can you do with it?”
Finally I blinked, clueing in that he was being rather crude. I flinched and brought my head away.
He frowned. “Ah, don’t get your knickers in a twist,” he said, his hand slipping down to my arm. “I’ve been watching you all night, you know.”
“Well, that’s not hard to do when we’re part of the wedding party,” I said, my voice suddenly parched, like kissing him had taken a lot out of me. I suppose it had at least taken my sanity.
“You have a hard time taking compliments,” he commented.
That, I knew was true. I wasn’t ugly or even plain by any means, but motherhood – and being ditched by my ex – had taken its toll on my self-esteem. There was a time when I used to walk into the room and own it, or at least believe in what I was offering, but I hadn’t felt that confidence in a long time.
Even the attention of Bram, a wealthy, eligible Scotsman, wasn’t helping. Probably because I knew his reputation as a lady-killer and, even though he wasn’t drinking at this exact moment, I could taste the Scotch on his lips.