Oh, those damn lips. I quickly tore my eyes off of them, trying to forget their feel, their sweet, captivating taste.
“Did that surfer dude say anything you believed?”
Surfer dude? I had to take a moment to realize what he was talking about.
“Aaron?” I asked. “That’s Stephanie’s ex-boyfriend.”
His shoulder raised in a lazy shrug. “She’s a married woman now, I’m sure he’s up for grabs. He was hitting on you all night.”
That I knew, though Aaron had such a casual, dopey way of doing it, it hadn’t bothered me. “You really were watching me.”
He smiled softly. “Most beautiful woman at the wedding.” He paused. “Aside from the bride, of course, but I have to say that.” He put his hand behind my head and I tried not to flinch at the thought of him messing up my updo. “How about you and I ditch this scene? I think Stephanie and Linden left a while ago and the night is still young.”
Things were happening way too fast. As much as his words seemed to unravel the tight binds inside me, the ones that kept me sane and respectable, as much as the rough gravel of his voice made my hairs stand on end, I had responsibilities and they didn’t involve having a one-night stand with Bram McGregor. Even though that little voice, the one that did like “fun” and was so often buried, was pinching my insides, demanding I live a little, I couldn’t. Besides, it’s not like this could ever be more than a fling, not with someone like him.
He leaned in close again and very gently brushed his lips against mine, shooting heat into my veins. “Come on,” he murmured. “I know there’s a wild child somewhere deep inside you. I can tell. Let her loose. Let me help.”
Oh God. If only he could.
“I can’t,” I said quietly. “I have to go home.”
He smiled against my mouth. It felt wonderful. “Bring me home with you. I promise to behave myself.” He kissed me softly, long and lingering before slowly, achingly, pulling away. “Actually, I promise to misbehave,” he said huskily. “But I know you’ll like it.”
I took the moment to put an inch of distance between our faces. “You don’t understand. I have to pay the babysitter. She’ll want to leave soon.”
I didn’t expect him to freeze like he did, only because I had assumed he knew I had a child. But from the way his brows came together, I could tell this was news to him.
“Babysitter?” he said, clearing his throat. “You have a kid?”
I nodded, feeling my defenses go up bit by bit like I was rebuilding a wall that had momentarily come down. “Ava. She’s five.”
“I didn’t know that about you,” he said, blinking a few times. Why did men always have to freak out when they found out I was a single mom? You’d think in this so-called progressive day and age men would at least be a little more open-minded about, if not exposed to the situation more often. Besides, I was thirty-one, not a teenager.
I couldn’t help but flash him an acidic smile. “There’s a lot you don’t know about me.” When I thought about it, I guess I had only met him a couple of times before and they were usually in social situations where the most I got was a handshake or a nod and that was it. I don’t think I had talked to him alone until tonight.
He looked at the watch on his wrist, something I had noticed for the first time. It gleamed silver in the outdoor lights. “Well, I guess you better be on your way then, Cinderella.”
“Is it almost midnight?” I asked, feeling awkward now about everything. I slowly got to my feet and they screamed in pain from the Ross Atwood sandals that Steph had gifted me for the wedding. Sexy they were, comfortable they weren’t.