This wasn"t right. He was her best friend, the man everyone had told her she should want. But she didn"t. Didn’t.
Yeah, she"d wanted sex, but not with Shawn. And now that he was dirty dancing up against her for everyone to gawk at, she could admit her need to escape to New York was partially his fault. Just because their families and most of their friends had thought they belonged together ever since he"d accompanied her to her first junior high dance didn"t mean it made sense.
What was between them wasn"t about passion. She"d seen too many good friendships trashed when sheet aerobics were added into the mix. He meant way too much to her to risk what they had at the request of her hormones. Or because their mothers thought they"d make gorgeous babies.
She"d never blithely gone along with her family"s wishes before. No reason to start now. Even if she"d just gotten a firsthand feel of how well he"d, uh, grown since she"d seen him in the shower so many years ago.
“Why haven"t you been talking to me lately, Rach?” Shawn"s breath steamed into her ear, sending a trail of fire from the nape of her neck to her toes.
“What do you mean?”
“You used to tell me things.” He walked his fingers down her shoulder, and she fought back a shudder. “Private things. Now you keep everything between us Grated.”
Because of this, you jerk.
She squeezed her eyes shut. How long had she been feeling this bizarre undercurrent between them? Weeks. Months, even. A heaviness in her chest when he stepped too close, a thrill along her spine every time he linked his fingers with hers.
She was lonely, that"s all. It"d been too long since she"d shared anything more than takeout Chinese with a man, so of course Shawn sent her libido into overdrive.
“You"re just doing this to keep me from Ryan.” Reassured she"d finally discovered his angle, she craned her head to stare at him. “You"re pretending there"s…heat between us because you don"t want to deal with the fallout if something goes wrong. You"re trying to protect me again. But it"s none of your goddamned business what I do. Or who.”
The venom in her tone shocked even her, but he only laughed. “Yeah, I"m pretending there"s heat.” His large, warm hands slid down her sides, hardly touching her, but setting off a wicked burn of anticipation between her legs she couldn"t control. “You"re in denial, Cooper. I"m not.”
Her pussy flooded with moisture, proving how right he was. “Yeah, sure.
Suddenly, you"re all hot and bothered.” She hoped he couldn"t hear the quaver in her voice, but she doubted she"d get her wish. He simply knew her too well. “I think it"s just because you don"t like the idea of me leaving.”
“Just because you"re blind, don"t ascribe motives to my actions that aren"t there. No, I don"t want you to see him. Ever.” An emotion she couldn"t read flashed in his eyes. “But not just because of me. Have you forgotten he dumped you at eighteen to run off to New York, when you were—”
“Don"t. Just don"t.” Rachel hissed out a breath. “It"s been ten years. I"m over it.
But that doesn"t mean I haven"t wondered what if…”
“You know what if. His career was all he ever cared about. You came second.”
She rubbed her eyes, willing her mind to settle and her body to stop betraying her by trembling each time he brushed against her. The last thing she needed was to be dissuaded when she"d finally gathered up the nerve to go after what she wanted.