Home > Just What I Needed(7)

Just What I Needed(7)
Author: Kylie Scott

“Okay.”

He takes a small step forward and speaks softly. “You going to answer the question for me now?”

“I’d really honestly rather not,” I say and drop my gaze to the floor. “It’s kind of embarrassing.”

“I kind of need you to.”

“Need is a strong word.” I glance up.

“I feel it’s accurate in this case.” One side of his lips rise. “Please, Jude?”

Ugh. “Yes,” I finally admit. “You would not be wrong if you took my actions as being somewhat date-like.”

He takes a step closer. “You usually spring surprise dates on people?”

“No. I’m sorry. I haven’t actually been on one in forever. It’s why I’m so bad at all of this. But…”

“But?”

“Nothing.” I sigh. “I answered your question. My middle of the night snack is waiting. Are we done here?”

“No.” He takes another step closer, trapping me between his body and the kitchen counter. “Not yet. The thing is, I am fine with you springing surprise dates on me. Just so you know.”

“You are?” I breathe out the words.

“I am.” His voice is deep. Strong.

My heart beats double-time. “That’s really nice to hear.”

“That’s the other reason why Frankie and I aren’t going to be trying again. Because I like you. Getting involved with her again wouldn’t be right when she’s not the girl I’ve got on my mind.” He smiles. “I know we just met, but I want to know more about you.”

My eyes feel as wide as twin moons. “You do?”

“Though this situation is a little complicated. We’re both stuck here with work for the foreseeable future. If things don’t work out between us…”

“Right. That’s, um, a valid point.”

“Do you still want to see where this goes?”

I think it over. “It is a concern. I agree with you there. But I think we’re both adults who can behave ourselves. We can be professional and polite. If one of us changes our mind or we decide we’re just better off as friends, I think we can manage that.”

“Okay.”

I smile, relieved. And he stares at my mouth for a few seconds before focusing on my eyes again.

“Listen, I already agreed to go see a band in town tomorrow night with some of the guys. It won’t be a late night because we’ve all got work the next morning. But I was wondering if that was the sort of thing you might be interested in coming along with me to?”

Wow. He just asked me on a date. And if feels nice. Natural, actually. Plus, I realize I really do want to spend time with him when I’m not just staring at his hotness. “Sure. That sounds great.”

“Good.”

I smile. I have a lot to smile about. He likes me. We’re doing this. How exciting.

He leans forward. “Can I kiss you, Jude?” he whispers.

I feel those words in every part of me. “Yeah.” I lick my lips. “You can.”

As pretty as he was at a distance, he’s even more handsome close up. All of the shadows and lines of his face. It blows my mind how Lena left him for another. What a fool. Though I am kind of deeply grateful that she did. His lips are divine. No other word will do. And the thought of him pressing them against mine is making my stomach do a weird flip-flop thing. His lips are neither thin nor plump, but somewhere in between and perfect. I stare at them as he comes closer until he’s pressing his mouth softly against mine.

A sweet kiss, as if he’s testing his welcome. The man needn’t have bothered. I balance on the balls of my feet and join our lips once more, kissing him more insistently. I mean, we might as well figure out here and now if we have no chemistry. If he has no expertise. Because I kissed this male model once who was a tongue-wrangling disaster. Just a whole lot of wet-faced yuck. Sad, but true. It’s not like I have kissed anyone in ages. Maybe I’ve forgotten how it all works. Perhaps I’ll be the disaster.

Dean’s hands grip my hips, and his tongue slips into my mouth and oh, yeah. Very nice. A lack of chemistry is obviously not going to be a problem between us. He kisses me deep and wet in a way that goes straight to my head. My fingers slide over the smooth warm skin of his shoulders before holding on tight. He is so solid and strong. One of his hands is now cupping the back of my head, holding me to him. As if I had any intention of leaving. Heck no. We kiss until my lips are numb and swollen and my mind is far away. Nothing else matters but this moment.

He leans his forehead against mine, and we both take a moment to catch our breath. As first kisses go, it was stellar. My empty stomach, however, shows no cool and rumbles loudly. Talk about keeping it real.

He smiles and kisses my nose, checking out my selection of snacks on the kitchen counter. “Mind if I join you for some middle of the night pickle, turkey, and cheese?”

“Not at all. There will even be Oreos for dessert.” I lick my lips and taste him. Nirvana. “You know, you don’t have to sleep on the couch. It can’t be that comfortable. I don’t mind sharing my bed with you if you want.”

For a long moment, he just looks at me, his fingers flexing on my hips. Like he’s waging some sort of internal war with himself or something. The heat in his gaze lets me know he definitely wants, but he’s holding himself back. Which is smart. This thing between us is moving fast. Or at least my hopes and dreams are.

“I didn’t necessarily mean it like…you know.”

“There’s nothing I’d like better than being in your bed. But as you said, we haven’t even known each other a day. How about I stay on the couch for now?”

“Okay,” I say. “That sounds very wise.”

He presses another swift kiss to my lips. “But thank you for offering, Jude. Now let’s get you fed.”

 

* * * *

 

Frankie is sitting on the sofa the next morning busy with her cell. Her hair is in a perfect chignon, and she’s wearing cowboy boots, jeans, and a cream sweater. I don’t even own any nice clothing in light colors. It stains too easily. As my misadventure with Anne’s silk shirt last night amply displayed. But the woman looks amazing despite it being early. Her makeup is sublime. I am beyond curious as to why Dean doesn’t want to date her. Though I acknowledge it’s none of my business. Mostly.

Also of note is how Frankie’s bags are sitting by the door.

“Hey, Jude,” she sing-songs. The woman is obviously a fan of The Beatles. “Dean was telling me I owe you an apology for last night. For not only gate crashing but actually stealing your food. I was starving, sorry. Didn’t even think twice.”

“It’s fine.” I fill a mug with coffee. “Are you heading out?”

She makes a comic sad face. “I might as well since Dean doesn’t want to get back together again. I knew I should have taken him at his word when he called it off last time. He was using his serious face and somber voice and everything. But I had something else on my mind and I thought he’d get over it and here we are. One day I’ll learn. We’ve been on and off for a while. At the end of the day, however, our lifestyles don’t really mesh.”

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