A Perfect Ten

Page 80

Thinking things? That didn’t sound good.

“What kind of things?”

“I don’t know, Oren. Things! A future, love, marriage, forever. Just things!”

“Oh.” Okay, that answer left me speechless and a little breathless. But shit, had she really been thinking about those things? With me? I’d been over here just living for each day. After our nonverbal agreement to stick together when she’d asked about birth control, I hadn’t thought any further than the next time I’d get to see her and how to keep it low key.

“I take that to mean you haven’t been thinking any such things.” Her voice was dry and unimpressed.

She tried to turn away again, but I caught her arm and moved closer. “Damn it, Care. Just because I haven’t been thinking that far ahead doesn’t mean I’m scared of those things. I’m just...”

When I realized I didn’t know what I was, she lifted an eyebrow and guessed, “Scared of those things?”

“No!” I clenched my teeth. “Christ, woman. Maybe I’m not even letting myself think that far ahead because I’m just waiting for that inevitable day when you realize you can do so much better and drop me flat. I’m not scared of those things. I’m scared of wanting them and then not getting them, so I don’t even allow myself to think about them.”

She stepped closer, her blue eyes suddenly full of sympathy. “Why do you think I’m going to leave you?”

I threw my hands in the air. “Probably because I’m me, the asshole. Why else? Do I need another reason?”

“Oh, Oren. You stupid, stupid man. Don’t you realize how addicted I am to you?”

I shook my head and laughed nervously. “People break free of nasty addictions every day.”

She stepped in closer to me, the look in her eyes telling me how much she wanted my mouth on hers. “Well, I’m not going to. This is one addiction I like.”

God damn, I loved her addiction. And I loved being addicted to her right back.

“Are you going to kiss me right now?” I asked, lifting my eyebrow curiously. I was actually fine with it if she wanted to. If she wanted to come clean and let the world know about us, I could definitely deal with that.

I stepped in toward her, welcoming any kind of PDA she wanted to toss my way, but the move seemed to awaken her to reality.

Realizing we were in public, she quickly jerked back. “Crap. I forgot.”

A smile bloomed across my face, even though inside, I was strangely disappointed. “Figured. I tend to have that effect on you.”

She shook her head, her lips tightened from how hard she was trying not to smile back at me. Then she blew out an exhausted breath. “So, where do we go from here?”

“How about this?” I said. “My parents requested my presence tonight at this restaurant back home. I know we can’t tell your brother about us, but I’d very much like to introduce you to my mom and dad. What do you say?”

“How are you going to introduce me?”

“As Caroline.”

She rolled her eyes, but a reluctant smile curved up her lips. “Okay. No label. I can deal with that. At least I have a sense of where I fall with you now.”

No, she didn’t. She probably wasn’t even close. In fact, I doubted she’d ever realize exactly where she fell with me or how crazy gone I was for her.

We arrived at the restaurant right on time where the Tennings were waiting to meet us for dinner. After Oren parked and killed the engine, he drew in a deep breath and glanced across the seat toward me. Then he shuddered. “Damn, you look good in that. Are you sure we don’t have time for—”

I slapped my hand over his mouth to shut him up. Then I grabbed his other hand when it started to creep up my thigh and under the skirt of my dress. “I’m going to ignore the fact you just asked me to have sex with you right before meeting your parents, and I’m giving you one chance to behave.”

Grinning, he slipped my hand off his mouth. “And how the hell do you expect me to behave when you look so fucking edible? And smell so fucking amazing?”

I had to bite back a smile because, okay, I loved how he hadn’t been able to keep his eyes off me, except maybe to watch where he was driving every once in a while, since he’d picked me up. It was nice to know all my efforts to clean up nice had paid off. I hadn’t dressed up since...yeah, I didn’t want to think about anything that had to do with Sander Scotini right now.

“I didn’t wear this for you.” I smacked his hand when he resisted my efforts to keep him from going any higher on my leg. “I’m trying to impress your parents. I want to look...presentable.”

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