A Perfect Ten

Page 82

The emotion that had swamped me seconds ago returned, swirling through me with a heap of messy, emotional sop. I stepped up close to him and filled my nose with his scent, making my head dizzy with lust. “So, you want to be touching me when I meet your parents?”

His nostrils flared in return, and a tingling spread up my thighs. “I always want to touch you,” he murmured in a voice that made my nipples throb. My fingers from my free hand fluttered up and over his cheek. His eyes drifted closed before he sighed. “And right now, I’d be totally fine with sticking my tongue down your throat while you met them.”

I jerked my hand from his face and cleared my throat with a nervous laugh. “Well, I don’t think I’m quite ready for that. But...I will settle for holding your hand.”

“Thank God. Because I wasn’t going to let go of it anyway.”

I snorted even as a grin seeped out. He reached ahead of us to push open the front door of the restaurant and then held it for me to enter first. I wondered if being this close to his mother made him act so gallant, but the etiquette had me all giddy inside, nevertheless. I liked sweet, polite Oren as much as I liked naughty, playful Oren.

The hostess approached, but Oren waved her off, telling her he’d already spotted his parents.

“Where?” I murmured into his ear as we walked deeper into the restaurant.

“Right there.” When he pointed them out to me, I held my breath and glanced over.

They looked like...well, like parents. I was shocked at how normal and average and parent-ly they appeared. His mother was on the plumper side with short gray hair coiled into soft curls. And his dad looked just like him...with shorter, salt and pepper locks.

I leaned up and whispered into Oren’s ear. “Please tell me you’re going to look just like your dad in twenty years, because...wow.”

He cranked his head around to send me an incredulous glance. “What the hell? You’re checking out my dad?”

“What?” My face flushed hot, and I had to glare at him for speaking so loudly. “He looks like you...like the silver fox version of you. I mean, come on. Meow.”

“Holy shit.” He veered his gaze to the ceiling as if perplexed as to why he was having this conversation with me. “I can’t believe I’m dating a girl who thinks my dad is hot.”

I laughed, but then we moved even closer to his parents, and my smile died. Just like that. Because the nerves had set in.

I had no experience with real, live parents who actually cared about their child and wanted to be involved in his life. I instantly grew unsure and paranoid. They were going to take one look at me, see how dysfunctional of a family I’d come from, how dysfunctional I was, and they were going to send me away from their son forever.

What had I been thinking to meet his parents? Stupid Caroline.

They glanced our way, and his mom’s mouth fell open when she spotted me holding her son’s hand. And yep, my insecurities rose even higher.

“Oh God, Oren.” I clamped my fingers around his hard. “You didn’t tell them I was coming with you, did you?”

He leaned toward my ear, smirking. “I thrive on shock value.”

I leaned up to hiss, “Well, I hope you also thrive on death, because I’m going to kill you for this.”

He pinched my ass. I jumped, unable to hold in a startled yelp. When I glared up at him, he threw his head back and laughed outright, his voice decibels above everything else in the restaurant. And crap, people were staring.

Oh God, take me now.

His mother and father stood. “Well,” His mother murmured, her eyes glittering with glee. “I was beginning to wonder who was walking toward us with this pretty young lady at his side because it couldn’t possibly be our son bringing a girl to dinner, but that familiar laugh tells me I’m wrong. You really are our Oren...with a friend.”

“Hey, Ma.” He swept in with a huge hug and lifted her off her feet, making her squeal and slap his arm to get him to drop her back to the ground.

Then he turned to the Silver Fox version of himself. “Dad.” He held out his hand. “This is Caroline. She thinks you’re hot.”

The floor opened up and I fell through to an alternate universe where I suddenly couldn’t hear or move; I could only feel this mortified numbness freeze me into place.

“Oren,” his mother scolded, reprimanding him with another tap on the arm. “Stop embarrassing the poor girl. Sorry about him, dear,” she said, her voice winded, as she brushed back her hair that had fluttered out of place when Oren hugged her. But a smile had lit her eyes. She loved her son very much, even when he was inappropriate. “He’s always been that way. And trying to shut him up only seems to encourage him to continue. I’m Brenda, by the way.” She held out a hand to me. “Oren said you’re Caroline, right?”

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