I perused the stands one more time to make sure we were alone. It felt so damn open in here, which was unnerving, but how many times could a girl say she’d been with the number-one-ranked college quarterback in the nation right on the fifty-yard line?
Yeah, this was a once-in-a-lifetime deal, and I wasn’t going to let it pass me by.
Inhaling a slow breath, I reached for the hem of my sweater and started sliding it up my stomach.
Jude’s expression changed instantly. His forehead lined deeper and one corner of his mouth twitched.
Raising a brow, I lifted the rest of my sweater, tugging it over my head and dropping it onto the Astroturf. My adrenaline was pumping. The anticipation of having Jude with me set it off, and the thrill of being here was firing it to new heights.
Winding my arms behind my back, I unclasped my bra. It snapped free, sliding down my arms to join the sweater at my feet.
Jude wasn’t looking at my face any longer.
Wetting his lips, he started toward me.
I started my backward journey again, flicking him a coy smile. I was going to have fun with him, draw this out. Get even with him for what he so often did to me.
He stopped as soon as I started moving away, staring at me like he knew exactly what game I was playing and he both loved and hated being a pawn in it.
Pausing just long enough to step out of my heels, I slid my thumbs under the waist of my skirt and lowered it down my hips, slowing just enough to gather the material of my panties with it. I let both skirt and underwear gather at my ankles.
Jude’s eyes drifted lower, his chest rising and falling noticeably, even from where I stood thirty yards away from him. When his eyes did shift back to mine, they were dark with one thing.
His body sprang to action as he burst onto the field after me, running at the same pace he did when he was playing a game. I turned and laughed with every step as I ran away from him.
It was a futile effort, running from Jude—both right now, and in life in general.
Jude always caught up with me. Sometimes he gave me a head start, but he never let me get too far.
This time, I barely made it ten yards before I felt his strong arms cinch around me. A shout of surprise punctuated my laughter as he pulled me hard against him. Not only had he managed to cover thirty yards in the time it had taken me to sprint less than a third of that, he’d removed his shirt in the process. The heat coming off his chest warmed my back, and the movement of his muscles against me as he breathed in and out warmed everything else.
“Going somewhere?” he said, nudging at my neck until I gave him better access to it.
“Anywhere,” I answered, letting my head fall back against him when his mouth smoothed down the arch of my neck. “As long as you’re with me.”
I felt his smile against my skin. His hands slid lower, pausing when they reached my hips. “How would you feel about ‘anywhere’ being on that blanket over there?”
Everything south of my navel tightened. “I’d say even if I wasn’t so sure, you’d keep trying to persuade me,” I said, gliding my hands down his forearms, pausing to weave my fingers through his where they still rested over my hips.
He pressed harder against my back. “You’d be right,” he said, skimming our hands up my stomach as he steered us toward the blanket. Our hands didn’t stop until they slid beneath one of my br**sts, molding around it.
Nipping at the skin of my neck, he picked up his pace until we were weaving through the glowing candles. At the edge of the blanket, Jude spun me around. His mouth parted, as he sucked in streams of air in quick bursts. This was his tortured look. When he couldn’t have me fast enough.
It was a look I tried to savor, because it never lasted long. I could only hold Jude off for so long before me, him, or both of us gave up trying to prolong the inevitable.
“Damn, Luce,” he breathed, stroking my cheek with his hand. “You’re so beautiful.”
I smiled. Not so much at what he said, but at the way he said it. Jude conveyed his emotions and intentions in words and expressions that did unhealthy things to a girl’s heart. “If you’re trying to convince me with a little foreplay, I’ll let you in on a secret,” I said, winding my arms around the back of his neck. “You’re going to get lucky no matter what you say or do, so you can save the sweet nothings for a time when you’ve pissed me off and are trying to get a little makeup sex.”
He chuckled, his gray eyes darkening with every passing touch. “I don’t seem to remember it requiring sweet nothings to ever get you—”
“Oh, shut up already,” I interrupted, smirking up at him.
One corner of his mouth curved higher. “Why don’t you make me?” he challenged, his gaze dropping to my lips.
Pressing harder into him, I let my fingers ski down the plane of his stomach, settling on the fly of his jeans. Tugging the button free, I slid my hand inside as my lips covered his mouth, a groan escaping it.
That shut him right up.
Jude’s head reclined in my lap as he crunched into an apple and stared at the ceiling of the dome. He was still na**d from the waist up, but his jeans hadn’t made it all the way off. Apparently we hadn’t been able to justify waiting the three seconds it would have taken to free him of them before we could get down to business.
We weren’t big believers in delayed gratification.
I’d wrangled myself back into my sweater and skirt before we’d exchanged one hunger for another and dived into the picnic basket, although my panties and bra still littered the thirty-yard line.