Neither of them is looking for something real . . . but they just might fall
for their own little white lie.
Kate stared at herself in the mirror.
This is just pretend.
What was wrong with her? She’d spent all week fortifying her internal defenses. When he’d offered to bring her dinner or keep her company, she’d assured him Beth was taking good care of her. Now, with only a few words from Margaret, she’d let herself slip back into fantasy.
A fantasy where she could kiss James whenever she wanted. Where his strong arms held her at night.
A tremor passed through her.
No! She was stronger than this. She needed to convince his family and the other guests they were dating, not herself. She tore her eyes from the bathroom mirror and unzipped the garment bag that hung from the shower curtain rod.
She shimmied into the blue lace dress.
She had to admit, Ainsley had been right about it.
The fabric skimmed over her body and showed precisely the right amount of leg. Or it would, once she got it zipped. She twisted and turned and wiggled, but couldn’t reach the zipper.
Crap. She had to ask James for help.
She took a deep breath and knocked on the door leading back to the hotel room.
“I’m dressed.” His deep voice sent goose bumps over her skin.
She cracked the door and poked her head through. “I hate to ask you this, but I’m stuck. I need you to zip me up. Please.”
He kept his attention on the cufflink he was hooking through his button hole. “Sure.”
She only hesitated for a moment before she stepped from the bathroom and spun, to give him access to her back.
There was a zipping sound as his fingers skated over the fabric.
She exhaled sharply. There. It was over. She turned back to him. “Thank you. I’ll be ready in one minute. I have to find my necklace first.”
“You look amazing.” James’ voice caught as he stared at her, his eyes a vivid, brilliant gray.
Kate couldn’t tear herself away from him. His gaze pierced her, suspending her in time and space.
He stepped toward her, curled his palm around the back of her neck and lowered his mouth to hers. A delicious tingle surged through her blood and down to her toes as their lips met. He snaked his other arm around her waist and pulled her against him as his tongue swept into her mouth.
She tilted her head back and gave herself over to him, reveling in the feel of his lips against hers. His kiss turned rougher, more urgent. Her knees went weak and her head swam as she clutched him.
Her tongue tangled with his, matching him stroke for stroke. All rational thought fled her mind and she was engulfed in a cloud of James: his smell, his taste, his touch.
He pulled back for a second and his eyes glinted as he traced his thumb over her cheek. Then he tightened his grip around her waist and took the fullness of her lower lip in his mouth. A tiny moan escaped her as he sucked gently. With every stroke of his tongue, her body melted further into his. His fingers dug into her back and she could feel his heart pound through his dress shirt.
A knock sounded on the door and she stepped back abruptly, breaking the kiss.
His eyes burned with an intensity that sucked all the air from her lungs. She shifted her gaze to the floor.
No one had ever kissed her like that.
with her husband and a house full of rescue animals, aka “the
kraken”. She swears like a sailor and says whatever pops into her head. In
order to counteract her big mouth, she wears high heels whenever possible. In
her spare time she spins, kick boxes and attempts to renovate her farmhouse.
She hates sanding drywall, loves to cook, drinks lots of wine, gets scary
competitive at trivia, and enjoys time spent exploring with her rescued beagle