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Enter Leo. Blue-eyed specimen of a man, stirring me awake in ways I never thought possible. I think I should indulge myself for once. Because one time is all I need. Then he goes and weaves simple, deliberate movements into pure, gilded pleasure. And I’m hooked. I’m so blinded by desire I barely notice the gaping hole opening underneath me, the one that’s sure to swallow me entirely. Because every time I’ve dared to get close to someone, they’ve cracked me wide open.
Why should this time be any different?
I don’t say anything. We fall into a warm silence, listening to the muffled sounds of the road. I guess I doze off to sleep at some point, because the next thing I know, I’m jolting awake.
Leo turns off the engine. I squint, a number of things coming to me at once. I don’t recognize our surroundings. We are parked in an empty lot but I hear the occasional car swooping past a nearby road. The windows are cracked open and the air that drifts in smells of cool saltwater. But there’s something else, too. I look down at the cup holders.
“Oh my God, is that coffee?” I ask.
The rich roasted scent envelops me and nearly lifts me from my seat. My mouth instantly waters as I snatch up the cup and press my lips to the opening to taste the scent.
“You’re amazing. Thank you.” I drink some and shut my eyes as the taste explodes on my tongue. Before Leo, coffee was my drug of choice. I examine the embellishment on the cup. “Starbucks? Where’d you find one open this late?”
“Found an all-night drive-thru,” he says, pulling open his car door. “Come on, those weren’t meant to be drank in the car.”
By the time he comes around to my side, I’m already out. I look around the empty lot and start piecing together our location. We’re by the ocean; Torrey Pines beach is down the hill.
Leo must notice the realization dawn on me because he says, “I hope you don’t have objections to sand in your shoes.”
This feels like a date. I know I said no dates, but this feels so right that I forget to be stubborn about it. Because the moon disarms me with its pearly glow, peering through the overcast sky. The ocean conspires as well, luring me in with the faint but discernible soundtrack of crashing waves. I’m instantly at ease. I forget that I’m tired and a bit sad. The cool breeze has a slight bite to it, enough to stir my senses awake.
“Leo—Thank you. I needed this.”
His lips twist up when I say that.
“Don’t thank me yet.”
His kiss takes me by surprise. I nearly drop the coffee but he wraps a hand around the cup and places it somewhere overhead. On the top of the car, I think. He does it without breaking our kiss. Our hands free, he tastes me like it’s the first time and he’s burning from the inside out with a craving to know what lays beneath my clothes. He’s grazing, pulling, tasting, breathing me in. I’m sure he could take me right where we stand, against his car.
I’m breathless when he pulls away; the breeze swoops in between us and tinges my swollen lips. He grabs his cup of coffee from behind me and hands me my own.
“Come on,” he says, and he guides me hand in hand toward the beach.
AUTHOR Bio and Links
Veronica Larsen is a novelist who enjoys writing emotionally rousing stories laced with potent sexuality. She particularly enjoys writing about intelligent and independent women who give the male lead a run for their money. When Veronica isn’t writing, she is working on graphic design projects. She enjoys losing herself in a good book and spending time with her husband and young son.
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