Royal Chase(8)

By: Sariah Wilson

I had nothing.

He took my head in his hands, his fingers softly massaging my scalp, rendering me boneless. I heard something somewhere off to my right and was starting to turn when he stopped me, holding me still.

“Don’t look at him. This will never work if you do.”

“What won’t work?” My brain was a fuzzy haze of buzzing sparks. I felt like someone had dipped me in warm molasses and now I couldn’t move or think.

Another smile. “Making Salvatore jealous.”

Right. Salvatore. That was his name. We were making him jealous.

Only I didn’t much care about making him jealous anymore.

But I couldn’t let Dante know it.

“That is such a total line,” I breathed. For all I knew this was his MO—telling girls he could make their potential boyfriends jealous if they would just kiss him.

And if they were smart, they’d let him do it.

“Could be,” he agreed. “Only one way to find out.”

I waited for him to kiss me. Wanted it more than I’d ever wanted anything. Instead he caressed my face and looked at me. I scooted closer. I was tempted to kiss him, but I’d never kissed a man first. It was kind of a rule.

A rule I was seriously considering breaking.

His breath washed over me. He had been drinking, but his breath smelled like mint. Like he knew he was going to kiss me or somebody else. Maybe I should have been outraged, but he was way too good at what he was doing.

He had turned me into putty in his hands.

“Are you ready?”

I practically jumped out of my skin at the sound of his voice. I wanted to speak, but my mouth had gone so dry I couldn’t. Every other sight and sound had faded, and I could see and feel only him.

He leaned forward and nibbled gently at my lower lip. His prelude to his kiss was making me go just a tad insane.

Then his warm and surprisingly soft lips were fully on mine, and I half expected to hear the “Hallelujah” chorus as a jolt of excitement and heat slammed into me. I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him close.

I had planned on keeping my eyes slightly open to see if Salvatore was watching. But they fluttered shut of their own volition the second Dante’s lips touched mine. Like his lips were drugging me and it was all I could do to stay coherent.

His hands weren’t just holding me where he wanted me—they were caressing my face, my neck, leaving fiery trails of yummy goodness everywhere he touched. Somehow I had gone from sitting next to him to pressing close against him, my hands moving from his neck to his hard warm chest, where I could feel his rapid heartbeat against my palms.

All of my nerve endings were wriggling in delight as his mouth slowly and sensuously moved against mine. I was giddy and light-headed.

And then it was over. When he stopped kissing me, it felt like a physical pain and all I wanted to do was grab him and kiss him again and again and again.

My cheeks were flushed, and I put a hand against one, just to cool it down. Dante smiled at me.

“Don’t look now, but somebody’s coming over here.” He whispered the words into my ear and an actual shiver ran down my spine, making me want to turn my head and finish our too-short kiss.

“Do you think he’s jealous?” I asked, not really caring right then, but liking the opportunity to whisper back, to be close again.

“Definitely. But be careful—there’s jealous and then there’s Othello.”

I wanted to laugh, but I was still so caught up in all the sensations he had caused that I only looked at him. There was something in his eyes, something I couldn’t explain, but it made my heartbeat do triple time.

Then Salvatore was there, and in his heavily accented English he asked, “Do you want to dance?”

Part of me wanted to tell him to forget about it, that I was just fine where I was, but some random model-esque woman sat next to Dante, kissing him on the cheek. She threw one of her legs on top of his and leaned in to whisper something in his ear. He laughed.

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