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She’s in my arms before I even realize what I’m doing. I hold her to me, burying my nose in her hair and inhaling deeply.

She pulls back and looks at me with a mix of surprise and longing on her face. “You came.”

I should pull away. I should tell her that I only came to make sure she’s all right and walk out the door, but I can’t. Not now that I have her in my arms, and her body is pressed against mine. “Yeah, I’m here. I needed to make sure you were all right.”

Her hands go around my waist as she rests her chin on my chest. Her eyes are glassy, reminding me that she’s been drinking. “I’m good now.”

The music is loud and goes from a fast-paced line dance to a slow dance. Ginger releases me only enough to reach for my hand. “Will you dance with me?”

As if I can say no. I nod my head and let her lead me out onto the dance floor. She curls her body into me and holds me tight. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t like to dance, I don’t like to be the center of attention, but I do like having Ginger in my arms. That much I’m sure of.

We sway back and forth to the music. I see the guy that was trying for her attention, and when I give him the look, he walks off the dance floor. There’s no way I would let him cut in. I can’t. Physically, I know I would not be able to watch her walk away from me and into another man’s arms.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” she asks, and it’s then I realize that I had tensed up just thinking about her and another man. I’m in way over my head right now. A part of me wants to run, and another part of me wants to grab her by the hand, take her home with me, and never let her go.

I shake my head side to side, not ready to tell her what’s bothering me.

The song is almost over, and Ginger pulls my neck down so she can talk in my ear. “Will you take me home?”

I should tell her I’ll call her sister and David. I should do a lot of things, but I do the one I want. “Yes, I’ll take you home.”

She puts her hand in mine and starts to stumble, and I put my hands on her hips to steady her. She turns her head and smiles up at me. “If I knew that was the way to get your hands on me, I would have fallen sooner.”

She’s back to her flirty self, and I can’t resist smiling at her.

She leads me to her friends, and with a tight grip on my hand, she tells her girlfriend she’s leaving. The woman is staring at me the whole time. I recognize her from the shop, but I don’t act like I do. What I remember of her, I know I don’t need to give her any indication that I want to have a conversation with her, that’s for sure. She takes things a little too far.

Ginger and I walk outside, and I help her into my car. When I get onto Main Street, I do what I’ve thought about doing since I got in: I reach for her hand and hold it on the middle console. She leans toward me, and her breasts press against my arm. I’m hard, but I have been since I first saw her on the dance floor.

“Ginger.” I say her name because she has her face nuzzled into my neck, and my need for her intensifies.

Her soft voice whispers against my skin. “I like you, Ozzie.”

I clear my throat. “I like you too. I shouldn’t, but I do,” I admit.

She rests her head on me, her one hand in mine, the other dragging her nails softly up and back down my arm. The ride to her house is short, and when I pull into her driveway, I almost burst out the door, knowing I need to put some space between us.

When I walk around to open her door, she’s already out and meeting me. It’s as if she knows that I’m going to try and leave, and she wants to stop me. “Please don’t leave yet. Stay... just for a little while.”

Say no, say no, I tell myself, but I find myself nodding my head. “Okay.”

I follow behind her, trying to be respectful and not watching the way her ass swings back and forth as she climbs the steps to her front door. She opens it and lets me in, shutting it behind me.

I stand still, watching her. My hands are itching to touch her, and I can’t stop myself. “Can I kiss you, Ginger?”