Skylar began to eat, breaking him off a piece of damper and buttering it for him. He watched her nimble fingers work the butter knife and wished he were that piece of cutlery. She shot him a look, almost as if she could hear his thoughts, and their gazes locked for uncounted seconds, until she finally broke away to take another sip of wine.
Nash bit into the damper, which melted in his mouth, and ate a few more mouthfuls of pasta, but his mind was no longer on the food. He was unsure of where this was going with Skylar. He wanted her badly, but that was nothing new. He’d wanted her from the first moment he’d laid eyes on her. But she’d rejected him with her cool manner and uncompromising words. Now, however, he could see that she’d only been protecting herself.
During their time together in the jungle, he’d broken down so many of her defenses. She wanted him, too, that much was abundantly clear. But she was a complicated woman, and with her, he was pretty sure a simple case of lust wouldn’t be enough to entice her into a fling. But on the couch earlier, their scorching kiss had set him aflame, and she’d seemed keen to get him undressed. To go that one step farther. But now, he wasn’t so sure what her intentions were as she picked at her meal.
One thing he was sure of, however, was how much his body hummed with pleasure when she was near. How a fire lit in his belly every time he touched her. How much he wanted to lay her down in his bed and explore her body, slow and languorous, until she purred like a contented cat. There was a chemistrybetween them that he wasn’t sure he’d ever encountered with another woman.
If he took her to his bed now, where would it lead? Would he be happy with one night with Skylar? Would she be happy with one night?
They were going to be locked up together for the next three days. Could they take these next three days as a sort of interlude? An escape from reality. The idea had merit.
He’d never know unless he put it out there. She could always say no. Which might make their enforced time together uncomfortable. But he had an inkling she might not say no.
Pushing his chair back, he walked around the table and held out his hand. “Ever since that one dance we had at the ball, I’ve wanted to do it again. Would you do me the honor?” He waited as she considered his hand. This was the make-or-break moment, and he almost held his breath.
Her dark eyes suddenly softened. “Why, yes, sir. I would love to dance to Keith Urban with you.” Skylar gave a girlish giggle and took his hand.
Nash silently thanked Keith; he owed him big time for giving him this opportunity.
Urban was crooning a ballad, his voice soft and smooth. Nash took Skylar’s right hand in his and pulled her left hand around his waist, tugging her hips in close to his own. He could dance a passable waltz when required, and they began to sway their hips in time with the music, gliding their bare feet across the floor. He liked the way Skylar felt in his arms. Liked the heat of her radiating through his shirt, her soft body held against his chest. He would’ve been happier if she was wearing that skimpy little dress she’d had on at the ball, the one that’d let him feel each and every one of her curves. But at least with what she was wearing tonight, he could run his hand underneath her shirt and find thewarm skin at the small of her back, and run his finger around the waistband of her jeans.
He almost forgot about his injured leg, instead revelling in the moment, losing himself in the undulating rhythm, as he and Skylar moved as one.
At first, Skylar held herself a little apart from Nash, but he drew her closer, laying his chin on top of her head, and with a sigh that sounded a lot like that of deliverance, she lay her cheek against the crook of his shoulder and let her body meld to the shape of his.
SKYLAR LET KEITH Urban’s voice roll through her, his dulcet tones washing away any remaining vestiges of worry. Laying her cheek against Nash’s chest, she could hear the beating of his strong heart beneath his shirt. It felt so right to be held by him. She decided she was just going to enjoy dancing with Nash and go with whatever happened tonight. Why was she continuously fighting with herself? Fighting with her hunger for another human’s touch. For Nash’s touch. Her head was constantly arguing with her heart about what was best for her. Well, maybe tonight she was going to let her heart and her body lead the way. To hell with it all.
Were things about toget interesting again, as Nash had so succinctly put it, when Dale and Daisy had interrupted their kiss on the couch?
She hoped so.
And by the feel of Nash’s growing erection against her hip, Nash was hoping so, too.
Nash kept his shirt untucked from his shorts, casual style, and this allowed Skylar easy access to what she wanted most. She ran her hand beneath his shirt, following the contours of his lower back, finding each bump of his vertebrae as she worked up his spine. His warm skin felt wonderful beneath the palm of her hand.
“Hmm, this is nice,” she hummed on an exhale. “I’m a closet Keith fan,” she added.
“Oh, for a second, I thought you meant that dancing with me was nice?” Nash feigned a hurt expression.
“Maybe that, too,” she said demurely, raising her head so she could look him in the eye.
He captured her jaw with his fingers and held her gaze. “Where do you want this to go?” he asked.
It seemed there’d be no beating around the bush tonight. Skylar’s heart rate soared at his question. Wheredidshe want this to go?
“I’m going to be completely honest with you, Skylar. I want to take you to my bed. I want to make love to you.” He took her hand and put it on his chest, right above his heart. “Can you feel that?”
Yes, she could feel the thrumming in his chest, and see the pulse running through his neck. It made her stomach do all kinds of strange flip-flops, to think she had this effect on him. This man, with the compelling blue eyes, who seemed so serious and proficient when he wore his police uniform, was now surrendering himself to her.
“My heart is thumping like crazy at the mere thought of you. You set my soul on fire from the very first time I saw you. But I know you might be hesitant, after what your ex-boy—”
Skylar shushed him with a finger to his lips. She didn’t want to think about Craig. He wasn’t part of her world now. Nash was here, and he was real, his flesh and blood beneath her fingers, hunger burning in his eyes.
Without speaking, she took his hand and led him toward his bedroom.
The room was dark, Nash had secured the windows and drawn the curtains earlier in the afternoon, before it had even got fully dark. But she preferred it that way. If she was truly going to go through with this, it’d been a long time since she’d made love with a man, and perhaps the lack of illuminationmight help with her self-confidence. A beam of light streamed down the hallway from the main living area, and it was enough to see their way to the bed.