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Driven (Page 33)

“So a guy with a commitment issue,” I roll my eyes, “like that’s something new!” He remains quiet, still regarding me as I think about him, about this, about everything. “So what were you hoping for?” I continue sardonically, “that I’d just look into your gorgeous green eyes, drop my panties and spread my legs when you admit that you like women in your bed but you won’t let them in your heart?” Despite my sarcasm, I’m being brutally honest. Does he think that just because he is who he is, it’ll negate all my morals? “And they say romance is dead.”

“You do have such a way with words, sweetheart,” he drawls, shifting onto his side, propping his head on his elbow. A slow, measured smile spreads across his face. “I assure you, romance is not something I actively subscribe to. There’s no such thing as happily ever after.”

The hopeless romantic in me sighs heavily allowing me to ignore his comment and the smirk on his face—the one that makes me forget all the thoughts in my head because he is in fact that damn attractive and his eyes are that mesmerizing. “You can’t be serious? Why the emotional detachment?” I shake my head in lack of comprehension. “You seem to be such a passionate person otherwise.”

He shifts on the blanket, laying on his back and placing his hands behind his head, exhaling loudly. “Why is anyone the way they are?” he answers vaguely, the silence hanging between us. “Maybe that’s how I was born or how what I learned in my formative years … how’s one to know? There’s a lot about me you don’t want to know Rylee. I promise you.”

I look at him, trying to decipher his verbal maze of explanations as he lays quietly for a few minutes before reaching a hand out from behind his head and placing it on mine. I revel in this rare sign of affection from him. Most of the time when we touch it’s explosive, carnal even. Rarely is it simple. Undemanding. Maybe that’s why I enjoy the warmth of his hand seeping through the top of mine.

I’m still pondering what he’s said despite the distraction of his touch. “I disagree. How can you—”

I’m stopped midsentence as he tugs on my arm and within seconds has me laying on the blanket, looking up at his face hovering over mine. I’m not sure how it’s possible, but my breath speeds up and stops at the same time. He very slowly, very deliberately uses one hand to brush an errant hair off of my face while the other rests on the base of my neck just under the crease of my chin. “Are you trying to change the subject, Mr. Donavan?” I ask coyly, my heart thumping and desire blooming in my belly. His touch leaves electric charges on my skin like a trail of fire left everywhere he touches.

“Is it working?” he breathes, angling his head to study me.

I purse my lips and narrow my eyes in thought. “Hmmm … no, I still have my questions.” A smile plays on my lips as I watch him, watch me.

“Then I just might have to do something about that,” he murmurs as with painstaking slowness, he lowers his head until his lips are a whisper from mine. I fight the urge to arch my back so that my body can press against his. “How about now?”

How is it we are outdoors but I feel as if all of the oxygen has been vacuumed away? Why does he have this effect on me? I try to slowly breathe in and all I smell is him—woodsy, clean, and male—it’s a heady, intoxicating mixture that is pure Colton.

I can’t find my voice to answer his question so I just give him a noncommittal “Hmm-hmmm.” I’m oblivious to everything around us: the seagulls squawking, the surf crashing, the sun heading slowly toward the ocean on the horizon.

Due to our proximity, I can’t see his lips but I know that he smiles because I see the lines crinkle at the corners of his eyes. “Should I take that as a yes or should I take that as a no?” he asks enunciating each word slowly as they feather over my lips. His eyes hold mine, a dare lighting through them. When all I do is breathe in a shaky breath in reaction, his response is, “Then I guess I’ll just take.”

And with those words, his mouth is on mine.

He sets a slow, mesmerizing pace of light kisses that feather over my lips. Each time I think he is going to give me what I want—more of him deepening the kiss—he pulls back. He is leaning on one elbow next to me, and he takes that hand to cup the back of my neck. His other hand slowly travels down the side of my body, along my lines, and stops on the side of my hip. He grabs hold there, gripping my flesh through my jeans and presses my body closer to him.

“Your. Curves. Are. So. Damn. Sexy.” He murmurs between kisses. The riot of sensation he is causing within me is both exhilarating and tormenting at the same time. I run my hands under his shirt, up the plains up of his torso and then his back, feeling the strength there and the play of defined muscles bunching as he moves with me as he continues his languorous assault on my lips.

If I were the intelligent woman that I claim to be, I would step back a moment and rationally assess the situation. I’d realize that Colton is a guy used to getting what he wants without preamble or precaution. And at this time he wants me. He has tried the direct, get-to-the point approach and basically had me up against a wall within ten minutes of meeting him. He’s tried coercion, a contract, annoyance, and even admitted he doesn’t do girlfriends, commitment, or relationships. The rational part of me would acknowledge these facts and realize he’s failed the challenge thus far, so now he is moving onto seduction. I’d argue that he’s changing his approach now, taking his time by making me feel and making me want him. Letting me think this situation is on my terms now. I’d realize that this has nothing to do with emotions and wanting ‘an after’ with me, but rather he is trying to get me in his bed any way he can now.

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