Soar (Page 48)

“I think I want to go home.”

“I want to take you home.” He leaned back against the wall.

“To your place, or mine?”

“Depends. What’s your bed like?”

“A twin in my cousin’s closet.”

“Then mine. It’s much better than that.” There was a promise in his words, and it went beyond a nice mattress and sheets.

“It’s not hard to beat.” I leaned back next to him.

“Is there a story behind the living arrangement? Couldn’t afford to rent his bathroom or something?”

“Yeah, I prefer a bed to the tub, and I even get to use the shower.”

“Generous landlord.”

“Very. He gives me a family discount.” Joking felt good. For a second, I almost forgot where we were.

“Wow. That’s even better. And if you live in a closet, that means you can get dressed faster in the morning.”

“My clothes are in the living room.”

“It’s that small of a closet?” he asked incredulously.

“It fits my bed.”

“Do you at least have a door?” He turned his head to look at me.

“I do!” I clapped my hands as though I was sharing the most exciting reality ever. “And it even has a lock!”

He laughed. “Awesome. If you have a lock, it might be doable.”

“Oh yeah? You’d slum it in a closet as long as it has a lock?”

“For you? Yeah.”

I leaned my head back. “Do you live in a penthouse, too?”

“No. I live in a shotgun style house a few blocks from campus. I’m moving out to my own place soon though.”

“Are you planning to stay in New Orleans?”

“Why?” He reached his hand over and brushed his fingers over mine in a surprisingly gentle caress. “Worried you won’t get to see me enough?”

“Just curious. I mean, if we’re going to be locked in a cell together, I might as well learn more about you.”

“More about me, huh? Are you sure you don’t want to sit down for this?”

“You’re all about getting me on a bed with you, huh?”

“I’m okay with this wall too, but I’m a little worried about your back.”

“Glad to know you’re concerned.”

“I’m very concerned with your well-being.” He scooted closer.

“Oh yeah? I didn’t know you were the caring type.”

“You’ve made a lot of judgments about me.” He moved in front of me, his hips stopping only inches from mine.

“And you haven’t made any judgments about me?”

“Only ones I know are true.”

“Is that so?” I knew I sounded flirtatious, and I couldn’t help it.

“Yeah.”

“What are they?”

“You like to pretend you’re a good girl, but you’re not.”

I cough-choked. “Where’d you get that idea?”

“I can just tell. Like right now, the way you’re responding to me. You like how close I am, but if we were in broad daylight, you’d be pushing me away.”

“I’m not pushing you away now.”

“No. You’re not.” His eyes locked with mine, and it was like he could see right into my mind.

“Is this how you usually pick up your prey?”

“My prey?” He smiled. “I don’t generally consider women to be prey.”

“You don’t?”

“First you say I don’t chase, and now you say I view girls as prey. Which one is it?”

“A hunter doesn’t always run after his mark. Sometimes he sits and waits.”

“Oh yeah? So now you’re telling me I set traps?”

“You do. You know how to lure girls in, and you know exactly the moment when there’s no turning back.”

“Are you in that moment now?” He leaned close to me, half an inch more and our faces would have been touching.

“No.” I touched the wall behind me, needing to remind myself of where and what I was doing.

“That’s too bad.” His lips skimmed mine.

“Why is it too bad?” A shiver ran through me.

“Because I was thinking we could make the best of the situation.”

“You can stop trying to distract me.” I needed him to stop before I did something stupid. But for some reason, letting Jared kiss me didn’t seem like a mistake—it seemed perfect.

“Distract you? Who said I was trying to distract you?”

“Me.”

“I’d do a much better job if I was trying to distract you.”

“Yeah?”

“Want to see?”

I nodded. My head told me not to, but my body said something else entirely.

He brushed his lips against mine again. I thought maybe he was all talk, but then he ran his teeth over my bottom lip. “I promise to make you forget where you are.” His lips moved against mine, first slow, then faster and faster until he lightly bit down.

I moaned and let go of the wall so I could wrap my arms around him. He pushed into my mouth while one of his hands slipped underneath my shirt and bra all in one movement. He squeezed my breast, and I pushed my body against his.

The kiss deepened further and further until I was dizzy. His hand left my breast, and I missed the touch immediately. I groaned.

He laughed, stepping back from me. “Remember where you are, Casey?”

It took me a second to respond. “I didn’t, but I do now.”

“You shouldn’t have said that.”

Before I could reply, he had me pinned against the wall with his arms on either side of me. His lips were on mine again, and I eagerly welcomed him back. He tasted so damn good, the opposite of the dank room we were trapped in. I wanted more. I wanted all of him.

His hand moved to the button of my jeans, and I didn’t stop him. Nothing else mattered. Not the fact that we were locked in a cell in a part of the prison that didn’t technically exist or that I barely knew him. He slipped his hand into my jeans, brushing his fingers over my panties, but then he pulled his hand out and stopped kissing me.

He smiled. “You test my resistance.”

“I do?” I struggled to pull out of my fog. Damn that guy could kiss.

He laughed. “Yes. We need to get out of here.”

“And you know how we’re going to do that?” I buttoned my jeans.

“Yes, but first, what’s your number?”