“Eh, it’s just my way of making sure you are all mine tonight.”
Oh, I was his all right. More than he realized.
I marveled at the way my hand tucked in his felt as we made our way down the stairs and across the parking lot to his bike. The way his fingers curled around mine protectively, possessively, it felt like it belonged there, like it fit. It was like he wanted everyone to know I was his and he wasn’t going to give me up. I never thought such a simple thing could make me feel so much.
He was the first to climb on the bike, gripping the handlebars and holding it steady for me to get on behind him.
“I guess I shouldn’t have worn a skirt,” I mused when I attempted to sit on the warm leather. It wasn’t going so well for me. I was dressed in a long jersey knit skirt that was tie-dyed with navy blue and white. I wore a loose-fitting white tank top layered over a snug navy-colored tank and tucked the front of the white tank into the waistband of the skirt. To finish it off, I added a long silver chain with a couple colorful feathers on the end as a pendant. I styled my chestnut-colored hair straight and long.
“Maybe I should change,” I said with a laugh when I couldn’t spread my legs over the bike because of the skirt.
Cam chuckled and swiftly stood, reached down, and bunched the skirt up around my thighs, tucking the extra fabric beneath my bottom, and settled back between my legs like he belonged there.
I wasn’t about to complain.
He took me to dinner at a place on the water. We sat outside on a deck and watched the sea as ocean breezes swirled around us, and we ate seafood Alfredo and breadsticks. He told me about his parents, his life, and how he got his job at the Mad Hatter.
He asked me about my favorite color (green), my favorite movie (Pretty Woman), and then I told him about my plans to someday become a career counselor.
The conversation was easy and we actually had a lot in common. He was quick to smile, and if there was a break in the conversation, it was never uncomfortable. After dinner we went mini golfing (there were only like five thousand mini golf places here in Myrtle Beach) at a place with giant dinosaurs and a small waterfall that we spent more time kissing behind than we did actually golfing.
When we did golf, he got a hole in one and I lost my ball… which led to us having to look for it… behind the waterfall. We didn’t find my ball, but I discovered that he wasn’t hiding it anywhere in his shorts.
By the time dinner and golf was over, the sky was dark and I was more relaxed than I’d felt in a long time. “I had a really good time,” I told him when we were walking toward his bike.
“Good. But the date’s not over yet.”
“Nope. One more place left to go.”
He smiled mischievously and patted the seat of the bike. We ended up at Broadway at the Beach. “Most of the shops are going to be closing here, Cam,” I said, thinking surely we weren’t going to go out to eat again.
“Good thing we aren’t going shopping.”
He led me past the giant water fountain in front of the aquarium that had giant statues of stingrays coming up out of the water. “I think they close in like fifteen minutes.”
“I know,” he said secretively.
He didn’t stop to buy our tickets. He merely approached the ticket counter where one of the girls that was always working saw us and pointed at the door. It buzzed when we neared and he pulled it open and motioned for me to go ahead.
I gave him a quizzical look on my way past.
I was momentarily distracted by the large freestanding tank that greeted us on the way in. It was filled with colorful tropical-looking fish that moved around the tank—some in a hurry and some taking their time.
The building was very large, with tall ceilings and a fairly open concept. Straight ahead was a ramp that led down into the lower area where the tanks and feeding shows were. Along the way, they also had a few separate rooms dedicated to certain topics of interest. Over to the left was the gift shop, filled to the brim with stuffed animals, T-shirts, and various memorabilia. Beyond the gift shop was an area that led up from the lower level and just above that was the stingray and horseshoe crab tank where visitors could place their hands in the water for a chance to touch the fish. Also on the upper level was the snack café.
We watched the fish in the tank near the entrance for a moment. Then he took my hand and led me down the ramp toward the big tanks. It was very quiet in here at this time of night. The crowds were gone and the building was just about empty. There were a few employees bustling around, cleaning up, and doing whatever the employees did at closing time.
“Did they know we were coming?” I asked him, wondering if that was why they didn’t charge us to get in. Or maybe it was because they were closing and we were going to have to leave anyway.
He smiled slyly. “They might’ve had an idea I was bringing you by.”
“Hmmmm,” I said, pondering his sneakiness.
“You must come here a lot. I thought this would take some convincing, but the minute I said your name, they knew exactly who I meant and they didn’t hesitate to agree.”
“Agree to what, exactly?” I asked, stopping and turning, giving him my full attention.
“Just a private tour of the aquarium.”
My mouth fell open and he grinned. “We have this whole place to ourselves?”
He shrugged. “Pretty much. There are a couple employees left cleaning and doing stuff in the back. We won’t see them though.”
“You planned a private tour of the aquarium for me?” I said, awe spreading through my chest like warm waves across the sand.
“You said this was your favorite place.” He unlinked our hands to drag his knuckles down my cheek.
This was easily the nicest, most romantic thing anyone had ever done for me. Ever. I didn’t even know what to say. “It is my favorite place. I—thank you so much, Cam.”
“I figured I better do something good and not screw up anymore.”
I gave him a puzzled look. “Anymore?”
He ran his thumb along the underside of my lip. “Did you know your top lip is just slightly bigger than the bottom one?”
“No,” I said, fighting the urge to suck his thumb into my mouth.
“It is. It’s so fucking sexy it drives me insane. It screams for me to suck it.”
That sent a rush of desire through me. God, the things he did to me. “You think you screwed something up?” I asked, pulling his hand away before I attacked him right here.