“Do you miss living close to your family?” Austin asked Drew.
She finished chewing and swallowed. “Sometimes, I guess.” Then she shook her head. “At the risk of sounding awful, no, I don’t really miss that. If we were in Billings right now, I could expect several texts tonight wanting info about my date. I’m thrilled that they don’t even know you exist.”
“Gonna keep me a secret?” He finished off his meal and set aside his plate.
“For now, if you don’t mind. I love them all and they love me, but we’re too enmeshed, at least in my estimation. I came to Sheridan to escape the lack of privacy and the constant expectations.”
“A lot of privacy out here.” Seductive privacy that was working on him the longer they sat within inches of each other. By turning his head a fraction, he could study her profile—her high, intelligent forehead, thick dark lashes, prominent cheekbones and plump lips, which he’d longed to taste ever since he’d had his first glimpse of them while lying under the sink.
“Yes, I like this a lot. Much better than a crowded restaurant.”
“And no obligations.”
She put down her plate and gazed at him. “I like that a lot, too.”
“For example, just because I brought you out here to this extremely secluded place, fed you a good dinner and served you some excellent wine, you’re not obliged to kiss me.”
Her full mouth widened in a smile. “Really?”
“Scout’s honor. And that’s legit because I was a Boy Scout.”
“That doesn’t surprise me at all. Okay, then I’ll point out that just because I showered, changed clothes and drove out here to meet you when I could have spent the evening watching a movie in my grubby old sweats, you’re not obliged to kiss me, either.”
“Now that’s where you’re wrong.” He laid his hat on the blanket before reaching out to cup her cheek. Her skin felt so delicate that he lightened his touch. “I have a huge obligation after you made all those sacrifices.” He rubbed his thumb gently over skin soft as a rose petal.
Her breath hitched. “It was nothing.”
“That’s not the way I heard it.” He leaned closer and watched her eyes flutter closed and her lips part in invitation. “Sounds to me like you went to a lot of trouble to be here.”
“On second thought, maybe I did.”
“Let me make it up to you.”