“This would have been tougher working alone.” Whitney handed the Christmas lights off to Ty. “Come to think of it, when I trimmed my apartment tree in Cheyenne, I always roped somebody into helping me.” She laughed. “So I’m continuing my pattern. Consider yourself roped in.”
“Glad to do it.” And he was. “I’m ready for the next set of lights.”
He admired the ripple of her golden hair as she leaned over to pull out the second strand. He imagined running his fingers through it and gazing into her eyes. He wanted to taste those full lips. He closed his eyes briefly as he imagined how amazing that would feel.
“Sorry.” Caught. He took the lights she held out to him. “Got distracted.” He joined the first set to the second and thought of the terminology for the connecting ends—male and female plugs. He and his foster brothers used to joke about that when they were raunchy teenagers who thought about sex constantly.
“You must have been thinking of something nice.”
She didn’t pursue it, which probably meant she knew the sort of thing he’d been thinking about.
They traded the bunched cord back and forth, winding the lights around the branches until Ty looped the end at the top. Then they both stepped back and squinted at the lit tree to check placement.
“It’s almost perfect,” she said. “But there’s a blank space in the middle.”
“I see it.” He stepped forward and adjusted one strand lower. Then he backed up. “I think that does it.”
“I think so, too.”
He heard something in her voice, something soft and yielding that made his heart beat faster. He glanced over at her. She was staring right back at him, her eyes dark and her breathing shallow. If any woman had ever looked more ready to be kissed, he’d eat his hat.
And damned if he could resist her. His gaze locked with hers and his body tightened as he stepped closer. Slowly he combed his fingers through hair that felt as silky as he’d imagined. “We haven’t finished with the tree.”
“I know.” Her voice was husky. “And there’s the dancing afterward…”
“We were never going to do that.” He pressed his fingertips into her scalp and tilted her head back. “But I think we were always going to do this.” And he lowered his head.
She awaited him with lips parted. After the first gentle pressure against her velvet mouth, he sank deeper with a groan of pleasure. So sweet, so damned perfect. She tasted like wine, better than wine, better than anything he could name.
The slide of her arms around his waist sent heat shooting through his veins. As she nestled against him, he took full command of the kiss, swallowing her moan as he thrust his tongue into her mouth.
She welcomed him, slackening her jaw and inviting him to explore. He caught fire, shifting his angle and making love to her mouth until they were both breathing hard and molded together. As he’d known, they fit exactly.