So that’s what color they are when she’s turned on.
He freaking kissed me!
And damn if I don’t want him to do it again.
I pace across my colorful living room, cell phone gripped firmly in my right hand, waiting anxiously for Jill to call. I’m all keyed up, still emotional from the outing with Seth and more than a little hot and bothered by Josh’s kiss.
Josh King is just as sexy and sweet as he ever was, and I’m losing the tenuous grip I had on my professionalism.
Today sucked, that’s all there is to it. I hated making Seth feel small, but I think our little field trip today might have done the trick where his attitude is concerned. Time will tell.
And Josh had done exactly what I’d asked of him; he’d let me run the show today and I know how hard that must have been for him.
I stomp past the dining room table, where my uneaten dinner has been resting for the better part of an hour, and into the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine. It’s seven fifteen.
Just as I turn to stomp back to the living room, wine in one hand and phone in the other, my cell rings.
“You’re late.” I narrow my eyes and take a sip of the cold, sweet wine.
“I’m sorry. I was showing a house and the damn couple kept wanting to hem and haw over the master bathroom.”
I hear road noise in the background. “Are you in the car?”
“Yeah, I’m driving home so you’re on speaker. Can you hear me?”
“I hear you.” I plop my ass into an overstuffed red chair and lean my head back with a sigh.
“So, how’s your day, dear?” Jill asks happily.
“I had the shittiest day of my life.”
“Worse than that time during junior year when we were dissecting frogs and you threw up?” Jill laughs, bringing a smile to my face.
“Worse,” I confirm.
“Worse than when you decided to get your bangs cut and they looked like someone tried to murder you in your sleep with scissors?”
I laugh and take a sip of wine. “A little worse, yes.”
“It definitely can’t be worse than prom.” Her voice is incredulous, and I can’t help but laugh as I remember back to our prom night and my date spilling beer all down my beautiful, perfect dress at the pre-party.
“Okay, it’s a close second,” I concede.
“What’s up?” she asks in her carefree, Jillian way.
I miss her.
“I’m working for Josh King.” I take a sip of wine and then set the glass on the end table so I can rub my eyes.
“Josh needs a tutor?” Jill asks dryly. “Last time I checked, he graduated two years ahead of us.”
“No, smart-ass, Josh doesn’t need a tutor. Kensie dropped Zack’s boy off unexpectedly and ran off with some guy.”
“Damn, I’m missing all the good stuff.” I hear her shut off her car. “I’m home.”
“Good, pour yourself a glass of wine and join me.”
“Sounds perfect. You were saying?”
“So, Seth flunked out of school and has just had a hard time of it, and Josh hired me to tutor him over the summer.” I take another sip and am beginning to feel my lips tingle. I haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast, not to mention I’ve always been a lightweight.
I’d better slow down.
“Okay, so why did your day suck?” I hear the pop of a cork and the glug-glug of Jill pouring her wine. “Josh is a nice guy.”
“He’s nice. I had to do the tough-love thing with Seth today.” I set my wine back down and trace the seam on the arm of the chair with my fingertip.
“Tough love?” Jill chuckles. “What does that mean?”
“I took him to Uncle Ed so he could wash dishes, took him to the jail. All the fun stuff.” I swallow another sip of wine and lean my head back. “I’m glad I don’t have to do it often. I hate it.”
“Right. Just like I hate it when people hem and haw over master bathrooms. Jesus, it’s just a bathroom, people!”
I grin and nod. “Exactly. You know, I roped Ty into helping me today. I would not want to go against your brother in a courtroom. His stern face is a little scary.”
“Don’t let him fool you, he’s not that scary. So does Seth come to you every day or are you going out to the ranch?”
“I go to the ranch.”
“How is Josh doing?” Jill sighs. I picture her sitting in her living room, her shoes kicked off, still in her power suit.
“He’s good.” I try to make my voice light as though I were speaking about anyone else in town.
Jillian’s not stupid. “Good, huh? I saw him when I was home at Christmas. Those King boys are as hot as ever. I wouldn’t kick Josh out of bed for eating crackers, unless he wanted to do it on the floor.” She giggles hysterically, so amused with herself, and instead of laughing with her as I normally would, I chew on my lower lip and continue to trace the pattern on the chair.
“He kissed me.”
“Don’t be a bitch, you know I need details.”
“It was nice.”
“Well, if it was just ‘nice,’ what’s the problem? Move on. Ain’t nobody got time to settle for ‘nice.’ ”
“It was—” Suddenly the doorbell rings. “Hold on, someone’s at the door.”
I walk to the door, the phone pressed to my shoulder, and open it to find Josh standing there, his face hard and serious, hands propped on his lean hips. His eyes search my face, and suddenly he moves inside, grabs the phone from my hand, pushes the END button, and tosses it on the key table next to the door.
“What are you—”
Before I can complete the question, he grips my face in his hands and lowers his lips to mine. This is no gentle kiss like this afternoon’s. This is a hard, deep, powerful kiss that rocks me back on my heels. I grip his forearms and hold on as bold lust settles in my belly.
He pushes me back against the wall and pins me with his hips as he buries one hand in my hair, holding my head still for his lips. His other hand grips my waist.
Dear God, I just want to climb him.
I wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him back, just as firmly and passionately as he’s delivering. He growls low in his throat and cups my round ass in his hands, boosting me up against the wall so my legs wrap around his hips and I’m eye level with him.