Crush, p.30
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       Crush, p.30

           Lacey Weatherford

  Chapter Twenty-Seven


  “Kiss me,” Cami said.

  “I can’t,” I replied, trying to hold back a grin.

  “Why not?” She looked worried.

  “Fraternizing isn’t allowed at work.” I chuckled as I walked away, heading for the supply room door ahead of her. “I can’t get fired—I just started.” I twisted the doorknob and entered the darkness, feeling the wall as I searched for the light switch.

  I was attacked from behind as Cami barreled into me, launching herself onto my back.

  “What are you doing?” I asked, unable to help the chuckle that escaped me. “Now is not the time for piggyback rides. Where’s the blasted light switch?”

  She slid off me. “It’s right here,” she said, grabbing my hand and guiding it to the right spot. I flicked the button but nothing happened.

  “Hmmm. That’s weird.” She tried clicking it several times too with the same result. “Well, I guess we’ll prop the door open with this popcorn bucket, and I’ll try to show you some things using the light from the hall.”

  I slid the object she pointed to in front of it. She slipped her fingers in mine and proceeded down the aisle ahead of us, pointing out the general location of all kinds of items, from food to cleaning supplies. When we reached a darker corner behind one shelf, I pulled her into my arms and pressed my lips to her softly. “Sorry, I couldn’t wait any longer. I thought you’d fight harder for one.” I nudged her nose with mine and released her. “I’ll let you get back to whatever you were showing me.”

  She launched herself at me again, kissing me hard, and I chuckled as I opened my mouth and she slipped her tongue inside. I liked her aggressiveness. I answered by pushing her against one of the shelves, and several boxes clattered to the floor. We both stopped to look.

  “Oops,” I said, not really caring we’d just made a mess.

  She laughed and kissed me again.

  My hands slid down to her hips, cupping her to me.

  All of a sudden the lights came on, and we broke apart.

  “We’re back here!” Cami called out as she quickly bent to pick up the boxes that had fallen. “We couldn’t get the light to work, and we knocked some stuff off in the dark!”

  There was no reply, and I stepped around the corner to see who’d come in.

  “There’s no one here, Cami.” I swallowed thickly and glanced at the fluorescent light fixtures. “Have they ever done this before?”

  “Not to me they haven’t.” She paused, looking up, her eyes wide with hesitation.

  I turned and helped her restack everything. When we were done, she grabbed my hand and squeezed it.

  “Let’s get out of here,” she pleaded.

  I nodded and she practically dragged me out the door and down the hallway. I couldn’t help turning back to see if there was anything there. There wasn’t, but the light had turned off again.

  “Has anyone ever told you how sexy you are when you’re sweeping up popcorn?” I leaned against the dimly lit wall inside the theater watching her as she finished the last row.

  She snorted. “It’s just the mood lighting in here. It makes everything look that way.”

  I glanced toward the door to make sure no one was coming in for the next showing. “I highly doubt it, but I can say it’s putting me in the mood for something.”

  She lifted her head, a small smile playing at her lips. “Is that so? What?”

  I laughed internally. She’d probably run screaming if she knew exactly what I wanted to do to her. I couldn’t help the heated stare the thought caused. She swallowed thickly, and to my surprise returned a smoky stare of her own.

  Grabbing her by the arm, I towed her up to the back row of the theater. “See those seats over in the far corner there?”

  She nodded.

  “If I could, I’d bring you to a movie I thought no one would attend, and we would sit right there—in that corner, in the dark—and make out like two crazy teenagers.”

  She laughed. “We are two crazy teenagers.” She stared at me, her eyes sparkling. “Or we could go somewhere we knew no one would be and do the same thing.”

  The girl was going to set my temperature flaming. I wanted to press her against the wall right now and devour her. “Being alone with you is a dangerous, dangerous game. I think we’ve discovered that already on a few occasions.”

  She lifted one shoulder slightly. “Sometimes a girl likes a little danger.”

  I groaned. “How much of this shift is left?”

  She took her phone from her pocket. “Two hours, but we haven’t taken our break yet.” She grinned.

  “Do you have any closets—other than your haunted one—that are good for making out?”

  “We could just go to your car. Did you park in back?”

  “Yes.” I smiled.

  “A car with tinted windows in a nice dark alley. I wonder what we could do there?” She bit her lip, an innocent expression plastered on her face.

  “Why are we still standing here talking about it?” I asked, my mouth watering in anticipation of kissing her.

  “I don’t know. Why are we?” She turned and headed down the steps, and I watched her every movement with appreciation as I followed.

  We put our supplies in the breakroom and clocked out before exiting through the rear door. She grabbed my hand, pulling me toward my car.

  “Hey, Goody?”

  She stopped, sighing as she leaned against the wall. “Why do you still insist on calling me that?”

  I grinned, looking down, as I pressed my body up against hers. “Because it serves to remind me of the kind of girl you are.”

  She frowned. “I’m not sure I like that. You really think I’m a goody-two-shoes?”

  I shook my head. “No, I need you to be a goody-two-shoes.”

  “Why?” She looked so beautifully confused.

  “Because I want to do unspeakable things to you.”

  Her eyes widened. “Like what?”

  I laughed. “I believe I just said they were unspeakable.” My gaze traveled over her features. “If you use your imagination, I’m sure you could figure it out.”

  She pondered this for a moment. “Well, if you can’t tell me, how about you just show me instead?”

  I let a strangled chuckle escape. “That would be worse than the telling, I’m afraid.” It was all I could do to restrain myself. Thank heavens we were only on a twenty minute break, or I’d be in a lot of hot water.

  Cami flattened her palms against my chest before running them over my shoulders and linking them behind my neck. She forcefully pulled me toward her—not that I was really resisting too hard.

  “Let’s make out like crazy teenagers, as you suggested earlier.”

  I eyed her carefully and moved in closer. “That might not be a good thing.”

  “Why not?” She looked perplexed, her tongue darting to lick her lips.

  “Because we are now down to eighteen minutes in our twenty minute break. That’s not a whole lot of time, you know.”

  “So quit wasting it.” She popped up on her tiptoes and pressed her mouth to mine.

  I gave in, slipping my arms around her waist and pulling her the rest of the way against me. The familiar contact exploded between us as we sank into one another, tangling together with our tongues, limbs, fingers, hair, and whatever else would mix together. I didn’t want to stop, I just wanted to keep her here pressed against this wall beneath me—she felt so good. We kissed each other as if we were drowning, like it was the only time we were ever going to be allowed to do it—wrapped up in one another until we were both panting.

  “Hold on a minute,” I said, pulling away. “Let me catch my breath a little.” I leaned my forehead against hers, and we both started laughing.

  “I think every time I kiss you it’s better than the last time. I don’t know how that’s possible since our first kiss was near perfection.” She briefly pecked me again. “It’s
so intense.”

  “I agree—it’s pretty incredible—but I’m thinking it might be wise not to be alone with you in dark places anymore.” I lifted my hand to stroke my thumb over her beautiful cheek.

  “Why?” She looked disappointed with my remark.

  “Because the rest of my body isn’t going to be satisfied with my mouth getting to have all the fun much longer.”

  She blushed, and I thought it was adorable. “Would that be such a bad thing?” she asked shyly.

  Seventeen, that damned warning voice reminded in my head.

  “Actually, yeah, seeing that I’m a legal adult and you’re not yet.” I placed a tender kiss against her lips to soften my words. “Not that I think of you as a child in any way, shape, or form.”

  She lifted her chin slightly. “I’ll be eighteen soon.”

  I know, I thought. I’ve got it marked on my calendar and have been counting down the days. “True,” I said aloud. “But unless you want to visit me in prison after your dad throws me in there, we better work on cooling things down a bit.”

  She brushed her lips against the side of my face before whispering in my ear. “What my dad doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”

  Dear Heaven above, have mercy on my soul. I’m going to end up in Hell.

  I smiled, continuing to rub my thumb in little circles on her skin. “While I’d like nothing better, I’d know, and never forgive myself.”

  She looked hurt and disappointed, and I thought it would crush me. “Were you so noble with the other girls you’ve been with?”

  I sighed, hating that she felt like I was rejecting her. I tenderly kissed her forehead. “No, I wasn’t, but none of them were you, Cami. You’re special.”

  She looked like she doubted my words. I took her face in my hands.

  “Listen to me carefully. I mean this. When and if the time is right for us to be together, I want it to be perfect for you. You deserve it all—the candlelight, roses, and romance. There’s no need for you to rush. The right guy will always wait for you to truly be ready. He should honor you, worship you, and make it a moment for you to remember forever.”

  She leaned her head against my chest and sighed heavily. “Stop. You talk about that guy like it’s not you. I want it to be you.”

  I should be so lucky. I pressed a kiss on the top of her head, holding her tightly in my embrace. “I want that too. More than you know.” For the millionth time, I silently cursed everything going on in my life right now. I wished I were free to run away with her like she wanted. I knew I still had to tell her the truth, and I knew I might lose her when I did. If she wanted me to let go, then that’s what I’d do. I would always put her needs first. Always.

  She was strong, though. If that did happen, I was sure she’d survive to find love again. The thought of her wrapped up intimately in another man’s embrace made every nerve in my body stand on edge. It made me want to beat something, over and over again until it ceased to exist.

  I didn’t have the right to claim her, but I wanted to more than I wanted anything in my life. I’d never been so desperate for another person. I just hoped she’d forgive me when the truth finally came to light.

  “Please don’t ever leave me,” I whispered softly against her hair.

  She looked up, her eyes wide and innocent. “I won’t.” She paused, looking hesitant. “I love you.”

  Her words spun through my head like flashing, colored lights, and I was sure there were fireworks exploding somewhere. She loves me. Yes! No! Damn it!

  She was staring at me expectantly. I didn’t need to search my heart for the answer. I’d known incredibly early on what my feelings were.

  “I love you too—so very much.” I wished I could bottle this moment so I could enjoy it again later. “I’ve known it for a while, actually.”

  She gave me a surprised smile. “You have? Why didn’t you tell me?”

  I shrugged and grinned. “I don’t know. It seemed a little odd to walk up to you and say, “Hi, I’m Hunter, and I’m in love with you,” I guess.”

  She shoved me playfully. “Oh, stop it. You’re such a tease. Be serious!”

  “I am being serious. You stepped out the door that day and I was . . . I don’t know . . . lost. I’ve never believed in love at first sight before, but then it happened. Something about you called to me. I didn’t know what to do about it, so I tried to ignore it. We can see now how well that turned out.”

  “You must have had girls falling at your feet your whole life with that kind of sweet talk.” She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, leaning back against the wall.

  “I’ve never talked like this to a girl in my life. I’ve never been in love before.” That was the honest to goodness truth. It had blindsided me when it happened and had taken me a while to admit it.

  “You haven’t?” She seemed kind of incredulous.

  “No. Why . . . have you?” Instantly, jealously reared it’s ugly head inside me, and I was ready to start beating people again.

  “Well . . . there was this one guy,” she let her sentence trail off.

  So help me if she said Clay’s name I thought my head might actually explode.

  “Really?” I tried to say casually, though it was difficult since I was grinding my teeth. I forced my body to relax, mentally demanding each individual muscle unclench itself. “Who was he?”

  I wished I could pour concrete in my ears. I didn’t want to hear her answer.

  “His name was Gullible—or was it Naïve? I forget.” She laughed.

  My stress melted away like butter, and I shook my head, stepping forward to pin her back against the wall. “You’ve been a bad, bad, girl. You know that, don’t you?”

  She nodded. “Yes, a very bad girl,” she agreed. “I think you may need to punish me . . . a lot.”

  I groaned as my mouth descended to hers. I was so going to jail.

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