Excerpt from All The Way

This is part of the chapter called Dancing Around from All The Way

Brynn was smiling warmly at him, and he felt his heart pick up its beat again. So much for the relaxing calm they had for the last two and a half hours. The tension was building in him again. “How long have Phil and Sophia been together?”

“Since spring, at least officially. Unofficially, they’ve been dancing around each other for years.” He held her stare as he said those words, then watched the meaning sink in as he closed the distance some more.

“Dancing around how?” she said in almost a whisper.

“Sophia is Kaitlin’s best friend. We’ve known her for almost six years. I now believe there was some underlying connection for years between them, even though they never acted on it, or so they said. Something tells me that might not be the truth. I think there was more than either of them said before they finally told everyone they were dating.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Because I’m starting to understand the dancing-around thing myself.”

“How’s that?” she said, standing her ground as he took a few more steps, his eyes drilling into hers.

“Why don’t you tell me? I know you’re smart. I know you know what I’m talking about. I see it just as plainly as you do.” Her eyes—the brown of them turning just a shade darker, then filling with heat. Oh yeah, she knew, all right. The question was, would she admit it or not.

“Dancing can be fun,” she said, almost breathlessly.

“It can be, but I would rather know what the next move is going to be,” he countered. She opened her mouth, then closed it again, no sound coming forth. “What? Nothing to say?”

She shook her head and he closed the distance even more, testing her and maybe himself. Stopping right in front of her, his eyes traveled the length of her face from her brown hair pulled back in a ponytail to her rich chocolate eyes, then over the speck of spackling mud on her cheek, right to her lips. “What about you? What’s your next move? Don’t you want to know?”

She lifted her eyes up and looked into his. His hand came out and gently wiped at the mud on her cheek. “Yeah.”

“Here is what I know,” he said in a low voice. “I know you’re as attracted to me as I am to you. I know you watch me when you think I’m not looking. And I know your heart is racing right now. Want to know how I know those things?”

Gulping, she nodded wordlessly.

“Because I do the same and feel the same exact way.” He leaned toward her, lowering his mouth to see what she’d do. She didn’t move, even inched closer to him, so he moved his mouth over hers, his lips just grazing. Softly, lightly, just a touch, just a taste. She didn’t pull back, didn’t even flinch, so he deepened the kiss more. Coaxing her mouth open, he slid his tongue in, tasting her, catching the sigh that escaped.

Then, instinctively, he pulled her closer, held her tight, and kissed her deeper. He was losing a part of himself, he knew it and he felt it, but he couldn’t make himself stop.

The phone going off in his pocket finally pulled him out of it. He pushed back fast, appalled at what he just did. He hadn’t meant to do it. He hadn’t meant to kiss her. He only wanted to see where they stood, get her to admit she was feeling the same things he was and try to figure out where to go from there. The last thing he wanted to do was pressure her.

Only he had no control of his emotions. His mind had shut off and his body took over, and he was just now realizing what a disaster he may have created. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have put you in that position.”

“Oh shut up,” she told him and grabbed him, then kissed him harder, deeper, and he was lost, so completely and utterly lost.


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