(To read from the beginning go Here.)
A flush tormented her cheeks, but Anne notched her chin up. Maybe Erik wouldn’t notice. Jilly would just up and ask him out to dinner. But then, Jilly, had no problem flouting convention. Although… She had just helped bust up a communist conspiracy. That was hardly conventional. She would do it. She’d just open her mouth and.
Anne opened her mouth, but the words stuck in her gullet like fish bones.
Erik waited politely for her to speak. Instead, she shook her head and feigned a cough.
She nodded weakly. “Fine. Just tired. I’ll see you later, okay?”
He snatched his hat from the table and jumped to his feet. “Yeah. Of course. Sorry, I should’ve remembered.”
Anne stood as well, ushering him to the door. Soon, soon, soon, she would go hide her head under the covers and never come out again.
Erik stopped at the door and turned back to her. He glanced down at his hands, which revolved his hat in endless circles. She saw his grip tighten and then he slapped the hat on his head. In two steps he had her in his arms.
His eyes seared her, burning away her embarrassment and her hesitation. He lowered his head. The touch of his lips against hers sent a spiral of sweetness into her heart that banished the terror and grief of the last week. There was nothing beyond this moment. This man.
His fingers tangled in the hair at the nape of her neck, his palms cupping her cheeks. Time compressed and then lengthened. Pulled like taffy by the emotion surging between them.
At last he pulled away a few inches. “Can I see you tomorrow?”
Anne nodded. A dopey smile played at her lips, but she didn’t care. “Mm hmm.” Her brain had turned to mush. There was no chance of putting together a coherent response.
“And maybe the day after that?”
“And the one after that?”
Anne tore her gaze from dreamy contemplation of his Adam’s Apple to his eyes. “Okay.”
He smiled and his eyes were as bright as Christmas lights. “Good. I have a feeling that I’m going to want to see you every chance I can get.”
His lips caressed her temple. “Good night.” In an instant he was gone.Fingers raised to her lips, Anne leaned against her brand new door. It wasn’t the end after all. Just the beginning of something new.