Reckless In Love
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He was so damned glad when her lips tipped up at the corners. “I could read the phone book for you sometime, if you want.”
He laughed, loving being with her. Everything that should have been so hard was just easier with her. And better. So much better. Which was why he needed her to know something else. “And then when I got to know you, I found out you’re not just one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. I also learned that your brains don’t come at the expense of your heart. You’ve got both, Ash, and that’s rare.”
He knew her well enough after three days to guess at what she was thinking: Could she trust him enough to answer his earlier question about how he’d been there for her when she’d needed him?
Finally, she said, “You already know what a fan of your music I’ve been since I was a teenager. But the truth is...” She took a deep breath before meeting his gaze. “Your songs saved me, Drew. I don’t know what I would have done without them when my parents were splitting up and it felt like I was tearing in two, like no matter what I did or what I chose, I was letting someone down. I couldn’t talk to anyone about what was going on, but even though you didn’t know me, listening to your songs made me feel like you understood what I was going through. And that maybe everything was going to be okay in the end, if I didn’t give up hope. You were my refuge, Drew. You and your music.”
“Ash.” He had to put his arms around her. Had to hold her. Had to try to make her feel better in any way he could. “I’m sorry they did that to you. Your parents should have known better than to tear at you like that when they were the ones having problems.”
“I chose my dad.” Her confession was barely louder than a whisper. “Mom wanted me to leave with her when I was fifteen, wanted us to move to Miami and start over. She promised me that it would be fun and exciting. But I’m not like her. I love her, but I’ve never been like her. I’ve never been fun and exciting like she is.”
He knew he shouldn’t interrupt her story, but he needed her to know, “Yes, you are. Beautiful. Passionate. Fun. Exciting. Brainy. Those are all words that fit you perfectly, Ash. Those and so many others that I’ve yet to discover, but I will.”
She didn’t say anything for several moments, simply stared at him as if she was trying to process what he’d just told her. “How can you see me so differently than everyone else does?”
“How can you not see yourself the way I do?”
It wasn’t enough just to hold her. He’d known it wouldn’t be, but he couldn’t leave her standing there hurting. She’d needed his songs as a teenager, and now she needed him.
“Ash, I know we said we wouldn’t—”
But he never even got the words out to ask her if they could break the rules, just this once, because the next thing he knew, her hands were on his jaw.
And she was kissing him.
Drew Morrison’s mouth was a miracle.
Ashley had been kissed before, of course, but she’d never made the first move. A part of her could still hardly believe that Drew’s stubble was scratching against her palms and that his arms were around her waist as she pressed her lips to his.
She’d never expected anyone to say such wonderful things about her. And, honestly, she wasn’t sure if she’d ever really believe they were all true. But knowing even one person on the planet felt that way about her had given her a boldness that she’d never known was there. Yet another adjective to add to the others: Beautiful. Passionate. Fun. Exciting. Brainy. Colorful. Bold.
He’d said he didn’t know who he was anymore, but tonight, Ashley was the one who felt entirely different. All because of the man she was kissing.
For several long moments, their kiss remained sweet. Soft. Gentle. The barest brush of lips.
And then, on a groan—she honestly wasn’t sure who broke first—their kiss shifted from gentle and sweet to pure, unfettered passion. She was overflowing with need, with desire, with the urge to give Drew everything she was. And, oh, how perfectly he took what she had to give, his tongue sliding against hers, his teeth nipping at her lower lip.
His hands curved down over her hips, and he lifted her so that she could wrap her legs around him. He growled her name against her mouth as he lowered them both to the sand.
She’d never felt like this before, had never known such heat. Or such hunger. Hunger that seemed to come from a boundless well inside of her that had been deeply hidden for far too long. A well that only Drew knew how to tap into.
He rained kisses across her cheeks, and when she arched her neck, she shivered at the shockingly delicious sensation of his teeth scraping across her sensitive skin. She threaded her hands into his hair as his tongue licked out over her collarbone, and then lower, over the upper swell of her breasts.
Pleasure whiplashed her at the feel of his hands on her hips dragging her against him, and his mouth on her bare skin—and destroyed any rational thoughts that might have tried to invade. All she knew was that she wanted more. More of his mouth and hands on her. And her own on him, too.
She didn’t think, couldn’t process anything apart from how much she wanted him as she pulled at his shirt. But when her hands found his bare stomach, muscles rippling beneath her fingertips, the shock of just how hot, just how hard he was—everywhere—momentarily broke the spell. Just long enough for her to realize she was beyond overwhelmed by one kiss that had so quickly spiraled off into more.