Barnes & Noble
“If you don’t play football, what will you do this fall?” Thunder rolled through the camp, sending the last of the families scurrying indoors, leaving Matt and I alone in the narrow, shadowed space.
Matt cupped the back of my head and he lowered his nose until it touched mine. “This,” he whispered, then captured my lips in a kiss more electrifying than the war nature waged outside. His mouth was gentle at first, but the pressure grew more insistent until we both gasped for breath. My head whirled and I thought I’d black out until he lowered me to the bench.
The warmth of his bare chest seeped into my soaked tank, the drumming of his heart faster than the clattering rain. His lips left mine and travelled along my jaw to my earlobe. I shuddered when he lightly nibbled, the shock of pleasure intense.
My hands slid along his back, the muscles bunching beneath my touch. I traced the ridge of muscle above his hip and felt him tremble, his breath growing ragged. But when his fingers tugged up the hem of my shirt I was the one who sounded winded. His palms skimmed upward against my ribcage until they cupped my flesh, driving me crazy. Only another kiss kept me from making a noise. The storm was loud, but I didn’t want to risk alerting others that we were behind the water curtain flowing in front of the dugout.
“Matt,” I gasped, loving the feel of his hands on me, the pressure of his hips against mine. I was as hot as a stoked furnace, heat sizzling everywhere at once. My fingers buried themselves in the thick hair at the nape of his neck and I pressed my lips to his, wanting more of him.
He pulled me up and onto his lap. My hair dripped down my back as my head lolled, his mouth leaving a trail of fire along my neck before dipping lower to my clavicle and lower still. I kissed his brow, his temple, and his square jaw while his mouth explored. I wanted it to go on and on, but suddenly he pulled back, his chest rising and falling like one of those old-time bellows I’d seen on a school field trip.
His face was fierce, intense, every handsome feature sharpened. His hungry eyes were backlit with fire as they roamed over me. Why had he stopped?
“Lauren,” he said when it seemed he’d finally caught his breath. I’d never seen him this winded, not even after the endless sprints of football practice. “If we go any farther I won’t be able to stop.” His eyes searched mine, willing me to understand what he was saying.
“Oh.” My cheeks went up in flames and scrambled off his lap. Thank god the heavy waterfall had obscured us from view. I repositioned my bra and tugged down my tank top. I pinched the bridge of my nose, feeling a headache coming on.
“Hey.” Matt lifted my chin until I was forced to meet his warm blue-green eyes, the color as inviting as a Caribbean vacation brochure. “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. You’re my girlfriend. I love you.”
My heart seized. He’d dropped the L-bomb. We’d skirted around the word for months, saying things like, “I love that about you” or just a casual “Love ya” that sounded like friends. But this. It was huge. What to say? The obvious answer was no answer, but a fierce need to return the words clawed to the surface and fought its way out.
“I love you too.”
He crushed me against his chest, his hands twining in my frizzing waves. I did love him, I marveled. His warmth. His sense of humor. His strength of purpose and conviction. But was I in love with him? That was the bigger question. One I had no clue how to answer.
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