As usual, her voice came out husky and choked when she tried to speak to him. “I’ll see you first thing Monday morning. Promise. But I can’t talk about this now.” She motioned to Emily, and Evan nodded but didn’t move. Jeez, he was so close.
They made small talk, and Paige actually found herself flirting with him a little, relaxing, while the line moved at a snail’s pace to the haunted house. She found out Travis was a neighbor whose parents traveled a lot. Evan also told her things she already knew: he had a brother in the Marines, his parents had retired to Montana to raise horses, lots of superficial stuff. She told him about her father taking her to haunted houses when she was a kid while her scaredy cat sister had stayed home with Mom. She mentioned her parents were dead, but didn’t give the details.
She couldn’t take her eyes off him. Dressed casually, he reminded her of the first time they’d met. He wore a black t-shirt and worn jeans along with the oldest pair of Converse she’d ever seen. His hair was mussed, as if he’d spent a long day at work, running his hands through it like a crazed man. With her constant avoidance of him, he probably had. A pang of remorse hit her hard. She hadn’t made this easy for him. It was time for her to step up and take responsibility. She’d hired him to do a job, and she needed to get over her school-girl crush and help him.
But it was really hard with him staring at her like that.
She could always blame the teenagers for her inappropriate thoughts. They were walking, talking, flirting hormones on legs. By the time they’d made it to the door, Travis had Emily’s phone number and they’d already made a date and were holding hands. She was positive that if she and Evan hadn’t been there they’d be making out. The teenagers that is, not them. Even though she’d relaxed quite a bit, her heart was still letting her know he was standing awfully close to her.
They went in like a train, with Travis volunteering to lead. Emily hung on to his belt loops followed by Paige. Bringing up the rear, one of Evan’s hands dropped protectively to her back. She ignored the warmth trickling through her t-shirt at the contact. Her heart pounded and her hands were clammy, but it wasn’t because of the fog, or the spooky lighting, or the clanging noises, or the zombies jumping out. It was all Evan Rocco, holding onto her.
As far as haunted houses went, this one was disappointing, or maybe she just couldn’t get into it with Evan’s breath on her neck, his hand at her waist, or his other hand snaking around her torso. The further inside they went, the closer they got. Travis was at the front of the line, jumping with every zombie clown that popped out, giving her ample warning of spooky things ahead. By the halfway point, Evan’s arms were around her torso, with her own hands clutching him while they walked in sync together, his hot breath on her neck warming her insides
At one particularly dark corner, Evan yanked her backward into an alcove, pushing her into the darkness. He leaned his forehead on hers while his forearms leaned on the wall on either side of her head, caging her in, keeping her from bolting.
“You have any idea how many times I’ve thought of this since April?” His body crowded her into the tiny, dark space while his minty breath sent her senses reeling.
“Haunted houses?” she offered weakly before his mouth met hers.
It was suddenly as if the puzzle piece she lost six months ago had been put back into place, and she melted into him as his tongue triumphed over the recesses of her mouth. He growled, a predatory rumble emanating from his chest that reminded her of that night last April, and she whimpered against him as he hauled her into his embrace, wrapping his arms around her tightly.
His tongue danced with hers, twining around inside her mouth while his hands roamed her body, cupping her ass. She twirled her fingers in his hair, bringing his mouth closer, fusing it with hers, unwilling to break this kiss which was rapidly undoing her—mind, body, and soul.
As her fingertips clutched desperately at his biceps, she marveled at how someone who was every bit as geeky as she was could be so fucking beautiful, because Evan Rocco was a seriously beautiful man. And this kiss was feral, something wild, causing her to throw caution to the wind and go with it for as long as it lasted.
Evan broke the kiss, leaning his forehead on hers again, his dark brown eyes consuming her. “Paige,” he breathed out ragged gulps of air. “What the fuck is happening?”