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His hand framed her chin, tipped it up toward his lips. Just that small touch made it hard for her to breathe. She could feel the pulse in her neck ticking up, her heart rate matching her excitement in a way it never had before.
“I’ve been wanting to do this since our date in St. Louis,” he said with a throaty whisper.
“I’ve been wanting to do this since I taped your poster on my wall,” Mia managed to say.
Ryder’s hand was still on her chin. He nudged in tighter, so she could feel his breath on the skin of her cheeks. She didn’t know what to do with her hands. They were tight at her sides, like she was paralyzed.
“You’re not going to kiss me just because I’m Ryder Brooks, though, right?” he asked with a sly smile.
“No,” Mia said, the words coming easier. She slipped her arms around his waist. His skin was so warm, and his jeans were damp. She felt the muscles of his waist yield to her touch. “When I met you, I kind of hated you, and kissing was not the word with a K that came to mind.”
Mia laughed, ripples of heat dripping down her abdomen as Ryder inched his lips closer. “You’re really using your vocabulary.”
“Flash cards,” Ryder bantered back.
“But now,” Mia said, her hands clasped tightly around Ryder’s bare back, “I want to kiss you in a different way. Not because you’re Ryder Brooks, but because you’re you.”
“That’s why I want to kiss you, too.. His lips brushed against her nose first, each cheek, sending bursts of pleasure into every soft part of her.
Mia closed her eyes and puckered her lips, puckered them so hard she thought her face might crack.
She heard Ryder suppress a giggle.
Mia’s eyes popped open. “What?” Her organs turned to ice. She wanted to crawl under the bed.
Ryder ran his finger along her cheek. His other hand slipped up her arm, bringing her closer. “Let me teach you for a change.”
Mia swallowed, afraid if she spoke, this might turn to dust.
Ryder opened his lips and brought them to hers slowly, hovering there, his breath fanning her face. “Don’t pucker. Just do what I do, what I cannot wait to do.”
He pressed her lips open slightly, driving his tongue against them and gliding it against hers until it was in her mouth, sliding against her tongue. Tongue! She’d known this was how people kissed but had never understood the reasoning. Tongues were for tasting, for talking. But now she knew that really they were for this.
Having their mouths connected, Mia mirroring each move Ryder made, created a chemical reaction, flipped a switch. She suddenly knew exactly what to do. Her hands were on his broad chest, running down his tight stomach, his covetable abs. His hands were in her hair, curving against her side. His tongue dipped with hers; his mouth was warm and firm and perfect.
Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.
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