She tugged at the hem of his sweater, and he lifted his arms to make it easy for her.
'Mmm.' She ran her fingers over his pecs. 'So you swim every day?'
'Most days. It relaxes me.'
She made an appreciative murmur and traced his rib-cage. 'Very, very nice.'
He swallowed. 'Do I get to... ?' To do the same to her?
She smiled. 'Do you want to?'
'Oh, yeah.' His voice was so deep, it was almost a purr.
He had to be dreaming this. He was in his flat, yes, but he was still waiting for Vicky to turn up. Any minute now, the door buzzer would break into this fantasy and he'd realise that she wasn't undoing the button of his trousers and he wasn't sliding the straps of her bra down her arms. Any second now, he'd hear her cool, calm, professional tones saying something very polite. Something a million miles away from the husky, breathy voice in his ear saying, 'Touch me, Jake.'
Any millisecond now.
Her bra dropped to the floor and his fingers touched soft, smooth skin. Alabaster, all over—except warm and giving, not cold and hard. So Vicky Radley wasn't a sunbather. Fine by him. He'd rather be the one to kiss her skin, not the sun.
She had perfect nipples, dusky rose, which hardened as she waited for his mouth to trail down from the pulse hammering in her neck. A long, slow journey to paradise for both of them.
Which started right now.
She gave a soft murmur of surprise and pleasure as he tipped her onto his bed, dropping to his knees beside her at the same time. 'So beautiful,' he breathed. 'So beautiful, it hurts.'
'Yes, you are,' she whispered.
She thought he was beautiful?
Yep. He was definitely dreaming this. But what a dream. And he was going to enjoy every last moment of it. Slowly, he trailed his tongue down the valley between her breasts. Kissed the soft undersides. And finally took one hard nipple into his mouth and sucked.
She was beautiful. Perfect. All his. Vicky Radley was here lying on his bed, wearing next to nothing, and her fingers were threaded through his hair, urging him on as he kissed his way down her body. She was making tiny little noises of pleasure, and he could tell just how shallow and fast her breathing was.
Like his own. Almost hyperventilating, he wanted her so much.
He nuzzled lower. Stroked her thighs. Slid one finger under the hem of her knickers. She was warm, wet and so very ready for him. Just as he was ready for her.
'Is this really happening?' he couldn't help asking.
'I think so.' She sounded so much cooler and calmer than he felt. And then she added, 'I hope so.' There was a slight break in her voice. So, Jake thought, that meant she felt the same way. Thrown off balance. Wanting. Needing. Crazy.
But Vicky wasn't a bad girl. She was a nice girl. Which meant he shouldn't be doing this. At least, not without giving her a chance to say no, without any pressure. And what had he done? He'd carried her into his bedroom. He hadn't given her a choice.
This was going to be tough—especially if she said no— but it was too important to rush. He wasn't going to sacrifice a long-term goal for a short-term aim. He shifted to sit beside her on the bed. 'Vicky. You don't have to do this.'
'Yes, I do.'
'Why?' He frowned. 'You don'thave to prove anything.'
'I know. But if you and I don't...' She shivered. 'I think I'm going to spontaneously combust.'
'You're sure about this?'
In answer, she took his hand, kissed each knuckle, then placed it on her naked breast.
Suddenly, there wasn't any air left in the room. The only way he could breathe was to kiss her. Now. And she was kissing him back. Touching him. Exploring him. Driving him well over the edge of reason.
The next thing he knew, he was kneeling between her thighs, seeing her hair spread over his pillow exactly the way he'd wanted it to be. Dark, silky waves over the pure white cotton.
And then his common sense kicked in. Yes, he wanted her. Very badly. He could hardly wait—but they had to be sensible about this. Use a condom.
He just hoped he still had some. And that they were within date.
'Um, forgive me a moment...' He rummaged in his drawer. Where the hell was a box of condoms when you needed it?
He hadn't made any assumptions about tonight. He'd said dinner and he'd meant dinner. Yes, he'd hoped she'd kiss him. Hold him close. But he hadn't thought they'd end up here, in his bed. Naked. Making love.
'Problem?' she asked.
He may as well come clean. 'I wasn't planning to seduce you. I might not, um, be prepared.' But this was the twenty-first century. Women carried condoms nowadays, didn't they? 'Unless you have something?'
She shook her head. 'I hadn't planned this either. It was meant to be dinner. Time to get to know each other a bit better.'
'Maybe a little kissing,' he suggested.
She smiled. 'And maybe you dancing with me again.'
She'd liked that, then? So had he. Dancing cheek to cheek on sun-warmed sand. And it didn't matter if it was Southend-on-Sea on a rainy English spring day or some exotic tropical island. Just as long as they were together.