She'd said she was proud of himâ€”did she mean it? Her forearm
brushed his leg, and her throat turned a deep shade of rose
as she held his gaze. Sweet. She wouldn't say what she
He tilted to the right, wanting to touch her mouth with his.
Sample a quick taste of Emma to add to his memories. Her
lips slightly parted, the pulse at the hollow of her throat
sped, her eyes dilated. They were so close to a kiss that
all he had to do was move his head forwardâ€¦
She stood abruptly, smoothing the yellow fabric down over
her hip with an eye toward Matty, racing around the
fountain. "I'll get dessert."
Jackson snapped back. Was she inviting him inside?
She held the door open for him, and he followed her. The
instant they were out of sight she launched herself at him,
wrapping her arms around him to hold him tightâ€”he couldn't
have broken free if he'd wanted to.
And he didn't.
He buried his hands in her soft, soft hair and cupped her
head so that he could study Emma and memorize each new line
and freckle. He gently brought the pads of his thumbs to her
smooth jaw and plump pink lower lip. Her eyes, swiped with
copper, glittered sensually as she absorbed his touch.
Auburn lashes at half-mast as she relaxed into him.
He dropped one arm to her hip to balance her, the other
still cradling her head as he lowered his mouth. She lifted
to him, their lips whispering across each other's mouths
before crashing together like surf against the sand.
She tasted different but the same. It was meeting his other
half, something he'd been missing and suddenly needed more
than his next breath.
"Jackson." Her words were hot against his lips and brought
the embers of desire flaming bright.
She entwined her fingers behind his neck and pressed in to him.
He clasped her tight, feeling the warmth of her feminine
curves, the temptation she offered.
The smack of sneakers up the porch steps made them break
away like guilty teenagers.
Jackson's chest heaved. They weren't that anymore.
Em's eyes flashed, the pulse at her neck fast as a
"Emma," Matty asked, innocently entering the kitchen. "Can I
have some lemonade?"
"Sure, hon. I was just getting the cannoli out. Are you
ready for dessert?" Emma turned her back to him, and Jackson
detected a tremor in her voice.
Jackson knew then that he'd never be over Emma Mercer, not
if he lived to be a thousand.