“I can’t make the girls' road trip,” Lana told me when she emerged from the balcony of our home in Florida and back into the living room; after she hung up from her call.
Our two groups were splitting up from here and we’d drive to Orlando and meet there again. “I have been called back to work. Something urgent came up.” She assumed her spot on the sofa and swept up the length of her raven hair into a loose knot, securing it with a large hinged clip.
“And it can’t wait, I suppose?” I pointed the remote at the TV and lowered the volume.
“No…it can’t,” she scrunched her face and took my hand in hers. “I’m sorry Carter. I know this was supposed to be our mini-vacation. I’ll make it up to you. I promise.”
“It’s okay sweets,” I lowered her to my chest and hugged her close. “I can stay behind if you want me too?” I offered.
“No, don’t do that,” she said. “You’ve been so hyped about this trip with the guys and I can’t take that away from you.” Her hands slid down my arm and her palms touched mine warmly as her fingers laced through mine. “I wouldn’t forgive myself if you missed out on this and everyone would hate me,” she rolled her eyes and laughed. “I still have to break the news to the girls and I’m sure they’re going to give me the third degree.”
“You still up for Karaoke tonight?” Our crew had planned a last outing later that night, before we parted ways in the morning.
She leaned back and smiled. “Of course!”
“It’s guys against girls tonight,” I told her. “You know we’re going to beat you right?”
“Is that so?” she furrowed her brows and folded her arms over her chest. “I wouldn’t be so quick to count those chicks pretty boy.”
“That sounds like a challenge Bambi?”
“Name your wager?”
“Loser gets has to serve breakfast in bed until the staff comes back from the holidays-remember it’s the festive season,” she grinned and climbed onto my lap.
“I have Ts and Cs of my own...” I stroked her thighs and she lifted arms and linked her hands together at my nape.
“Oh yeah? What’s that?” she pressed in against me, opened her mouth, and sought her tongue with mine. Every nerve-end throbbed into awareness, and I became supremely conscious of every breath I took-its jagged quality as I failed to control the excitement flooding my veins.
“Sex on demand…” I said, trailing wet kisses down her neck. “Whenever I want it… Where ever I want it…However I want it…”
“I think you’ve got yourself a deal Carter…” she brushed her mouth to my own, deepening the kiss as she sighed and sought the play of taut muscle and sinew beneath my t-shirt.
Pleasure, sweet and evocative, took hold of me. I couldn’t think of anything else and knew she didn’t want to as my tongue met her own, traced its outline, and then began a sensual exploration that promised heat and passion. My lower body arched involuntarily against hers. Seconds later the breath hitched in her throat as I plundered at will.
The sexual chemistry between us never was a problem. The heat, the intense emotion she managed to arouse without any seeming effort at all. It was an entirely different problem altogether. One that we both chose to ignore or skirt around but I’m sure there would come a time when we’d have to confront the elephant in the room.
We slept through the afternoon-only because Kyle’s Aunt Sophia remained behind with all the kids at her farm in Italy. We would be picking them up after two weeks.
When evening came we got ready to go out at a leisurely pace and didn’t bother to eat. We were having supper altogether at the local pub while we battled it out on the mic.
The weather was warm, so we dressed light and casual. Since the place was close by, we took a leisurely walk there, hand-in-hand. We strolled quietly for a while until Lana broke the silence. The wind picked up at the shoreline, wrinkling the water as the waves slowly rolled toward him in silver lines.
“Carter?” she said, her beautiful eyes were dark and slumberous in the moonlit night. A cool breeze lifted the hair at her temples and ruffled the hem of her full skirt.
“Hmm?” I met her gaze and smiled.
“Are we okay?”
“You tell me, baby?” I bounced back the question to her.
“I don’t know...” she shrugged with a probing look. “But I feel like we’re not…”
“I know,” I answered and endeavored to still a slightly shaky feeling. Guess the moment of truth had arrived.
For a brief second her eyes widened, the implications sinking in with stark reality. “You feel it too, don’t you?”
I inclined my head in agreement. “Yes.”
Her unspoken questions lingered in the silence between us.
“So what do we do?” she cleared her throat and glanced up at me.
“I think we can start by being honest with each other Lana.” Honesty was the key. The truth will set you free right?
She crossed her arms, wary once more. “What do you mean?”
“I know you kind of hold me responsible for your mother’s death,” I cut to the chase. “I know you won’t say it but you do Lana.”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” she creased her forehead. “Your father was responsible-”
“Case in point,” I spoke over her. “Instead of saying Alex, you chose to say ‘your’ father. Meaning it’s my fault.”
She spared me a quick glance and I gleaned little from her expression. “Can we not talk about this now? Let’s do it another time okay?”