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Sarah’s head sang with the dizzying effects of both the champagne and the hum of conversations. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a jumble of business cards and passed them to Jake.
“Business cards. There are at least five who want bids on remodeling jobs and a couple with plans to add onto their homes.”
Jake skimmed his thumb down her cheek as his fingers slid through her hair. “I may have to give you a raise.”
“And I may have to accept it, but I think it’s highly inappropriate to discuss it on a date.”
One side of Jake’s mouth quirked into a smile. “I thought this was a business function?”
“Oh, I think we’ve reached the parameters of a date.”
Leaning in, Jake slid his fingers to the nape of Sarah’s neck. His expression changed from amused to sultry and Sarah could feel his breath on her cheek as he closed in. She put her hand to his chest and curled her fingers around the fabric of his shirt. When there was but a space of air between their lips she panicked, and pressed her hand flat against him. “I think you should drive.”
He gave a slight nod and then withdrew and fired up the engine. It was an awkward ten minutes before either of them spoke.
“So, tell me about the parameters.” Jake broke the silence and glanced at Sarah.
Smiling, she replied, “The way you kept your hand at the small of my back as we made our way through the crowd. I like that, by the way.”
“I’ll make a note of it.”
Glad the mood in the car had lightened, she smiled. “The possessive way you put your arm around me whenever we were being introduced to any man younger than fifty.”
“You noticed that, did you?”
“I did. Do you know you’re holding my hand?”
While they talked, he had linked his fingers with hers with his right hand and drove with his left. He gave hers a slight squeeze now.
“Intertwined fingers and hand holding are definitely not condoned at business functions.”
Pulling the car to a stop in her driveway he killed the ignition and turned to her. “I guess you’re right then. This must be a date. That means I get to walk you to your door.” Jake pushed open his own car door and then walked to the passenger side. With a flourish, he opened hers and reached his hand in to help her out.
“Are those all of the parameters?” he asked.
Jake kept her hand in his as they crossed the porch and stopped at her front door.
Sarah turned, enjoying the game. “Well, there were the flowers. I mean, what female doesn’t like flowers?”
“I’ll have to give them to you more often.”
“That implies there will be a second date.”
As Sarah turned her back against the door, Jake took the opportunity and caged her in. “I certainly hope so.” His voice deepened.
“So do I.” This time when Jake leaned into her, Sarah rose on her toes and met his lips. The kiss was soft, almost tentative at first. He tasted of champagne and spice and she found herself falling into the kiss, abandoning herself to the scents, tastes, and sensations of being held by him. He parted her lips with his and then groaned when she slipped her tongue
into his mouth. They met each other on equal ground, the slide of lips and tongues as his arms snaked around her, slid up her body and rested when his fingers found her hair.
Breathless he pulled apart just a fraction. “Are you going to invite me in, Sarah?”
She touched her lips to his again and smiled. “Not on the first date.”
Turning out of his grasp, she slipped her key into the lock. “Good night, Jake. Sleep well.”
“Not likely,” he replied as she closed the door behind her.