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Carson leaned against the doorjamb to her room. "Thanks for coming. I really enjoyed myself."
Why the real world came crashing back just then, she had no clue. Suddenly that his cologne swirled about her, and that he was only a foot from her face didn't matter. Her little fantasies were just that, fantasies about a good-looking man. "You're just grateful someone was there to run interference between you and Nicole."
"I'm grateful someone let me enjoy myself." The corner of his mouth turned up in a little grin. "And I'm glad someone ran interference."
Suddenly Maya knew why she felt so much more alone than in the car. This was, for all intents and purposes, the end of a date. They were alone, he was so close, and that mouth she had noticed was perfect the first time she saw him, was smiling at her.
It wasn't just her imagination. His hand touched her cheek, a strong thumb caressing her cheekbone. Her breath caught in her throat when it moved to her lips. Tracing them gently, the heat of his thumb alone was enough to drive her mad. "I don't kiss interference good night, though. I really enjoyed myself, Maya."
No attack, no pawing, he paused at the last moment; she could stop it if she wished. Maya was frozen though. Every minute in the car, she had to stop herself from imagining just this, and here he was offering it to her.
"What about Nicole?" she whispered, hating herself for even thinking it. As much as she wanted him, she refused to get caught up with a man that bounced from woman to woman. Dan taught her to be careful better than that. Maya heard his breathing only centimeters from his mouth on hers. She knew she was being an idiot but the littlewoman inside was screaming too loud.
Carson didn't move though, his forehead rested against hers, just waiting. "I didn't enjoy myself with her. It kind of helps the wanting to kiss a woman."
Maya felt his lips brushing against hers as he spoke. As soft as butterfly wings, but not a kiss, she had stopped it. A tear slipped down her face as she closed her eyes. The first time in six years, she could really not have to worry about Dan running a man off, and she was doing it herself. Worrying about Dan running him off was doing as good a job as the man himself. "I enjoyed myself too."
She hadn't stopped it for good, those words were all it took, and the butterfly caress at her lips strengthened. No invitation for more, it was simply a goodnight kiss making her knees weak. Her heart pounded at the thought it was the first real kiss she'd had in six years. Even before Dan scared them off, why did they always seem too nervous to kiss her? Rarely enjoying it, they acted as if it was something to get past so they could get to the second date. Even then, it was rarely better, but then Dan's calls would start. Had she had a third date in all that time?