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"Welcome to the party, ladies." He let them pass, turned to the room as they crossed the threshold, and said, "This is your lucky day, Alex. You get twins."
Emma Ruth strode through the door first. Lizzie followed, keeping an eye on the ceiling waiting for an ice bath. Even with no water poised to drench her, she figured that attending this frat party was still a bad idea. What was she doing here?
A rousing cheer went up when Emma Ruth grabbed the face of a tall, gorgeous stranger, presumably Alex, and prepared to plant her lips on his. Lizzie saw Dustin muscle his way to the front of the column through the throng of guys lined up to get a kiss.
"Kiss her. Kiss her." The crowd in the frat house living room chanted. At the last minute, Dustin stepped between them and stuck his hand over Emma Ruth's mouth to prevent the kiss and pulled her out of the line to kiss her himself.
Robbie laughed. "Sorry, Alex, you only get one twin."
Emma Ruth and Dustin disappeared into the fold of the party leaving Lizzie alone at the threshold.
"Your turn." Robby motioned with his bottle of beer. "Kiss Alex or you can't come in."
The words "What if I don't want to come in?" burned on the tip of Lizzie's tongue, until she glanced at the face of the attractive guy before her. Looming a half a head taller than anyone else in the room, the startled grin complete with dimples shaping his mouth was infectious. Her gaze traveled upward to his simmering chocolate brown eyes and lingered until her heart turned over with a thud.
His tall, dark good looks made her reconsider her previous dislike of kissing. The shape of his full lips, curved in what looked likeinterested astonishment, enticed her. Besides, his exotic male scent wafting around her made her throw any final caution out the door and in its place the sincere desire to try kissing once again.
The kiss would probably be like all the ones that Lizzie had endured over the course of her lifetime. Uninspired. But something in the determined set of his jaw and his steady gaze made Lizzie take a step closer. She tilted her head back, looking deeply into his eyes ... and then the defensive end from the school's football team plowed into her, propelling her forward into Alex's arms.
"Hurry up. Kiss him and get out of the way. I've got some drinking to do."
Twisting in Alex's arms, she shot a glare over her shoulder at the muscle-bound doofas. He winked, smiled and skirted around her to head inside the door.
Several more football jerks entered all at once and Lizzie was shuffled to the side still clutched in the arms of the gorgeous stranger named Alex. The line formed again as another girl came to the door and they were forgotten.
Once they bumped into the wall, he said, "You don't have to--kiss me--if you don't want to..." he paused and his gaze went to her lips. Another enticing smile formed and he added, "Perhaps we could get a beverage." His sultry voice went almost unheard in the ensuing loud kiss-a-thon from the football team now in line to receive their kiss from whichever girl entered the party next.
"Are you pledging this fraternity?" she asked.
He squinted as if processing her words for understanding before answering, "No. I'm a guest. I'm from out of town."
Ah. An anonymous someone she'd never see again. Lizzie caught sight of Emma Ruth across the room in the arms of her latest unsuitable boyfriend, Dustin. Her sister's suggestion from earlier to find someone to make out with for the evening rolled around in her head.
Lizzie focused her stare at the masculine Adonis she pressed against and something elusive tingled low in her belly. His scent assaulted her again. He smelled sensational. Earthy. Exotic. Desirable.
Thinking about Emma Ruth, she looked Alex with another fresh perspective. "Sorry you didn't get to kiss my sister."
His eyes squinted quizzically. "Who?"
"The girl ahead of me in line."
His puzzled expression didn't change.
"The girl you almost kissed right before I came in." Her exasperation finally elicited a nod of understanding.
"Oh, right. Her." His lack of enthusiasm over missing out on kissing Emma Ruth ratcheted him up a notch in her estimation. It was the first such reaction from any of the male species regarding her leggy blonde sister.
He gazed into her eyes. "I'd much rather kiss you."
He grinned displaying his dimples again and Lizzie swore she heard music. Sultry tones meant to seduce. Not taking her eyes from his, she figured the music was coming from the party. She stared, unable to think of anything to say. For the first time since foolishly wanting to kiss Billy Ford in seventh grade, Lizzie wanted to lock lips with someone.
She shoved away her distant and horrible first kiss memory and concentrated on Alex's sensuous engaging eyes. The lively world around her faded into the background as her pounding heart took center stage.
Something inexplicable came over her. Something carnal. She wanted to kiss Alex. She rarely sought kisses because of the continual disappointment they wrought.
Before the urge receded, Lizzie slipped her arms around his neck and pulled his head closer. She licked her lips quickly, closed her eyes and pressed her mouth to Alex's before she changed her mind.
Electric sensation zipped across the lower half of her face as the barest of connection transpired between them. Alex groaned into her mouth. The vibration drilled down through the core of her body. Her tongue darted out for a taste.
Alex reacted immediately and crushed her to his chest in a tight embrace. Lizzie pushed her body even closer into his and seconds later a weightless feeling came over her. But apparently that was because she caused Alex to lose his balance when her exuberant embrace knocked him off his feet. The funny thing was the lurch didn't cause their lips to part at first. Together they stumbled into a half open coat closet door finally jarring their mouths apart to keep their footing.
Lizzie, still awestruck over the sizzling kiss, stared with rapt attention, barely noticing the small walk-in space with coats shoved everywhere. Alex's gaze scorched a hole through her as they balanced, holding onto each other.
A single bulb burned overhead, shedding scant light down over their loose embrace. Lizzie didn't care about the dark. Without taking her eyes off Alex, she closed the door. The click of the latch drowned out the sounds of the loud party and cocooned them in low light. The only other sound in the small space was their panting breaths.
Lizzie leaned into his frame, slung her arms around his neck and placed her lips millimeters from his. "Kiss me," she whispered.
He didn't hesitate. His mouth lowered to hers again. Lizzie closed her eyes, wishing for one more sizzling rocket ride.