Hubby is driving a fire truck in the local Memorial Day parade today and I'm...well, right now I'm at my computer writing a quick blog post before I get ready for a family picnic this afternoon.
How are you spending this Monday - whether you celebrate Memorial Day or not? Let me know in the comments below and I will choose one lucky person to win a free download of Chemistry, my most recent release!
Daniel? Had she actually breathed his name like a sigh? Roxy straightened her shoulders and sat up in the chair. She’d almost acted like this was a real date. She’d almost let herself feel like this attraction could go somewhere.
“Hey, Doc. How about we get that dance lesson out of the way?”
He frowned. Probably confused by her change of attitude. Who could blame him?
Did he really sound disappointed?
“I’m afraid once I have a belly full of pasta, I won’t want to get up on the dance floor.”
Daniel held out his hand to her. “Miss Morgan, may I have this dance?”
She took his hand and let him pull her to her feet. “Um, yeah, but actually, I suppose it’s technically Mrs. Morgan.”
“You did say ex-husband, didn’t you?”
She nodded. “I’ve been meaning to change back to my maiden name, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Though after tonight, I think I’m going to find the time.”
Why on earth were they talking about Todd? The warmth of Daniel’s hand on hers threatened to melt her into a puddle on the floor. The last thing she wanted to be thinking about was the ex-husband who had made her feel fat and unworthy.
This was her only chance to be in Daniel’s arms. All she wanted to think about right now was Daniel and the dance.
They stepped onto the little square of wood and finally she was in Daniel’s arms, right where she longed to be. Perry Como—or maybe it was Tony Bennett—serenaded them.
She tried to be so strong all the time. To be in control. Was it so wrong to lean on someone else, just for the length of an old love song?
Roxy closed her eyes and pretended they were the only two people in the city at the moment. She could forget about ex-husbands, homework and daily specials, and concentrate on the mood and the music and the man. She felt safe and warm in his arms in a way she never remembered feeling before.
Pressed up against Daniel’s hard body, the safe and warm feeling soon gave way to hot and dangerous sensations. They swayed to the music, their bodies rubbing, their thighs brushing, their breaths mingling.
His hands roamed over her back, stroking her, gathering her even closer to him. Her heart thudded in her chest, a frantic counter-rhythm to the soothing music surrounding them. Those tingles that danced in her body last night had taken flight and were now soaring through her veins.
She rubbed her cheek against his, the scraping of his jaw increasing the shocks of awareness running through her. She flattened her hands across his back and the heat radiating there warmed her to the center of her being.
Then his hands were in her hair, tangling in the strands, tickling her scalp. And, as if the sensations weren’t already overwhelming, he started teasing her ear with his lips, nibbling gently. He brushed his hips against hers, his arousal clearly evident.
She pressed back.
Roxy bit back a moan. What was she doing? How quickly she’d forgotten all her good intentions. The last thing she needed was a man who made her lose control.
If nothing else, she had to stay in control.
The song was winding down. The rest of the world started to come back into focus. Roxy relaxed her grip and stepped away from Daniel. She shoved a shaky hand through her hair.
“Well,” she said, grateful her voice didn’t quiver like her knees were. “That was very good. I guess you don’t need any dancing lessons.”
Daniel cupped his hand around the back of her head and didn’t let her retreat any further. The heat of his gaze pinned her as effectively as his hand did. Rosemary Clooney started singing and he pulled Roxy into his arms again. “I never said I needed dancing lessons.”
His breath was warm on her neck and she sighed as she sank against him. “From what you said earlier, I thought you didn’t dance.”
“I don’t usually like to.” He surprised her by spinning her out and bringing her back to tuck in against him. “I’ve changed my mind.”
“Oh?” She told herself she was breathless from the whirling, but she knew that wasn’t the reason.
“Mmm. I think dancing has become one of my favorite activities.”
“I like to dance too.” She rested her head on his shoulder and inhaled that unique Daniel scent again. Nice.
“So how long were you married?” he asked, so softly she almost didn’t realize he’d spoken.
“Seven long years.” She didn’t want to think about Todd when she was in Daniel’s arms, but since they were practically dirty dancing, she supposed he deserved to know. “I got married right out of high school. Pretty stupid.”
“I imagine you thought you were in love.”
“At the time I did. And Todd, well, he could be mighty persuasive when he wanted to be. Besides…”
Roxy broke off. She really didn’t need to go there.
He rubbed his cheek against hers. “What?”
“I wanted to get out from under my mom’s thumb.” Talk about being young and naïve. “Like getting married to Todd gave me any more control over my life.”
She cleared her throat. That was probably more than she needed to say to Daniel. “And then I worked full-time so he could go to college and then get his law degree. What can I say? I was young and stupid.”
Daniel’s grip tightened on her back. It was obvious he could do the math. “So he let you put him through school and then divorced you?”
The song wasn’t over, but she stepped away, out of his arms. “Yeah, that’s about the size of it.”
Roxy took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She’d wasted all the anger she was going to on Todd Morgan. And she sure didn’t want Dr. Daniel Jennings feeling sorry for her. “Well, I’d say I’m more than ready for that wine. Let’s drink a toast to the ex who finally got away.”
The wine was excellent, the pasta was delicious, and the conversation was light for the rest of the evening. They discussed course options and campus activities. He was easy to talk to, even though he had earned a doctorate and she barely had her high school diploma.
Her resolve slipped and it made her more than a little nervous. Daniel was a nice man, but he was looking for a woman to settle down with and she wasn’t going there again for years. Her stomach clenched at the thought of another woman wrapped up in his arms, another woman dirty dancing with him, but that was the only way it could be right now. He was a distraction and she couldn’t afford to be sidetracked right now.
Her next step was to find a good woman to give him the passion he’d been missing. It was a real shame it couldn’t be her.
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