He pressed warm lips to her trembling ones. Her head swam with panic as he slid his arms around her, deepening the kiss. His hands wandered over her back, skating under her shirt hem and over her warm, bare skin. When his fingers grazed her flesh, it dawned on her that she was kissing him back. Her arms were wrapped around his waist, and their stomachs, and lower things, melded together. Horrified, she shoved Jeremy’s hips away, breaking the kiss and hissed through gritted teeth, “Stop.”
Jeremy’s eyes were glazed and half hidden by his shaggy hair. His breath was shallow as one arm fell away from her and the other gripped the storage rack behind her. She turned away from his broad chest into his hard, muscular arm.
“Don’t be mad, okay?” he whispered.
Lust and revulsion tangled in her belly as she mumbled, “Jeremy...please.” She caught her breath. “David. . .”
His arm dropped out of the way, and his fevered eyes cooled into a careful concern. “Hey, I get it. No explanation necessary.” He wrapped a hand around hers, giving it a mollifying squeeze. When she didn’t pull back right away, he leaned his forehead against hers. For a second they both closed their eyes, Loti yielding to his comforting gesture. When he crept closer, she splayed her free hand against his chest and shoved.
“That’s enough, Don Juan.”
He stumbled back and she swallowed down the confusing mix of emotions. Holding him at bay, she extracted her other hand from his as she scuttled out the door. His chin dropped, eyes still closed, as he drooped against the wall. Out in the open space of the studio, she took a deep breath and turned to face him. He stood in the doorway, hands in his pockets, his hair hiding his eyes as he studied his flip flops. His long surfer shorts showed off muscular calves. How old is he, anyway? 25?She was only 30, but she felt so much older.
“I know I’m a fool, Jeremy.” Her voice shook despite her careful control.
He looked up through the curtain of bangs. His light-hearted smile absolved her. “I’ve had a thing for you for a while.” He shrugged it off and reached down for his yoga mat.
She forced herself to look in his eyes as he straightened. “I’m not ready.”
He cleared his throat. “So when will you be?” And he flung the mat over his shoulder.
Her stomach did a flip and she licked the corner of her mouth. “I don’t know. It’s still fresh.” Her gaze wavered.
Jeremy flicked the hair out of his eyes. “I’m not going to push it. Don’t worry.” He smiled wider, showing teeth. “But you’ve got to know how damn hot you are. Maybe when you get back from this trip.”
Loti relaxed the hands she’d balled up. A warm blush bloomed across her cheeks, and she rolled her eyes. “Yeah, maybe.”