Liam strolled around Raine’s waterfront house, with the yellow lab, Butch, right beside him, as wait staff in bow ties offered a variety of hors d’oeuvres and drinks. In an area off the main living room, there was a baby grand piano with music sheets scattered across the top. In one corner was a sophisticated sound system, and in the other a cello. He walked over to the large instrument and noted the shine in the wood, the bows lined in a row, and the worn chair sitting behind it. Down the hall, Butch scratched at a door that he discovered was the master bedroom, situated to overlook the water. A large four poster bed took up the middle of the room, and a sitting area with overstuffed green and white striped chairs were in one corner near an open window. Butch took his place in one of the seats. Liam stood at the foot of the bed, soaking in all that was Raine. The dolls on the dresser, the pillows on the bed in shades of peach and green, and the affirmation on the mirror. “I love myself. I approve of myself. I am magic.” He said aloud.
“I repeat that every morning.” Liam turned to see Raine standing at the door. Butch perked up, but didn’t leave his chair. “Do you make entering stranger’s bedrooms a habit?”
“Depends on the stranger.” Liam turned to her. No apology, just a statement.
“Is there something you need?” Raine asked.
“Desperately.” Liam watched as she inhaled sharply. “Maybe later. For now, I have all the information I need, so that you’re no longer a stranger.”
“What could you have possibly discovered in the few minutes you’ve been here, sir?” She took a few steps past him to her dresser.
“More than you realize.” He walked up behind her and stared at her reflection, a playful gleam in his blue eyes. “You’re a songwriter and a musician; you play the piano, obviously, but the cello is your favorite instrument; green is your favorite color; you still play with dolls, and you want me to touch you.” He closed the gap, pressing his body against hers, pinning her between the dresser and his hard body.
“I didn’t realize that I was so transparent.” She reached behind her to touch his thighs.
“Hands on the dresser!” He said authoritatively. She didn’t hesitate, placing her palms flat onto the dresser. “Good, girl. You listen well.” He removed the band that held her hair at the nape of her neck, causing it to spread across her shoulders. Liam allowed one hand to snake around her waist, holding her just above her belt buckle. With the other, he dove into her locks, placing his nose deep into her dark hair, inhaling her scent. “Jasmine,” he said simply.
“That wasn’t a question, my dear.” He continued to stare at her in the mirror. She licked her lips, drawing his attention. “I believe that the first kiss is one of the sexiest things that can happen between two people. Don’t you agree?” Silence.
She leaned back against him, their eyes locked. He spun her around effortlessly, keeping her balance. She rested her hands on his waist, an unusual sensation for him, and he entwined both of his into her hair. He soaked her in, looking closely at her face, exploring. His gaze landed on her lips, which were parted slightly. She closed her eyes, as his mouth came closer and closer to hers. “Do you agree?”
“Excellent.” He closed the short distance, and as their lips touched, music began to play on the patio outside. He did not break the connection; his tongue reached deeper, deeper, and deeper into her. Her body responded, accepting him, encouraging him to continue his exploration. His kiss became more desperate, and harsher, opening her up more. He felt her hands move up his back, causing the muscles just below the surface to tense. No! What am I doing? I can’t do this. He broke the connection and took two steps back, staring at her as she breathed deeply, holding onto the dresser for support. Without a word, he left the room. Raine turned to look at herself in the mirror. Hair a mess, lips plump, lipstick pretty much gone. “Wow.” She turned toward Butch, who was lazing in his favorite chair. He thumped his tail a couple of times, but aside from that, he didn’t move. She fixed her hair and reapplied her lipstick. There was nothing she could do about the flush that covered her cheeks. “Okay, let’s see if my legs can hold me.” She took a tentative step, her heart still pounding from the closeness with Liam. Amazing. She exited the bedroom and headed outside to join the festivities.