Why had we agreed it shouldn’t happen again?
Oh, right, because she wasn’t whoever she was now. This Bess was a temptress, intentional or not. Her hair was silky soft, her scent somewhere on the side of floral, but with hints of vanilla that made me want to lick her like an ice cream cone. And those freaking glasses. My God, I wanted to fuck her in her thigh highs, red heels and black-rimmed glasses.
I downed half my Jameson to settle down. The point of this meeting was to get her to retract her review, not to get her out of her skirt. She’d already shot down my attempt at that anyway.
I hadn’t planned on the word vomit that came out about the day she left for college or Christmas Eve. It pissed me off, though. No matter what happened between us, no matter that we didn’t talk all senior year, she was leaving—going away—and I figured whatever went wrong between us would be put aside to say goodbye. Apparently, she’d ridded herself of me long before then.
Too bad for her, I was back and not going anywhere until I had answers and a retraction of the review she admitted had a personal slant to it.
I slammed back the rest of my drink, heard her heels clicking on the tile floor toward me, spun around and stood up.
“Ready?” she asked.
“For dinner. I’m starving.”
She heaved a sigh and gave me an exaggerated blink. “It’s been nice catching up. Good luck to you, Derek.” Then she turned and headed for the lobby.
“Where do you want to eat?” I asked, not letting her off the hook. I glanced down at my jeans and t-shirt. “I’m not really dressed for anything too fancy, but I remember you love a good burger.”
She stopped and faced me, let her eyes wander over my face, then down to my chest, my waist, my legs. When she looked back up her expression was odd, almost sorrowful. “What?” I asked.
Bess shook her head slightly. “I don’t want to regret this.”
Her words were heavy with meaning. I wasn’t sure I was ready for that much meaning. “It’s only dinner.”
She reached up and put a hand on my shoulder. “It’s never only anything with you.”
I wasn’t sure she meant that in a good way or a bad way. Maybe she didn’t know either. “Burgers then?”
Bess let her shoulders relax and her mouth shift into a smile. “Burgers.”
She turned and strode toward the doors. “Forgiveness?” I asked.
“Not on the menu,” she said, flinging the words over her shoulder.
“Maybe not tonight…” I said.
“Maybe not ever.” She smiled at the doorman as we passed.