Date Published: May 2011
Even in the dimly lit room, she could read the truth in his hazel eyes. While she felt relief, she also felt scared. She hadn’t been scared of him a week ago. Of course, a week ago, he’d been nothing more than a handsome stranger who had appeared in her life at a time when she wanted to rebel— someone she could live out her fantasies with and never see again.
But now, he was no longer a stranger. He was Slate Calhoun, a handsome cowboy with a ready smile. A bigger-than-life football hero who loved country music, his dog, and the people of his town. A man who had invaded her thoughts and her dreams, and who could so easily end up breaking her heart.
Slate bent over a radio that sat on a piece of plywood and dialed through the stations until he landed on a slow country ballad, then turned to her and held out a hand.
“Can I have this dance?” he asked. She started to shake her head, but he stopped her. “Just a dance, Faith.”
“I don’t think—”
“Come on.” His voice was too close. Slate slipped the jacket off her shoulders and set it down on the plywood.
She shivered, but not from the cold, as he stepped closer and encircled her waist with one hand while the other linked their fingers.
Faith had never been much of a dancer, which would explain her stiff limbs and awkwardness. What it didn’t explain was the wild knocking of her heart or the heat that infused her body when Slate’s hips casually brushed against her.
“I missed you.” His breath tickled the top of her ear.
It didn’t seem right that such simple words could cause such havoc in her mind and body. Her heart seized up, and her knees felt like they could give out at any second, as one part of her brain tried to rationalize while the other held onto the words like a lifeline.
“I know it’s crazy,” he said as he dipped his head closer. “Especially since we’ve only known each other for a week, but I can’t seem to help it.” His hand slipped from hers and joined the other one at her waist, pulling her so close there wasn’t more than a whisper of space between them. “I can’t seem to control this need I have to be with you . . . .”
“Slate,” she breathed as her head drooped back. “We can’t do this.”
“Do what?” He kissed a fiery path down her neck.
“This.” Faith tried to push him away, but it was a weak effort.
“Dancing?” He opened his mouth and sucked in the sensitive spot at the base of her neck, sending goose bumps skittering over her skin. “Because that’s all we’re doing, Darlin’.” He breathed on the wet spot. “Just a little dancing in the dark.”