My head was buzzing, my limbs and soul lighter than they had been in days. God, days. I closed my eyes, reached for the sky, and let my hips sway in time to the consuming pulse of the music.
Someone bumped into me from behind, interrupting my moment and jolting me into Jia. I kept my balance, but she encircled my waist protectively with her arm. I could have moved back, but she held me there, like she wanted me to stay. Our faces were inches apart, our legs staggered over each other’s as we moved, creating our own rhythm. Her hands slid down my dress, tracing the skin of my thigh lightly.
Her eyes were fixed on me, inspiring that breathless feeling I had when I knew something intense was about to happen.
I shot a glare to my right. A young guy in a white collared shirt unbuttoned at the neck and dress slacks was gawking at us with a stupid drunk grin. He wasn’t bad looking, but he was soaked with sweat and surrounded by a gaggle of similarly dressed guys.
Jia turned my face back to hers, her soft finger coming down my cheek and resting on my lower lip. She licked her lip suggestively, and I knew. She was about to kiss me. And I was about to let her. The night was mine, and the opportunity was here. Something felt wrong and right about it, right enough that I blocked out the chants around us as our lips touched.
Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!
We did. Her mouth was soft on mine as our lips pressed to each other’s. I took in a sharp breath. The smell of her expensive perfume infused the hot musk of the crowd around us. Her one hand grazed down my chest over my breast. The other found the tight hem of my dress, pushing it up a couple inches over her fingers as they slid up my thigh. The movement elicited some more excited howls. I smiled under her kiss. A stupid laughter bubbled up with the idea that we were putting on a real show for our new admirers. That excitement quickly dampened when I felt someone’s dewy, clumsy hands on my thighs and an erection pressed hard against me from behind.
My eyes flew open. Before I could react and push him away, I heard him yell. His friends’ yelled too and then stepped back.
CAMERON. I had to remind myself of my own strength when I ripped that little fucker off of Maya. He and his friends had postured for a moment, probably long enough to realize I had about forty pounds of muscle on any of them. Their strength in numbers would have been annoying, but not enough to pose a threat.
Then there was the girl, her body indecently entwined with Maya’s. She didn’t look like a drunk idiot though. She had a shrewdness about her and dark assessing eyes that looked me over. Slowly she relinquished her hold on Maya.
I caught Maya’s wrist, spinning her to me.
“What are you doing?” I was beyond furious that she’d put herself in this position, with some—multiple—strangers’ hands all over her. This was un-f*****g-acceptable.
“I could ask you the same thing.” She looked to her wrist, where I held her tightly.
She twisted in my grasp, and I released my grip. My adrenaline was still thrumming.
My chest expanded on a deep breath. The rush of anger had ebbed but remnants of it still pulsed through me. “Can we talk?”
“I’m dancing. I’ll meet you back at the table in a little while.” Her voice was clipped, irritation showing on her features.
I wasn’t about to leave her. “Let’s dance, then.” I placed a protective hand on her hip, urging her toward me.
Her irritation gave way to something else, an emotion I couldn’t name. She seemed to consider the proposal as she stared at me. Her admirers had scattered after they shot us a few glares and offensive gestures.
Maya turned away from me, saying something to the girl. She nodded and gave me one last cool look before disappearing through the crowd. I took advantage of her absence and pulled Maya to me, our bodies close—closer than theirs had been.
Maya hooked her arms over my shoulders, her fingers toying with my hair. We moved in time to the slowest part of the beat, turning the house music into a slow song that only we seemed to hear.
I wrapped my arms around her, bringing my mouth to her ear so she could hear me. “Who was that?” My jaw clenched, possessiveness over her body rioting through me.
I thought I saw a hint of embarrassment before she looked away, bringing her hands down to my chest. Her eyes flickered back to mine.
“You’re full of surprises, Maya. I can say that.”
“Are you jealous?” She shot me a sassy smile that riled me and made me want to kiss the look right off her face.
“Should I be?”
“No. You have no right to be.” She tipped her head up, her jaw resolute. Little f*****g minx.