“Hi,” Jensen said in surprise as he spotted her there in Stephen’s kitchen, halting on the spot and blocking the flow of traffic. The man behind him protested and he took a step towards her to move out of the way, pushing aside almost all of the space between them. The crowd seemed to demand more of it and he was forced to lean over her, bracing himself against the counter behind her and leaving them with barely enough space to take a breath without touching.
“Hi,” she replied, looking up and connecting with the cleft in his chin, so close she couldn’t see his eyes.
“Cramped in here,” he murmured, swallowing hard if the way his Adam’s apple fluttered was any indication. She just laughed a little bit. He looked down at her and their eyes met, but only for a moment before they slide to the right and saw the wine glass in her hand. “Any good?” he asked.
“I haven’t tried it yet,” she answered.
With one more quick look at her eyes, he touched her; starting at her elbow and running his hand slowly down her arm to remove the glass from her hand. He raised it to his lips, meeting her eyes again, and drank. “Good,” he informed her as he set the glass back into her grasp, fingers brushing and causing that now familiar tremor of energy to spread over her.
He leaned over her, the scent of dark chocolate flaring wildly as he did so. She thought he was going to, or wanted him to, kiss her, embrace her, whisper something seductively in her ear but he did nothing of the sort. He slid the wine bottle across the counter with a strangely soothing grate of glass across the counter. “Hmm, I never would have thought such a sophisticated taste would come from a wine label named Kite.”
“What?” she asked, turning so quickly her hair must have whipped across his face. She placed her hands over his and turned the label towards her so she could read it. And there it was. Kite. And a label that looked a lot like the pictures she was getting when she fought sleep at night, a cute little pigtailed girl looking a lot like Jam running across a meadow with a red winsome kite trailing in the sky.
“I’ve been looking for this,” she murmured to herself, and though it seemed like a herculean feat, managing to forget that Jensen was next to her listening.
“You’re an interesting one miss,” he whispered in her ear. She held her breath as he lifted a hand, gathered the strands of her ever growing hair and pushed them away from her shoulder, exposing the smooth column of her neck.
She waited a moment but nothing happened. He grabbed the glass from her hand and took another sip. “I aim to please,” she murmured a bit ironically as she peered over her shoulder at him downing the contents of her glass. He handed her the half empty glass and she threw back her head and emptied the contents in one quick gulp.
With the wine sitting boldly in the pit of her stomach she turned around again to face him and pulled out her cell phone. He looked at her quizzically as she dialed and took an involuntary step backwards. She made a covert grab for the hem of his jacket, not wanting him to wander too far, before his phone started ringing.
He took a step to the side and turned to lean next to her against the counter. “Jensen Michaels,” he answered as his eyes caught sight of her tugging lightly on his clothes.
“Hi, it’s Delilah,” she said with a smile as his eyes swept over to meet hers. That infectious smile broke out across his face as he realized she was on the other line.
“Delilah. You remember, that smoking hot patient you doc blocked from Stephen Conrad the other day.”
His grin got wider and there was a laugh in his voice when he responded. “Ah yeah, I remember now. Are you thinking about changing your health care provider?”
Delilah laughed a little and stuck her tongue out at him. He outright laughed then. “Not today,” she answered, “but I am going to this party at Stephen’s tonight and I was just wondering if I might see you there.”
“Do you want to see me there?” he responded coyly.
“I don’t know,” she said in her best hard to get voice, “it wouldn’t be the worst thing I suppose.”
“Oh well, in the face of so much flattery how can I resist?”
“Okay, then it’s a date.”
“Wait, how will I know it’s you? I’m not sure I remember what you look like,” he said. Delilah let go of his jacket and punched him playfully in the arm. He looked at her with fake puppy dog eyes and rubbed his bicep, doing his best to appear wounded. They stared at each other, letting the moment quiet down and the scent of dark chocolate intensified.
His eyes moved down to look at her lips again and it was all she could do to resist the urge to lick them, couldn’t turn away from his stare no matter how much she wanted to and didn’t want to all at the same time. He inched closer to her as both of their cell phones disappeared again.
“Oh look, here you are,” he murmured, not taking his eyes off of her for a second to muster up any kind of believable fake surprise.
“Here I am,” she answered in a voice that sounded distinctively unlike hers, much too low and seductive to belong to her.
“So now that I’ve found you, what should I do with you?”
“You don’t have any ideas?” she prompted as they inched closer to each other, the lines of his jacket brushing ever so softly against the length of her arm.
“Oh I have ideas I’m just not sure if you’ll like them,” he answered, leaning into her just like he had when they had met on the sidewalk.
“Try me. You might be surprised.”
He leaned even closer though Delilah wasn’t sure it was possible. He lifted his hands to her throat. But what she thought was going to be romantic was quickly just another joke as his fingers probed her jaw line with that clinical detachment he’d shown her in his office. “Yep, you seem to be recovering nicely.”
She reached up and pushed him and his laughing face away, causing him to step back into a tall, scrawny blond dude and topple the plate of cheese and crackers from the plate in his outstretched hand.
“Sorry,” Jensen said as he bent down to pick up the food he’d spilled across the floor. “Sorry,” he repeated with a crooked smile as he dropped the slightly disheveled food back on his plate, Delilah laughing so hard she had to bring her hand up to her mouth to keep it in.
Jensen turned to her with crazy eyes and they both started laughing heartily. “Let’s get out of the line of fire,” he said with a twinkle when they’d died down. He grabbed her hand, causing tremors to speed up and down her arm and across her body, and threaded her neatly through the crowd. He squeezed around a bulky Chinese medicine cabinet, pushed aside a deep blue curtain, and pulled her through the window onto a hidden little balcony overlooking the street.
“I didn’t know this was here,” Delilah marveled, stepping to the railing and looking down at the ebb and flow of the party with people coming and going as they pleased.
“Stephen’s afraid of someone doing something stupid out here when drunk so he always slides the cabinet in front of it.” Delilah looked at him in wonder. “I know this because I’m the one that always has to help him slide it in front of the window when he has a party.”
“You didn’t do a very good job this time,” she said, perching on the corner of the railing and leaning against the wall, trying to find a place where the wind didn’t slice through her so completely.
“Well I was still holding out hope that I might see you tonight.”
“Oh,” she said with a smile as he stepped closer to her, raising their hands and threading their fingers together, “and you were hoping what?”
“That I’d have a chance to get you alone.”
“Well now that you have me what do you plan on doing with me?” Delilah smiled slightly and tilted her head to the side to look at Jensen from the corners of her eyes. The wind changed for a moment and his scent, sandalwood and dark chocolate, overwhelmed her, so strong she could almost see it. She couldn’t stop it, she purred at the feel of it against her skin, closing her eyes at the taste of it.
The wind stopped as Jensen stepped in front of her, blocking it from her skin. He laughed softly as he cupped her face in his hands, bringing her face up to meet his. He quickly put an end to the exquisite anticipation she was feeling waiting for his lips to find hers.
He tasted like the wine – bold, full, and tangy. She couldn’t resist sinking her teeth into his bee-kissed bottom lip, as soft and inviting as she thought it was going to be. He made a guttural sound, deep in his throat, and she swallowed it as he tilted her head slightly to capture her mouth more completely. His tongue challenged her to take things deeper and she gladly accepted, matched him thrust for thrust.
When they finally broke apart she wrapped her arms around his torso to keep him close and the biting chill away. They didn’t speak but his hands wound around her and ran softly up and down her back. She leaned her head back to look at him as his hand came up to caress her cheek, the back of his hand cold against her heated skin. “What’s this?” she asked in a voice that didn’t sound like her own.
“This?” he repeated as her fingers toyed with the inside of his wrist. “It’s here to remind me not to leave without Stephen’s kayak.” But Delilah wasn’t really listening as she pulled his arm closer to investigate the yellow string that was tied haphazardly around his wrist. She bit her lip in concentration, staring past Jensen to the window then back into the house. A kite, a yellow string . . .
“What’s wrong?” he asked with a hint of laughter in his voice, “You don’t like kayaks?”
“No,” she laughed, putting a hand to her forehead and trying her hardest to be two people at once – the Intuit that was trying to figure out what the future was telling her and the woman that didn’t want to do anything but make-out with the hot young doctor all night long. “I just . . .”
She pushed away from the wall and had her hand on the curtain before she stopped and turned to look at him. She studied him for a moment before considering what to do next. “You wanna help me with something?” she asked, mischievous hanging off of her every word.
“Sure,” he replied, reaching a hand out to push a few strands of hair behind her ear.
“Okay so Stephen’s sister Amelia told me that I need to have more fun in my life so she is making me do this silly scavenger hunt thing and wants me to find a few things in Stephen’s house.”
“What kinds of things?”
“Oh just really random stuff she told me was going to be a ‘blueprint for unforgettable’ by I figure if you help me out maybe it might live up to its promise.” Delilah shot him a flirtatious look from under her eyelashes and her heart skipped a beat when he returned it. “The, um . . .the yellow string reminded me because that was on the list. The next thing is the letter X.” When he looked at her like that it made it hard to breathe, let alone think.
“X huh,” he murmured, coming to stand right in front of her. “Does this count?” She couldn’t move, the look on his face pinning her to the spot. His hands came down and rounded her hips as he pulled her slowly towards him, pressing the length of her body against his own. His hands slid slowly up her back, insinuating their bodies together even more. She buried her face in the side of his neck as he wrapped himself languorously around her. His embrace was warm, and she could taste his heart beating again as well as feel it beating against the palm of her hand.
She felt the reluctance in him as he let her go, his eyes cloudy with desire, the scent of dark chocolate flaring dangerously between them. “What’s the verdict?” he asked in a low voice.
“Verdict?” She could still taste his desire on the tip of her tongue, all around her, and his words were having a hard time wading through it to get to her.
“On whether a hug counts as the X you are looking for.”
“Oh,” she said with a throaty laugh since the choices seemed to be either laugh or go positively weak at the knees at the smile he was shooting her way. “Well if the point is to be unforgettable than I say count it.”
She had to close her eyes to remember, the sight of Jensen too terribly distracting to her concentration. “Angst.”
“Hmmm,” he paused, pulling back the curtain so Delilah could reenter the house before him, “well this is one of Stephen’s parties so I’m sure there’s someone feeling it somewhere.” They ducked into the room right across from the hidden balcony. “Stephen uses this room as his office slash library, not that he ever actually reads anything.”
“Just thinks it makes him look important,” Delilah finished, running her fingers over low shelves filled with books. “I know, I used to live with him you know.”