“A kiss.” There was a gleam in his eyes. “Would you let me kiss you?”
She gasped, her eyes widening. “That’s not a guarantee. That’s sexual harassment. I can sue you.”
“It isn’t harassment if I have your permission. That’s why I’m asking. And you won’t sue me.”
“Because you want it too.”
“I certainly do not!” She indignantly disagreed.
“Okay,” he sighed. “You don’t want to kiss me. I’m still asking. Nicely.”
She knitted her brows, absent-mindedly chewing on her lips, her mind reeling.
“It’s the least you can do, you know,” he chimed in. “After what your friend put me through.”
She had no answer to that. She was too busy cursing Susan in her mind.
“And you should be flattered. I usually don’t ask what’s always freely given to me.”
That, she had an answer to. “By girls who throw themselves at you. Yes, I get the picture. Sorry, but I don’t feel like jumping up and down excitedly.”
He snorted. “I’m not asking you to jump up and down. I’m asking for just one kiss. If it’ll make you feel better, then just pretend we’re a couple.”
“We’re not a couple.”
“That’s why it’s called pretend.” He sighed again. “I know what you’re doing.”
“What? What am I doing?”
“You’re dodging. Going round and round in circles, in the hope that I’d get tired of your wordplay and just drop it. I’m not dropping it. One kiss is all I ask, that’s all.”
“But why me? Why not kiss Susan?”
“Susan is not you.” He said it like he meant it, fixing her with a look that left her shrivelling.
“Okay. What kind of kiss?”
His mouth dropped open. “What kind of question is that?”
“On the lips?”
“Yes.” He broke into a grin. “Do you want it anywhere else?”
“No. I’m just setting boundaries,” she bristled.
His brow lifted. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’ve never been kissed before.”
She scoffed, her eyes rolling to evade his probing look. “Of course I’ve been kissed before. What do you think of me?”
“That you’ve never been kissed before,” he countered in a bland voice.
“I have been kissed before.”
“Or that you’re afraid that if I kissed you, you’d enjoy it.”
“Of course not!” She glared at him in disgust.
“Then it shouldn’t be a very hard thing for you to do, should it? Unless, of course, if this is your first kiss, which you said it isn’t?”
“Yes, this isn’t my first kiss!” she growled.
“If you say so.” He clicked his tongue. “And, you’re still dodging.”
She can say no, of course. But he might take it as a confirmation of his suspicion, and she didn’t want that. Not at all.
“Okay. Ten seconds.”
“I’m allowing you to kiss me for ten seconds.”
His brows lifted to an all-time high. “You’re timing a kiss?”
“Yes,” she replied, as she whisked out her phone. “Let me set the timer. Timer starts n…”
She wasn’t able to finish her sentence.
Rome cupped her nape, pulling her to him as he leaned forward, connecting his lips with hers. She felt them land on her open mouth. Felt how he caught her upper lip between his lips, then gently nibbled at it, chewed on it like he was taking a sampling of a decadent dessert, before sucking them softly between his lips.
Her knees turned to gooey jelly. Her toes curled inside her shoes. All around her, she heard the sound of fireworks exploding, saw stars dancing with lightning, the intoxicating taste and movements of his lips lifting her to a glorious, unparalleled high.