Two hours later, Eden peeled the damp silk shirt away from her overheated skin. She’d ended Billy’s tour in the basement boiler room. Pipes hissed and clattered, then quieted down to the occasional rattle and wheeze.
Billy inspected every square foot of the building. He’d asked question after question, until his low, sexy voice echoed in her ears and throbbed through her bloodstream. His cool efficiency rekindled memories she’d tried to bury years ago.
Eden might’ve been innocent in understanding the needs and desires that fuelled an adult physical relationship, but she and Billy had clicked on an emotional level. They’d dealt with deeper issues than where to spend Saturday night. His: the lingering effects of his father’s death and his need to finish college. Hers: dealing with her drunken mother, and trying to finish high school while working nearly full-time.
In truth, it’d hurt Eden far worse when he’d run out of her life without explanation, than when he’d raced out of the motel room and refused to take her virginity She’d counted on Billy’s stability, his support, his friendship.
Eden’s gaze wandered to him as he dutifully made notes. His blond hair was tousled, his funky lime-green tie askew. The smart and sexy aspects of his persona hadn’t changed. But he’d honed his youthful intensity to a precise edge. She wondered if he still kissed with the same fire. Did he make love with an engineer’s attention to detail and single-minded absorption in the process?
What she wouldn’t give for another chance to have those energies directed at her.
Before Eden considered the implications, almost as if he’d read her mind, she became his sole focus.
“Eden?” he murmured next to her ear, sending a delicious tingle down her spine. “You spaced out for a second. Where’d you go?”
A naked trip down memory lane. “Nowhere special. Why?”
He drew a fingertip down her sweat-dampened arm. “Really? Seemed special to me. Your eyes turned liquid and soft. You licked your lips.” His rapid exhalations teased the nape of her neck. “What were you tasting in your daydreams?”
You. Your lips, your mouth, your skin. She stepped back and faced him, balling her hands into fists.
His gaze dropped to her breasts and the nipples poking against her translucent blouse.
Heat suffused her face. “It is hot in here.”
“I’ll say.” Billy zeroed in on the bead of sweat dripping from her temple, wiping it away with a measured sweep of his thumb.
The simple touch heightened her responsiveness and again she retreated. “Have you seen enough?”
“No.” Billy started toward her, an animal stalking prey.
Eden backed up until her shoulders met a low-hanging section of ductwork. “What else?”
“I have two questions.” His Italian loafers bumped her sensible black pumps. They stood knee-to-knee, hip-to-hip and chest-to-chest, face-to-face, practically breathing the same air.
Could he hear the rapid beat of her heart? Sense the fervor thickening her blood? “Ask away.”
“Does this old heating system keep the entire building adequately warm?”
“Are you seeing anyone?”
“Good.” His notebook crashed to the floor. He slanted his mouth over hers and kissed her.
At the warm insistence of his lips, the smooth glide of his tongue, Eden gave up both the internal and external fight. She might’ve leapt over the professional line, but she wanted him. The hard press of his zipper against her belly showed her how badly he wanted her too.
For several glorious minutes, she reacquainted herself with Billy’s exhilarating taste; his masculine flavor flowed into her mouth and her memories. His harsh breathing, her throaty moans of pleasure and the rasp of clothing were the only sounds in the humid space.
The ravenous kiss slowed. Billy murmured against her damp skin, trailing kisses down her neck to the swell of her breasts.
His fingertips swept her hair from her face, drifting down her jawline to stroke the pulse beating in her throat. He traced her collarbones to the V of her shirt, testing the weight of her breasts in his large hands; his thumbs strayed to the silk-covered nipples.
Once again heat exploded between them. Billy crushed her against the ductwork so completely she felt every twitch of his cock on her belly, every hard muscle of his body.
The clatter of pipes startled them into breaking the kiss.
Billy backed off, but his passion-darkened eyes never left hers. They stared at one another. He tenderly brushed a curl from her forehead, letting his palm linger near her temple. “Don’t look for an apology. I’ve been wanting to do that for three hours.”
“I don’t want an apology. But we weren’t exactly discreet. Anyone might’ve walked in.” She sent a nervous glance over her shoulder. “I’ve worked to build a decent reputation Equot;
“I know.” He cupped her chin, urging her to look at him. “I’d never do anything to jeopardize your reputation. Doesn’t change the fact I want you. Damn, do I want you, Eden. In every way imaginable.”
Her insides seemed to liquefy, sending a hot trickle of excitement between her legs. “Me too. But I don’t want anyone to think I slept with you in order to assure Feather Light won’t recommend closing the center to the city council.”
Billy froze. Then he spun on his dress shoe and crossed the concrete floor halfway before pacing back. “No offense, but nothing you could do with that luscious mouth or your incredible body would affect the outcome of this survey.”
“But when we’re alone can we put the business aside?”
Here was her chance to close that chapter of her life. Might be reckless, but she deserved Billy Buchanan’s undivided sexual attention, if only temporarily. “How long will you be in town?”
“A week.” He watched her smooth her hair, straighten her skirt and adjust her blouse. “You busy after work tonight?”
“How about tomorrow night?”
“No,” she admitted.
He gave her a wolfish smile. “You are now.”