“I don’t know how we’re going to choose,” he said at last. “It was all great. I don’t think there was a single thing I didn’t like.”
“I told you she did great work.”
Colin turned to look at Natalie, noticing she had a bit of buttercream icing in the corner of her mouth. “Uh-oh.”
“What?” Natalie asked with concern lining her brow.
“You’ve got a little...” his voice trailed off as he reached out and wiped the icing away with the pad of his thumb. “...frosting. I got it,” he said with a smile.
Natalie looked at the icing on the tip of his thumb. She surprised him by grasping his wrist to keep him from pulling away. With her eyes pinned on his, she leaned in and gently placed his thumb in her mouth. She sucked off the icing, gliding her tongue over his skin. Colin’s groin tightened and blood started pumping hard through his veins.
She finally let go, a sweet smile on her face that didn’t quite match her bold actions. “I didn’t want any to go to waste.”
For once in his life, Colin acted without thinking. He lunged for her, capturing her lips with his and clutching at her shoulders. He waited for Natalie to stiffen or struggle away from him, but she didn’t. Instead, she brought up her hands to hold his face close to her, as though she was afraid he might pull away too soon.
Her lips were soft and tasted like sweet vanilla buttercream. He’d had plenty of cake today, but he couldn’t get enough of her mouth. There was no hesitation in her touch, her tongue gliding along his just as she’d tortured him with his thumb a moment ago.
Finally, he pulled away. It took all his willpower to do it, but he knew he needed to. This was a wedding chapel, not a hotel room. He didn’t move far, though. His hand was still resting on Natalie’s upper arm, his face mere inches from hers. She was breathing hard, her cheeks flushed as her hands fell into her lap.
He could tell that he’d caught her off guard at first with that kiss, but he didn’t care. She’d brought that on herself with her distracting games. If her body was any indicator, she hadn’t minded. She’d clung to him, met him measure for measure. For someone who thought they were unsuitable for each other, she’d certainly participated in that kiss.
He just wished he knew that she wanted to, and she wasn’t just doing it as a distraction to help her win the bet. There was one way to find out. She wasn’t good at hiding her initial emotional responses, so he decided to push a few buttons. “So, what do you think?” he asked.
Natalie looked at him with glassy, wide eyes. “About what?”
“About the cake. I’m thinking definitely the white cake with the lemon, but I’m on the fence about the second choice.”
Natalie stiffened, the hazy bliss vanishing in an instant. He could tell that cake was not what she’d had on her mind in that moment. She’d let her little game go too far. He was glad he wasn’t the only one affected by it.
“Red velvet,” she said. She sniffed delicately and sat back, pulling away from him. Instantly, she’d transformed back into the uptight, efficient wedding planner. “It’s a universal flavor. I’m told it’s a Christmas classic, so it suits the theme. It’s also one of my favorites, so admittedly I’m partial.”
“Okay. The choices are made. Thanks for being so...helpful.”
Natalie looked at him with a narrowed gaze that softened as the coy smile from earlier returned. “My pleasure.”
Monday afternoon, Colin made a stop by Frankie’s motorcycle store on his way home from his latest work site.
When he’d first found out that his sister was dating a guy who looked more like a biker than a businessman, he’d been hesitant. Meeting Frankie and visiting his custom bike shop downtown had changed things. Yes, he had more tattoos than Colin could count and several piercings, but he was a talented artisan of his craft. The motorcycles he designed and built were metal masterpieces that earned a high price. Over the past year, Frankie’s business had really started to take off. It looked like he and Lily would have a promising future together.
Slipping into the shop, Colin walked past displays of parts, gear and accessories to the counter at the back. Lily was sitting at the counter. Frankie had hired her to run the register, making the business a family affair. Living upstairs from the shop had made it convenient, but he couldn’t imagine they had enough space to raise a family there or even stretch their legs.