“I’m so sorry about Dean. He didn’t die in vain, and his sacrifice means a lot to me.”
Mrs. Langdon wipes tears from her eyes as Mr. Langdon shakes my hand vigorously.
“Good to see you, Asa. Callie has been updating us on your recovery, and it’s truly remarkable how far you’ve come.”
“I had a great rehab specialist,” I tell him. Mr. Langdon’s green eyes are as bright as his daughter’s.
We turn our heads to the sound of a throat clearing. Callie is at the top of the stairs, ready to make an entrance. She descends wearing the same strapless white dress she wore that day in ninth grade. Her drop-dead sexy pout is painted blood-red. The animal in me wants to rush the stairs, throw her over my shoulder, and make her cry in ecstasy in the back seat of my car. But I’m standing next to her goddamned parents, who are watching her come down the stairs with bemused smiles on their faces, absolutely clueless as to what her white dress means to either of us.
“You look amazing,” I tell her. I gently kiss Callie on the cheek. Inwardly, I’m cracking, soon to break through the veneer of being decent and polite. Callie is, for me, a ticking bomb. If I don’t get inside her soon, I’m going to explode. I need to mark her, possess her, and make it known that she’s mine and mine alone.
I help her into her jacket and watch as she kisses her parents goodbye.
“Mr. Langdon, what time would you like her home by?” I feel like a fraud. Sure, I’ll bring her back at the right time. It’s just that my intentions aren’t as polite and decent as my words.
“Anytime is fine, Asa. Callie still lives at home, but she’s an adult. We appreciate your asking.”
“‘My house, my rules,’ is what my mother likes to say.”
I open the car door for Callie, and when I come around the other side, I take a steadying breath. Maybe Callie wants to save herself for marriage, and I remind myself that may very well be the case. I have to be okay with that. I have to call forth the patience and discipline I learned in the marines. Follow her lead. Take it slow. Remember not to put any pressure on her.
I close the car door and turn to take her in. Callie is so staggeringly beautiful, I’m momentarily stupefied at how she takes my breath away. Those gorgeous, plump lips will be my undoing. All I want to do is worship her mouth and taste her body all over.
“You look incredible. Showstoppingly sexy. I don’t even have a comparison to what you…in this dress… For fuck’s sake, Callie, what you do to me.”
“You remember that night?” Callie licks her lips and looks up at me through long, silky lashes.
I squeeze the steering wheel until my knuckles turn white. Then I clasp her chin with my thumb and forefinger, mustering all the tenderness I have in me.
“You know exactly what you do to me.” I lean in and slowly take her mouth. Her delicate scent invades my nostrils, and my heart charges ahead with desire, hell-bent on taking what it wants.
“Do you want to go back there?” Callie asks. She places the tip of her pointer finger in the middle of her swollen bottom lip.
“To the high school? Isn’t that a felony? How would we get in?”
“Well, I’m glad you asked. I did a little research, and they have wrestling team practice Wednesday nights. The school stays open until nine p.m. and parents are allowed to watch practice, so we should have no trouble getting in. Then we bypass the gym entirely and head to the bathrooms by the back exit.”
“Is that what you want to do? Replay our first kiss?” Twelve thousand thoughts zip through my mind. Break the law? Risk getting caught? Recreate our first kiss again? How fucking sexy would that be? Is it perverse to get turned on by this because we were just kids? Is the rock-hard erection I’m sporting a sign of my sexual deviance?
“I want to do a whole lot more than just kiss.”
Asa agrees to my plan to go back to our high school. I’m not sure why it turns me on so much, but it does. And I feel like because I’ve waited so long, I should get what I want.
We’re giddy like teens again as we park the car in the visitor parking lot. Asa buttons my coat all the way so that my flouncy dress is less conspicuous. I grab Asa’s hand and drag him through the parking lot toward the front doors.
Asa squeezes my hand hard. “Are you sure you want to go that far? I mean, I do… Fuck—” Asa stops and pulls me into his arms. His embrace is like a temple where I worship, where I feel sacred and safe from the rest of the world.