He smiled down at me and the setting sun glittered behind him like a halo. I couldn’t speak. He’d taken my breath away.
“I was just thinking the same thing,” he whispered and lowered his head to kiss the side of my neck.
I closed my eyes and enjoyed the feel of his warm lips against my throat just under my ear. My hands twisted in the cotton of his t-shirt. After a minute he groaned, stood up and held out a hand to me.
“It’s getting late and I have to work the stick.”
I giggled. It sounded so dirty.
He smiled. "The bar. I have to serve drinks."
I tried not to be disappointed. It was the smart thing to do, but all I wanted to do was bask in the glow of our newly healed relationship.
“I’ll make it up to you,” he said, and kissed the side of my mouth.
My breath hitched at the touch. “Promise?”
“Promise.” He intertwined his fingers with mine as he we walked back home.
He had a sparkle in his eyes when he slipped into the pub and I wondered with a smile what he was hiding this time.
He grinned at me and kissed my knuckles. “Why don’t you come down around closing and wait for me?”
“Okay.” I ignored the butterflies his touch had caused, but gripped the collar of his shirt and yanked him back to me, kissing him.
He nudged me away and stepped back. “Wear something pretty.” He grinned and slipped down the stairs.
I grabbed a book and read until the designated time. Then slipped into a red summer dress with flared skirt and matching heels. I didn’t know what he’d planned, but I wasn’t going to complain and I was damned sure going to make sure I looked my best.
At the door that led into the pub, I pressed a hand to my nervous stomach in an attempt to control the butterflies. I didn’t even know why I was nervous. It’s not like this was a first date. I was just waiting for him to finish.
Taking a deep breath, I stepped through the door and frowned at the dark room. Candles sat in the middle of the tables he’d lined along the walls, leaving the center of the room empty. Patrick stood in front of the jukebox.
He wore black slacks and a white dress shirt with the top buttons unbuttoned that glowed in the candlelight.
He smiled at me and held out his hand.
Without hesitation, I walked over and took it. “What’s this about?”
“I’m making up for everything.” He pressed a button on the juke and music poured through the speakers. He brought my hand up to his mouth. “May I have the pleasure of a dance?”
Overwhelmed, I nodded. He led me out to the middle of the floor and placed his other hand on my waist. He spun me around the floor, holding me close. Our bodies swayed to the music as the sounds of the tympani bled from the speakers. I recognized it as one of my favorite songs.
I gave him a questioning look and he smiled. “Remember I have known you through our dreams.”
“I know. It just feels weird. I don’t really know you that well. Considering.”
“I’m an open book, Angel. All you have to do is look.”
I rested my head against his chest and closed my eyes, letting him lead me around. He held me close, his hands trailing over my skin he sang the lyrics in my ear.
When the song ended, he whispered, “I love you.”
Tears stung my eyes at the rush of emotions that filled me. How could I have almost thrown this away? This was everything I wanted. Everything I needed. I just hadn’t known it.
“I love you, too.”
He pulled back and brought a hand up to brush the loch of hair, which had fallen across my eye, resting his knuckles on the side of my head as he smiled at me. Then he brought his lips to meet mine.
The warmth of his body surrounded me like a blanket, his woodsy scent filling my nose and I expected the overwhelming giddiness, but instead felt something else. Something stronger than I’d ever felt before. It was like a lock had snicked open and released a torrent of emotions. His and mine. I was drowning in them.
Tears spilled over my cheeks, and he pulled away. I buried my face into his chest, hoping he wouldn’t see them. He lifted my chin, oblivious to the mascara I’d smudged onto his shirt, and asked, “What’s wrong, Angel?”
I stroked my hand down his face, noticing for the first time how smooth it was. Like glass. It made me wonder if all this was an illusion and it would shatter just as easily. “Nothing. Everything is perfect.”
His eyes searched my face, before he grinned and picked me up to spin me around in a circle, his lips on mine. I giggled and clung to him, praying for the night to never end.
A movement out of the corner of my eye caught my attention as Patrick set me down. His eyes followed my gaze and he tensed, gripping my hand. Kian stood in the doorway that led from the kitchen. He stared at the two of us, pain pouring from him in waves, before he turned and bolted.