They laughed together, then fell silent. Crickets chirped in the darkness. The scent of Zach’s aftershave drifted to her on the light breeze.
After a while, he turned toward her. “Do you?”
“Do I what? Like apple pie and ice cream?”
“No,” he said softly. His gaze dropped to her lips. “Do you kiss and tell?”
Jessica’s heart kicked into a fast rhythm and she caught her breath. “I…”
“Shhhh.” He leaned closer. “I won’t tell if you won’t,” he whispered before his mouth claimed hers.
His lips stroked over hers, not aggressively, but softly, tenderly. He didn’t touch her anywhere else, but brushed her mouth with gentle intent.
Her first instinct was to pull back, but something stirred deep inside her. A feeling she’d nearly forgotten. Whispery shivers danced along her nerve endings and fluttered in her stomach. Without meaning to, the action was purely a reflex, she opened to him.
The kiss deepened. Their breath mingled. Her palm slid up his chest, feeling the play of muscle beneath his shirt. She fisted the flannel of his open collar in her hand.
His knuckles grazed the sides of her face.
Her body tingled with awareness. Scattered thoughts flitted through her mind, but she couldn’t hold onto any of them. Not while Zach kissed her. Not when his mouth fitted so perfectly against hers. Not when the pulse racing at the base of his throat matched the cadence of her heartbeat.
She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt like this. Had felt anything.
Should she be feeling this way about Zach?
Almost as if sensing her conflicting emotions, he softened the kiss, tenderly brushing his mouth over hers one last time.
She waged a silent war within, trying to calm her racing heart.
She still clutched his shirt. She relaxed her fingers one at a time, releasing the twisted fabric from her grasp. Finally she drew in a deep breath, then slowly let it out.
Her eyes found his.
Zach’s gaze searched hers. He smiled. A smile as soft and tender as his kiss. He touched his finger to her lips, then rose. “Good night, Jess.”