“You want to dance with me.”
“Oh no I do not.” I caught Trip’s disbelieving gaze and stirred the air by my right ear like the guy standing to my left was crazy.
The music pumping through the speakers morphed into an industrial grove á la Depeche Mode. The slinky kind of tune I loved to get lost in. Chael ruined the moment, pulling me from my seat and shoving me out to the center of the dance floor. I spun to face him, ready to spew some nasty comments. His expression shut me up. Intense, gorgeous and tortured. “Just be quiet,” he growled in my ear once he’d spun me and pulled my back to his abdomen. “And let me lead you.”
Instinct told me to argue with him, but his sense of rhythm pummeled my instinct into a submissive pulp.
Girls pray for guys who can dance. All I have to say is, thank God for Chael.
If rhythm is a language, dancing is a dialogue and Chael was fluent. He spoke volumes without saying a word, every phrase of speech a dip, sway or grind of his hips. Maybe it was the heady mix of hating him and being turned on by him, too, but by the second line in the lyrics, I succumbed, melting against him in an intimate physical conversation.
One arm cinched across my chest, Chael held me tight, his fingers splayed over my shoulder with no air between us, just heat and thin layers of cotton. At the end of the first stanza, he slid his hand down the side seam of my shirt and jeans. Holding my hips, he pushed my knees down and out with his as we snaked toward the floor. The bridge to the chorus led us up, his hands cruising my curves, hooking my elbows to turn me to face him.
I took the lead and a naughty thrill when his eyes flared a wild, searing blue. The club, the world, telescoped down to the two of us. Chin down, I peered at him through my eyelashes, winking as I ghosted his body lines with my hands. Coming close enough to feel his breath on my lips, I cupped his face and blew him a kiss. Then, baiting him to chase me, I spun and took a step away.
His fingers circled my wrist, turning me, pulling me back tight to him. One hand hooked my right knee and pulled it toward his hip, the other hand braced the small of my back. Chael leaned into me, curve on curve, breath on breath before his lips grazed the V-neck of my T-shirt.
I sucked in a breath, heart hammering against the anvil of my ribs.
The loathing I’d felt dissolved in the heat he brought up in me. When he said, “We work well together,” I didn’t argue. I hardly noticed the song fading, but the whoops and catcalls of his gang of friends were impossible to miss. My cheeks burned. I wanted to hide, run back to my table with Trip. No such luck. Chael used his arm around my back to reel me in, and turn me like a prize fish for his guy friends to gawk at.
A couple whistles. One ah-oo-ga. A bunch of mildly obscene hand gestures proved he had their approval. Too bad mine was slipping the longer we weren’t dancing. And once his hand left my hip, sanity a.k.a. my loathing of him, returned. Suddenly, a long, hot shower sounded really good...maybe a loofah for my brain, too, to scrub out the tingly, excited thoughts his closeness brought on. Chael looked down, his gaze on a sightseeing tour of my physical attractions. A soft, husky tone colored his voice when he said, “I think you look great tonight.”
“Yeah?” I snapped, stepping away. “Well, I don’t think I like you looking.”