“You’re lovely,” Jack murmured into her ear.
Was that directed at her, or was he mimicking the lyrics?
He was holding her closer than she thought was necessary for a dance between friends, but she wasn’t about to complain. They moved slowly but they’d been practicing all night and were starting to fatigue. Caroline leaned into his shoulder as if it were the most natural thing in the world, not realizing that they had almost completely stopped dancing.
“Caroline?” She heard Jack’s sweet voice again. “I’m not sure we’re dancing anymore.”
“Does it matter?” She lifted her head up.
Jack looked into her eyes. “Not unless it matters to you.”
He slowly brought his lips to hers. She didn’t turn away this time but closed her eyes and waited. It was sweet, kind, tender…and definitely not platonic. And it felt incredibly good, the pleasure wafting over her. She’d forgotten what it was like to be kissed, really kissed. She didn’t want him to stop. Jack cupped her cheek in his palm and pulled her closer to him with his other hand. Caroline brought her hands up to his hair and held them there, not wanting it to end.
She had been wondering what it would be like to run her hands through those gorgeous, perfect silver locks. His hair was soft, and she traced her fingers through it as Jack teased her tongue with his. She wanted to tug at it, bring him even closer to her, but then saw Nicky’s face in her mind and pulled away.
Caroline covered her mouth with her hand. “What was that for?”
Jack withdrew his hand from her waist. He seemed to be confused. “I-”
“It was the music,” she stammered. “We – it’s a romantic song. It’s hard not to get sucked into it. It’s fine.”
She thought Jack looked a little unnerved, but he recovered quickly. “Sure. Just a little kiss between friends. It didn’t mean anything.”
“Right.” Caroline kissed him on the cheek. “See? Nothing whatsoever.”
“Yeah.” Jack looked at his watch. “It’s late. I’d better head home. I have to get up pretty early tomorrow.”
“Not a problem.” She exhaled, grateful for the escape. “Thanks for the dance lessons.”
“Anytime,” Jack said. “I mean that.”
“See you on Tuesday?” he asked. “Lunch, maybe?”
She turned off the music and escorted Jack up the stairs, watching him through the window as he started his Cadillac and drove away. It was nothing, that kiss. That song, the entire night…they’d gotten too caught up in the entire thing. Dancing could be an extraordinarily sensuous experience between two people who knew what they were doing, and Jack was an excellent instructor. It was only natural that she felt such incredible physical chemistry with him. That was it. Nothing more.
But Caroline was still trying to avoid the thought running through her mind – her increasing desire for him to turn his car around, run through her front door, and take her in his arms again.