She pulls her feet away, tucking them beneath her, and props an arm on the back of the couch. After brushing a wayward curl from my forehead, she meets my eyes again.
“What is going on in your head tonight? Talk to me, Tris.”
“Start with telling me why you made me promise not to date without talking to you first.”
Reaching forward, I caress her cheek, and she leans into my touch. “Date me next.”
I use the tone she calls the commanding one, and her eyes dilate. Fuck . . . it really does turn her on. How did I never notice that?
“Tristan, that’s a really bad idea.”
“Why? For starters, you’re my best friend.”
“Exactly.” I weave my fingers into her hair, and she moves closer to me. “If it doesn’t work, we’ll be fine, I promise. I won’t let this get in the way of our friendship.”
“You say that now but—”
I bring my finger to her lips to silence her. “No buts; we’ve been through so much already. We can handle seven dates.”
“You’re assuming you’ll make it to the seventh date.” As I smile, she gasps. “That’s why you made me promise.”
I’m about to lay all my cards on the table. “Yes. Bexley, I want my chance to win your heart.”
Her eyes close for a long moment, but my hand is still at the base of her neck, my fingers entwined in her curls. “I’m scared, Tris. What if you do something that’s a deal breaker?”
“That’s always a possibility, but if I do it in the first six dates, you have to let it go. If I do it on the seventh, well, that’s a risk I’m willing to take, I suppose. Either way, nothing is going to come between us. Nothing.”
The air snaps between us. This has become a defining moment in our relationship, but it’s one I think, deep down, we both knew was inevitable.
“Would tonight count as our first date?” She still hasn’t opened her eyes.
“That depends. Do you kiss on your first dates?”
Her eyes finally snap open, and I’m met with a lust-filled gaze. Damn, I’ve never seen this look on her, but now I don’t ever want to see her without it. “Sometimes, I do.”
“Well, if you want a kiss good night, then we can count this as our first date. Otherwise, tomorrow can be our first date.”
The rise and fall of her chest becomes noticeable as her breathing intensifies. She squirms, and I realize she’s turned on. Part of me wants her to say no, this isn’t our first date, because I’d love for it to be special to her. But another part of me wants to take her mouth with mine and kiss her until morning.
“Are you a good kisser?” she whispers, inching even closer to me. Bexley watches intently as I lick my lips ever so slightly, moistening what I want to give her.
“I’ve never had any complaints, but there’s always a first time for everything.” I cup the back of her neck and pull her closer to me—so close, she’s only a whisper from my lips. “It’s your call. What do you want to do?”
She moves forward and presses her lips tentatively against mine. In the course of every relationship, there is a make-or-break moment, and this one is ours—I feel it to my core as her apricot scent envelops me. I’m a lost cause.
“First date it is,” I whisper against them before wrapping my free arm around her waist and pulling her even closer.