rowhouse

Tamar settled down beside him, propping her cheek against his shoulder. “That’s because you’re not distracting me like you should.” She peered up at him. “Do your part and I’ll gladly do mine.”

“So it’s my fault? Got it.” He turned his head to kiss her forehead and then the tip of her nose. “Guess I better get to work.”

“Uh-hmm,” Tamar purred, snuggling against him. The scent of him made her feel dizzy and warm.

“You’re a little slavedriver.” He murmured the words seconds before he took her lips in a soft, gentle kiss.

Snaking one arm around his shoulders, Tamar pressed her mouth against his own. The way he held her, kissed her made her feel like she was home in his arms. Strengthened by this thought, Tamar inclined her head and parted her lips, nipping at his own.

Dylan knocked the ice pack from his chest. Pushing up onto his elbow, he leaned over her to draw out the kiss. She was the only one who could suck in his focus this way. It was criminal.

Her other hand slid up his back, bracing him over her. She wanted to pull him over her, to never let him go. To breathe him in so she’d never forget this moment in all of her life. She could hear her heart pounding violently in her ears as she reveled at the feel of his firm mouth pulling at hers.

“Still worried?” he challenged as he trailed over her jaw and down along her neck.

Tamar bit her bottom lip against the delicious shiver that skittered down her spine all the way to her toes. His lips smothered her throat with warm kisses that weakened her knees. “A little…” she squeaked out, pressing his shoulder as her whole body went warm and gooey under him.

“Guess I’m not working hard enough.” He gently took the skin of her neck between his teeth, nibbling his way toward her collarbone.

She wriggled under him as his lips left a warm, tingling trail on her skin, gripping his arm. “Not… nearly… enough,” she said in mid-gasp.

“Gotta love this job. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, all you can eat.” He rained kisses all along her skin. “Delicious.”

Tamar smothered a strangled giggle as she bit her bottom lip. “At least one of us is having fun.” Her fingers loosened over his taut muscles.

He lifted his head. “Are you saying you aren’t having fun, woman?”

She wrinkled her nose playfully, trailing her fingernails along the lines of his muscles. “Enh…”

“You little liar.” He dipped his head to kiss her fingers. “Tell the truth.”

Tamar shivered at the warmth of his breath coercing her. She bit her bottom lip, closing her eyes. “Maybe a little.” She could feel the warmth all the way down her toes. “Yes.”

A wide grin curved his lips as he spoke into her hand. “Better. I like you like this. All soft and warm.”

She giggled, her toes curling at his deep voice caressing her. “Uh-hmm, of course you do.” She peeked open one eye and gave him a gentle smile. “I like me like this too. Wanting only you.”

“You say stuff like that and it’ll go to a man’s head.”

Sighing blissfully under his attention, Tamar snuggled against him, careful not to rub against his bruises. “You deserve it,” she whispered against his bare chest.

He laughed as he wrapped an arm around her, holding her close. “You spoil me.”

She could only smile, knowing he’d given her more than she could ask for. His love. Shivering, Tamar shut her eyes and held him close.

Dylan’s gaze landed on the ceiling but his thoughts stayed focused on the woman in his arms, the one who’d brought him more peace and happiness than he’d ever thought possible for another person to give. It was those thoughts he drifted off to sleep with.

Tamar rolled her shoulders as she took one tentative step over onto the sidewalk. She could already hear the muffled roaring from the other side of the stadium doors and could picture the cramped stands of excited fans ramped up on sugar-laden drinks and adrenaline. This was her very first football game in Covington University and she would have never been caught strolling past the stadium, much less stepping inside it. But she’d promised Dylan she’d come. She had to come. It was the most important game of the season.

A cold shiver skittered down her spine as she approached the painted doors, the cheers slamming against her eardrums. She squeezed her fingers and took in a deep breath. As Dylan’s surprised expression crossed her mind, Tamar smiled. He would be pleased to see her. Anticipating the pleasure in those gray eyes of his propelled her forward. Just as she reached for the door, it flung open, almost causing her to stumble forward and into one of the uniformed ushers.

“Oops, sorry,” the college student said distractedly as he sidestepped the stumbling Tamar.

“It’s… okay,” Tamar mumbled and righted herself, not bothering to look up at her assailant. She blinked at the open hallway, hearing the echoing cheers and stomping of feet reverberating along the walls and through her. Tamping down the shivers, she took another brave step forward toward the stands, hoping to find Bekah and Crystal before she was trampled again.

Thankfully, Bekah was standing by one of the doors, a camera slung over her shoulder. She turned to Tamar, a worried expression frozen on her face until she eyed her cousin. “Finally,” she breathed, stepping forward to reach for Tamar’s hand. “You okay?”

Tamar managed a smile and nodded. “Sorry I’m late.”

Bekah gave her an encouraging smile and squeezed her hand. “Come. We’ll sit where you can see all the action, up close and personal.” She tugged Tamar forward, not waiting to hear her cousin’s protests and dragged her down the hallway and out onto the stands.

The noise reverberated louder than in the hallway, people cheering and chanting the school’s song as they waited for the players to gather.

Tamar barely had time to take in the different colors mingled in the stands or the fact that she and Bekah seemed to be the only ones not decked out in the school’s fan apparel. She only focused on climbing the stands and crossing the benches, gripping Bekah’s hand tight as her cousin maneuvered through the excited fans. She told herself to breathe as they squeezed and ducked around a few boisterous college students who were shouting across the aisles, hurling insults and jeers to the other side.

It wasn’t until she saw Crystal and Tonio seated a few benches from the fence in front of the mid field that the tightness in her chest eased up.

 <<Chapter 28 || Chapter 30>>

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