It was a secret Gwen would keep throughout the day. A secret for her and Andrew to share.
Gwen and Andrew. That did have a nice ring to it.
“So, he takes up a lot of oxygen in the room, doesn’t he?” Andrew pushed on one of his knees and stood.
“Salvatore’s all showy though.” Gwen fingered the skirt and swooshed the fabric back and forth.
“Do you prefer a man who is more subtle?”
It was the first time he’d dared to ask her personal preferences for a mate, and before he could retract his question or dilute it, she said firmly, “Yes, on the surface.” And smoldering underneath. Like you Andrew.
He stepped a few inches away. “I’m still concerned all the attention will be on you in that dress.” He held his chin, smooth and fresh.
“I was planning on wearing my hair up.” She gathered a handful of waves and swept them away from her face. But when he only stared at her bracelets as they clanged together, she let the bundle fall. “Or…”
“No. No.” The words caught in his throat. His fingers brushed past her cheek, lifting the hair off her shoulders again. “This is perfect.”
Yes, it is perfect. And he should be kissing her by now. Those amazing lips, pink and full on hers…and on other parts of her body, making her feel alive.
His eyes bore into hers, but he said nothing. Gwen preferred to not have to make the first move. How would she know if Andrew really wanted her in the first place, and wasn’t just taking advantage of a willing partner? But how long could she wait for him, before a crazy impulse took hold of her?
“I guess it’s settled. I’m wearing my hair up tomorrow,” she whispered, locking eyes with him.
He cleared his throat and stepped back, letting her hair fall. The weight of so many waves warmed her skin, even though she preferred the heat coming off his body. She stepped back as well and slipped into co-worker mode. “Andrew, be honest. Is this dress…too much? I prefer clothes that are simple and classic. Conservative even.”
“I would call you classic, Gwen. But not simple. You wear our clothes beautifully.” He ran his hand over the suit jacket she had draped on a desk chair. “The way they sit on you tells a story of…of the woman we know other women want to be.”
The compliment left her breathless. “Thank you, Andrew.”
“No, Gwen. I want to thank you.” His shoulders softened. “I need you to know, I couldn’t have done this without you.”
“That’s not true.” She swiped at eyes she suspected were shiny with tears, she wouldn’t let fall. Better to be respected as an equal, and not thought of as a weepy lightweight. “You’ve run plenty of these shows.”
“Yes, and I know what it takes to pull this off. There was no way I could have done what you’ve done…for this show.” He ran a hand through his hair, his wedding band was…gone!
The sight took Gwen’s own breath away. She twisted her hair to the side, to keep her hands busy. “Did you want to do one final walk through for tomorrow?”
“No. We’re set.” He bent down to the pick up the shoebox. His back straightened, emphasizing his dramatic height.
She moved toward Andrew to hug him. Immediately there was a different feel to his touch from the night of their first drink. The night when everything had turned around. And upside down. His fingers pressed into her skin. His body molded against hers. Oh, the smell of him, musky and woodsy. Masculine. There it was, his heart, beating wildly. There was so much of this man, his heart must work so hard to pump his rich blood through so many veins.
The feel of his grip softening, meant it was time for her to let go. “Have a good night Andrew.” She touched his hands and leaned upward for a kiss on the cheek. The edge of his mouth, warm and tender as she remembered, caught the corner of her lips. Tickle, Tickle went her stomach.
A strand of her long hair caught in his collar, binding them together for a brief moment. Creating a bridge that could bring them together.
If someone was brave enough to cross.