"You want to jump from these cliffs?"
"They're the bluffs. The island natives have jumped from them for generations." Rosie shrugged, feigning a calm that was all together incongruous with the stinging bees buzzing in her stomach.
No she wasn't anxious about jumping from the cliffs. She'd already done it a few times. She was nervous about spending time with Erik. She'd meant this excursion to be fun and a way to push Erik. He seemed to like to push her out of her comfort zone. A little turn around was fair play. Now though, as she stood on top of the infamous bluffs, her plan may have backfired.
She'd pushed herself out of her comfort zone - she was pursuing a man. She'd never been around a man like Erik, one that simply liked her for herself. He didn't know about her family - or her money - but still he wanted to spend time with her. After a life filled with arranged courting by her parents, Erik could be something more.
Did she dare hope? Did she dare risk? Jumping from these bluffs would prove far easier than opening up to Erik.
"You're serious?" Erik called to her as he looked down into the ocean below. "This was your idea of a perfect date?"
"You can swim, right?"
"Right," he nodded. A few sweat beads forming along his brow, maybe from the hike up here or from nerves. "Swimming is good. Diving, not so much."
Steeling her own nerves and grabbing onto her inner sass, Rosie sashayed right up to him. "Here's what I think. No, what I know." Pausing, she removed her shirt to reveal her bikini top. She'd chosen the tiny yellow one and knew she'd caught his attention. "You'll jump because I'm going to jump first."
"And you think I'll just follow? You ever hear that saying about if someone jumped off a bridge would you do it too?"
Rosie unbuttoned her jean shorts and slid them down her legs as Erik was talking. His eyes followed the movements and then rose again to about chest level. Yep, he was a boob man.
"I think you'll follow because you want to know what happens next, Erik." Placing her hand to his chest, Rosie grinned up at him. Then she turned, took a few steps and jumped.
Each time she made this jump, there were a few moments when she was just floating in the air. Her body was caught between the land and the sea, nothing to hold her steady but herself. She loved that moment, that feeling of freedom. Then as the world returned when she crashed into the waves, it was another chance to start again.
As she began treading water, she heard a splash close by. She sighed and smiled to herself. He'd jumped. And now she was ready to jump with him.
Swimming towards him, she called his name but didn't see him. Circling, Rosie grew concerned when he didn't answer her. Before she had a chance to panic, strong arms came around her from behind.
"Got you," Erik whispered into her ear.
"Yes, you do."
"And now that I've got you, just what am I going to do with you," he mused.
"Yes, what are you going to do with me?"
"I have an idea." Erik nipped her ear.
A groan escaped Rosie at the sensation of his bite. "I like your idea."
"Yea." Rosie turned in his arms. Her breasts pressed into his hard chest. And her hands held tight to his shoulders. He was as chiseled as she'd imagined, muscles hard under soft skin.
"So I'm going to kiss you now." Erik's eyes never left hers as he spoke. She thought maybe it was a question but he didn't leave time for her reply before he leaned in.
Gently -so much more so than she expected- Erik framed her mouth with his lips and tenderly kissed her, slowly enticing her to open until he could stroke her tongue. Lightly, he explored her lips and Rosie melted into his body. Every soft part of her conformed to every hard part of him.
Then after long moments but still too soon for Rosie, Erik drew their lips apart and touched his forehead to hers. Once their breathing was under control, she pointed to the floating dock. "We can swim to there and lay in the sun awhile."
Grinning down at her, fully aware of the unspoken meaning and of the heat radiating off their bodies as they floated, Erik's nostrils flared and he gave a quick nod.
YOU ARE READING
Ring Around RosieRomance
This weekly serial introduces some of the characters from the ISLAND REFUGE series. The first full book in the series will be published in Winter 2016. Born and bred to become the perfect princess in the Chicago socialite scene, Rosemary's dream of...