Chapter 12

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Archer slips his hand under his suit jacket, resting it on the small of my back. Slowly, inch by torturous inch, he skims his hand upward and trails his fingers lightly over my shoulder.  

I'm struck speechless by the gentleness of his touch against my skin. His fingers reach my face and he places a soft touch on my jaw, looking at me with a longing I'm sure was reflected in my own eyes. After a quick brush of his thumb on my cheekbone, he tucks my hair to the back of my ear, revealing the scar on my temple and I tense. 

"Mr Kane," it barely comes out as a whisper, I'm not sure he heard it at all. I reach out, wanting to cover the evidence of the worst night of my life but he stops me with a gentle hand. 

And then I feel the warmth of his lips against my skin. His lips linger on the scar and my throat constricts. Having someone treat the part of me I hated most with such endearment was the cause of my undoing. My eyes squeeze shut at the sudden sting of tears. 

I took in a deep breath, not understanding the situation but also not wanting the gentleness of his touch to stop.

His lips start moving as he begins to place soft kisses along my cheeks. As his kisses travel lower, I tilt my head back, wanting to feel his mouth on every inch of me. His lips feather against my neck. The hand gripping my waist conveys urgency and desperation but the softness of his kiss was the opposite. Each kiss was precise and slow, like he was savouring the taste of me.

He brushes his nose against my jaw, sighing deeply as I breathe in, stealing his breath, becoming so in tune with him. He stops himself mere inches away from my lips.

He pulls onto his suit jacket so that my body is flushed against his. His shoulders curl forward as he bends lower, meeting me at my height and his forehead rests on mine. His chest is pressed against my breasts, rising and falling with heavy breaths full of need.

I grabbed a fistful of his shirt in my hands as I stood there, completely still. The only thought in my head was, 'this isn't right', yet I didn't budge.

His hand released the jacket and one of his hands rests at the curve of my waist while the other cupped my cheek. My knees felt weak and even though I haven't had a drop of liquor, my body sways like I'm intoxicated.

His grip on my waist tightens as he holds me to him and then he hooks his finger under my chin, lifting my head and angling my lips perfectly for him.

Archer's eyes searched mine and I couldn't tell what he was seeing because he frowns like he's fickle but that vanishes when he leans in.

I've stopped breathing, anticipation building up within me, and finally I feel the brush of his lips against mine. It's soft, as though he's contemplating and fighting a battle against himself. "Archer," I breathe out and it's like that undoes him. As soon as he hears his name from my lips, he kisses me.

He pressed his lips onto mine and it's warm and soft and it curls my toes. He kisses me like he's trying to savour me and he's gentle, treating me how you would things precious to you. It gets my insides all warm. I've never been kissed this way. Every movement of his lips was slow and purposeful, familiarising himself with me. 

As his hands made it's way to the back of my neck, he tugs lightly at my hair, tilting my head in a way to deepen the kiss. The taste of the bitter alcohol still lingered on his lips as he kissed me and then it hits me. He isn't thinking straight.

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