Chance of a Lifetime (Anderson Brothers)

By: Marissa Clarke


No answer. Not even breathing. Odd. Usually, people answered her—sometimes almost yelling because of a bizarre prevalent assumption that blind people must not be able to hear either.

With one arm bent in front of her face at eye level and the other making slow sweeps straight out in front, she shuffled closer to where she was told he was sitting on a stool.

A slight rise in temperature registered through her fingertips, indicating she was close, and then contact. Soft cotton jersey over hard muscle.

Damn.

Skimming lightly, her second hand joined the first in a sweep over the surprisingly solid planes of his chest. And still, he said nothing.

Laying her palms flat on his pecs, she could feel his rapid, strong heartbeat, which accelerated by the second. He might not be speaking, but he was certainly surprised. The quiet type. She liked that.

She trailed her fingers higher, over his clavicle, up the sides of his neck, where soft hair brushed the tops of her hands. Long hair. She liked that, too. And his smell was fabulous. Minty and clean with an overlay of Gain laundry detergent—the same one she used.

Slight stubble like what would happen over the course of a day covered his angular jaw, and her thumbs roamed over full, soft, parted lips.

Shit! What was she doing? She was standing in a bar fondling the face of a perfect stranger, that’s what. Completely perfect, she concluded, as his rapid breaths blew across her fingers. Her hands trembled and a spike of longing pierced her control.

For a fleeting moment, she almost stepped away, but then remembered how carefree she’d been a decade ago when she’d created her bucket list. She could live that way again, waking up every morning excited for what the world would bring, rather than simply plodding through the days, ticking off tasks on her schedule, counting steps, and making her family happy.

It was time for a change, and this was the first step to taking her life back. This kiss. Right now.

At some point during her internal deliberations, he had stood, making her reach up in order to keep her fingers on his lips. She slid her hands down his neck to the top of his shoulders and pushed hard until he sat on the stool again, then caught his jaw in her hands.

For a moment she paused, and her customary caution crept in.

No. No more playing it safe. This was it. Her first step to a new life, and hell or high water, she wouldn’t wimp out now. She covered his mouth with hers, surprised by the softness of his lips compared to the hard muscles of his chest. As if frozen, he didn’t react to her mouth moving across his. But when she ran her tongue along the seam of his lips, he made the first sound since this whole business started—a cross between a whimper and a groan—and placed a hand in the center of her back, splaying his fingers wide between her shoulder blades. Then he tilted his head and finally kissed her back.

And, man, oh, man, could he kiss. Like nothing she’d experienced before—not that she’d kissed a ton of guys, but she’d kissed a few. Enough to know this wasn’t a garden-variety encounter.

She ran her fingers through his soft hair and scraped her nails across his scalp. This time when he made a noise, it was more of a growl, filling her from head to toe with a heady buzzing electric sensation, culminating in a warm flush in her belly. He pulled back breathing heavily, like her.

No more caution or careful planning. From this point forward, she wanted to feel like this. Alive and sensual and needed—not needy. Though honestly, she was needy, but in a physical way—not an emotional, dependent way.

“Don’t stop,” she said, tightening her grip in his hair. He responded by wrapping his arms around her, pulling her between his thighs until their bodies touched and his hard bulge pressed against the front of her jeans.

His tongue stroked hers in a rhythm her body recognized instinctually, and that hot flush in her belly happened again.

Yes. This was living. This was who she was, not some timid, fractured creature reliant on others to assure her safety and happiness.

On and on, the kiss continued, their tongues tangling as their bodies heated until she was sure she’d combust right there in the bar in front of everyone…

Oh, damn.

Yeah, they were in front of people, making out like horny teenagers. Double damn.

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