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 Ella poured them each a glass of white wine and handed one to Nick. They drank, standing there by the kitchen counter, and they talked, but later Ella could remember nothing that was said. The air around them was becoming charged until she could almost hear the crackle. Then Nick sat his empty glass on the counter.

"Ella, put your glass down."

"Why?" She knew why.

"Because I'm going to kiss you now."

He was - she had to admit - an excellent kisser. His lips coaxing her response as his tongue lured hers into play. The kiss went on long enough to ignite several small fires in various parts of Ella's body before he pulled back. He turned away slightly, reaching for the wine bottle, while Ella leaned against the counter, grateful for its support.

Nick had picked up the bottle and both glasses. "Don't you think we'd be more comfortable on the couch?"

Oh yeah. Lots more comfortable. Well, at least he hadn't suggested they head upstairs. Okay, enough of this nonsense. You know when to draw the line, Cobb, and you are well past it already.

"Yes, I suppose."


They sat close together on the long leather sofa. Nick refilled their glasses and they each took a slow sip. Then he carefully removed the glass from her hand and set them both back on the low table. His face was close to hers but he let the moment draw out, let the anticipation build until he slipped one hand behind her neck and drew her lips to his.

Ella's hands slid up the front of his shirt and one found its way into his thick black hair. Those small fires began to flare dangerously and she had to force herself to breath. Clever fingers were wandering over her throat, up and down her back, and - oh God - brushing over the taut nipple of one breast. She tried once more. Cobb, you don't want to do this. You know you don't want to do this. But she did. She really really did. She ran her hands over the firm muscles in his back, pulling him tighter against her. It had been so damn long. And he felt so good.

The ringing of the telephone was like an alarm clock, dragging her abruptly out of a fabulous dream.

Nick tried to save the moment, murmuring against her lips, "Don't answer it."

But Ella was already pulling away.

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LD Masterson
LD Masterson