Wriggling out of his grasp she braced herself on his shoulders and tried to stand. Next thing she knew, he had her around the legs and took her down to the mattress in some sort of super-fast ninja move. She screamed and laughed, and he was laughing every bit as hard as he came down on top of her. And, oh God, his laughter was a sweet and sexy rumble that lit her up inside.
“You fight dirty, Easy,” she said around her chuckles.
“I haven’t had this much fun in so long.”
She caressed his face with her fingers. “Me neither. Between overloading on classes and my epilepsy, I often feel like a little old lady trapped in the body of a twenty-year-old. All I need is some cats.”
“Cats are awesome,” he said. “When I was a kid, I used to sneak stray cats into the house, just for a night or two. I’d keep them in my room and bring up bowls of milk and cans of tuna for them.”
“Aw, you were a sweet little boy, weren’t you?” she asked, loving how he was opening up to her. The closeness, the sharing, the way his big body was lying on her legs and hips, leading him to prop his head up on her lower stomach—both her heart and her body reacted.
“Maybe for about five minutes.” He winked. “Mostly, I was a hell-raiser. Growing up, we didn’t live in the best neighborhood. Drug dealers on the corner, gang activity trying to pull in even the younger kids, crack house one block over. All that. Trouble wasn’t hard to find.” He shrugged. “Army straightened me out, though.”
“Well, we lived in a nice neighborhood growing up and here my father was the freaking drug dealer on the corner. Or close enough, anyway.” Jenna stared at the ceiling and shook her head. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to get serious.”
His thumb stroked along her side, sliding the cotton of her borrowed shirt against her skin in a way that almost tickled. “Don’t apologize. Our histories are what they are, you know?”
She nodded and gave him a little smile. “Yeah.”
Shifting off her, Easy stretched out alongside her and propped his head up on his arm. “I’m thirty, Jenna,” he said out of nowhere.
And he was telling her this because? He thought their age difference was too great? He thought she was too young? He was worried she would think he was too old? Probably D) all of the above. Thing was, all she saw when she looked at Easy was a guy she really freaking liked. One who’d saved her life, helped make her sister safe, and gave her a sense of security she hadn’t felt in years. He was hot as hell, easy to talk to, and one of the kindest guys she’d ever known. Maybe some of that was because he was older. Who knew?
“And I need to know this because?” she asked, resting her head on her arm.
The muscles of his shoulders lifted into a shrug, but his face was contemplative. “Because there’s clearly something going on between us.”
Heat rushed across her body. She held up a hand, and he laced his fingers between hers. “When I look at you, I don’t see a bunch of differences, Easy.”
“What do you see then?”
Warmth flooded into Jenna’s cheeks, and she chuckled. He’d said that she was beautiful, after all, so why couldn’t she give him a compliment in return? “A really hot guy I’d like to get to know more.”
A smug smile slipped onto his face, and she might’ve rolled her eyes if it weren’t so damn sexy. “Really hot, huh?”
“Well, kinda hot, anyway.”
“Nuh-uh,” he said, tugging her hand to his chest. “Can’t take it back now.”
Cheeks burning and big smile threatening, she rolled onto her side to face him.
They lay there, side by side, her chest almost touching his, looking at each other. Tension and desire and anticipation crackled in the space between them, making it hard to breathe.
“What do you see when you look at me?” she whispered, half-afraid to ask but even more curious to hear what he’d say. Did he mostly see someone who was too young for him? Or a needy girl he had to save and babysit?