This wasn't a good idea. I knew it even as I placed my hands on Sadie's waist. This was not a good idea.
She was avoiding my gaze as we swayed. I felt it coming. Emotion. A great tide that threatened to overwhelm me as I stood there with her. Almost unconsciously, I tightened my hold on her, gripped her closer. I know I was being stupid. We were pretty much enemies, and had absolutely nothing in common. Just look how she was acting with me. She was dancing the same way Whitney had been dancing with her boyfriend she apparantly didn't like. The only difference was Sadie refused to even look at me. Which kind of annoyed me, to be honest. That was unnecessarily rude. I'd came with her to this stupid party, and that was the thanks I got?
I was suddenly determined to make her acknowledge me. I wrapped my arms tighter, my forearms at her sides now. She took a sharp intake of breath as our stomachs pressed together. She looked up at me, startled, and quickly looked away when she saw that I was looking at her. I bit my tongue against the irritation. I couldn't believe that she would have the audacity to reject me so completely when I'd accepted her, nevermind how grudgingly.
I suddenly jerked her in a quick half turn that had her locking her arms around my neck to keep her balance. She glared at me, wisps of her golden hair falling into her emerald eyes. I held her gaze defiantly as I yanked her into another spin. I staggered back in utter shock when she swiped her palm across my left cheek. I was left standing there like a stunned idiot as she went storming off toward the dark area of shade supplied by the towering trees beside Laurel's mansion. I thundered after her.
"What the hell was that?" I barked. The sounds of laughter and conversation were muffled and distant now that we stood in the small clearing.
"What the hell was that? " she cried, whirling and wildly gesturing back at the dance floor. "You-"
"I was trying to get your attention, damn it!" I said loudly over her voice. "Because you were refusing to even look at me!"
"If I don't want to look at you, then I won't!"
"You didn't even thank me for letting you drag me along to this dumb party!"
"Oh thank you for gracing us with your presence, " she said, her voice sagging with sarcasm. "You were such a joy to be around tonight!"
She still wasn't looking at me. She was pacing back and forth before me, the moonlight overhead dappling her in random patterns as she passed under the various patches of treeleaves.
"You weren't such a joy either, Princess." I echoed her sarcasm. "Ditching me one minute, slapping me the next-how do you have any friends, with the way you treat people? It's no wonder your boyfriend ditched you tonight-"
"Don't mention him! You know nothing!"
"Oh please. I know everything about you." I was lying, I admit. But she didn't know that. She was frozen in place, her gaze furious on mine as I stalked forward to growl in her face, "You're Miss Priss who's spoiled rotten and gets anything she wants at the snap of her fingers. You pitched a fit tonight just because your boyfriend decided you weren't worth the effort. Did you even ask him why he couldn't come?"
Her face had turned a ruddy color. "He left for business-"
I snorted with mirth. "Yeah, right. Face it. He's probably cheating on you, Princess."
I felt my gut twist when her eyes glimmered. "Screw you." she said, her voice thick. "Screw you and your idiotic inbred family, screw you and your stupid uncle, screw you! "
I had a retort right on the edge of my lips. But I couldn't bring myself to say it. Not when she looked so upset. I'd gone too far.
"I hate you." she snarled. With her hair in wild strands framing her flushed face and her shining eyes, she looked like a complete mess. So why was it that, gazing at her, I felt my stomach clench, lust clawing at my insides? To be so physically attracted to someone I'd declared as my enemy-that wasn't smart. But it wasn't only that. I wanted to make that emotionally wrecked expression on her face disappear. I wanted her to smile. I wanted her to give me that rare smile again-that smile that made my insides flutter.
I didn't think. I moved on instinct. She was still telling me she hated me when I crossed the space between us, seized her by the arms. Her feet were off the ground for a moment as I pulled her to me. I crushed my lips against her's, smothering her words. For one moment, hardly a second, I stood there, lifting her up so I could keep my mouth pressed against her's. Then I drew back, set her on her feet. We both dragged air into our lungs as our gaze held, and I watched awareness bloom in those stunning green eyes that suddenly seemed to swallow whole her slender, elegant face.
I saw her move forward, and I blinked, and then her hands were greedy on my face, yanking me down to her so her mouth could take mine. Her enthusiasm scrambled my thoughts, and suddenly I couldn't remember all the reasons why we shouldn't be doing this.
Her mouth was every bit as lush as it looked, and hotter than I'd imagined. Her tongue curved against mine. She tasted of the punch from the party, and of something unfamiliar that was rich, dark, heady, and seemed to sear through my system like liquid fire. I pressed a hand to the small of her back, used the other to pull the band out of her hair and then tangle the golden curls around my fingers.
We both jerked apart when a loud chorus of Happy Birthday drifted to us from the mansion. I stood shaking, shivering against the torrent of sensations rushing through me. I watched her throat move as she swallowed, taking sharp intakes of breath to deliver much-needed oxygen to her lungs. Her eyes no longer shone with tears; they were dark now. Her cheeks were bright pink, her lips rosy-red, her hair cascading down her shoulders and back in wonderful sunlit clouds.
"Um." She closed her eyes for a moment, sucking in a ragged breath. "We need to, um, wish Laurel a happy birthday. And then leave. It's...getting late."
I could think of nothing to say. I only followed, obediant in her wake, as she walked back to the party with a shaky stride.