Grayson throws his head back with an amused laugh. “Best part of this whole thing? Of everyone to find out—of all the girls to date—it’s got to be the police sergeant’s daughter.” He shakes his head at the irony. “Fucking figures. Guess I like to live dangerously.”
“Dad can’t find out.”
“Then don’t tell him.” He grins, his focus shifting to my lips. A lump rolls down his throat a moment before he leans in. My heart races as he moves closer, fully into my space, bringing his lips and soft, sweet breath to mine.
Grayson kisses me slowly. He’s almost tentative about it. I close my eyes, feeling his hand slide up my cheek, holding the side of my face. We kiss, but it’s different. We’re taking our time, really exploring this part of touching one another. It’s like at the docks—a slow, new kind of intimacy. I love it. And, even though I’m dying to touch more of Grayson—and have him touch more of me—this slow part is incredible.
And it’s really turning me on.
Pulling back, I rest my forehead against his. I lick my lips and smile down at his mouth, admitting a small, secret truth. “You know it’s kind of hot.”
The corner of his mouth lifts. “Yeah?”
“Yeah. You’re like…a superhero.”
Grayson pulls back, laughing out loud. “The fuck I am. I don’t have any powers.”
“You don’t have to have powers to be a superhero. You have to—you know—be willing to stand up for the underdog or whatever. Save the damsel.”
His brows pinch in confusion. “Do you even know what a superhero is?”
He rolls his eyes. “I’m a vigilante.”
“Aren’t they the same?”
“What?” He shakes his head. “No. Look, if we’re going to date, you’ve got to understand the basics.”
“I know the basics. I don’t think you do.”
“Why are we arguing about this? You can be wrong later. Let’s get back to kissing.” Grayson leans in but I hold him back, pressing a palm to his chest.
“I’m not wrong.”
“You are, but that’s okay. I’ll explain it to you later.” He tries moving in again, but I keep my hand to his chest, right over his heart so that I feel its rapid beating beneath my palm. I kind of want to keep it here forever; there’s something vulnerable about touching him like this.
“Vigilantes do heroic stuff, right? Wouldn’t that by extension make you a hero?”
Grayson sighs, giving up. “Sure. If it speeds this up any.”
“I’m just saying…” I laugh, finally lowering my hand, studying his eyes and lips. “You’re like one of Perish’s secret heroes. That’s really great.”
“You said hot.”
He moves in slowly, like he’s expecting me to deny him again, but I allow Grayson to kiss me this time. And he does. Sweetly like before, he brushes his lips to mine in soft movements, his hand sliding up the side of my face, holding my head to his.
The air between us grows warm and I feel it burning against my skin, my chest and stomach already overheating at how slow and tender he’s being. This is different from the other times. Grayson is much more tentative. He’s taking his time, appreciating every detail, like he’s aware he could’ve lost this. Lost me.
“I like this…” I whisper against his mouth.
“Going slow like this. Just kissing.”
He brushes his lips against mine softly again, whispering like it’s a secret. “We can just kiss whenever you want.”
C.G. Coppola is the author of the sci-fi adventure series, Arizal Wars, and the contemporary romance series, Better Than This. In addition to stories that explore magic and the paranormal, she writes realistic fiction set in fantastical universes, usually with a lot of kissing. Married with two fur-babies she spoils rotten, C.G. Coppola lives in Florida where she grew up and attended college. When not writing, she can be found decorating the house, bantering with her husband, or dancing to Meghan Trainor–sometimes all at once.