Sweet Obsession

Page 26


Mason must sense my confusion. I’m sure it’s obvious, I’m close to flipping this thing upside down and taking a go at it that way. Or pulling up Google translations on my iPhone. But before I have a chance to do any of that, my menu is stripped out of my hands.
“Hey,” I protest.
Mason smiles, almost wickedly, folding the menu in front of him. “What do you like? Pasta? Seafood? Do you want a chicken dish?”
I shoot him a puzzled look. “Um . . . yeah, sure, I like pasta and seafood. I like pretty much anything except for eggplant.”
The waiter arrives at our table. I sit back in my chair and watch, stunned, as Mason, who up until this moment was already killing me with his accent, fires off our orders in perfect Italian.
Holy. Fuck.
There’s no stutter, no uncertain pause as he trips over a word or two. It’s beautifully fluent, hot as Hell, and I’m melting in my seat at this surprising man across from me.
Seriously? Is there anything he’s not amazing at?
Yoga. Being a decent person. Consuming large quantities of treats and still managing to look like a sex God.
The waiter steps away. I pry my mouth off the floor.
“You’re not really playing fair,” I say after I collect myself.
Mason looks at me thoughtfully, concealing his possible understanding of what I’m referring to. “What do you mean?”
“You just completely blew me away by speaking Italian. I was not expecting that.”
He limply shrugs.
No big deal. Mastering a language is apparently second nature to this guy.
He runs his finger over the edge of his perfectly folded napkin. “I was a bored kid. My oldest sister visited Italy one summer, and I got into her language books she left behind. I spoke it better than she did by the time she got back.”
Our drinks arrive, and I gulp two mouthfuls of wine before I can ask my next question.
“You taught yourself another language? How old were you?”
“Fifteen? Mason, that’s insane,” I chuckle.
He snickers, picking his own glass up for a taste. “Is it?”
“Yes. Do you know what I was doing when I was fifteen? My entire world revolved around cheerleading and boys. I hated school. You couldn’t pay me to learn a language. That is . . .” I pause, leaning back in my seat.
Who is this guy?
“That’s amazing. You are amazing.”
He looks across the table, staring at me with an unreadable expression, stretching out the silence between us by holding up his finger when I open my mouth to speak.
My lips pinch together. I fidget with my hands in my lap, counting the seconds. I hate silence. I especially hate it when I have absolutely no idea what the other person is thinking.

And Mason is a vault right now. He’s not giving anything away.
Finally, after swallowing a mouthful of wine, he speaks. “Sorry. I have no idea what all you just said. I stopped listening after you mentioned something about you being a cheerleader. And then I spent all that time just now picturing it.”
Heat burns across my face. “Ah, you like that, do ya?”
He nods.
“I did it through college. I was an all-star.”
“Do you still have the uniform?” he asks above his glass.
“You should wear it for me sometime.”
Now Mason is the one smirking, but this smirk is dangerous. One hundred percent alluring. A hunter who doesn’t need to chase his prey. They come walking right over to him, ready to hand over their destiny without question. Without pause.
I would run at him. I am talking a full-blown sprint. There would be no walking in his direction.
“Do you like to camp?”
His rapid change of subject rips my mind out of the gutter. I had been thinking about sitting on that smirk of his.
I shake my head through a laugh. “Camp? Seriously? As in sleeping outdoors with bugs and wild animals? No showers. No toilets. Just you and nature? Is that what you’re talking about?”
He smiles. “That’s the textbook definition of camping, yes.”
“Then no. Not at all. But you know what I do like? Air conditioning. Civilization. Beds. I love beds.”
“Beds are good.”
I rest my chin on my hand. “Aren’t they? God, they’re so good. I’m not restricted to beds though. I can work with anything.”
Mason lifts an eyebrow.
I can go into detail, right now, about how I’d like to explore beds and anything with Mason, but his line of questioning intrigues me. Of course, he looks like Mr. Nature-lover. I’m sure he is very fond of camping. Hiking. Saving the world one rainforest at a time.
“Let me guess. You’re an avid camper.”
He takes another sip of his wine, then nods. “I enjoy it. I haven’t been since I lived out in Texas, but I would love to spend a weekend outdoors with you.”
Well, that’s completely unexpected. And insane.
I throw my head back with a laugh. Tears brim my eyes. “Sorry but . . . yeah, there’s no way I’m sleeping outside. It’s not happening. I don’t do bugs, Mason. I don’t have any desire to sleep on the ground where a snake can work it’s slimy way into my tent and strangle me to death.”
His eyes flash with amusement. “How big is this snake?”
Nice. Perfect set up.
I hesitate responding, tilting my head, watching as he catches up to my filthy mind. His eyes train on my lips, move lower down the line of my neck, then snap back up as if he’s just been awakened from a trance.
I love these moments when I catch him staring at me like this. As if he’s fighting the biggest temptation of his life by not touching me.
Fuck though, touch me! This doesn’t need to be a struggle for you!
He clears his throat. “You’d like it with me,” he states confidently. “I’d protect you from bugs and the snakes you don’t want around. Trust me. You’d have fun, yeah? We’d lay out under the stars. Share a sleeping bag.”
“I’m listening.”
“That interest you?”
“Sharing a sleeping bag? Tightly pressed together? Yes. Do you sleep naked?”
He doesn’t answer that question. Just slowly grins at me. “Do you?”
I match his expression, only, I can’t simply teeter the line of flirtation. I jump right over it.
I lean forward, running my hand down my leg, angling my body down the slightest bit until Mason takes notice of my cleavage. I play with the chain hanging around my neck, which just so happens to tickle between my breasts. He doesn’t remove his gaze, and my nipples quickly harden under his scrutiny. Then I slowly sit back, crossing my one leg over the other, waiting until he looks up at me before I leisurely raise my glass to my lips and taste my wine. His eyes flare with desire as my tongue licks the residue from the corner of my mouth.
The longer we stare at each other, the wetter I become.
I never realized how sexy silence can be. How hot I could get from unspoken words, or the idea of something as personal as someone’s sleeping habits.
Boxers, I decide. He looks like a boxers guy. No shirt. His lean body modestly concealed, stretching against the sheet.