By Anne Lange
Shawn rolled his shoulders, checked the time, and did a few neck rolls. Cold was beginning to seep beneath his coat.
He’d been standing outside Joanne’s door for ten minutes. He’d contemplated giving her a call more than once since he’d stammered out that invitation the other night. But every time he dialed her number and was about to hit send, a sixth sense warned him that if given the opportunity, she’d bail on him like her best friend and bailed on her that night.
And he wasn’t taking any chances. Not this time.
After he’d asked her out, and she’d actually said yes, he’d been racking his brain trying to come up with the perfect way to spend the evening. He’d searched out a few of the big parties in town, considering this was the night he’d wine and dine her in style. But tickets were, of course, sold out at all of the popular spots.
He’d considered taking her down to Times Square where they could watch the ball drop with the rest of the world. But the thought of spending a private, intimate moment with the woman he loved most and thousands upon thousands of other people, didn’t ring his bell.
He needed something better. Something meaningful. A place where she’d hear him when he repeated the words that mattered most. And hoped she’d be willing to say them back to him this time.
Shawn raised his hand and pressed the buzzer. And then he waited. When she didn’t answer, he tried again.
It was muffled, but it was her. He smiled as his excitement built. There was a hum in the air. A current of electricity that if you were brave enough you could harness it and take advantage of it. Shawn planned to use every special trick in the book tonight. He’d walked away from her once, never telling her how he really felt about her. He’d tried a second time, but she hadn’t believed him.
Third time was a charm.
The door opened and there she stood, looking a little flustered as she smoothed her dress over her hips and juggled her coat in one arm.
“Wow, you do dress to impress,” he said. She looked beautiful. And amazing. And he loved this woman.
Shawn completed a very slow tour of her body, starting at the top of her sexy mass of curls that she’d thankfully left loose tonight, gliding over the same blue dress she’d had on the other night at the bar, and ending at a stunning pair of silver shoes that complemented the dress perfectly. They gave her a few extra inches of height that if he leaned in just so, she’d be at the right spot to meet, and match, his kiss.
Then he backtracked because the view was worth a second look.
A current worked its way through his body, but he saw her shiver.
“You look absolutely stunning, Jojo.” He cleared his throat, dislodging the frog that suddenly roosted there.
Joanne blinked back at him. She gave him a scorching look and he imagined steam rising off her naked her body as he drizzled Champaign down the column of her throat and watched it flow over her breasts to roll harmlessly into the hot bathwater they soaked in.
Fuck. He needed a cold dip in the snow or a nice big California King. The King sounded really good right now.
“Um. Thank you. You look nice, too.” She cocked her head. “Though I’m feeling a little overdressed.”
He could fix that problem. He shook his head to get his bearings and to escape the mental soak he currently engaged in. “Ah, maybe. You might be cold in that.”
“Where are we going?”
This was one of the most important nights of the year. A night to put the past behind and start over. Which was exactly what Shawn had in mind. And what better place to do that than to spend the evening at the same place they’d started this new journey.
“I thought we’d go to Rockefeller Center.”