The credits started to roll and Caleb used the remote to turn off the TV. Once it blinked out, the tent was lit by nothing more than the strings of fairy lights he had rigged to hang from the blankets that belled over their heads.
Luca rolled to her side, careful not to disturb Owen, blissfully asleep between her and Caleb, his little body radiating heat like a furnace. He’d only made it halfway through the second feature of the evening. She’d contemplated making her excuses and heading home then, but she’d never seen the animated Christmas movie he had chosen and she wanted to find out how it ended.
That was the only reason she stayed. It had nothing to do with not wanting the evening to end in general. Not at all.
“He’s out like a light,” she whispered.
Caleb rolled his head to look at her over his sleeping son. Cushions from the couch made a temporary mattress, and heaps of pillows formed a cozy backrest. If Luca concentrated, she could smell a hint of Caleb’s cologne on the cotton pillowcase under her head, despite the lingering scents of hot buttered popcorn.
“I’m surprised he made it as long as he did. He’s usually in bed by eight-thirty at the latest.”
She didn’t think he meant his comment as a hint, but it was as good a segue as any. “I guess I should go.”
“You’re not working tomorrow, are you?”
“No. I’m off until the new year.”
His eyes were warm and direct, and a tingle of connection made her toes curl under the fleecy blanket Owen had insisted she use. She let her gaze drop to Caleb’s mouth, linger for a moment, then lift. The spark she’d felt before kindled into something fiercer, brighter.
“Stay for a nightcap?” he said, his voice low and a little rough. She licked her lips and this time it was his gaze that fell. When he dragged it back up to meet hers, he added, “I’ll put Owen in his bed first.”
“All right.” She wasn’t exactly sure what she was agreeing to, but she knew she couldn’t go home now. Not while this delightful edginess tickled her senses.
Owen made small snuffling noises as Caleb rolled him into his arms and wriggled out of the tent backwards. Waldo, who had been curled on the cushionless couch behind their head for most of the evening, stretched, jumped down, and followed them out. The boy must have woken for a moment because there was a muffled conversation, one voice deep and comforting, the other high pitched and querulous. Only one set of footsteps returned, though, and she heard the clink of glasses and glug of liquid.
Savouring the slowly building tension, she shifted under the enveloping canopy so she was sitting almost upright. Two hands appeared in the opening and the scent of excellent Scotch wafted in. Silently, she took the glasses, letting her fingers drift over Caleb’s. She heard a hiss of breath and smiled.
He crawled back under, his head and shoulders brushing the precarious covering and setting it swaying. She waited until he was settled next to her, then handed him a glass.
“Cheers,” she said, lifting her tumbler. “To my first ever blanket fort movie night.”
“Cheers.” He clinked his glass against hers and they took their first sips.
“Mmmm, this is good stuff.” She breathed in the heady aroma, the kick of alcohol warming her belly almost as much as Caleb’s quiet presence.
“I save it for special occasions,” he said, his arm brushing hers as he lifted his glass to his mouth.
She leaned closer, nudging him with her elbow. “This is a special occasion?”
He turned his head and they were nose to nose. In the subdued lighting of the tiny, colourful bulbs lining the tent, shadows filled the hollows under his eyes and around his mouth. “You tell me.”
She pressed her lips to his in answer.
She tasted of salt and oak and—unexpectedly—cinnamon. Her mouth urged his open, and he almost spilled his drink at the surge of lust and passion that engulfed him when her tongue touched his. Breaking the kiss, he wasted an ounce of very expensive Scotch by shooting it back in one gulp. Luca gazed in astonishment, and then did the same, tossing her glass to the side before launching herself onto his lap and gluing their mouths back together.
The dad part of his brain had a quick moment of I bet that spilled on the cushions, before the man part of his brain went never mind, if you’re lucky, there will be even more of a mess to clean up later.
Luca straddled his hips, her leggings a nearly nonexistent barrier to the heat of her body. He clutched her waist and her sweater was as soft as he’d imagined.
Who cares about the sweater? Touch her! his man brain commanded.
He groaned into her mouth as his fingers slipped under and brushed against the bare, silky skin of her ribs. She pushed against him, her lips devouring his, her breasts squashed with pliable heat against his chest.
In the right circumstances, he would have been all for her zero-to-sixty response. He wasn’t sure what he’d been expecting when he’d asked her to stay for a nightcap, but it hadn’t been this all-encompassing urge to strip her naked and slam into her until they both found release.
Not with Owen a few steps away and no locked door between his son and the woman he had to stop caressing.