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Nicky turned over my hand and as I watched, my pulse quickening, he pressed his lips into my palm. “I’m honored that I was your first.”
I swallowed over the lump rising in my throat. “You were a hard act to follow. Pity poor Steve Callway, who had to be my second. He didn’t stand a chance.”
“Steve, huh?” Nicky snorted. “Sounds like a loser.”
“No, he was nice,” I protested. “But I was fifteen and not that interested. He took me by surprise, and I hauled off and hit him. So you definitely got the better response when it came to kissing me.”
Nicky tossed back his head, laughing. “You punched a boy who kissed you? Why?”
“Like I said. I was surprised. He didn’t ask me first.” I lifted a shoulder. “The next time, he knew. He asked, and I didn’t hit. It was a much more satisfying experience for both of us.”
“Ky?” He played with my fingers, his touch on the sensitive skin between them making me shiver. “If I kiss you, will you slug me?”
I was very still, almost afraid to move. “You’d have to take your chances and find out, I guess.”
“The first time . . . I didn’t ask permission, did I? But you didn’t hit me the way you did, uh, Steve.”
“No, you didn’t.” I gave the barest shake of my head. “And I didn’t.”
“When I kiss you again, Ky . . . and I plan to do that . . . I won’t ask. I’ll take you by surprise.” A crooked smile curved his mouth. “And I bet you won’t punch me.”
“You’re willing to take that risk?” I smirked. “I’d watch out. I have a mean right hook. Just think how mortifying it would be to have to explain to the press why you have a black eye.”
His gaze never leaving my face, Nicky moved across the space that separated us until he was looming over me, one arm braced on either side.
“I’ll take my chances.” Lowering himself just slightly, he touched his lips to my forehead. “When the time is right—and it’s not going to be tonight, so you can relax—but at the right time, you won’t even think about swinging at me.” He smiled, but his eyes were filled with intense heat. “You won’t be able to think about anything but me. I promise you that.”