Read part one first!
Dylan’s lips kissed away her tears, one by one. He hated to see women cry, and the beautiful pixy he’d watched from across the airport was the last person he ever wanted to see in tears.
He heard her sharp exhale of breath and wondered about it, but only briefly. When his lips touched her soft skin he knew it would take every ounce of his willpower to pull himself away from her.
His hand drifted into her hair of its own volition. The silky feel of her golden brown waves twining between his fingers heightened his awareness of her and made his pants tighten. He shifted in his seat, drawing his lips from her skin. She looked up at him, vulnerability and sadness in her eyes. Damn, she was beautiful, he thought.
“I’m sorry. Again,” she said sheepishly. “I can’t seem to stop crying all of a sudden.”
“Will you tell me about your parents?” Dylan asked, wanting to know more about her. Know anything about her. He didn’t care if she told him her favorite color and recited a recipe. He just wanted to listen to her speak.
A wistful smile spread over her lips. Her eyes turned toward the window, seeing something beyond the glass that Dylan couldn’t see. Something he ached to know.
“When I was a little girl, my dad would bring me out here. He loved watching the planes take off. He always told me about the adventures he and my mom wanted to have. The trips he planned to take her on.” She paused, watery amber eyes that he wanted to drown in like his favorite whiskey focused back on him. “He always encouraged me to live my dreams. So I did. I never looked back,” she said, so quietly he wondered if she realized she said it aloud.
“I bet he was proud of you. That you went out there and did what you wanted to do,” Dylan said, hoping she would tell him more. He held his breath, awaiting her next words.
A small laugh escaped her lips. “Oddly, I’m not even sure. I did what he said. I chased my dreams. But a part of me wonders what I was ever really chasing. I have a great job. A great life, by many standards. But it’s never felt like enough.” She shrugged, dismissing her own admission. “Not that it wasn’t enough for my dad, or my mom, but something always felt like it was just out of reach for me. Like I never really found my true happiness. Like I was never really home.”
She laughed mirthlessly again and the sound drew the breath from his chest. How could one woman, one random woman, put into words exactly what he’d been feeling himself for the last few months. Years, really, if he was truly honest with himself. Dylan loved his job, he was good at it, but something was always lacking in his life. He knew what it was, in the back of his mind, but he couldn’t admit it to himself.
Yet Tracy could. She knew what was lacking from her life. And she eloquently confessed it to a perfect stranger. How could he ever resist a woman so honest, so open, so beautiful.
No, he couldn’t. She was hurting. She was lost. And he would think himself a first class asshole if he made a move on a woman who was in pain.
“I understand,” Dylan finally said. “I’ve felt the same way for a while too. Although it’s a little harder to admit. It’s like men are supposed to have all this stuff figured out.”
A teasing grin quirked her lips, “Men are the worst. Emotional, mushy stuff usually sends men running. Men can find contentment in work and friends and sports and their own independence. Women… we need more. We need friends and careers and independence, yes. But women need love too. I think I never felt at home because I never felt like I’d found love.”
“Love. So elusive. So terrifying.”
Tracy laughed. At first it was a small, timid laugh. Then she looked up at Dylan and laughed harder. She clutched her stomach and leaned over in her seat. She threw her head back and guffawed like he told her the best joke ever. And Dylan sat and watched her. He loved seeing her so free. Just for a minute the sorrow was gone from her eyes, replaced by sheer joy, and humor. Damn, she was laughing at him.
His heart swelled, like the Grinch’s on Christmas morning. He never fathomed himself as someone incapable of love, or closed off to the idea. But watching Tracy laugh as though nothing could touch her, seeing the pure happiness on her face, it was almost too much for him.
He watched himself, as though he was having an out-of-body experience, move toward her. His hand slid back into her hair, his fingers tightening around the soft strands once again. His tongue darted out to moisten his lips, not wanting them dry for her. His eyes fluttered shut a second after he saw the surprise in hers.
Then his lips were on hers. A softness he’d never known touched him. Her lips, like silk, were pliable under his. A squeak erupted between them, followed quickly by a soft sigh. Then she melted into him, like he was made for her.
Dylan wanted to kiss her forever. To feel the smooth skin of her lips on every part of his body. He wanted to delve into her mouth and claim her. But he held back. Why? he dared wonder. But he couldn’t bring himself to formulate an answer. Maybe because he was afraid of what she would say. Or maybe of what she wouldn’t say. All he knew was one taste, one simple chaste kiss, was not going to be nearly enough to satisfy him. Not then. Not in a day. Not in a year. Not in forever.