The Billionaire's Proposal(8)

By: Avery James

Is he comparing me to Venus? she wondered. “On a big seashell?” Maggie asked. “Unfortunately, no.”

“Let’s agree to disagree,” he said. He was grinning and stealing glances at her as they walked farther down the beach. Everything about this felt so easy and natural to Maggie.

“Any deeply held beliefs?” Maggie asked.

“Aside from your potential divinity?” he said. “I believe in moments, and this is a particularly nice moment.” The air was cooling off in the darkness, but the warmth of Harry’s arm around her felt just right. “It makes more sense for me to live in the moment instead of thinking too far ahead. Tell me something you want to tell people but can’t.”

“Like not to wear Speedos?” she said, eliciting a snort of laughter from Harry. She thought about his question for a second. “I’m afraid I’m going to waste the next decade of my life, that I have my priorities all mixed up and that I’m going to end up alone. I’m afraid that I’ll play it safe and never take a chance on a life that can be something more.” She stopped talking and realized that was a bit more than she wanted to share, even with a stranger.

“What do you want in life?” he asked.

“Why does everyone keep asking me that?” she replied. “I want to be part of something that matters. I want to be happy, and I want to be able to get out of my head every now and then.”

“Like right now?” he said.

“Yeah, like right now,” she said. “I’m sorry, that was dumb. Let’s go back to flirting.”

“Not at all. What if I told you I’m afraid of the exact same thing?”

“You’re afraid that I’ll waste my life?” she said.

“I am now,” he said. He shook his head. “I’ve only just met you, but I’m fairly certain that you won’t waste a minute of your life. Take that from a prodigal son. Besides, it takes real dedication to waste your potential. And you seem far too likely to lapse into bad habits like hard work and emotional connection.”

“Is that right?” she said.

“I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’re doomed to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life. If it’s any consolation, I can help you waste at least this weekend.”

“Is that so?” she asked. She locked her eyes on him. She was so full of nervous excitement. She almost felt like she was a teenager again. “And how do you propose we—”

Harry leaned in and kissed her before she could finish the question, wrapping his arms around her as she melted into the warmth of his lips. Soft and slow and sweet. Maggie had been wondering what his kiss would feel like since they started their walk, but she hadn’t expected him to be so tender. She melted into his arms and let out a little sigh of delight.

He pulled back slightly, letting his lips hover just shy of hers. She could still taste him on her tongue, but she wanted more. She wanted to dip back into this bliss of kissing him. She wanted that whole-body thrill. She pressed against him and slid her tongue against his lower lip. It was like adding oxygen to a fire. Harry pulled her tight and deepened the kiss as he ran his hands up and down her back.

Maggie was breathless, dizzy and thrilled. She wanted him. Maybe she could let herself have a one-night stand just this once. When Harry broke the kiss, Maggie couldn’t help but smile. She laughed as an image of Abby cheering her on popped into her head. They wanted me to enjoy myself, she thought, and now I’m makin’ out on the beach.

“That bad, eh?” he asked. “I thought that was particularly good.”

“No, no,” she said. “I mean, it was good. It was very good. I just thought of something. I made a promise to a friend that I would find the most handsome man I could find and kiss him before the weekend was over. And now I’m kind of at a loss for what to do next.”

“I could make a few suggestions,” he said.

She was still thinking about that kiss, the way she’d melted at the warmth of his lips, how wonderful she’d felt in his arms. She wondered if she could actually let herself sleep with a guy on the night she met him.

“Am I being seduced?” she asked. She took a step away and turned back toward the hotel, holding her hand out for Harry to hold. “If so, you’re doing a wonderful job.”

He took her hand. “Well, I was planning on it, but now I’m starting to like you.”

“So you only sleep with people you don’t like?” Maggie asked. She gave him a quick kiss on the lips.

“If my exes are any indication, yes,” he said. “You’re different. I like that.”

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