This was it. She’d made up her mind. Nothing could stop her now.
It all started on the count of three.
Dana looked towards her target and took a deep, fortifying breath before starting the nerve-racking countdown.
Butterflies fluttered ruthlessly in her throat, threatening to choke her. She swallowed hard.
Her palms started to sweat. She swiped them on her hips.
Two and a half.
Breathing would be good about now. Hey, were those stars?
Two and three quarters.
Get a grip girl. Hike up your backbone and go for it.
By some complete miracle Dana’s legs started to move in the direction she wanted to go. Well, that wasn’t quite true. If they went in the direction the chicken side of her wanted to go she’d be headed in the opposite direction, straight out the door. But no, she was definitely headed towards Reese.
Who knew she possessed this much nerve? Not her. Not anyone. She wasn’t a wimp, but in all truth, she was anything but a risk-taker. Nor was she the attention-grabbing type.
If anything, with her plain brown hair and boring brown eyes, she tended to blend into the background. She was the one everyone said had her feet planted firmly on the ground. A straight-forward, no-nonsense kind of girl, that was her. In point of fact, she was the last person anyone would ever expect to do anything the least bit daring or “out there”. Especially with regards to men. And not with a man she’d only seen around the office and never met. She was the very antithesis of a femme fatale.
But tonight was different. Tonight marked the coming of the New Year and the new her. Tonight she was going after what she wanted. And what she wanted most was Reese Cooper.
No more lying in bed all alone, fantasizing about what she would like to do to his super sexy body. Fantasizing about what she wished he would do to hers. Fantasizing about what they could do to each other. No sirree. She’d made her New Year’s resolution and that resolution meant she was going to start this year with a bang.
Or more precisely, with a kiss. The kiss to end all kisses. Or maybe just the kiss that would bring an end to her fantasies about Reese. Because if things didn’t go the way she wanted, at least she’d finally know. And maybe, just maybe, she could move on and find a man who would give her what she wanted—a taste of what great sex was all about.
She really had nothing to lose. At the very least she’d find out what it was like to kiss Reese Cooper and that alone was a thrilling prospect. Heck, it already had her tingling down to her toes.
Besides, what else was New Year’s for? It was a time for change. For adventure. For new beginnings. All the things she was determined to kick off right now.
After pushing her way through the crush of people, she reached her quarry and stopped just behind him. All six-foot-three-scrumptious inches of him. The place was so packed it was a wonder she was able to get this close to him, but at least the crowd and noise had helped in her quest. She was certain Reese hadn’t noticed her approach.
She looked around and quickly sized up her options. Now that she was in position, it was going to take a bit of maneuvering to accomplish what she’d come here to do. Because a man like Reese was too good looking and sought after to come to a party by himself.
His present arm candy was even now primping herself in expectation of getting his New Year’s kiss, and the countdown was about to begin. But Dana knew something the blow-up blonde didn’t—she was doomed to disappointment. Because, date or no date, in about ten seconds Reese was going to be kissing her, Dana Appleby. Not blissfully unaware, destined-to-fail, Cosmo girl.
All Dana had to do was get the timing right.
At that moment the music stopped and the host of the party called for everyone’s attention, announcing the countdown was about to commence.
This is it. The moment of truth. The moment she’d been waiting for. She shored up her nerve and got into position.
Steady. I can do this.
Pretending she’d tripped, Dana very neatly fell into Reese’s very strong, very yummy arms.
I did it.
She looked into his surprised grey eyes and almost melted. She’d never seen them up close like this before and their impact was staggering. She could happily drown in those eyes. “I’m so sorry. I’m such a klutz.”
He steadied her with his hands but didn’t remove them from around her. She took that as a good sign. Now if she could just get rid of the damn blush making her complexion a bright, fire-engine red. It was hard to look sexy when you looked as if your head was going to catch fire at any second.
“You okay?” He seemed genuinely concerned. How sweet.
A chorus of “Happy New Year” being shouted from every corner of the room effectively interrupted her answer.
As the surrounding crowd whooped it up and kissed the one they loved, or whoever was convenient, Reese looked around, obviously trying to sort out his current dilemma. His gaze flitted between blow-up Barbie—who was frantically trying to shove Dana out of the way—to his armful of Dana.
Dana, however, didn’t have any such dilemma on her hands. She knew exactly what she was going to do. She ignored the bimbo, disregarded Reese’s shock when she grabbed his lapels, and tossed off what she hoped was an impishly sexy grin. Red face and all. Then she proceeded to kiss the living daylights out of him.
At least she hoped that’s what she was doing.
For an instant, he went perfectly still, no doubt taken aback and not quite sure what to do with her, and a feeling of panic fluttered in her stomach. Oh no, what if he pushed her away? Before that thought could fully take root, he relaxed and took the kiss over with an eagerness Dana would never have dared hope for.
Oh God, it was a million times better than she’d ever imagined. This was the stuff fantasies were made of. This was what a kiss was supposed to be. This was what it was like to be swept off your feet, and then some.
This was what she’d been looking for.
Now all she had to do was hang onto it.