“I can’t believe how fast the weekend flew by.”
Luke sat back as Jo and Zoe said their good-byes before they moved through security and onto the flight that would take them both back to Eugene.
“You need to ditch that uniform and come here more often.”
“The same goes for you,” Jo told her as she bent down to tug her duffel bag over her shoulder.
“Tell Mel and Miss Gina I said hi.”
“I will.” Jo looked over at Luke and said, “I’ll see you at the gate.”
She left the two of them alone.
When Zoe turned her gaze on him, nerves sat on the surface of her smile.
“I’m glad you came,” she said.
“I am, too. I see why you like it here.”
“You do?” She seemed surprised.
“Lots going on…good friends, great food. Everything you like.”
“And none of your family drama.”
Which was the real reason she enjoyed Dallas so much.
“They do have a way of reaching me here.”
“Not easily,” he said.
Zoe glanced beyond him where Jo had disappeared in a sea of people walking through security. “Well, you don’t want to miss your flight.”
He opened his arms for the obligatory friend hug. She stepped into them as he folded her close. Luke wasn’t sure who sighed first…him, or her. With a deep inhale he sucked in the feel and scent of her and rested his cheek on the side of her head. He considered telling her he missed her, that he wanted a chance.
With a fortifying sigh, he ended their hug.
Moisture gathered behind her dark, soulful eyes. He wanted to call her on the tears.
It was his turn to pick up his backpack and sling it over a shoulder.
Zoe watched his every move with a forced smile.
“Tell your parents I said hi.”
Yeah…he wasn’t about to say those words to her again. Instead, he saluted her with two fingers and turned.
He managed three steps before swinging back around.
Luke didn’t give her a chance to back away, didn’t offer an out. He dropped his bag at her feet and pushed both hands into her hair before taking her startled lips as his own. If he thought their hug had offered a moan, it was nothing compared to the one they both hummed with their kiss.
She was honey on his lips, sweet and savory and open to explore.
He remembered this. The way she bent into his embrace, the way her timid hands fanned on his chest. The way her nails dug deep when she wanted more. He deepened the kiss long enough to make sure she knew he wasn’t saying good-bye.
This was hello.
Not the kind of greeting they’d shared when they were kids, but the kind adults who knew what they wanted shared at the beginning of something good.
He tasted her tongue, vaguely aware of those people passing by without comment.
As his body hardened in response to her frame pressed against his, he knew he needed to back away. When he did, her head was tilted up toward his, her eyes closed, her lips slacked with wanting.
Zoe’s eyes fluttered open and he rested a finger on her lips.
“I’ll be back,” he told her with a wink.
He wanted her back.
The information took root inside his brain and he smiled.
Before she could utter a syllable, he lifted his bag a second time and strutted as he walked away.