Unexpectedly Yours (Page 12)

He nods. “I’m lucky. It’s in my blood now, I couldn’t walk away if I tried. And I have zero other skills,” he adds with a wry grin.

I smile. “Sure you do. Fence-jumping, picking up strange girls in bars…” I suggest, teasing.

“Making out in deserted parks,” Austin finishes for me.

My heart skips. “I haven’t seen that one,” I murmur, turning to him. Our breath fogs the air in tiny puffs, and time seems to stop as Austin reaches to gently cup my cheek.

“I guess I’ll just have to show you,” he murmurs, leaning in.

This time, his kiss is soft. Deliberate. Barely a whisper against my lips.

I sigh against his mouth, feeling the sensation shiver through my body. White-hot sparks, warming every part of me. I take hold of the front of his jacket, tugging him closer, until our bodies are pressed together and our mouths continue their soft, exquisite dance.

Austin kisses me with a tenderness I wasn’t expecting. Easing my lips open, and gently licking into my mouth.

Heat pools, coiling low between my thighs. I shudder, still reeling from how instant this chemistry is, how overwhelming. I’ve never felt anything like it, an immediate attraction. I’ve always fallen slowly: getting to know someone, learning to trust and open up to them before things get physical. But Austin?

Austin makes me want him right now. Hard and hot, hands and mouths and the slick slide of our bodies…

 But what if Matt was right? What if it was all your fault?

The thought jolts me out of my delicious haze. I pull away, flushing. “I, umm, we should get back. Before someone catches us here.”

Austin looks disappointed, but just as quickly, he smiles. “Good plan.” He puts one arm around my shoulder, pulling me tight against his body. “I don’t want to spend Christmas in jail for public indecency,” he adds, his voice teasing in my ear. “And darlin’, I plan on doing some pretty damn indecent things with you.”

My stomach twists—with desire, and something else. Nervous panic, that only grows as we wind our way through the gorgeous snowy park to the gates at the far end. With every step, I wish I hadn’t said anything, that we could stay in this magical place forever.

Safe. Public. Chaste.

Because once we’re back at the hotel, there will be nothing stopping Austin from inviting me up to his room. And no reason on Earth stop me saying yes.


My secret fears bubble to the surface. He’s been with a hundred women, they whisper, taunting. He could have anyone he wants.

 What if you’re not good enough? What if you’re just a big disappointment?


“Sophie?” Austin’s voice breaks through my insecurity. He’s waiting by the fence, ready to help boost me over the top. “Are you OK?”

“Me? Sure. Great!” I exclaim, too loudly. This end of the park has trees growing along the edge of the fence, and it’s easier for me to reach up and grab hold of a branch to help keep balance. I step up onto his hands and scramble over, managing to slide gracefully down the other side.

Two cops are standing on the corner by their car. They turn to stare at me.

I stare back, frozen in place.

Oh God!

“Uh, Austin?” I call in a weak voice, but it’s too late. He comes vaulting over the top, landing beside me with a thud.


“Evening, officers,” Austin says. I swear, my heart stops beating as the cops slowly saunter closer. They look between us, wearing stern expressions.

I panic. I can’t go to jail! Never mind Austin’s jokes about public indecency, trespassing is just as bad.

Before I can even think twice, I give the men a big smile.

“Thank heavens!” I exclaim brightly, in my best English accent. “We seem to be lost!”

The cops pause.

“Would you mind terribly directing us to the Crosby Street Hotel?” I ask, wincing at the voice that comes out of my mouth. I sound like the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey, but the cops seem to buy it. Their frowns turn into helpful expressions, and they start talking amongst themselves.

“That’s the Village, right?”

“Yeah, 14th, I think.”

“You need to head downtown,” the first cops tells us helpfully. “Just keep the Empire State building behind you, see?” he points out the spire, looming up ahead.

“Thank you so much!” I exclaim, grabbing Austin’s hand. I yank him away. “Merry Christmas!”

Adrenaline pumps through me as we walk away. “What the hell was that accent?” Austin whispers. “The Queen?!”

“Shh! They’re still watching!”

“Tea for two, Jeeves, and make it snappy!” he mimics.

I try to keep it together until we reach the end of the block, but as soon as we turn the corner, we collapse back against the wall, shaking with laughter. “Oh my god!” I giggle. “I can’t believe they bought it!”

“I thought we were screwed for sure,” Austin gulps for air. “Excuse me!” he teases. “Where did you learn to talk like that?”

“My roommate has a thing for British costume dramas,” I explain, wiping tears of mirth and relief from my eyes. “I sat through all six hours of Pride and Prejudice.”

“Time well spent.” Austin shakes his head, and there’s admiration in his eyes when he looks at me. “You’ve got balls, sweetheart, I’ll give you that.”