He reached across the table and took her hand. That same exciting jolt of contact that she'd felt earlier ran up her arm now.
"I'm really glad you invited me along to meet the Harpers and to go out on this date." He lowered his gaze, studying their linked hands, and she noticed that he had long, honey-colored lashes. "I'll be honest with you, Hannah—I've been feeling a little down over the past few days, but spending time with you has cheered me right up."
"Did something happen?" she asked, concerned. She gave his hand a comforting squeeze.
Sam shook his head. "Oh, no, it's nothing anyone did, and I'm sure it'll all turn out right. It's just…well, you know that the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, yeah?"
Hannah nodded, curious to hear what he had to say. His thumb stroked the back of her hand, causing interesting frissons of sensation.
"Well, as long as I can remember, my family's celebrated Christmas in July, because that's winter in Oz…not that Queensland ever gets cold, mind you. It's semi-tropical and we only have two real seasons—the Wet and the Dry. So, anyhow, this'll be the first year that I've ever missed my family's 'Christmas in July' dinner."
"I'm sorry—" she began, but his fingers tightened around her hand.
"No worries. Being here with you pretty much makes up for everything." He sounded sincere. "This is a better Christmas dinner than I ever hoped for."
Then he raised her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles. His lips were warm and soft, and their touch sent a bolt of heat searing along every nerve down to the pit of her belly.
He felt it, too. His blue eyes grew hot, and she saw a hint of shifter gold in their depths.
Oh my God. I want him so badly, and all we're doing is holding hands!