Barely thirty seconds pass before she answers, Dance on her goddamn lap, kid.

Laughing, I tell Lola, “She thinks this is my punishment, not yours.”

“I’ll tell you when you lose.”

LOLA SLIDES HER losing hand into the middle of the table, looking up at me with fear in her eyes. “Wait. I need another beer before I hear this. Oh, God.”

“You’re going to need music, too.”

Her eyes go wide before she grabs another beer from the middle of the table, chugging it down, then picking up my phone. She knows my passcode, entering it without thinking.

Her mouth drops open when she reads Harlow’s text. “I’m not going to do that.”

I laugh, standing and walking over to the stereo. “Do you want rock and roll or something more club appropriate?”

She groans. “Oliver, I’ve never in my life given a lap dance.”

“Club it is!” I crow, pressing play. Walking back, I nearly trip at the full view of Lola standing near the dining table. I couldn’t see her from the waist down when we were sitting, but Lord.

Lola is in nothing but her underwear. Black silk. Minuscule. Her body is so smooth; I want to sink my teeth into the soft flesh of her upper thigh.

My skin is on fire.

I can feel my pulse in my throat as I lower myself into a chair.

She smacks my arm as I tuck my shaking hands beneath my legs. “You even know protocol.”

“So do you, it would seem.”

Lola steps closer, staring down at me. “Why couldn’t you have been the one who lost?” Her knees touch mine and I feel the pressure reverberate along every inch of my legs.

“Wouldn’t be nearly as good now, would it?”

“Is it weird to see me topless?” she asks, sliding one leg to the side of mine, and then moving closer, straddling me.

It’s hard to breathe, hard to think.

I look up and down the length of her body. Her waist is narrow, hips perfectly curved. She has a tattoo along her side that I can’t read in the dim light, but I’ll read it later. Right now, I’m one breath away from putting my face in her tits. “It’s fucking bliss is what it is.”

The music rolls through the room, slowly taking over my pulse until it seems to do the same with Lola, and her hips tentatively rock forward, and back. Her hands come around my shoulders, anchoring there.

She leans in, looking at my eyes so closely as if searching for a stray eyelash, to steal a wish. Her gaze swims a little, but I like tipsy Lola. She cracks out of her shell and looks at the world around her. Right now I want to be that entire world. I want to be all she sees.

She licks her lips and studies my mouth as she answers. “ ‘It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.’ ”

I scan my thoughts to place the quote, but with her nearly naked body over mine, the smell of her shampoo, her skin, and even the hint of her lust . . . I’m obliterated. “What is it from?”

“The goddess of wit, the woman who made generations of women put on their big girl pants: Eleanor Roosevelt.” Lola anchors her hands on the back of the chair and tilts her head as she moves.

The heat of her body against me makes my words come out thick: “How old were you when you got it?”

Her hair slides over her shoulder, tickling along my bare arm. When her eyes lock on mine, my chest clutches at how her makeup has smudged slightly, making her appear sweetly rumpled, as if I’ve already had my way with her. Just the thought tips me into a desperate, trembling sort of hunger.

My words are propelled by an incredulous burst of air: “Fuck no.”

Her brow twitches. “You mean because you’re used to having half-naked friends dancing on your lap?”

“I think you are at least one article of clothing past ‘half-naked,’ ” I tease. “And perhaps more than a little past friend.”

She stares down at me, worrying her lip with her teeth.

“It’s not awkward because it’s you, Lola Love. And you look amazing half-naked.”

A long stretch of silence passes where she’s still just looking at me. Staring, eyes fixed on mine. But it isn’t static. It’s an enormous transition in her expression from playful to sincere, and watching each step seems to pluck at a vibrating, urgent thread between my ribs.

“Are you hard?” She lowers her hips and slides over me, just once.

I lose my breath when my heart climbs into my throat. She knows I am; my cock is rigid and pressed right against her.

I know she is. When she rocks forward again, I can feel it in the easy slide of her over me.

She laughs and her attention shifts from my eyes back to my lips. She’s so close, it isn’t just a flicker of her gaze; it’s an intentional drop, a mile-long stretch that seems to take forever as she looks at my nose, my cheeks, my lips, then snags there. If she looked any lower she would no doubt see my pulse frozen in my throat.

“Are you thinking of kissing me?” she asks.

I stare right back at her mouth. Lick my lips. “Are you thinking of being kissed?”