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Page 38

Rishi smiled and tucked her hair behind her ear. That was quickly becoming her Favorite Thing. Besides kissing him, obviously. “She’s your Leo Tilden, huh?” He lay down all the way and stretched out his arm under her head.

Dimple glanced at him, her heart hammering. Rishi’s eyes were hopeful, but respectful. He didn’t expect it. After a pause, Dimple lay down and put her head on his chest. Rishi sighed, a deep, humming thing that echoed in his chest and her ears.

Dimple smiled up at the sky. “Yeah. She’s my Leo Tilden.” They listened to the wind in the eucalyptus trees awhile. Somewhere below them, a dog barked. “Speaking of Leo, was that a notebook I felt in your pocket before? My hand brushed against it.”

“Observant. Yes, it is. I always have to have a sketch pad with me. I left the big one at the dorm, but I had to bring this one.”

“So . . . can I see it?”

Rishi laughed. “Yes, but on one condition.”

She frowned. “Okay . . .”

“You have to let me sketch you.”

Dimple sat up and looked at him. “What the what?”

Rishi grinned and rolled over onto his side again, propping his head up on one hand. She could barely see him now; the light was fading fast. “Let me sketch you, and you can look at my book.”

Dimple gestured to the sky. “It’s dark. How are you going to sketch?”

“Well . . .” Rishi pulled out his phone. “Someone gave me the great idea to install a flashlight app.”

Dimple groaned. “I’m not the most photogenic person.” Her cheeks heated as she said the words. She didn’t exactly want to call attention to that fact right now, on their first date.

Rishi put his fingers under her chin until she met his eye. “You. Are. Beautiful. Lajawab . My only worry is that I might not be able to do you justice.”

CHAPTER 35

Dimple rolled her eyes, even though the butterflies in her stomach began to flutter up a tiny tornado. Lajawab. Translated literally it meant without answer . “Okay, fine. But only because I get to see your sketchbook after.” Self-consciously, she adjusted Celia’s gauzy dress over her thighs. “How do you want me?”

Rishi jerked his head up to look at her, and she blushed, realizing the double entendre of her words. Thankfully, he looked just as flustered as she felt. Rubbing the back of his neck with the hand that held his pencil, he said, “Ah, just . . . maybe just lie down like you were. You can prop yourself up on your elbows if you want. Whatever’s most comfortable.”

Dimple lay down again, supremely aware of every movement she was making. The damp grass had cooled even more with nightfall, and it tickled under the backs of her knees. She turned over on her side so she was facing Rishi, one hand supporting the side of her head as she watched him smooth out the small sketch pad. In the blue-white light of the flashlight app, his hands shook just the slightest bit as he picked up his pencil.

Rishi looked at her, his gaze sweeping from her eyes to her lips to her collarbone to her chest, her waist, the curve of her hips. Dimple felt warm in spite of the cool breeze; the gauze of Celia’s dress seemed to cling tighter to every part of her body.

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