“Sam, really, you need to stop.” Again there wasn’t much force behind my words, and considering that I had one hand tangled in her hair while the other was cupping her ass, she wasn’t likely to take much notice of me.
“Why?” her husky voice said into my ear before she kissed the hollow beneath it while grinding against me again, harder this time.
“If I kiss you I won’t stop.”
“And that’s a bad thing?”
I want you, you’ve no idea how much, but I don’t want it to be about comforting you. Can you honestly say that you would’ve kissed me like this tonight if it hadn’t been for what happened with that guy out there?
Her lips left my skin and I felt her release a small sigh. As she stepped out of my arms she gave me a half-smile. “Fair enough.” At that she slowly headed to her bedroom. “Good night,” she said quietly over her shoulder.
It took every ounce of my self-will not to follow her into that room and into that bed. God, why am I being such a f**king girl? If she wanted to use me, she could use me, what was so bad about that? The end result would be the same whether it was tonight or another night: sex. And yet it was oddly important to me that she wanted to sleep with me for no other reason than that she wanted me; it wouldn’t have felt balanced if it was any different.
Since when did I care about things being balanced?
This whole thing was too weird.
I was stood staring at the closed door of her bedroom with my hands slapped against the sides of my head, releasing sigh after sigh after sigh after sigh. Occasionally I’d step toward the door only to then take a step back. I couldn’t help thinking about how she was in there, in bed – naked? – and finally willing to sleep with me. Seriously what the hell was I doing out here?
But then, like a smack to the face, the importance of her wanting me just for me, not comfort, hit home. True, this wasn’t like me. True, being used for sex was never a problem for me before. But, for whatever reason, it mattered to me now with this woman. So, with a strength I honestly had no idea that I had, I ignored the protesting coming from the bulge in my pants and teleported to my own room.
Alright, so I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about leaving my apartment. I’d cursed the setting sun as I rose and dressed. I had no doubt that news had spread of my duelling with Clark and that people would be putting two and two together to theorise what it was all about, and they’d definitely be coming up with five. I wasn’t sure what would bother me more; leaving people to believe rumours that aren’t true, or explaining the entire truth which was something personal to me. I’d already explained it to Jared but I knew he wouldn’t go blabbing about it.
I wasn’t really eager to see him either. I’d spent God knows how long insisting I didn’t want him that badly, and then I’d gone and tried to seduce him...? I mean, seriously, I was turning into my own worst enemy. I blame him. It was the hug that did me in. I’d relaxed against him and then suddenly I’d felt...well. Engulfed by warmth. Sheltered. His arms had become this kind of refuge. No one had ever held me like that before; so securely, so comfortingly, so possessively. Then after a few minutes, even in spite of everything else I was feeling, there was a thirst for something more, a violent throb of desire low in my stomach.
Thinking about everything as a whole as I made my way to the Command Centre, I had to wonder if he had rejected me to make things even between us, to get his own back. It just didn’t make sense that he would care what had made me want to have sex with him. He was a bloke, a woman-obsessed bloke, and he spent most of any time we were together doing that glaring thing and suggesting we have sex. And blokes say that women are confusing!
Regardless of his rejection, I wasn’t embarrassed by my behaviour. I would have been if I hadn’t known he wanted me and the whole seduction thing had been a gamble, but it was obvious that neither of us walked away satisfied. No way would I blush or act all weird when I saw him; he’d love that. I refuse to allow Jared to reduce me to a nervous, rambling blusher. If it wasn’t for my raging hormones, he probably wouldn’t have much of an effect on me anyway.
Oh who was I kidding? I’m not even at my office and I’m reaching out with my senses to ascertain whether or not he’s inside it. He’s not.
Fletcher spotted me approaching and rose from his seat. If I was in a better mood I would have laughed at his peach cashmere sweater that hugged his body in a very feminine style. In fact, the sweater wasn’t too unlike my own. “Alright, luv, how you feelin?”
“Fine,” I said, nodding. “You?”
“I always suspected you kept your distance from Jared because you’d been in a proper relationship and it went pear shaped.” He offered me a sympathetic smile. “Although I must say I hadn’t thought the bloke had died.”
I ignored the nonsense about any of that affecting my lack-of-a-relationship with Jared. It was Bryce who was the important part of the conversation. “He was great. You’d have liked him.”
“Well if you ever want to have a good gab about it, you just let me know. Alright?”
“Now, I’ve been instructed to send you straight to Antonio. He wants to see you in the aviary.”
Fletcher shrugged. “I’m just the messenger luv, don’t shoot.”
Antonio had obviously got wind of what happened outside the bar. Had Clark been one of his top security guards? If yes, I was in for one hell of a rollicking. Wonderful. Just what I needed two minutes after waking up. His own point of view might be that it was irrelevant what Clark had done in the past; that if I had wanted to duel with him – one of his employees – then I should have gone to Antonio first for permission. Hopefully it would work in my favour that Clark was the first to attack. If I hadn’t have defended myself against that fireball inside the club I might not be here now.
It wasn’t surprising that people glared as I passed them in the hallway of the mansion. There was no wariness or disgust on their faces. They looked fascinated and approving. I suppose that since not an awful lot happens round here it was probably the biggest excitement they had had in a while.
Like last time, Antonio was staring through the glass of the aviary, admiring the little animals with a glowing smile. Sebastian and Luther were stood slightly behind him, mimicking his own position. They all gave me a nod as I entered, as did Antonio’s two usual bodyguards. The dogs dashed over to nuzzle and sniff me to death.