“What is it you want?” he asked, emotions he didn’t know he had coming through his voice. “What do you want from me? You want me to spend a weekend with you, have you naked against me, your smile, your laugh, and then just cut you off? Kiss you goodbye and then let anyone else have you? You want me to sit in my office and watch Todd ask you out? I’m not engineered that way. Maybe I am a territorial slut, as you put it. That might seem f**ked up, but it’s who I am. I take what I want, and I own what I have. I’m just trying to figure out what you want.”

He despised the words leaving his mouth, hating the way they made him feel. Exposed. Open. By a girl who didn’t weigh more than his cock. A girl who stared at him with intensity, who pushed buttons he didn’t know he had, and had wormed her way inside a part of him that should be closed.

“I don’t want a f**k buddy, much less to be owned by one.” She released his arm and stepped back, heading to a jeep that idled by the curb.

He said nothing, letting her go, hoping against his heart that he would never see her again.

He strode inside, letting the door bang shut, taking the stairs two at a time. Pulling his shirt over his head as he walked through the bedroom, into the bath, he yanked open the shower door, glowering at the wet blonde who stood inside. “On the bed. Now,” he ordered, jerking the band of his shorts and dropping them on the floor. “I need to f**k right now more than I need to breathe.”

the problem

He fought the thought of her. Fought it the next morning as he told Todd Appleton to f**k the hell out of her if he wanted. Fought it as he pulled in each day and avoided looking at her car.

It was for the best that it hadn’t gone anywhere. He needed to think of it as an interesting experiment, one he was lucky to get through unscathed. But she had gotten under his skin. Worked her sassy way under and settled in, pulling on his heart strings like a master puppeteer, whenever her easy grin and confident eyes felt like it. He needed a distraction, and selected one with strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes, bubbly and perky enough to pull his head away from Julia and put it back where it belonged. On work, on bachelorhood. On his life as he knew it, without the disruption or headache of a relationship. Because a relationship wasn’t what he, his heart, or his peace of mind, needed. Fuck what he wanted.

But the blonde didn’t work, his thoughts comparing every curve, every moan to Julia, and coming up short, the sex ended abruptly, his c**k making the decision with which his mind still struggled. This was a serious problem, one he didn’t seem to be able to f**k his way out of. Whether Julia needed it or not, he needed closure. He needed to know what the hell was going through her mind and what she wanted from him.

This hell needed to end. And her body, the curve of her mouth, the flash in her eyes—that seemed to be the only thing capable of bringing his life back under control.

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