Even though I try not to be, I’m jaded. It’s hard to let those past indiscretions go, no matter how hard I try to be bigger than that. After the divorce, I was certain I didn’t want anything more than a casual hookup once in a while, but there’s something different about Remy. I need to know if there’s something there.
“How did things go today?” I ask her.
She places Bailey back in her playpen, then looks up at me with a smile that lights me up from head to toe. “Perfect. It took a little while, but I think she’s warmed up to me.”
“Great,” I say. “The job is yours if you want it. Monday through Friday.”
“I would love it.” The way she says it, making eye contact, and softening her voice, causes chills to slide up my arms.
She starts to leave the room, sliding around me in the doorway, but I can’t let her leave. There’s this pull toward her that suffocates my good judgment. I should just let her go. Let this be nothing more than a babysitting job as it was intended.
I put my hands on her shoulders. She doesn’t try to escape from my grip. Instead, she looks up at me, open and curious. The hallway is dark, casting a shadow over her face, but I can see every single one of her lashes and the glimmer in her eyes. I lean over and smell her hair. Lavender and citrus. Clean, fresh. There’s nothing tainted about her. Not like there had been with my ex who always smelled faintly of cigarette smoke and male cologne; a scent that belongs to bars and clubs. Remy is nothing like her. I don’t know how I can say that for sure, but it’s a feeling I have that won’t let go.
She inhales loud enough for me to hear. The air seems electrified. I don’t know if she can feel it too, but it seems to crackle between us. There’s definitely something here. I know it for sure now.
With the tips of my fingers, I push her long hair off her shoulder, exposing the milky skin of her long, slender neck. Her breath quivers and she leans into my hand.
“I should go,” she whispers. Shit. I’ve done something wrong. I’ve gone too far. But she doesn’t try to walk away. Instead she says, “Before something happens.”
“What could happen?” I ask, my voice a husky whisper to match hers.
She moves closer to me, her lips wet and parting. I lean over to kiss her, but before our lips can touch, the front door shuts and Sam’s voice travels up the stairs. “Deacon, you home?”
Sam’s past warnings come rushing back to me. He thinks Remy will break me like Karen did, but he’s wrong. There’s no telling Sam that, though. He warned me about Karen too and I hadn’t listened then either. When he learned that we’d separated, there was this smug, I-told-you-so air about him even though his words were consoling.
He was always the favorite child. The one who had his shit together. The smart one. Everyone listens to Sam. Well, not this time. Not any time, really. Though he tries, I will not let him rule my life, become some lonely sad sack like he is. I can’t even remember the last time he went out on a date. He probably tried being controlling with them, too. I bet he would even order for them at a restaurant. That sounds like something he would do. I’m tired of it. I’m a grown man and I’ll make my own decisions.
I want to hold Remy in my arms, but she jumps away from me when she hears his voice. She looks frazzled, like she’s just been snapped out of a dream, her eyes glossy, face flushed. I want to tell her it’s okay, and not to worry about what Sam thinks, but she moved away from me too quickly.
“I need to go,” she says, a tremor in her voice, clearly upset. I grab her wrist, my cock hardening at the feel of her soft skin in my hand.
“Your check,” I say, reaching into my pocket and handing it to her. She looks at my hard on. There’s no way she doesn’t see it. I don’t try to hide it this time. I don’t care if she knows how bad I want her.
She takes the check from me, but avoids touching my hand again. “Thanks. Same time tomorrow?”
“Yep,” I say.
She rushes past Sam who’s coming up the stairs.
Sam watches her leave. When the door closes behind her, he looks at me and says. “I still don’t trust her.”
I shake my head. “I promise you I have no intention of getting into another train wreck of a relationship like I did with Karen,” I say, and I mean it. But I still don’t think Remy is anything like Karen, so my words are mostly truthful.
I lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling, but I can’t sleep. So I get up and look out the window toward Remy’s house. My heart stops when I see her through a split in her curtains. The light is on. She’s wearing only a bra. I can’t see the rest of her, though. Holding my breath, I wait to see if she’ll take it off. Please take it off, I beg silently. She pulls her hair up into a messy bun on top of her head, exposing that long neck of hers again. Closing her eyes, she runs her hands over her body.