“What the hell is going on, Andressa?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean”—he unfurls his arms, straightening up—“that, first, I wake up to an empty bed. Then, I come down to the garage because we need to talk about last night, and you act like I’ve got a deadly fucking disease and run for the hills.”
“I wasn’t running. I had to—”
“Wash your hands. Yeah, you said.” His fingers rub at his forehead, his eyes flashing impatience. “Don’t bullshit me. I know when I’m being avoided.”
“I’m not avoiding you.” Liar. Liar.
He gives me a look and then a sigh. He links his hands behind his neck, tipping his head, as his eyes go to the ceiling.
I watch the muscles in his arms flex and tense, and I get a flash of him above me last night—his arms tensing beside my head as he moved inside me. It leaves me with this unfamiliar feeling in my chest.
“I thought we had a good time last night.” His voice is softer, gentler, as his eyes come back to mine, his arms dropping to his sides.
I suddenly feel exposed. I wrap my arms around myself, staring past him and out the window at the city skyline beyond. “We did have a good time…”
“But…” I exhale. “That was last night, and…well, this is today.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means…I don’t know, Carrick.” Dropping my arms, I shrug helplessly. “I guess it means that we move on from last night and go back to where we were.”
Something resembling incredulity flickers in his gaze. “You’re blowing me off.”
“I’m not blowing you off. I just…we slept together, and it was amazing, but…that was last night, and this is today.”
“So you keep saying.”
He’s not making this easy, and I don’t understand why. I thought he would want this. In all honesty, I thought he’d say this before I did.
I run my hand over my plait, tugging on it. “What do you want me to say?”
“Say what you mean.”
“You need me to spell it out?”
“Yeah, I really do.”
“Why are you being this way?”
He shrugs, and it pisses me off.
“Fine. Last night was a one-time thing, never to be repeated.” It comes out sounding harsher than I mean it to. I see something that looks an awful lot like hurt flash through his eyes, and it makes me feel like a bitch. “We both had something we needed to get out of our systems, and we did that last night. Anyway, it’s not like you’re interested in having a relationship with anyone, and I don’t get involved with drivers.”
God, I wish I could. I really, really wish I could have you.
He’s looking at me like he doesn’t even know me. Right now, I have to agree with him. I don’t recognize myself either. I’m not the girl who says these types of things.
His eyes go to the ceiling again, and he blows out a breath. “So, what happens now?”
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
His eyes come back to mine, his brow furrowed. “What is there not to understand? What the fuck happens now?” He enunciates the words.
I can tell he’s getting angry.
It makes me squirm uncomfortably. “Well…I guess we go back to being friends.”
He lets out an incredulous laugh. “You’re friend-zoning me?”
I frown, displeased. “We were always friends first, Carrick.”
He gives a hollow-sounding laugh. “I can’t believe I’m being given the let’s-be-friends speech.”
“That’s not what’s happening here.”
“No?” He gives me a direct hard stare. Then, looking away, he places his hands on the back of the chair in front of him, gripping it, and his eyes go to the floor.
It feels like forever before he looks back up at me. And when he does, I wish he hadn’t because he looks cold. The warmth in his eyes that I’ve grown so used to is gone, and it’s been replaced by something stony.
“And what if I said I don’t want to be your friend?”
A sharp blow hits me, dead in the center of my chest, leaving me gasping for air.
The thought of not being friends with him…it’s inconceivable. He’s become too important to me in such a short space of time for me to lose him.
“Answer the fucking question.” His voice is firm and resolute.
I don’t know what to say. My throat feels tight. I nervously wring my hands in front of me.
I’m trying to clutch at words, but I’m getting nothing.
All I have stuck in my head is the total dismay of never being able to be close to him again…to talk to him.
I never even factored that into the equation.
Swallowing past my fear, I part my dry lips. “Then…I’d respect your wishes.” And I would spend the rest of my life missing you.
“Of course you would.” He sounds bitter.
I’m so confused as to what’s going on here.
“God, Carrick, are you being this difficult because you didn’t get in first to say that last night was a one-night stand? Have I bruised your ego or something? Because if that’s the case, then I’ll gladly step outside and come back in, so we can start all over again. Then, you could give me the one-night-stand speech.” I’d do just about anything to get back to where we were.