“Big” is an understatement. I normally feel small next to most people, but now it’s almost comical. I tuck a piece of my hair back into my messy bun. I’ve always been self-conscious of my hair. It’s been thick since I was a little girl. My mom kept cutting it off until I begged her to finally let me grow it out. I always felt like a boy when it was short, and it didn’t help that I had a small build. I had no idea how hard it would be to maintain.
It finally grew into a giant mass of hair that felt like it weighed more than me at one point. I couldn’t bear to cut it after having begged my mom to let it grow for so long. Lucky for me I’ve grown into it. Still, having been teased about it when I was younger, I always pull it up. Then I started dancing. Hair gets in the way when you dance, so I almost always have it in a ponytail.
I push into my massive bodyguard just a touch, thinking that he won’t notice. I want to know what his giant form feels like. I tell myself it’s because I find his body interesting. The man is built and I know he’s an athlete. You don’t find the Audley twins’ bodies interesting. My brain gives me a small reality check, but I ignore it. My heart races in my chest—the opposite of the calm, stoic look he has on his face—as I take a peek up at the man that I’m now pressed into. He smells of fresh lemons and honey. I’m not sure what I thought he would smell of, but that wasn’t it. I want to push into him more and brush my nose against the simple black shirt he has on to see if it’s coming from there or if it’s him.
My stomach growls at the smell of food. Tank looks down at me. He pauses for a moment. I jerk my gaze from him, but my face flushes with heat.
“Hungry?” The one word comes out gruff and deep. I think it’s a question, but maybe he’s making fun of me.
“I could always eat,” I admit. I steal another peek at him when we start moving again and I see he’s smirking. I think it’s a smirk. His lip twitches.
“Me too,” he grunts. He sounds more like a bear than a tank. “Bear” is a more fitting nickname for him. I never understood why people give out nicknames anyway.
I don’t want to tell him that he’s going the wrong way because I know the other direction will take us closer to my home. I’m enjoying the feel of him pressed against me so much that I don’t want it to end. I decide to stop and point him in the right direction. “I’m that way,” I inform him. It’s probably for the best since he’s doing the Audley twins a solid taking me home. I don’t want him to be inconvenienced any more than he is already.
“Food?” I glance up at his stoic expression. How can someone look hard and soft all at once? He’s all severe edges and lines. His eyes are dark too. They look even darker now that we’re outside, yet they hold a softness to them when he looks at me. His features are so hard but handsome at the same time. I stare at him, trying to take all of him in. I can tell that his nose has been broken. It adds to his appeal and oddly makes him more attractive.
I let out a yelp of surprise when I stumble over my own two feet. I’ve been hanging around my best friend Liv too long. Her clumsiness is wearing off on me. I’m now pressed deeper into Tank. I grab at him to get my balance. Okay, maybe I grab a little extra because I’m curious. I only get a few seconds of exploration before he’s reaching down to right me without saying a word. He doesn’t even acknowledge my little misstep. He only shifts us and continues walking.
I fight a gasp when my mind finally puts together the simple math of where my hands had their small exploration. I realize what some of that hardness I felt was. Oh. My. God. I look anywhere but at him. My face feels hot all over again. He’s turned on and the heat is not only hitting my face. Now it moves though my body.
“Sorry,” he mumbles, making me think he can’t say more than one-syllable words. I’m not sure I want him to right now.
I’m going to die of embarrassment. I wish the earth would open and swallow me whole. I try to create some distance between us, but his arm scoots me closer to him again. I chance a look up at him and I think I see a smile.