“She’s not the one you remind me of.” As I answer her, every muscle in my body tightens.
“Is that where you learned to do those things? The fire? With Angie?”
“No,” I answer her again, feeling my throat go dry.
“Well then who the hell is she?” she questions flatly, shaking her head.
“She’s someone who died a while back.”
“I’m sorry,” she whispers and I tell her it’s okay although the tension grows between us.
“Do you want to talk about it?” she asks and I shake my head no.
“Everyone dies, Jase, that doesn’t define her as to who she was.” I don’t think Bethany’s aware of the magnitude that her words have. “Who was she?”
“A girl who died because of my mistakes.”
“And I don’t remind you of her?” she questions again, a dullness taking over her gaze.
As she goes through the things I brought her, I go to the bathroom, placing the pills where they belong. In the same spot Angie left them. The pills were hers and they’ve been there since the day she died. Not this same medicine cabinet, but the same location. Bottom shelf on the right. That’s where she put them.
The irony isn’t lost on me that Bethany took them. I stare back at myself in the mirror after I close the medicine cabinet and wonder if I should’ve left Beth alone. If I never should have tainted her by knocking on her door almost two weeks ago.
“Well,” she says, sitting up straighter and making her way to the bed behind me. “Since it’s already uncomfortable I might as well tell you, I did some math.”
“Go on,” I tell her when she breathes in deep, pulling the comforter all the way up. I suppose she got cold.
“One hundred dollars every ten minutes. That’s fourteen thousand, four hundred every day. Which would mean the debt is paid in twenty-one days. Not months.”
The semblance of a grunt leaves me and I run my thumb along my bottom lip. The only sweet distraction from this conversation is that her eyes lower, lingering on my lips and her own lips part.
“So if you’re wanting me to stay here,” she starts, staring at my lips as she speaks. Standing up, I walk as she talks, so I can stand across from her. “I want it in writing that the debt won’t exist after twenty more days.”
Leaning against the dresser, I cross my arms and gaze down at her. “You think you earned fourteen thousand dollars yesterday?”
Indignation flashes in her eyes. “The deal was time, nothing else. And I gave you all my time and listened to you.” Her throat tightens as she swallows and my gaze falls to her collarbone and then lower.
“You stay with me for twenty days, which I’m doing to protect you-”
“Which I didn’t ask for.” She’s quick to cut me off. “In fact, I think we can both agree I was resistant but did it because it’s what you wanted.”
“No good deed goes unpunished, huh?”
“It was never my debt,” she rebuts.
Time passes with each of us staring at the other, waiting for the other one to give.
“You listen to everything I say for forty days—”
Again she cuts me off. “Twenty.”
“No fucking way,” I answer her, keeping my voice low. “Sleep doesn’t count as listening to me.”
“Thirty max, including yesterday, so twenty-nine days.” Her voice is strong as she negotiates. I have to focus not to glance down at her breasts and the way they peek up from her crossed arms.
“Twenty-nine days of you doing whatever it is that I want?” I ask her, feeling my cock go rigid. I unzip my pants and let them drop to the floor so she can see.
Color rises from her chest to her cheeks. She swallows, watching me stroke myself as she answers. “Twenty-nine days,” she agrees.
“Get over here and get on your knees.” I barely get the words out before she’s moving, kicking the sheets away so they don’t trip her up.
She takes me into her mouth and I shove my cock in deeper, gripping her hair so I can control it.
Before she can choke, I pull her back and listen to her heave in a breath. She stares up at me with eagerness, her hands grabbing the back of my thighs.
“I’m going to use you and get my money’s worth, cailín tine.”
Sleep’s dragging her under. I can admit I’m exhausted as well. Not in the same way, but I can’t go to sleep. I don’t want tonight to end.
“I can still feel you,” she whimpers. The sheets rustle between her legs as she moans softly, pushing her head into the pillow and letting the pleasure ring in her blood.
Her eyes are half lidded as she peeks up at me. “Does it feel the same for you?” she asks.
I let the tip of my nose play along her cheek and then nip her earlobe. “Does it feel drawn out to you? Like wave after wave and a single touch would make the next crash on the shore?”