He gives me a long, hard stare, and I can see the need there, but also fear. So I nod and go back to eating my food. I don’t understand all these emotions passing between us. Or what the hell has happened tonight. But I’m pushing it aside and enjoying his company while it’s here. God knows it’s going to be lonely enough when he leaves. With Mallory moving in with Miles, it will seem so empty. I need to have a meeting with Miles about the place here, to see if I can stay. He pays me a salary through his company, but I want to make sure that plans haven’t changed, with Mallory getting married and them having a baby on the way.

“Hey. None of that,” Captain says, tucking a piece of hair behind my ear.

I look up, and he touches my chin before sitting back and rubbing my feet again. I don’t know how he knew where my thoughts had gone, but he could sense it wasn’t a good place.

“You got a TV in your room?” Captain takes a sip of his beer, and I’m confused.


“Because I want to watch the fight, and you’ve got pink shit all over your living room.”

I laugh and nod. “Yeah, there’s a little one in my room. But I didn’t ask you to stay.”

“It’s like getting cheesecake. You don’t have to ask for it to want it.” He winks at me, and my cheeks heat. How does he always keep me off balance? “I’ll let you have some of my cheesecake if you let me watch TV in your room.”

I think about it for a second and then pull my feet from his lap, standing up so I’m able to look down at him. He’s sitting and I’m still only a few inches taller than him.

“Fine. But you keep your pants on.”

His smile is so deliciously wicked, I want to straddle his lap right this second. But instead I pretend I’m unfazed, and snatch the box of cheesecake off the table and stomp down the hallway.

Chapter Eleven


* * *

“WHAT HAPPENED TO the pants rule?” Captain asks when I come out of my closet dressed in a long T-shirt. It’s an old school one that I’ve had so long it’s got a few small holes in it, but I can’t seem to part with it. Mal has a matching one. We would wear them on veg-out nights when we would stay home and try not to move from the sofa. We had those nights quite often.

I’d thought about trying to find something sexy to put on, but I really don’t have much. Besides my shoes, dressing up isn’t really my thing. Until recently, when I needed to look professional for work, I had nothing but workout clothes and club clothes. I’ve tried to pretend that I haven’t been trying to get Captain’s attention, but he seems to like the way I dress. I’ve bought a lot of things with him in mind, but I haven’t ventured into sexy underthings. Yet. I also debated putting on the shirt he’d left here. I wonder if it would turn him on to know I’ve been sleeping in it.

“I could have on shorts under here.” I reach up, pulling my hair out of my ponytail and letting it fall loosely before shaking it out a little. God, he looks good in my bed. I’d never thought about a bed’s size before, but now I’m happy I only have a queen-size. His big frame takes up most of it, and we’ll have to be pressed together so that I can fit. He didn’t even try to take up only one side. He’s stretched out in the middle, his shoes long gone, the sleeves of his shirt rolled up like always and the buttons around the neck undone, showing off part of his chest. Maybe I should have made a fully dressed rule, because I want to pounce on him. Seeing the little patch of exposed skin turns me on. What would I do if he was naked? Jesus, his nickname for me is starting to go to my head. I want to roll on top of him and rub my body over every inch of his. Just like a kitten.

“But I don’t,” I finish, as I crawl onto the bed. I go for the cheesecake, but he grabs it first, smiling at me. “Ask Mal about the freshman year food incident and you’ll never snatch food from me again.”

I narrow my eyes at him, making him smile more. Normally, that look sends most men running, but never once has it worked on Captain. In fact, I think he likes it, because he always smiles when I do it. That only makes me more irritated. Or makes me swoon a little. I don’t know which, and I’m not digging to find out. Never has a man been so easy with me. Nothing I do is ever off-putting to him. I wonder how long that will last when more of me starts to come out. There are parts of me he keeps finding, no matter how hard I try to keep them hidden. If only I could manage it for a little longer, so I can have a few more of these days to tuck away in my memory.

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