She forced her eyes to open. “V-Vassi?”
His tone was laced with self-disgust, but even so she knew he was actually speaking the truth, and her heart made a little leap of joy.
Vassi was jealous.
Turning to him, she said earnestly, “Don’t misunderstand…text.”
“So you’re saying nothing’s going on between you?”
“If so, then why did you kiss him?”
Realizing she had fallen into his trap and knowing that she could no longer tell him the truth about the kiss being accidental, she said weakly, ‘I didn’t…kiss him. He kissed…me.” And inside her head, she issued Maximilian a silent apology for the lie.
She mentally winced, thinking, Really, really sorry, Max. But you don’t love him like I do anyway, so it’s better that he’s mad at you than at me.
“I’m going to kill that son of a—-”
Realizing she had to distract Vassi before he made good on his threat, she quickly changed the subject, mumbling, “I t-thought you…weren’t going to…check on me.”
He snorted. “Like that’s possible.”
“I thought you were mad.”
His lips twitched, and he chided her gently, “Between the two of us, solnishka moya, who do you think has a stronger tendency to hold grudges?”
Instead of answering, Seri simply snuggled closer to him, and he chuckled because this was just like her, too.
Seri’s headache started to lessen dramatically the longer she spent in Vassi’s arms. Love was amazing, she thought sleepily. Who would have thought being near Vassi was enough to make her feel better?
She rubbed her face against his chest, liking the feel of cotton against the hard muscles.
Over her head, Seri heard him murmur in amusement, “You’re like a kitten when you do that.”
A kitten? Seri opened her eyes and gathered enough energy to look up. He was smiling down at her, and before she realized what she was doing, she curled her right hand into a fist, like a paw, and as she slowly waved it up and down, she said sleepily, “Meow.” Her eyelids drifted shut right after, making her miss the stunned expression on Vassi’s face.
Vassi couldn’t get the image of a kitten-like Seri out of his mind.
She had never done that before, and it was so damn…HOT.
His dick more than agreed, and Vassi didn’t know whether he was thankful or not that Seri seemed too out of her head with her fever to realize what was trying to poke through her pajamas. Instead, she was too busy squirming on his lap, trying to find a good position to sleep in, and all the while unaware of what those sexy little movements were doing to his body.
It took everything in Vassi not to clasp her by the waist and grind her pussy down his groin. She’s ill, he reminded himself. Only the shittiest guys would exploit someone made defenseless by her illness.
He knew this, but the problem was, his dick didn’t care.
It had grown into a full-blown erection, and every nerve in his body was stretched taut, his control just one stroke away from snapping.
Gnashing his teeth, he forced himself to move and lifted her off his lap. She mewled in protest, just like a sexy little kitten, and damn if he didn’t want to kiss her mouth and see if she could also purr just as good.
Ignoring her soft, irritated grumbles, which were almost as cute as her mewls, he tucked her under the covers.
As he straightened, the door behind him opened.
“How is she?” Misha asked.
“Still hot,” he answered briefly.
On his other side, Sergei had his iPhone out, and a glance on the screen showed Fyodor on FaceTime, a concerned frown on his face.
“I wish I can stay to help out, but I need to stay overnight at the university,” Misha muttered tautly.
“And I need to join Papa in California by tonight,” Sergei said. “You think you can look after Seri on your own?”
“Of course.” He rolled his eyes at the look of concern on his brothers’ faces. “I’m not on my own here, and the two of you know it. We have a full-time staff, and yes, I will ask for their help if I have a need for it.”
“Yes.” And he was. He was certain he could get Seri better, but what he was not certain was whether he could keep his hands to himself while she recuperated.
He had promised to himself to never cross the line with Seri. He was determined that she would stay a virgin until she realized that she was only infatuated with him. He had been counting on his brothers’ presence to keep him in check. But now that he knew he was going to be left alone the entire night with a sweet, kitten-like Seri?
A stream of curses filled his mind once more.
It was going to be a fucking long day.
When Seri woke up, the world outside her window was dark and her fever was completely gone. Turning to her side as she stretched, the first thing she saw was Vassi, sleeping peacefully on a wingback chair pulled next to her bed. With his eyes closed, he finally looked more his age – someone who was just one year older than she was.