He leaned in, resting his hands on either side of her head so that his face was mere inches from hers. His eyes met hers, almost daring her to give him another reason to manhandle her and god help her she actually considered taunting the bastard just so that he would.
“Do we have an understanding?” he asked, leaning in closer until she could make out that minty fresh scent of his breath. Her eyes dropped to his mouth and she swallowed the urge to lean forward and discover how minty his mouth really was.
She was actually starting to become a little frightened that the affects of the drugs weren’t wearing off. In fact, they seemed to be becoming stronger, at least where Chris was concerned. Her fingers tingled with the need to reach up and run her fingers through his short hair and muss it, and trace those dark arched eyebrows that looked like they needed to be soothed, down to his checks and over his firm lips that looked like they seldom smiled. She would love to see him smile again.
This wasn’t good.
“W-when are the drugs going to wear off?” she somehow managed to ask as she wondered if his lips were as firm as they looked or if they’d be gentle against hers.
Chris frowned down at her. “Drugs?” he repeated.
“Someone drugged you?” he demanded, sounding pissed as he cupped her face gently in his hands and carefully tilted her head back so he could look into her eyes.
She snorted her disbelief as she reached up and shoved his hands away. “You can drop the act now. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out,” she snapped, ducking away from his hands when he moved to cup her face again, but didn’t get far before he grabbed her hand and yanked her back towards him.
“I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about, but if someone drugged you then I want to know about it,”
he snapped back, a little muscle in his jaw twitching menacingly as he glared down at her.
“You already know, you big jerk,” she cried, trying to tear her arm away from him. “Let me go!”
“No,” he said, ignoring her as she pounded on his hard chest with her free hand. “Tell me who drugged you,” he demanded, practically seething with anger.
“You and your stupid friends!” she screamed in his face.
He noticeably started at the announcement.
For a moment he could only stare at her. “You think we drugged you?”
“I know you did!” she said, sick and tired of his games and this whole mess. She pulled her foot back and let it fly towards his thigh or groin it didn’t matter at the moment. The only thing that mattered right now was taking some of her frustration out on him and showing him that he couldn’t push her around without facing some consequences.
Unfortunately for her he caught her foot a split second later and she found herself tipped backwards and falling towards the blacktop driveway and no doubt a concussion and a few broken bones. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut as she waited for impact.
When it finally came it took her a few seconds to register that nothing hurt and that she felt oddly safe and protected. A split second later she realized she was in Chris’ arms. Hesitantly, she opened her eyes to find him glaring down at her.
“You should have been able to see that move coming a mile away and counterattacked,” he bit out, looking pretty furious.
Seriously, what happened to the relaxed guy who not even twenty minutes ago was all nice and relaxed as he tried to give her the “Join our Cult” speech? That guy she could have worked with, but this one was being a complete jerk and leaving her even more confused than before.
“Well?” he demanded, walking back to the SUV with her in his arms as if she weighed nothing at all.
“Well what?” she snapped, needing him to put her down and give her some space. Being this close to him wasn’t exactly escape plan formation friendly.
“Why didn’t you fight back?” he demanded, placing her bottom on the hood of the SUV and unfortunately for her, stepping in between her legs and caging her there by placing his hands on either side of her legs.
“Um, a little personal space?” she said, sounding hopeful.
“You’re not getting any,” he said, leaning in closer and she could have sworn he was trying to unnerve her. Not that it wasn’t working, but she had to wonder if he’d given up on his cult speech to try and intimidate answers out of her.
“Now, answer my question,” he said in a deceptively calm voice. She could tell by that little muscle ticking just below his left eye that he was pissed, making her wonder why he would care if she knew how to fight. If she knew how to fight she wouldn’t be in this mess, but she didn’t point that out even though she felt it was a valid point.
“I obviously don’t know how to fight,” she pointed out instead.
“Bullshit,” he snapped, making her jump. “You have more than enough natural ability to protect yourself, yet you allowed yourself to be attacked this morning.”
She snorted. She really couldn’t help it. The man was not only crazy, but clearly delusional. “Let myself be attacked? Are you serious?”
“Deadly,” he said, narrowing his beautiful green eyes on her.
“Look, buddy,” she said, getting pretty pissed herself as she reached out and pressed her hands against his warm bare hard chest, forcing herself to ignore just how good it felt to touch him, and tried to shove him away.
When she couldn’t budge him she tried again.
His glare turned confused as he looked down at her hands. “What are you doing?”
“Shoving your psycho ass away from me!” she said, shoving him again.
He frowned down at her hands. “You should have been able to knock me on my ass,” he mumbled, sounding confused.
“And when I take those kickboxing lessons I will!” she snapped, giving up on her efforts to shove him away and dropped her hands back into her lap.
He looked up at her, studying her so intensely that she fought against the urge to squirm. Finally he shook his head in disbelief. “There’s no way you should have made it to twenty-seven without triggering your abilities,” he said quietly.
She rolled her eyes. “I have abilities, just not ass kicking abilities or believe me you’d pay for all those times you grabbed my ass.”
For the first time since he’d turned into super jerk he smiled, a genuine pleased smile that did funny things to her stomach. “Can’t stop thinking about that, can you?”
“Yeah, out of everything that’s happened to me your touching my ass has made the biggest impression,” she said dryly, only slightly lying. The way she was reacting to his presence and touch was actually one of her biggest concerns.