His hand cups my cheek, pulling my attention back to him. “I hate that she hit you.” His words and the look in his eyes as he studies my cheek make my heart start to pound harder.
“I’m okay. I’m sorry about your bed,” I tell him. Now that I’m not in the moment anymore, I feel bad for having lost my temper.
“I needed a new one anyways.” He smiles, and my fingers go to his cheek, pressing into his dimple. “We good now?” he asks, and I know he’s talking about this morning.
I fight myself on what to say. I need to be honest with him. He scares me, but not exploring this thing with him scares me more. I look over his shoulder before my eyes search his face.
“I know you didn’t mean it like you said it. You’re the first person in a very long time I find myself opening up to.” I cover his mouth with my hand when it looks like he’s going to speak. “You’re also the first guy since my first that I have been interested in. I feel vulnerable when I’m with you, and I hate that your words have the power to crush me, but they do,” I confess softly.
His hand comes to mine, pulling it from his mouth, and he kisses my palm before placing it against his chest. “I say shit I don’t mean sometimes. It’s no excuse and I’ll work on it, but you need to work on opening up to me.” His eyes search my face before his lips brush mine again. “You’re so f**king fearless that I forget how fragile you are.” The words gently spoken against my lips cause my eyes to slide closed.
“I’m not fearless,” I tell him, resting my forehead against his. “I’m afraid all the damn time.”
“Nah.” He shakes his head. “You’re a f**king warrior.”
Annoying Roomies And Bad Guys
When I pull up to the house, it’s just after seven in the morning. Yesterday, after the tow truck showed up and Kenton left to go back to work, Viv, Nancy, and I sat around the kitchen drinking coffee and chatting for a few hours. When Nancy asked about the video Cassie had been talking about, I cringed but told her and Viv what had happened and the real reason I was in Tennessee. Nancy was visibly upset about it, and I immediately told her that I would leave if she felt uncomfortable with me being here with her son.
The second the words left my mouth, she grabbed my face between her hands and I watched as tears slid down her cheeks. My heart broke when she looked into my eyes and spoke. “This is exactly where you’re supposed to be. This is the safest place for you. This is where my son wants you. This is where we want you, so this is where you will stay.”
I started crying and buried my face in her chest, taking something from her I never received from my own mother—comfort. I hated crying, but something about crying while she held me healed a small piece of me. That lost, lonely little girl who was never allowed to show emotion was finally able to cry until she couldn’t cry anymore.
I shake my head, clearing the memory, and slide my key into the door. All I want to do is take a shower and go to sleep. I’m exhausted from being up early and not having a nap before going to work. As soon as I can, I’m going to have them change my schedule. There is just no way I will be able to keep this up.
I make my way upstairs and head right to the bathroom. I take a quick shower and wrap a towel under my arms, not even bothering with brushing my hair. I pick my clothes up off the floor and head to my room without turning on the light. I toss my stuff in the direction of my closet before pulling off the towel and begin climbing into bed.
“How was work?”
I scream when I hear Kenton’s voice. I jump off the bed and run to the closet, going inside and shutting the door.
“Why are you in the closet?” Kenton asks, and I can tell that he’s laughing.
“Why are you in my bed?” I ask through the closed closet door while trying to find something to put on in the dark.
“Someone threw my bed outside.”
“Shit!” I whisper, closing my eyes. “I’ll sleep on the couch downstairs,” I tell him, pulling a hoodie on over my head.
When I open the closet door, I find a shirtless Kenton sitting on the side of the bed, wearing a pair of cut-off sweats that have seen better days. Somehow, I find the strength to pull my eyes from him and walk to my dresser, pulling out a pair of cotton Victoria’s Secret panties and slipping them on under the hoodie.
“Where is your sexy underwear?”
“What?” I ask, my face heating up from the look in his eyes.
“You know. Silk thongs, lacy shit—where are they?”
“I don’t wear those unless I have to. I would rather be comfortable,” I explain. I know that a lot of women go gaga over sexy panties, but I couldn’t care less. I hate the feeling of something crawling up my ass all day.
“I have to tell you. I have seen you in those things three times now, and all three times, that damn underwear has done more for me than any skimpy shit I’ve ever seen.”
“Can we never talk about you and what you’ve seen other women wear please?”
He smirks, his eyes running down my legs. “Come to bed.”
“No.” I shake my head, looking at the door.
“You try to sleep on the couch and I’m dragging your ass back up here to bed,” he threatens.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Afraid you won’t be able to keep your hands off me?” He smiles.
“You wish.” I roll my eyes, knowing that is the exact reason why I don’t want to get into bed with him.
“Come on, babe. I can tell you’re tired.”
I look at the bed then him. I am really tired. I open my dresser, pull out a pair of shorts, put them on, and walk over to the opposite side of the bed before getting in. I hear his laugh as he lies back down, shutting off the light. I put my back to him and close my eyes.
I’m just about asleep when I feel him put his hand around my waist, and he pulls me across the bed to him so his body curves around mine and his hand can wrap in my hair.
“What are you doing?” I ask him sleepily.
“Sleeping,” he says softly, kissing the back of my head.
I know I should get up and leave or at least put up a little bit of a fight about cuddling with him for the third night in a row, but I can’t. I feel too warm, too comfortable, and way too exhausted to fight what I’m feeling. I feel him kiss me again and his hand go a little tighter, and I’m pretty sure I hear him whisper, “She’s getting it,” as I fall asleep.