Frayed Page 54

This gesture rocks me more than I thought it would. My mother\s name scripted in her favorite color makes everything suddenly seem more real. Maybe I was wrong about not caring if our relationship would be tainted by how it first began? How will my connection to the people inside affect a possible future with S\elle? Would her family ever be able to let the fact go that I cheated on Dahlia with S\elle?

If it was just about me, I couldn\ give a shit. But I know how important her family is to her. I know she doesn\ think they can accept me and my part in her past and that\s why she hasn\ told them she\s been seeing me. Not sure anymore if I should go down this road with her, I shift my car into DRIVE, but before I can take my foot off the gas, the passenger door opens and S\elle slips inside.

Her lemony scent immediately assaults me. I breathe deep and glance at her. She\s so f**king se*y wearing a green strapless shorts outfit with metallic flowers on it, and the same wisps of thin gold chains that I untangled from her hair this morning are wrapped around her neck. Her eyes sparkle as she leans toward me and I\m greeted with a breathy ’’Hi.’’

’’Hi there, beautiful,’’ I say, letting my doubts go as I stare at the girl sitting beside me.

Her smile widens.

’’Did I mention I can\ wait to strip your clothes off?’’

She leans over toward me and slides her hands up my thighs, and my c**k is just as excited as I am. I clear my throat, knowing we need to get out of the parking lot and back to her place . . . quickly.

She hovers over me, her hands on my legs. ’’Did I ever mention I took a striptease class a few years ago?’’

I swallow. ’’A striptease class?’’

’’Yes, it was great exercise.’’

’’F*k,’’ I mutter.

She sits back in her seat and when she attempts to strap her seat belt on she says, ’’Ouch.’’

’’What is it?’’

’’Nothing,’’ she responds.

’’How was the party?’’

Something flickers in her gaze. ’’It was . . . fun,’’ she says. ’’But it would have been more fun if you were there.’’

’’You didn\ invite me,’’ I joke.

She catches me off guard when her hands grab my face. And then her soft lips are on mine for a moment before she speaks. ’’You know it\s complicated.’’

I do actually. We did discuss the event;we have yet to discuss just how complicated the situation is. But now is not the time. I grab the back of her neck and pull her even closer to me. When her soft lips meet mine I wonder what the hell I was thinking when I almost left without her. My tongue finds hers and I kiss her with the hunger I seem to feel for her all the time. When we finally break apart and neither of us is able to breathe, I look at her, into her eyes. ’’Do you know how much I want you?’’

She nods, her eyes glimmering. ’’As much as I want you.’’ She smiles.

I put the car in reverse and catch her gaze. ’’Are you ready?’’

’’More than ready.’’ Her voice is hoarse but definitely not weak.

I put my foot on the brake and place my hand on her thigh. She jumps a little when I circle my thumb over her bare skin and after a few minutes she grabs my hand.

’’Everything okay?’’ I ask, shooting a glance her way as I hop on the freeway.

’’Yes,’’ she says with forced exaggeration.

’’Really? Because it doesn\ sound that way.’’

’’I\m fine,’’ she says, moving our hands over to my leg.

I exit the freeway and stop at the light. ’’Come here,’’ I tell her, and grab her shoulder, pulling her over to me. Again she jumps. I let go of her and take her chin in my hand. ’’Okay, what\s the matter, Red? Do you not want to do this?’’

’’No, that\s not it at all. It\s just . . .’’ She pauses.

The light turns and I drop my hand. ’’Just what?’’ I ask, twisting to see her.

Her eyes widen like saucers. ’’You have to promise not to laugh.’’

I want to promise, I really do, but the face she made makes a memory flash through my mind. The first time we talked in the library at college and she dropped the Kama Sutra book on the floor.

Her lips purse and her eyes narrow on me. ’’I just asked you not to laugh.’’

’’You haven\ even told me anything,’’ I say, holding my stomach to control my own laughter. It\s so strange how she can lift my mood so quickly.

’’I know, so why are you already laughing?’’ she scoffs.

’’You made a face that reminded me of the first time I saw you in the library when you were randomly shuffling through books and you dropped that book on the floor.’’

Her gaze softens. ’’You remember that?’’

’’Yeah, I do.’’

Pulling up in front of her nicely kept Spanish-style apartment complex, I turn the engine off. Twisting toward her, I run my fingers down the bare skin of her arm and again she jumps. All remnants of laughter dissolve as I turn toward her in the dark of the night. ’’What\s going on?’’

’’Nothing really. I just feel a little sunburned.’’

I flick the dome light on in the car. F*k me, she\s the color of a lobster. ’’A little! Have you put anything on it?’’

’’No, not yet. Honestly, I didn\ start to feel it until I got to the party.’’

’’What kind of sunblock was that you put on?’’

’’Actually I didn\ have much sunblock left, so I poured a little moisturizer in the bottle. It said it had SPF in it.’’


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