Frayed Page 94

CHAPTER 31

Start of Something

Ben

I have been with many women over the past three years, but I have never spent any real length of time in their places enough time to f**k and move on and that\s been all. So to say lying on the couch with S\elle and flipping through television channels after we\ve both stuffed ourselves with pasta, garlic knots, and salad feels unfamiliar would be telling the truth. But in a sense there is something familiar about it, in terms of the only relationship I\ve really ever had in my life, the one with Dahlia.

It isn\ that I don\ know how to be in a relationship, because obviously I do. I had been in one, the same one, for ten years. And I think for the majority of those years we were both happy together. But after that I have never wanted to seek out another relationship. It takes a lot of giving, and I think I have already proven to myself I am a taker. So why when I look at S\elle lying in front of me do I feel that at last I have something to give?

The sound of the rain outside is calming even though my thoughts are swirling around my mind. I reach for the book on the coffee table, noticing that the bookmark is gone but the book itself still has a place on the table.

’’Did you finish this?’’ I ask her.

She turns around. ’’I did.’’

’’What did you think?’’

She smirks. ’’That I\ll stick to romance novels.’’

I gently bump the book on her head. ’’No, really, what did you think?’’

Now she giggles.

My heart pounds a little faster whenever I hear that sound.

She sits up, waving her hand in front of her face until she settles. ’’Sorry, sometimes I\m just so witty.’’

I withhold my own smirk at how f**king cute she is.

’’Okay, okay, so . . .’’ She takes a deep breath. ’’Here goes. At first I kept resisting the context, which made me dislike the book.’’

I raise an eyebrow. ’’I did mention this is my favorite book. Didn\ I?’’

She pouts her lips. ’’Let me finish.’’

I blink at her. ’’I just had a vision of you as a teacher.’’

She bends down and kisses me. Running her tongue along the inside of my lip and then catching it with her teeth. ’’I can be your teacher later.’’

I\m sure my eyes widen in delight.

’’Now let me finish.’’

Excitement starts to build within me because she\s turning me on. ’’Please do.’’

’’Okay, so once I surrendered myself to the time frame and fictional virtuosities, the story finally captured my heart. I could picture a circus of events as everything came to life in my mind.’’

I raise my hand like the good student I never was.

She squares her shoulders. ’’Yes, Ben, you have a question.’’

I bite my lip to keep from laughing. She really would be a good teacher if I ever gave her that control. ’’Can you explain what you mean by fictional virtuosities?’’

The corners of her lips tilt up. ’’I can tell you\ e surprised. Believe it or not, I paid attention in school.’’

My laughter rasps. ’’I believe it.’’

She continues. ’’A variety of personalities are portrayed in the text, including children who are smart, women who are full of grit, strong old ladies, men with confidence, fools, drunks. The book is just a cornucopia of complex characters.’’

To be honest I am rightfully impressed, but I continue to play along with our little charade. ’’So you enjoyed it?’’

’’Students\ hands should always be raised.’’

I pull her to me to say, ’’I thought we were doing this later, but if you\ e ready, I think we should take it to the bedroom, where I can show you just the kind of student I am.’’

She nods, breathing heavy, and then pulls the strings of the sweatshirt I\m wearing and yanks me up toward her. ’’You found your sweatshirt.’’

’’I thought it looked familiar. Was it your choice of contraband sweatshirts back then?’’

She pushes me to the couch cushion and tries to hold my arms down, but fast as lightning I flip her on her back and pin her wrists above her head. ’’Are we moving from student/teacher to submissive/dominant? Because I\m up for that too,’’ I growl. A rush of arousal floods me at the thought of tying her down.

Her eyes burn into mine, lust looming in their depths. ’’Are you staying tonight?’’ Pressing my raging hard-on into her belly, I return her stare. ’’I didn\ realize there was a question as to whether I would.’’

’’Kiss me,’’ she purrs, and ignores my statement.

’’You understand I\m the dominant, right? That means I take control, not you.’’

’’Kiss me, please,’’ she repeats.

And I do that and so much more.

•••

I stare at her for the longest time, trying not to breathe so as not to wake her. She stirs and flips around. F*k me, my c**k lies pressed against her ass and I don\ know if she\s awake and doing it on purpose or if she\s sleeping.

I kiss her head and slide my leg off the bed. Obviously not on purpose since she doesn\ stir.

’’Where are you going?’’ she asks. So maybe on purpose.

Before leaving the room, I bend down and kiss her head. ’’I\m going to go get us some coffee.’’

’’Oh God, I love you,’’ she says sleepily.

I freeze on the spot, but she doesn\ say another word as she settles her head into the pillow and falls back asleep.

I pass her comment off as what it was, gratitude for much-needed coffee, but I can\ keep her words from echoing in my head the whole drive to Starbucks and back. Love is the last thing I\m looking for right now. I just got myself together and I\m not looking for overly serious.


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