“Are you alright?” A voice jolted me out of my hell.
“Shit!” The cup tipped off the table; I barely caught it with my left hand. Heart racing, I glared at Pris. “Are you trying to kill me?”
“Mugs don’t kill. Guns do.” She grinned.
“Cute, you should put that on a t-shirt,” I mumbled.
“Maybe I will.” Her voice was light, teasing. Why the hell wasn’t she in bed?
Bed. Bed. Bed. Sex. Shit. Bloody. Freaking. Hell.
My eyes scanned her half-naked body. She was wearing my boxers. Mine. Something that had once been against my skin was now touching hers. I’d probably never wash those boxers, I’d still be eighty and sleeping with them under my pillow telling myself that I made the right choice in leaving her behind, in keeping my heart closed in a cage where it belonged.
“Are you okay?” Pris took a tentative step toward me, her hand reaching out, making a beeline for my arm.
Her fingers grazed my skin.
I jerked back. “Uh, yeah.” Laughing, I grabbed an extra cup. “I just couldn’t fall asleep so I thought I’d make some tea.”
“Tea?” Her eyebrows rose. “How very proper.”
“That’s me,” I said dryly. “All…” My eyes raked over her muscular legs. “…proper.”
Clearing her throat, she stepped around me and grabbed the tea that I’d been holding onto like a lifeline. The way I figured, was if I was keeping my hands occupied then I wouldn’t be touching her. I wouldn’t be forcing myself on her, right? If I was touching tea I wouldn’t be touching tits.
I think I just made it worse.
Because my eyes naturally went to her chest, then snapped away like I was a fifth grader with his very first crush.
“So…” Pris ignored my jerky movements. She probably thought I was about ready to piss my pants or something. Ants in the pants, ants in the pants! Yes. I was officially reverting back to my childhood.
Trauma does that to a person.
So does delirium.
That’s what I was experiencing, because, dear God, she had vanilla-scented skin. I leaned toward her, my head turning into her shoulder.
“What are you doing?” she whispered.
“Checking.” I cleared my throat and stepped away.
Yes. I’d just said bed bugs. I just officially ruined the mood and gave men everywhere a bad name.
“Eww!” She jumped into the air. “You have bed bugs?”
“No!” I yelled. “Of course not! But one should always be careful when one is staying…” I waved my hand into the air. “…abroad.”
“Stop saying one,” she snapped.
Shaking her head, she put a tea bag in each mug. The kettle whistled, prompting her to fill the mugs with the steaming water. I let her do it. My mind had left me and I knew my body was next to go — next in the very long line of betrayal. I figured if I touched the kettle I’d somehow find a way to burn my nether parts off. Because really, that’s just the type of night I was having.
“Here.” Pris thrust the mug into my hand, setting hers on the counter to cool, then jumped up and sat so she was at eye level with me. “I’m sorry you can’t sleep. Is there anything I can do?”
Yeah. She could stop — just stop — breathing so effing close to me.
Wait, did that mean I wanted her to die?
Shit. I was turning into a serial killer.
“No,” I croaked. “It happens sometimes.” I blew across the mug. “I’m sorry I woke you up.”
“You didn’t.” She picked up her mug and lifted it to her lips pausing before taking a sip. “I fell asleep right away, and then, I don’t know, I guess my body wasn’t ready to go to bed yet. I woke up and heard you rummaging around in the kitchen.”
I winced. “Sorry. I tried to be quiet.”
“Jamie Jaymeson being quiet. You let me know when you discover you have that particular talent.”
With a laugh I clinked my mug to hers. “Cheers.”
Pris took a sip then jerked the cup back. “Ouch.”
“What?” I set my mug down and reached for hers, setting it next to mine.
She shook her head and rolled her eyes. “It’s not a big deal I think I just burnt my lip.”
“Let me see.” I stood in between her legs and braced either side of her face with my hands.
In hindsight… that was where I went wrong.
I knew I was struggling — I should have never touched her. I should have left her alone. I should have taken a step away instead of forward.
“Your lips look…” Incredible. Delicious. Plump. “Unharmed.” I inwardly groaned.
“Good.” Her answer was low, hypnotic, her tongue reached out and licked her lower lip.
And my body took the bait.
With a moan I crushed my mouth against hers and lifted her body against mine.
Her arms went around my neck as I devoured her lips — they tasted so sweet. Her body was hot, it slid against mine. My reaction was so violent I almost dropped her onto the floor.
Pris’s tongue pushed into my mouth. Damn, the girl was aggressive. I loved it. Smiling against her mouth I bit down on her lip and let her taste me, let her explore as my hands moved to her hips, setting her feet on the floor as I still held her body against mine.
Slowly, I slid my hands underneath her shirt, and lifted, the friction of my hands against her skin made me dizzy. Pris wasn’t just my obsession — she was my damn downfall. She made me feel weak, like I was drowning but I didn’t want to be saved. For the first time, I wanted to pull someone else down with me. And stay there.
Her breath hitched as my hands reached her bra.
She pulled back, slightly.
But it was enough for my brain to function on a logical level. I wanted to give her all of myself — but I had absolutely nothing to give her.
The math didn’t make sense.
I’d give her all I had — which was nothing.
And she’d give me everything.
“Pris,” I murmured against her mouth. “I’m sorry.” I stepped back, still gripping her wrists. “That shouldn’t have happened. It’s late and—”
“—what?” She jerked away from me, rubbing one wrist with her other hand.
“No, don’t be mad. Please.” Why did I feel like getting on my knees and begging?
“I wouldn’t survive it if you said you hated me right now. I know it’s what I deserve. I know I’m an ass. I’m a whore. I’m all those things, but please, please don’t say this changes anything. I can’t…” Dammit. “I can’t lose you, Pris. You’re the only real friend I’ve had.”