Fall

Page 38

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“What’s wrong, love?” he drawled in my ear. “Bad date? Do I need to kill him? Have you eaten? Is it about the house?”

“N-no,” I lied again.

He squeezed me harder, his lips grazing my ear. “Stop lying to me.”

“It’s—” I felt the sob in my chest, the need to actually rely on someone and spill my guts, but the someone I wanted to tell most was the someone that could also hurt me the most.

“The house,” I finally admitted. “My parents don’t have insurance, so I’m just… upset, and I think I’ll have to stay home from school longer than I thought… you know, to help.”

“To help.” He placed me back on my feet. “Because you’re suddenly an electrician?”

“You know what I mean.” I managed a small smile.

“No.” He crossed his arms. “I really don’t.”

“I’m going to help.”

“How is your staying home from school helping?”

“It just is… okay? Drop it.”

His face flinched, like I’d just slapped him. He took a step back and turned around. “And the date?” Jaymeson started opening cupboards in his huge kitchen.

“It was fine.”

His hands froze on the cabinet door, without turning around he asked. “Did he kiss you?”

I stared at the floor.

“Pris…”

“Yeah.” I walked slowly into the kitchen. “He kissed me.”

He was silent a moment then said. “Good.”

Good? I wanted to throw a dish at his perfect head!

“How was it?” He refused to make eye contact and started pulling chips from the pantry and opened the fridge, tossing salsa onto the countertop.

“Different.”

“Hmm, so it’s him.” He finally looked up at me. “Because we both know you kick ass at kissing.”

And there he was. Good humor returned, and we talked for another few hours. He told me about movies. I told him about growing up in the church.

We watched re-runs of The New Girl.

And somehow I fell asleep on his chest.

His arms were wrapped around me so tightly, it was almost hard to breathe. His chin rested on my head.

It made me want to cry.

“Jaymeson…” I whispered. “We fell asleep.”

“Hmm?” He groaned and opened his eyes. “Shit… I’m sorry, Pris.”

His eyes looked lazy and unfocused. I don’t know what possessed me to touch his face, but I did.

The minute my fingers grazed his cheek, he closed his eyes as if my touch pained him. And then he placed his hand over mine, pulling it away from his face, and intertwining our fingers together.

With a sigh he kissed my hand. And then kissed it again.

I shuddered.

“Let’s go to bed, it’s too late for you to walk back to the condo.”

“It’s a few feet,” I argued.

“That’s all it takes to get kidnapped. Statistics prove that most people get abducted close to home.” He gripped my hand tighter. “Up you go.”

With a grunt, he picked me up off the couch and walked me across the hall into a giant master bedroom. There was a fireplace in the corner, and from the looks of it, the bathroom was bigger than my house.

Gently, he placed me on the bed, and pulled off my shoes, then snapped his fingers at me.

I sat up, and his hands moved to my long sleeve shirt lifting it over my head, so I was only in my tank top.

He placed my shirt and shoes on the floor then pulled his own shirt off.

I would never tire of catching glimpses of his perfect body. Jaymeson stretched, then went over and turned off the light. But he didn’t get in the bed; instead he walked to my side and pulled me to my feet, slowly his hands moved to my jeans. I slapped them away.

His warm chuckle made me even more nervous.

“Not seducing you, love. Just want you to be comfortable.”

“I’m not taking off my pants.”

“I’m giving you something to wear.”

His hands left, his shadow moved through the darkness then returned with what looked like boxers.

“Off.” His hands grazed the buttons of my jeans again as he slowly undid them, and pulled them down, his hands pushed gently against my body as I fell onto the bed, and he tugged them all the way off, only to replace them with the boxers he’d grabbed.

“There,” he said, voice hoarse. “Now you can sleep.” Night, love.”

He walked toward the door.

“Aren’t you sleeping here?” I blurted.

His body tensed as he gripped the door frame with his hands. Light from the kitchen spilled onto his head and shoulders. I counted at least ten muscles I’d never seen in real life on any man, before he answered. “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”

“Why?”

“Because.” He turned and gave me a sad smile. “I may be your friend, but I’m no saint, Pris.”

With that, he left and closed the door behind him.

Part of me was invigorated that I tempted him while the other half of me was mad that even though I tempted him, I still wasn’t tempting enough for him to take that leap.

Sure, he’d date skanks.

But when it came to something real — he so easily resisted.

Maybe I was too plain? Or not exciting enough. Either way, it was just another reminder that Jaymeson wasn’t forever.

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