Page 16

“You left your sandwich in the kitchen.”

“I’m not hungry. I’ll get it later.”

He looked at me for a long moment, and then turned his gaze to the windows. “It’s crazy out there, isn’t it?”

I followed his gaze, feeling close to tears. “Yeah, it is.”

A couple of seconds passed, and then he sat beside me. He leaned forward, dropping his hands on his bent knees. “Sydney, about last night—”

“Please don’t apologize for that again. Okay?” I didn’t think I could bear it if he did.

Kyler tensed. “How can you be okay with that? I felt you up in my sleep. Wait. I didn’t just feel you up. I was touching you.”

The way he said it made me think of those dolls social services shows kids who come into their offices. Yuck. My gaze traveled over his profile. For the hundredth time I found myself wishing things were simpler between us.

He glanced at me. “That wasn’t what I intended when I got in bed with you last night. I just want you to know that.”

I sucked in a sharp breath. Well, if I thought my heart couldn’t take any more bitch-smacks, I’d been so, so wrong. “Was it so bad?”


Looking away, I pushed to my feet and walked over to the window. Maybe I just needed to grow some lady balls and confront this head-on. Obviously, we’d damaged our friendship already. The only way to repair it was if we got past this crap. Psychology 101. Avoidance was the fun and easy way, followed up by denial, but neither ever worked. I needed to tell him that I was attracted to him, that I wanted him. Maybe once we cleared the air, I could move on. Honesty was always the best route to take, but I wasn’t sure I could grow balls that big.

But if I didn’t, then we’d continue this way. Having stilted conversations.

I heard him take a breath. “You’re thinking something,” he said. “You’re thinking something really important. If you’re pissed at me because of last night, you can tell me instead of trying to protect my feelings. I’ll understand. I wouldn’t hold—”

“I’m not mad at you.” I faced him, folding my arms. He looked away. “And how could I be when I tried to kiss you when I was drunk? That would make me a hypocrite.”

“They were totally two different situations, Syd. You didn’t try to grab my junk.”

I would’ve if I had better reflexes while intoxicated. That was the truth—not something I’d admit, but I had to get it out there. “Why did you stop last night?”

He stared at me like I was insane. “I was sleeping, Syd! Hell, you thought you molested me while you were drunk? I seriously did that to you.”

“I didn’t mind.” My voice came out weak, a barely-there whisper.

Kyler jerked back.

I shook my head. “I wasn’t asleep, Kyler. I knew what you were doing.” Now he really stared at me, and I lost my breath. It was either now or never. All those moments had led up to this. I could tell him I was glad he stopped, say something stupid and change the subject. Or I could tell him what I wanted—what I’d been wanting for so very long. If I did, there was no going back.

“Sydney…” His voice carried a warning.

I took a deep breath. “I want what the other girls have had.”

“What?” His eyes widened, darkening.

My cheeks burned like I was sunbathing in hell. “I want that—I want you. I want to be with you.” I watched him stand and I thought for a second he was going to leave the room. Knots formed in my stomach, so tight I thought I’d hurl, but he just stood there. “I’m not asking for you to be my boyfriend or to marry me. I know you don’t do relationships. I know you’re not into that kind of thing.”

“And you’re not either?” Derision dripped from those words.

Now my entire body flamed. He said that like I was Miss Conservative USA. It made me go on the defensive, and the need to prove I wasn’t a frigid little goodie two shoes hit me hard.

“Not with you. I just want you. For one night. That’s it.”

Kyler went very still. I don’t even think he breathed. Then his eyes narrowed on me. “That’s what you want?”

My hands twisted in front of me and I whispered, “Yes.”

“And that’s it?” He prowled a step forward, and my heart tripped up as I took a step back. “Say it a little louder, Syd.”

Throat dry, I swallowed and went with a minimally louder, “Yes.”

Another measured step from him, and I found myself backing up until I hit the glass window. A slow predatory smile graced his lips, and heat flooded my veins in a maddening rush. “Since when?”

Words were so hard to form. “For…for a while.”

“How long?”

“A long time.”

He shook his head. “That doesn’t tell me much.”

“Long enough,” I said.

“And what is it again that you want?”

I wasn’t sure if I could speak, not when he was looking at me like that. “You.”

“You’re going to have to be a little more detailed than that, baby.” He stopped in front of me, and I had to crane my neck to see his expression. “Waiting…”

Was he really going to make me go into a detailed thesis? I started to look away, but his fingers landed on my chin, holding my gaze to his. His eyebrow arched. “I…I want you.”

His gaze dropped, and even though I wore a heavy sweater I felt bare and vulnerable. I shivered and my nipples tightened. Everything in me tightened. “You’ve said that already. You’ve also said that you want what the other girls have gotten. You know what that is?”

I nodded the best I could.

Kyler lowered his head so that his lips were a scant inch from mine. “I fucked those girls. That’s it. No strings. No commitments. Nothing. And that’s what you want? You want me to fuck you?”

No. I wanted more, so much more. “Yes.”

He sucked in a sharp breath as he dropped his hand. Anger flashed across his striking face—real anger, brightening his cheeks. I knew I’d screwed up then. Disappointment crashed into me with a force of a wrecking ball. This was it. He was turning me down again. The back of my throat burned with the finality of it, because this was it—couldn’t clear the air any better than this. I wanted to kick myself in the head. I’d brought this on myself and most likely ruined our friendship, like for real this time. Screw psychology. I should’ve continued with the whole avoidance thing.

“Turn around,” he ordered.

I blinked. “What?”

“Turn. Around.” The authority in his voice sent a rolling shudder through me, but I was frozen there, staring up at him. His eyes were wider now, and they glimmered like polished onyx. I was trapped in his gaze. “I’m not going to tell you again.”

Part of me wanted to ask what he thought he was going to do if I didn’t listen, but I did turn around, because I had seen the heat in his eyes. Maybe I was hallucinating all of this. Maybe I’d tried to race from the room and had fallen and hit my head. Always possible. Or maybe I’d gotten a concussion from the snowmobile of death and the earlier knock I’d taken from Kyler’s hard-as-hell head.

“This is how I do it.” His heavy, deep voice caused me to jump. Chuckling, he brushed the mass of hair off my neck, tossing it over my shoulder, and then his breath was warm and hot along the back of my neck. “Sometimes standing, sometimes against the wall like this, or sometimes on our knees, with me behind them.”

Oh. My. God. Totally made me the queen of creepers, but I’d always wondered how he did it. I stared out into the snow, but I didn’t really see anything. Heat blossomed low in my stomach, rushing through my veins. I licked my lips and then bit down as a hand skimmed my hip before settling on the curve of my waist.

“I don’t do it any other way, not with girls I just fuck.” Another hand landed on my other side, his fingers gathering the material. “And that’s what you want, Syd? You want me to fuck you from behind?”

My breath hitched and a deep ache started between my thighs. “I…”

“Which way?” he asked, and shifted closer. His lips brushed my cheek, and I could feel him all along the back of me even though he wasn’t pressing against me. “Do you want to do it like this? Or we can get down on our knees. I’m fine either way.”

OhGodOhGodOhGod…I had no idea what to say. The only time I’d had sex, it was missionary, and I honestly didn’t know how this would work with the height difference or—

“You’re thinking, Syd. Did you change your mind?”

Was that what he wanted? Or did he just expect that of me, because he’d heard what Nate had said? I was frigid, and frigid girls sure as hell didn’t do this. I squeezed my eyes shut. “Like this.”

A muttered curse came out of him, and my eyes flew open. Was that the wrong thing to say? But then his hands fisted my sweater and before I could say “orgasm,” he had tugged my sweater right over my head and off me.

And then I was standing there in my jeans and bra. Not the grossly padded bra—thank God—but a bra. Holy crap, we were going to do this—he was going to do me. We were going to fuck. A little bit of unease wiggled its way through me. There was nothing romantic about that, nothing sweet and affectionate. Fucking was just that—fucking. And he didn’t sound particularly happy about any of this.

This was all wrong.

Kyler’s large hands landed on the bare skin of my sides, and I jerked at the contact. “Put your hands on the glass, Syd.”

All thoughts fled my mind as the heat expanded deep within me. My body responded shamelessly to his order and the deep timbre of his voice. The windowpane was cool under my palms.

“Good.” One hand drifted over my skin, moving to just below my belly button and over the band of my jeans. His hand flattened. “Keep your hands on the window.”

He pulled me toward him as he seemed to lean over me, so that I was slightly bowed and nestled against him, but still touching the window. I could feel him hot and hard pressing into my back, and sensation trilled through my veins.

“You should’ve said something earlier—that this was all you wanted.” There was a tightness to his words, a hard edge I didn’t understand. He was definitely ticked off, but he was doing this.

Confusion and lust swirled inside me, and I didn’t know which way I was going. His other hand started to move, skimming up along my ribs, sending shivers through me. “I would’ve…helped you out a long time ago,” he said.

I couldn’t think, not when his hand drifted over my upper stomach and then over the cup of my bra. A moan escaped me as my back arched. “Kyler…”

“Shit.” His hand stilled as his hips pushed forward. With his other hand still holding me in place there was no escaping the slow, torturous pump or what it meant. Not that I wanted to. I pushed back against him and he groaned deep in his throat.