“Why are you here?”
He signals to the TV as I watch my dear, perfect Westley whisper to Buttercup, “As you wish,” then he looks at me, smiles as if at himself. “Are you watching a movie?”
“Not now, right now I’m watching you.”
He just smiles that rather sexy, rather annoying almost grin of his and sits on a side chair like some mighty king. I can feel myself frown because he just managed to shrink my place with his presence. Feeling little pinches in my stomach, I sit down on the couch, Westley forgotten, Buttercup forgotten, everything but HIM forgotten. I wait.
“How are you?” he asks softly, signaling at me.
“How do you think?” I sullenly ask.
“Looking pretty damn good from where I sit.”
“Do you always make yourself at home in places you’re not wanted?”
His soft laugh runs across my skin like a feather, pricking the little hairs on my arms. He leans back and crosses his arms behind his head, watching me with cool, knowing eyes. “I’m here to prove to you that, no, Melanie, you didn’t imagine me.”
The way his sensual tone combines with that brilliant narrowed gaze tells me we both know that I am definitely wanted here—and makes my toes curl. Fuck, he turns me on.
“I was about to eat a thousand pounds of chocolate because of you,” I accuse.
He stands and then comes to drop his body right next to me on the couch. “Well now, two hundred twenty pounds of me are right here. With you.”
“We’re not sleeping together again.”
“Considering I’ve been inside you, you should at least let me put my arms around you while we watch . . . what are we watching?”
“The Princess Bride. My favorite movie of all time.”
He stretches his arm along the back of the couch, and my heart thumps like mad.
“Buttercup is engaged to Prince Humperdinck but her true love, Westley . . .”
His lips curl, and I shut up when I notice how amused he looks. Secretly amused by . . . me. It’s hot. And frankly, it bothers me. I whisper, “You’re a playboy. I know you are.”
“You know nothing about me.”
I roll my eyes. “I know your name. Greyson.”
“You mock my name with that evil glint in your eye like you love it, all it does is make me want to f**k you until you moan it.” He pulls my face to his. “I know every time you lie because I’ve been taught to detect liars since I was very, very young. You learn it when your father lies all the time,” he breathes, his hot breath on my lips causing a fire to stir inside my stomach. “I think of you, Melanie. I see your face in every woman. I flew here just to see you. Communication. Relationships. Those aren’t things I’m good at. There are other attributes I have that are far better. Like I see I’m good at making you pant. I see your pupils are dilated, you keep looking at my mouth instead of your favorite movie, and it’s taking all of my self-control not to give us exactly what it is we both need right now. It’s been a week, but as far as I’m concerned”—he cups the back of my head and nibbles on my lower lip—“I’ve been waiting a lifetime to sink myself in you.”
He presses me close, and I ache so much, I’m scared. By him, by this, this need to claw into his skin, press my lips to the hard line of his jaw, touch his thick, silky hair.
“Let me watch my movie, let go,” I protest feebly.
When he chuckles, his breath moves a couple of tendrils of loose hair at my temple. “If you want me to let you go, you need to stop pressing your pretty ni**les against my chest as you say so, stop getting closer when you ask me to let you go,” he murmurs, rubbing his nose against mine, and his closeness, his scent of forest, his warm breath, his lips so close I can almost taste them, trigger a flood of need between my thighs and a hot, aching ripple in my sex.
I gasp as we almost kiss, and he groans and gives me space to breathe. He lifts his head, and I see him appraise me like a connoisseur would appraise a jewel or some antiquity. Why does he look at me like this? Why like THIS? Like he wants inside me as much as I want him. Like he wants more than my body, like he wants to suck the blood out of me, eat my soul up, and then pray to me.
Quietly, I close my eyes, trying to pretend we’re just dating, have never had sex, are just watching a movie. I force my muscles to relax and watch the TV, and I sense him relax gradually too. He stretches his big body suddenly down the length of the couch and pulls me up against him. Oh my. I hate how he assumes control of things that pertain to me, but I love it too.
I feel his gaze on the top of my head. Pretending to watch the movie, I weave my fingers in his hair and bring his arm around me, complaining, “Your elbow’s digging into my rib cage.”
His chuckle—I can’t even explain how much I love the sound of his chuckle—tells me he knows I just want to get more comfortable. And I do.
“Better?” he asks, shifting that lean, hard, long body of his underneath me.
“Shh. I like it when he fights with the Spaniard.”
I’m pretending to watch, but really, I’m struggling with how much I want to give him a second chance. But what if I fall? What if it gets out of control, and not only do I fall, but plunge into him?
That night with him?
It was incredible. He was incredible. He still feels, smells, sounds incredible.
His muscles flex and I fear he will pull away, but he doesn’t. He tucks me closer, cocooning me in his arms. I breathe softly in a nearly overwhelming sense of contentment, engulfed by the feeling of security he gives me, and I finally succumb to the urge to set my cheek on his chest. “This feels good,” I murmur. Beyond good.
Suddenly nothing feels righter than this. On my couch. With this man. His spicy, comforting scent is like a drug, and I can’t help but take deeper, more conscious breaths of him.
“Princess,” he says in my ear, conspiratorially.
A shiver runs through me as I close my eyes. “What?”
“I wasn’t going to call.”
“I know, douche bag. Why did you?”
Westley and my Spaniard are at it with swords but it feels like the real action is in my ear, in his whisper: “You need me.”
I scoff and sit up to glare at him. “I don’t need you.”
He sits up too and his eyes flash in challenge. “Maybe I need you.”
When I only stare, he shoots me an adorable grin that’s cocky but also sad. “Do you know what it feels like to carry the weight of a dead heart with you your whole life, like you’re just looking for your grave?” He waits for me to answer, but I’m speechless. “I live the moments I’m with you. I live a lie, but this isn’t a lie, watching this stupid movie with you.”
“Stupid!” I gasp.
He laughs and stands, and says, “When I go out, lock up. I’ll be back with food.”
“If I fall asleep, I’ll be too tired to come open it again,” I warn, but the truth is, I just don’t want him to leave!
“I can open your lock without you so much as waking,” he says easily, then he comes back and slides his gloved hand under my camisole. “But lock up anyway.”
“And you’re f**king sexy in what you’re wearing right now.” His thumb traces the underside of my breast and my breath snags when our eyes meet, and there’s no shutter in his eyes, no filter. What I see galvanizes me, the roiling tumult in the very depths of his gaze taking me for a spin.
“I’ve been told I have a photographic memory. That some images just stick with me with extreme clarity . . . but that night, Melanie, I remember everything about that night more clearly than any other moment in my life.” He grasps the back of my neck in a big, square hand and gives a little squeeze. “Your red thong. Your perky little ni**les. The way you looked at me like a princess and told me your name was Melanie. I remember it too well.”
I’m transported there for a moment. It’s all a haze of passion and desire and teeth, tongues, hands. I ache, but I don’t want to be his toy. I don’t want to be his booty call. My throat hurts when I take his hand, pry it off my neck, and start guiding him to the front door.
“I think . . . Greyson, I think you should leave. I can’t think when you’re around. I don’t know what you want from me but I can’t play these games with you . . . not with you . . .”
He looks at me when we reach the door, almost as if he wants me to kick him out. Almost as if he wants ME to be the one to tell him I never want to see him again. Will he feel relieved? Well, he won’t be! I can’t even begin to explain what that touch of gold tan does for his looks. How I can’t stop admiring the intriguing angles and planes of his face. How long I’ve waited in my life to feel something, a sparkle, a tingle, like this.
“My best friend gets married in two weeks,” I whisper, then I tell him the church as I start pushing him out, all the while holding his gaze. It’s hot, hungry. THE LOOK. “If you want one more chance, if you’re serious about this, you can come to church,” I tell him, then I lean over and kiss his lips, very softly, hearing his low, rumbling groan, then I step back and close the door.
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