“You should get some sleep,” I say and she nods.
She’s limp as I help her down from the side. Her eyes are closed all the way through the house and upstairs, her body nestled into mine, her head pressed against my shoulder as she limps along in whatever direction I guide her.
Jack’s house isn’t really set up for guests. Aside from the master bedroom, the other upstairs rooms are used for storage and laundry. The room I usually sleep in has a small single bed amongst a load of old suitcases. It does me just fine whenever I’m visiting, and I hope it’ll do just fine for Carrie.
“I should shower…” she mumbles as I ease her onto the bed, and no sooner she’s said it than she’s wriggling out of her jacket and the couple of layers underneath. My breath is shallow as I watch her strip down to just a cami top and underwear. She winces as her jeans catch on her ankle and I’m forced to drop to my knees and help them off. Sleepy hands rest on my shoulders. A thumb brushes my neck and it feels electric. I pull away before I run the risk of doing something despicable, and without a word she pulls up her knees and wriggles herself under the covers, shower seemingly forgotten.
Her hair is so dark against the white bedding, and her skin looks so much dirtier against the clean sheets.
“Where are you gonna sleep?” she asks.
“Downstairs,” I say. “I won’t be far.”
“You can stay…” she whispers. “There’s room for two.” She backs into the wall and pats the bed to prove her point, but I couldn’t.
I just couldn’t.
“If you need me, you can holler,” I tell her. “I’ll hear you from downstairs.”
I hate the flash of rejection across her face. I hate the way she stiffens as though she’s done something wrong.
I hate how it feels to deny myself the pleasure of her body against mine.
“I’m not a kid,” she says, and I have to clear my throat.
“I know. I hope you had a good birthday all things considered.”
“I had a shit birthday, like always. I’ve no reason to celebrate, just me congratulating myself on being alive another year. Big fucking whoopee.”
I don’t know what to say, so I hover, standing over the bed of a barely dressed girl while she stares up at me. While she wants me.
I know she wants me. I’ve felt it in every touch of her fingers. In every flash of her eyes. In every moment her body pressed so perfectly to mine.
“Goodnight, Carrie.” The words feel like glass. “I have to work in the morning. If I’m gone before you wake up, help yourself to food. I’ll be back when I finish.”
“I’m not a kid, Michael,” she says again and there’s a roughness to it. “I’m not in your office. I’m not a pile of notes in your crappy folder. I’m a woman. And you should stay.”
“I can’t,” I insist, and with the words come the same nervousness I felt every week with her across the desk from me.
Her unpredictability. Her dramatic mood shifts.
Her impulsive gestures.
I know it’s coming before it happens. The sweet, sleepy Carrie who slipped between the covers disappears before my eyes, and in her stead is a siren from the deep. Her eyes are hooded but piercing, her breath is short and fast. She turns down the covers until I can see the swell of her tits over her cami. She hooks a finger in the fabric and tugs it down, offering me up the lacy cups of her bra.
“Tell me you don’t want me,” she whispers, and it’s not a request, it’s an order.
“This isn’t–” I begin, but she shakes her head.
“You’re hard. I know you are.”
My hand covers my crotch instinctively, knowing full well she’s right.
“You need to sleep.”
“Stay,” she says, and I have to close my eyes to block her out.
“Carrie, I can’t.” My voice is as firm as I can muster. I hear the hitch of my own breath as I fight for resolve.
And she changes again. Just like that.
She pulls up her cami and rearranges the covers on top of her. I’d believe I’d imagined the entire interaction if it wasn’t for the glint in her eyes.
“A goodnight kiss, then.” She says, and my dick fucking aches with the strain. “Just a peck, to say thank you. For the soup. And the other stuff.”
Just a peck. To say thank you. And then a sharp exit.
I lower myself over her, my arms rigid to keep my distance. Her fingers are lightning-fast, slipping inside my jacket and up my chest before I even lower my face to hers, her pretty mouth perfectly angled to meet mine.
It’s not a peck. Her fingers twist in my hair and hold me tight. Her lips press to mine and stay there, and so do I.