“What the hell is your problem? I'm here to help you, and that's what I'm going to do.”
He takes another step in, forcing me to take a step back, then another and another until my back hits the wall and there's no place else for me to go. I lay my hands down against the wall. It's cold against my hot and sweaty hands, pricking my skin like needles.
“What are going to do?” I ask. “Force me to do something I don't want to?”
“Not at all. I'll never force you do anything. But I do want you to tell me why you were so hot for me yesterday, and today you're looking at me like I'm nothing.”
His cologne swirls up, striking me in the face, and making it hard for me to think. I have plenty of reasons I can give him, but right now I can't think of a single one. My brain is blank.
Oliver takes one last step forward, pressing the tips of his toes against mine. “Well? What changed? You left yesterday giving me a kiss on the cheek, and a smile I couldn't stop thinking about all night. Tell me what changed. What's different?”
“I don't owe you an explanation for anything.” I finally blurt out, but my voice is weak. I'm being held hostage by a man who isn't even touching me.
Just his mere presence is enough to hold me still. My heart is racing, and the air between us is growing hot and heavy. Our eyes connect and I watch small flames as they dance in his pupils.
His dark brown eyes spark with gold flakes as he shifts his eyes between mine. “You're right, you don't owe me anything, but it'd be nice to understand you.”
“Understand me. . . This,” I say, twirling a finger between us, “this is just a short term thing. Once these cabinets are done, I'm gone. So why does it matter? Why even try to understand me at all?”
“Because there's something about you I like. I don't know what it is. I can't explain it. But it's there. I'd like to figure out why.” He lowers his lips to my ear. “Wouldn't you like to know why you're afraid of what you felt?”
“I'm not afraid. I felt nothing,” I snap.
“Yes you did. And you're feeling it now too.” He exhales a warm breath across the shell of my ear, his lips so close my body trembles in anticipation. Pulling away, he tilts his head as a thin smile spreads across his face. “See, that's what I'm talking about. I saw you quiver. I saw what you felt without you having to say a word.”
My back arches off the wall. It's like he's a magnet and I'm the metal being pulled to him. I have no control of it. Despite how badly I want to shut it off, my body is defying me. My stomach feels like I had a cup of hot tea. The heat travels outward, moving down my legs and up through my ribs.
I'm trying so fucking hard to cool the sensation between my legs. I want to stop the arousal, to forbid my pussy from seeping with need. The fiery heat makes my skin prickle and my nipples bead.
I'm torn between giving in to what I can't control and trying to cage the animal inside me. Either way, I lose.
I lose because what I want is currently right here. I want him. I want to feel him slide his cock inside me. I want to feel his lips on my breasts and his hands on my body. I lose because trapping something so carnal is dangerous. I can't pretend he isn't right. I can't ignore that my life is made of nothing but screen time, and this man is actually right here in flesh and bone.
And he wants me too.
For once I'm not chasing a pixelated figment of my imagination. I'm not living through the lens of a romance story, and writing myself into the scene.
This is real. He is real.
My breathing picks up as I dart my eyes to the floor. I can't look at him anymore. I can't smell his sexy musk or be this close to the hands that made me come harder than I ever have in my life.
“You're not playing fair,” I say. “You're playing dirty.”
Oliver slips his finger under my chin and lifts my face up. “Dirty is all I know.” His eyes search mine. “And we got really dirty yesterday.”
His eyes harden as he continues to try to read me. I finally realize what he's looking for, permission.
Permission to keep going. Permission to let his lips and hands and body speak for him. And he wants me to give permission to myself. To let go of everything that's chaining me to this resistance and embrace what I feel.