We held each other after that, until finally it was time for us to begin our day. The afternoon went normally enough; I took her to school, picked her up afterward, took her home, and then helped her study. I took her to work, then met up with the guys for rehearsal. After fine-tuning some of our songs, the lot of us descended on Pete’s for some liquid refreshments. A pretty typical day.
Leaning back in my chair, I listened as Matt told me about how his grandpa wanted to come up for the holidays, but he hated to fly. Pointing over at Griffin, Matt said, “The rocket scientist over there told him he should drive.”
I shrugged. That didn’t sound completely unreasonable to me, but by the smirk on Matt’s face, there was a catch. “Let me guess, he doesn’t own a car?”
Matt’s smile grew. “Oh no, he does. It’s parked in his garage. In his house. On Maui.”
Griffin scowled as Matt and I started laughing. “What? There’s gotta be a ferry or some shit like that that he could take. Hawaii isn’t that far away.” Griffin grinned. “Maybe he could sign up for a singles cruise. Get lei’d while he’s getting laid.”
Matt made a disgusted face while I laughed even more. Griffin might actually be onto something with that last suggestion. Well, minus the getting laid, of course. Unless his grandpa wanted to. He was related to Griffin as well as Matt, so he could be randy as all get out. The thought gave me a shiver and I looked around the bar to clear the image of Griffin’s personality in an old man’s body.
My gaze passed over a table of women giggling and staring my way, obviously trying to get my attention. I continued on past them until I found Kiera. She was frowning when our eyes met. She quickly fixed her face, but too late; I’d already seen the sadness. Was she still sad about this morning, or was something else bothering her? She wasn’t having second thoughts about us—was she?
I slowly got up and walked over to her. My heart started thudding as I approached where she was wiping down a table. If she ended this, I had no idea what I would do. When I was right beside her, I rested my hand on the table, close enough to hers that our fingers touched. “Hey.”
“Hi.” She looked up at me with a shy smile that made her even more incredibly beautiful. My heart squeezed. Don’t end this yet. I need you. Almost like she could hear me, she straightened and stepped closer, until our bodies were touching.
We were really close together, closer than friends would stand. Even though the bar was busy, our proximity was odd. I didn’t care though. I needed to know what she’d been thinking about. We were close enough for me to discreetly stroke her pant leg with my finger. “You looked like you were thinking of something…unpleasant. Anything you want to talk about?”
Please, let it be anything other than you changing your mind. Don’t leave me.
She opened her mouth to answer, but stopped when Griffin walked over and clasped my shoulder. I could have turned around and slugged him. Instead, I stepped away from Kiera so he wouldn’t notice that he’d interrupted a moment. Not that Griffin ever paid close attention to things that didn’t involve him.
“Oh, man, you have got to see this little hottie at the bar,” he said, biting his knuckle. “She totally wants me…Think I could nail her in the back room?”
I glanced back at the girl that had Griffin in a tizzy. A pretty woman with long, straight brown hair was sitting on a bar stool, facing the crowd. She had on a tight, short dress, and with her legs crossed, she was showing a lot of thigh. Her eyes locked on me once I turned around and met her gaze. Biting her lip, she shifted in her seat like she was so turned on she couldn’t stand it. I wasn’t sure if she was interested in Griffin or not, but somebody could probably nail her in the back room; she was definitely primed and ready to go.
Eyes glued on me, the woman never once looked Griffin’s way. That seemed to clue him in that maybe it wasn’t him she was interested in. “Oh fuck, man! Did you already bang her? God, I hate getting your seconds. They never shut up about—”
I was officially going to kill Griffin. Kiera hearing about the two of us sharing women was the last thing I wanted to happen. She’d be disgusted. I was disgusted. I knew it had probably happened before…but I really didn’t want to think about it, and I definitely didn’t want to talk about it. There were some things that were better left unspoken.
I smacked him in the chest to cut him off. “Griff!”
He didn’t seem to get the hint. But of course, he wouldn’t. “Dude, what?”
Irritated that Griffin didn’t have more brain cells floating around his head, and that he found it impossible to think about anyone other than himself, I flung my hands at Kiera. She did not want to hear about his exploits. Or mine.
Griffin blinked as he looked at Kiera, like he hadn’t even realized that she was there. Focused on possibly scoring tonight, he probably hadn’t noticed her. Griffin gave new meaning to the phrase “one-track mind.” “Oh, hey, Kiera.”
Thankfully, the cock magnet at the bar drew Griffin away from us. I had no idea what to say to Kiera. She seemed bothered by the conversation, and I didn’t blame her. I was a little disturbed too. Knowing there was nothing I could say in a bar packed with eavesdroppers, I turned and went back to the table. I’d talk to her later, when we were alone. I needed to clear up this mess, and I needed to know why she’d looked upset before. I needed to know what she was thinking, what she was planning. If my heart would soon be breaking.
Kiera seemed off as she continued her shift. I wasn’t sure why, and it worried me. I offered to stay and give her a ride home, but she turned me down. She did that sometimes, if she thought I was tired, or if she didn’t want to raise too much suspicion. I wasn’t sure what her reason was tonight, and that worried me too.
I couldn’t sleep when I got home. My mind was spinning with doubt. When I heard the front door unlock and crack open, I sat up on my bed. Kiera’s light footsteps started coming up the stairs and I walked to my door. Opening it, I waited in the dark recess of my room until she walked by. When I spotted her, I playfully grabbed her, pulled her inside, then shut the door and backed her into it. With my palms against the door on either side of her body, I leaned in and trapped her in place. No one to bother us now.
With our lips just inches apart, I whispered, “Sorry about Griffin. He can be…kind of, well, an ass.” I smiled, hoping she wasn’t still bothered by that little fiasco. When she didn’t say anything, I asked her, “What were you thinking about earlier?” Please don’t tell me it was about stopping this…
In the dim light of my moonlit room, I could see her lips parting, but no words came out. She seemed frozen, and not just because I was holding her against the door. Her breath quickened and her gaze flicked over my face like she couldn’t get enough of what she was seeing. And as I watched, desire filled her eyes. She wanted me.
“Kiera, what are you thinking about, right now?” She still didn’t answer me, only fluttered her eyes as a shiver passed through her. “Kiera?” Tell me you want me.
My eyes roamed down the sensuous body I was longing to touch. I was suddenly, instantly aware of how close together we were, how dark and intimate my room was. My body hardened in response.
Before I knew what I was doing, I pressed my chest firmly against hers. It felt so right, but so wrong too; we were too close, too intimate. We were crossing a line, but my reasons to stay away—the friend who was closer to me than family, the look on his face as he discussed his fears about his love life, the long-ago promise I’d made him to stay away from his girlfriend—all of those memories were fading as the bond between Kiera and me ignited. My hands left the hard wood of the door and found the softness of her body. My fingers ran down her shoulders to her waist. I stopped at her hips. I wanted to feel the smooth skin there, just underneath her jeans. If I unbuttoned them, I could slip my hands inside. She’d feel so good…
Stopping myself, I stared deep into her eyes. “Kiera…say something.” I don’t know what’s right anymore. Help me. Guide me. Love me.
She still didn’t speak, but I saw the hungry debate in her eyes, the way she tracked my every movement, the way her chest was heaving against mine. Her reasons were slipping away just as surely as mine were, and the question Why can’t we have this? was screaming around us in the silence. The unasked question bounced off the walls, reverberated in our souls, and I didn’t have a good answer this time, a reason worthy of pulling away. Kiera didn’t seem to have one either.
Our pent-up desires had shifted into overdrive. Kiera was so riled up, so ready for me, I could almost taste it. I wanted to taste her. I wanted to lay her down and feel every inch of her under my skin. I wanted to slip inside her, hear her cry my name, watch her face when she fell apart, tell her I loved her. My control left me, and I brought my forehead to hers. So close. I could feel her breath washing over my face. Her lips were right there…beckoning me to find them. I slid my knee between hers, closing all the gaps between us. Having her so close made me throb with need. She moaned when our hips connected and I almost lost it. I couldn’t take much more of this. If either one of us was going to stop this, it needed to be now.