“Yep,” I said. “You wore the hell out of that dress. And the shoes.” I grinned at him. “Maybe you should think about popping on heels more often—”
Roman’s arms were around me in a second as he tickled my weak spot just underneath my arm. “Oh yeah? T’s got jokes, does she?” He teased as I squealed in a fit of giggles.
I easily broke his hold, spinning around to face him. “Don’t mess with me,” I said, slightly breathless. “I’ve got Krav Maga skills now. I’d hate for Coach Goodman to sue me because I broke his running back.”
“Oh, is that a threat?” Roman’s eyes lit with challenge and the look stirred something inside me that had me dropping my guard.
The man moved faster than a blink, he was that quick, and before I could make it two steps into the attached living room, he had his arms around me. “Got you,” he said in victory. “What are you going to do now?” He whispered in my ear, and warm shivers danced along my skin.
No panic flared in my chest.
No ice-cold memories flooded my mind.
I was absolutely, wholly present.
My body a live wire singing at Roman’s touch.
I spun in his embrace until we were face to face. “Do you want me to show you?” I fired back, teasing, light, fun.
Because that’s what this was between Roman and me.
Safe, fun, easy…frustrating as hell.
“Do your worst, T,” he said, his voice low and rough. His lips so damn close to mine in the way we were tangled up in each other.
“You asked for it,” I whispered.
I lifted my right leg while sliding my arm behind his neck, just the way Drew had taught me. And I hauled us back, spinning as we toppled to the ground. Me landing atop him, knees gently pinning his shoulders to the ground.
“I win,” I said, leaning over him.
Roman’s eyes flared wide, heat churning behind them. His hands flew to my hips, and he effortlessly lifted me, spinning until I was the one pinned to the floor.
His body was warm and flush atop mine as he held himself up so he didn’t crush me. My heart raced in a wild rhythm at the feel of him between my legs.
And I wanted him.
I wanted him in every way imaginable. I wanted to taste his kiss again. I wanted him between my thighs with no barriers between us. I wanted to utterly and wholly devour him.
Surprise lit my insides at the certainty because it had been so, so damn long since I’d craved sex. No, more than craved…
When it came to Roman, I needed him like I needed my next breath.
“T,” he said, a whisper between us.
I hadn’t realized I’d inched off the floor, toward him, his face, his lips—
A blaring timer rang from the kitchen, the sound jarring us both.
“Birras.” The word rolled off his tongue like a groan, and he hurried to stand, easily hauling me to my feet with one hand.
“Birras,” I mimicked him as I followed him into the kitchen.
We ate in a silence that felt tight enough to snap. Probably more on my end than his, because how could he come to understand the need I could barely describe running through my veins? Hell, he’d never had a shortage of gorgeous women willing and ready to please him. I’m certain he’d never felt this need before…one that came from years of unsatisfying sex.
That’s all it was right?
The craving had nothing to do with the way Roman knew me better than anyone on the planet and had done more than any friend should have to do to put my broken pieces back together.
Surely, the ache in my soul had nothing to do with that.
“Harley Quinn and Joker,” he said after we’d cleaned up the kitchen together.
“That was a good Halloween.”
“Ah.” I nodded, remembering our earlier conversation. “Kate was so mad at you,” I said, thinking back to our freshman year in college. He’d been dating Kate for almost three months by then.
Roman shrugged. “I’d already promised you.”
“I told you to do what your girlfriend said.” But he hadn’t.
“Have I ever broken a promise to you, T?” He challenged, and I didn’t have to rack my brain to know he hadn’t. If Roman promised something, he meant it.
“Never,” I said. “Still,” I continued. “She wanted you to be the Prince Charming to her Cinderella.”
Roman hissed. “And I wanted to be the villain to your villain.”
I swallowed hard.
“I’m glad I didn’t listen to you,” he said. “I’m glad I didn’t dress up as her Prince.” He shook his head. “She didn’t ever truly care about me anyway.”
Some of that old darkness flickered over his features, and my heart ached at the memory. She’d sliced open the one insecurity Roman had, and I wasn’t sure if he’d ever truly gotten over it. And he deserved so much more than that. More than someone who saw him as flawed.