“If you’re on the sofa, so am I. We suffer together.”
He made a snoring sound, which made her laugh. “Okay, suit yourself. But I’m not moving. I’ve grown very fond of this sofa. It’s extremely comfortable. And for the record, no one falls asleep that fast.”
Another round of snores caused her to laugh again.
Who was being the headstrong one now? If he wanted to stay there, then so be it. But there was no way she was getting off this sofa. Not because she was trying to prove how stubborn she could be. It was because Roth snuggled behind her felt too damn good to simply walk away from.
While Tressa showered, Roth scrounged up something for her to wear shopping. He placed the T-shirt and sweatpants on the bed, then went back downstairs. Removing Juliette, he went out onto the deck to free his trapped emotions through music notes. He played and played hard. A rigid and rough tone that would be considered too edgy for most. This soothed him.
Several minutes later he stopped abruptly and snatched the instrument from his lips. He deserved every damn bothersome emotion swirling around inside him. The harder he tried to deny the pull Tressa had on him, the stronger it became, like a spiteful monster taunting him with its power over him.
If he had just allowed Tressa to get out of his SUV at the hotel, all of this could have been avoided. Why had he brought Tressa here?
Dammit. He was losing control. He never lost control.
The scene from that morning played in his head—waking up with Tressa fast asleep in his arms. For an hour he’d simply watched her sleep, not moving a single muscle and risking waking her. She felt right in his arms. Too damn right.
At one point he’d been so damn hard he was surprised he hadn’t pushed her off the sofa. And when she subconsciously ground her ass against him, he thought he would die a slow and painful death. One thing was for sure, he didn’t stand a chance in hell against Tressa Washington.
He was good at hard and cold. So why did he keep dispensing soft and warm around her. Cater to your every need? Had he really said that shit? He chuckled. Yep. And the funny thing about it, he’d actually meant every word.
He raised Juliette to his lips again but reconsidered. With the mayhem inside him now, playing would terrify the wildlife.
Tressa was right here. Right here for the claiming. Why was he hesitating?
From the deck, he heard her cell phone vibrate again. The tenth time in the past hour. Cyrus’s no-good ass, no doubt. Tempted to answer the phone and tell the bastard to never call Tressa again, Roth resisted. Hell, for all he knew she wanted him to keep calling. She hadn’t actually taken any of his calls to tell him otherwise. Wouldn’t that have been the logical thing to do?
Wow. Wasn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? He hadn’t exactly jumped to take India’s calls, either. Well, at least she’d had the good gumption to stop calling, obviously realizing he’d rescinded her invitation to the cabin.
Venturing back inside, he stored Juliette, then fixed himself another cup of coffee while he waited for Tressa so they could go to the store. Roth chuckled. Tressa’s presence was definitely going to shock the hell out of Glen. He hoped the man didn’t jump to any conclusions. He and Tressa were just friends. And that was how it had to remain. At least for now. At least until he was sure she was over her ex. And right now he wasn’t so convinced that she was.
* * *
Tressa and Roth arrived at The General Store. Tressa originally assumed it was what Roth called it, but that was actually the name. The General Store. Couldn’t get more generic than that. The airy barnlike structure resembled something from an old Western movie from the outside, but the inside was anything but old-timey.
Everything occupied the large store, including clothing. That was great because, though she was grateful, Roth’s baggy St. Claire Aeronautics T-shirt and oversize black sweatpants didn’t exactly make her a walking fashion movement. Nor did the stilettos she wore with it. And the mountain jacket swallowed her whole. But that part was okay, because Roth’s scent saturated it. It was like having his warm arms swaddled around her all over again.
Her thoughts went to waking in his arms that morning. She couldn’t recall ever experiencing a more peaceful night of sleep—well, until Roth started flinching in his sleep. Whatever he’d been dreaming kept him active.