It feels like a battle of wills every time I interact with Rose and I like that. She feels like a challenge. And there is nothing that I appreciate more than a challenge. No woman has ever truly interested me because they always feel so damn easy.
But not Rose. She gives off mixed signals. I know she’s attracted to me. Last night I’d barely touched her, kissed her, and the minute I had my fingers between her thighs, she was drenched. That had been hot.
Everything about her is hot, even when she’s mad. And I definitely make her mad. I almost enjoy it.
Fine. I do enjoy it. Around her I feel like a twelve-year-old antagonizing the girl he has a wild crush on. I’ve turned into a stupid twelve-year-old giving the girl he likes endless grief. I lose all my cool when I’m around her.
The moment she walked away—again—I let her go. But I never let her out of my sight. I kept my distance as I followed her, tracking her every movement, and she stopped at a lot of the shops, wandering in for a few minutes before she came back out empty-handed. She’d stashed the remaining new panties in her tiny purse, and every once in a while I’d see a flash of turquoise lace peek out of the top of the black leather. Or neon pink lace.
Looks like Rose has a fondness for bright colors.
I tell myself I’m still following her so I can get to the necklace. The fucking necklace I can’t forget about, though the woman who wore it looms in my mind much more than the stupid necklace. That’s what I should be focusing on. That’s what I tell myself.
But I want the woman too. I want the woman more.
After almost an hour of aimless wandering, she finally makes her way to a hotel. She’s staying at the Covent Garden Hotel, how original. If I’d had a single cell in my brain, I would have gone there first and just waited for her. Nigel had mentioned casually last night that Rose was staying at a hotel near the pub.
Increasing my pace¸ I catch up with her without being too obvious, not wanting her to notice me yet. She strides across the street, looking this way and that, and I follow after her once she enters the lobby, eager to reach her before she ends up in the elevator and I can’t find her.
I’m intent on getting into her room. She wants me. I want her. This is an easy second chance to snag that necklace. Why are we playing these games anyway?
You’re more to blame than she is.
Yeah. No shit.
I enter the lobby of the Covent Garden Hotel and see her standing at the registration desk, talking with two male employees. They’ve got dopey smiles on their faces, nodding and “yes, miss-ing” her over every single thing she’s saying.
Suckers. She’s got them wrapped around her finger, just like that.
It almost infuriates me, because I feel just as suckered as they are.
“Thank you for your help,” she murmurs just as I come up behind her. She turns, stopping short when she finds me standing in front of her, and that cute scowl is back. Her eyes narrow and her mouth forms into a little sneer. “Not you again.”
“I wanted to return these to you,” I say solemnly as I thrust the bag toward her, the lingerie store’s name blatant on the side. The hotel employees are doing their best to act uninterested, but they’re watching us. I can feel their gazes, sense their curiosity.
The scowl vanishes and is now replaced with faint embarrassment. “Um, thanks,” she says, her voice soft as she takes the bag from me. Our fingers brush, and the heat that shoots through me at her touch makes my knees fucking weak. It’s not just electric. It’s magnetic. Like we’re drawn to each other despite everything else. We can’t fight it.
I don’t want to fight it.
Rose feels it too. I can tell by the way her eyelids waver, the little shuddery breath that escapes her. She’s affected by me.
Good. She affects me, too. I’m tired of wasting time.
“Hey, you want to—” Before I can come up with something to say she’s cutting me off, interrupting me as if she knows what I’m asking her.
“That would be great. Just—let me drop this off in my room first.” She lifts the bag and then starts walking, leaving me no choice but to follow after her.
She doesn’t protest. Doesn’t say a thing, doesn’t send me a look as she stops at the elevator doors and hits the up button. “You really want me to come with you?” I ask, my voice low.
Rose nods, still not looking my way. “Please.”
Triumph surges through me when the elevator doors slide open and I follow her inside, waiting until those doors slide shut. I turn and grab hold of her by the waist, the shopping bag falling to the floor as she wraps her arms around my neck and tilts her head back, ready for my kiss.
But I don’t give it to her. Not yet.
Instead I touch her face, skim my fingers down her cheek, along her jaw. Her eyelids flutter and she exhales shakily. “You followed me,” she whispers. “Again.”
“I did.” There’s no point in denying it. “I can’t stay away from you.”
“My own personal stalker.”
“I wouldn’t call what I’m doing stalking.” I touch her lips, the soft plumpness sending a surge of heat straight to my cock. I want those lips wrapped tight around my dick. Whitney offered me a blow job last night when we came home from the pub, but I turned her down. After walking away from Rose with aching blue balls, I still didn’t want one. At least, I didn’t want one from Whit.
The only person who could have given me satisfaction is this woman right here, in my arms.