I close my eyes and breathe through my nose, trying to get my jumbled thoughts together. Having her so close makes it hard. Makes my dick hard too. Her scent surrounds me, wild and sweet. Her soft hair tickles the side of my face. Hell, her entire body is soft as it molds to mine and I’m consumed with the need to touch her. Kiss her. Take her.
Make her mine.
“You have five minutes,” she murmurs. “And I’m not going up to your room. So you better get to talking.”
My eyes pop open and I reach for her, my fingers curling around her chin. “Look at me.”
She shakes her head once.
“If all I’m getting is five minutes of your time, the least you could do is look at me when I talk to you.” I stroke her chin with my thumb. Softly. Slowly. A shuddering breath leaves her as she turns to face me, her eyes wary.
“You make me want things I shouldn’t want,” I admit. Her brows knit in confusion and I know I’m on the wrong track. “You make me feel things I’ve—never felt. I think about you all the damn time and I don’t do that about any girl.”
Her brow relaxes and interest flares in her eyes. “Go on,” she urges softly.
Am I really going to tell her the truth? “I tried to pretend that you didn’t matter. After you ran out on me at Starbucks, I told myself I didn’t want to be interested in you, so I shut you out. Avoided you as best I could.”
“You did a really good job,” she says dryly.
I let go of her chin, sliding my hand across her cheek, up into her hair. “But when I found out you were coming to Jade’s party, all I could think about was you. Knowing you were here tonight, in my house, and Jade wanted us gone just about fucking killed me. I wanted to see you. Hear your voice, smell your perfume, make you laugh.” I cup the back of her head, my fingers tangling in the soft strands of her hair.
She stares up at me, those luminous blue eyes seeming to eat me up. “You didn’t even look at me when you first walked into the room. That…hurt.”
“It hurt to fucking see you,” I admit.
“Why?” she whispers.
I ignore her question. How can I answer when I don’t know what to say? “I don’t understand why I’m so fixated.” I lean in, pressing my forehead to hers. I see her waver in how her shoulders relax, her hands going to my chest, resting there lightly.
Just her touching me twists me up inside. I don’t fucking get it.
“You have a funny way of showing your fixation.” Her voice is small, full of irritation. I still don’t have her convinced. “And you have three minutes left.”
Three minutes to make this right. Three minutes to prove that I want more from her. What exactly do I want? I don’t know how to ask. I warned her before that all I do is take. I don’t know any other way. If I had my choice I’d drag her up to my bedroom, lock the door and push her onto the bed. Fall on top of her and never let her go for the rest of the night.
But is that all I want? One night? That’s all I should want. That’s all I can allow myself to want.
Taking a deep breath, I close my eyes and count to three.
His forehead is pressed against mine, his eyes tightly closed, a low exhale falling from his perfect mouth. He’s so close we’re sharing the same air, I can practically count the outrageous number of thick black lashes that rim his eyes and it would take nothing for our mouths to meet. A little shift here, a lift of the chin there and we’d be kissing.
But I can’t let him kiss me. Not when I’m still mad at him. I’m so tense waiting for his next words I feel like I could shatter. Fully prepared for him to say something terrible. Awful.
Slowly he opens his eyes and lifts his forehead from mine, licking his lips, his gaze never leaving me. “I like you,” he says in that sexy low rumble.
Words fail me. What in the world does he mean?
“Have you ever met someone you felt an instant connection to? Like, the minute your eyes met, you couldn’t look away no matter how much you tried? You go to bed at night with them on your mind and when you wake up you wonder how they slept? And throughout the day you hope like hell you catch a glimpse of them but when you don’t, you’re disappointed?”
My throat is so dry it’s hard for me to swallow.
“And when you finally do run into them, you’re so damn excited, you’re dying to talk to them, look at them—touch them. But then you realize…that maybe you want something they can’t give. Or worse, they don’t feel the same way. That maybe you’re overreacting and wanting it all when you never want it all. You’re afraid to want it all.” He pauses, clears his throat and drops his head so he’s not looking at me any longer. “So you shut off those feelings because you don’t want to be rejected. You’d rather move through life completely untouchable.”
My knees are shaking at his sweet yet sad words. Is he really talking about me? He’s afraid he could be rejected? I find it hard to believe that the player of all players Tristan Prescott is saying this.
I run my hands up his chest, curling my fingers around his shoulders, needing him to finish but unable to say a word of encouragement. What if I’m wrong? What if he’s talking about something else entirely? Or maybe he’s saying a bunch of bullshit to get me naked.
I don’t know what to think.
“O-one minute,” I whisper, my voice shaking and my heart in my throat. I’m probably being mean but oh my God, he’s been so incredibly mean to me tonight. I still can’t believe the way he flirted with Toni while blatantly ignoring me. I don’t care how sweet his words are, he acted like an asshole.
Tristan lifts his head, his blue eyes turbulent, like a sudden violent storm. “That’s exactly how I feel about you. You scare the fuck out of me, Alexandria.”
We stare at each other, the house eerily quiet, the only sound the thundering of my heart in my ears. He shifts closer, his questioning gaze dropping, lingering on my lips for the briefest, most intense moment I think I’ve ever experienced. His gaze returns to mine, and my mouth tingles in anticipation. I don’t give him my answer with words. I merely close my eyes, part my lips.
And wait for him.
He’s there in a second, his mouth on mine, his hand curling in my hair, his other hand on my waist, his hot fingers slipping beneath my sweater to touch my bare skin. I gasp at first contact, my lips parting further and he slips his tongue inside my mouth, deepening the kiss.
He tastes faintly of beer. Mint. Tristan. My hands move to the back of his head as if I have no control over them and I clutch at his hair, pushing my body close to his. I can feel him, hard and thick pressing against the fly of his jeans and an answering throb pulses between my legs. My butt is also buzzing, which is…odd.
Oh. It’s my phone.
I break the kiss and reach for my phone, pulling it out of my back jeans pocket. A frustrated growl sounds from deep in Tristan’s throat as I check the glowing screen.
Your ten minutes are up. Get your ass out here.
Glancing up, I study Tristan’s tortured expression, his hair a mess from my hands, his cheeks ruddy from booze and our kiss, I can only assume—or maybe from his confession. It took a lot of guts for him to say what he did. But is it enough? I’m not ready to forgive him yet. I’ve learned by example, considering that was my mother’s problem—she forgave my father far too easily and look where it got her? Prison.