Motion (Page 27)

“Because I want it.” The softness of his response only served to underscore the meanness.

My mouth dropped open. “Why don’t you just take the one you actually want and leave my preferences out of it?”

He lifted his eyebrows, giving me a pointed look, but otherwise didn’t respond. It was response enough.

“You’re unconscionable.”

“Which one?”

“Fine. It’s the chocolate cake donut. Happy?”

“Yessss.” The flash of a grin also meant a flash of his dimples, the combination momentarily discombobulated me, just long enough for him to snatch the bag from my hand.


“There are two chocolate cake donuts in here.” He turned away and walked up the stairs.

“Yes. One for me and one for—hey!”

He’d extracted both chocolate cake donuts and carelessly handed off the bag to me, as though discarding it, walking through the front door. I chased him into the house and to the kitchen, gasping in horror when I saw he’d already finished one of the donuts and had just taken a bite out of the other.

I don’t know what made me do it, but I tossed the bag full of inferior donuts onto the kitchen island and grabbed his wrist. Actually, I do know what made me do it: fury and hunger. I wasn’t hangry, I was furngry.

Before he could react and holding his eyes, I guided his hand to my lips and took a giant bite, shoving a full half of the remaining chocolate cake deliciousness into my mouth.

His eyes grew round with shock even as he laughed. “You’re going to pay for that.”

I didn’t respond. I was too busy chewing, giving him my dirtiest look, holding his wrist in place with a death grip, and ignoring the excited, hot, electric shiver dancing down my spine. He flexed his arm, as though to raise his fingers and finish off my precious. I couldn’t let that happen. Plus, I wanted to see his arm flex again.

Grabbing his forearm, I shoved it down with all my might, and I swallowed. He chased his hand, his mouth open and ready to bite. So did I. A brief struggle ensued, during which our foreheads knocked together as we both reached the shared target.

“Ow!” I said, but I didn’t back down. I refused to cede my grip on his arm, because doing so would mean surrendering my breakfast, and the loss of watching him strain, and listening to him grunt. Twisting and trying to jump, it was no use. He was bigger and stronger and taller, so much taller, and he smelled so, so, so good. Olfaction satisfaction.

Momentarily distracted by (what else?) Abram-fragrance, his forearm slipped from my fingers and he held the remainder of the donut above us both, turning his face toward mine.

“Give it to me.” I clawed at his raised bicep, breathing hard, headless of how this pressed my body more completely against him. Or how every time I jumped for his arm, my chest bumped into his and I slid down his front.

I am so hot right now.

“What? Give you what?” he whispered, tilting his head to the side, liquid brown eyes shaded beneath those dark lashes.

No matter how I pushed against him, he held firm. So firm. So very, very firm.

Out of breath, I ignored the swirling butterfly field in my stomach, determined to reach the donut, no matter what it took. Mine! Mine mine MINE!

“You know what I want, Ahab.” I lunged against him. I didn’t know what made me do it—

Actually, I do know what made me do it: fury and hunger and horniness. I was no longer furngry, I was frunghorngry.

Despite my lunging, he didn’t even rock back on his heels.

Ugh. Damn him. Why was he so immoveable? He was in my way, keeping me from what I wanted, and—in that moment—my throat burned with how much I despised him. SO MUCH!

But Abram did lower his arm at the last minute, holding the donut behind his back. As I reached around him blindly, my lips accidentally grazed his jaw, our bodies sliding together, the friction causing an immediate straining and awakening within my own. Flinching as though burned, I retreated, working to subdue this destructive awareness fragmenting my composure as his arms came around me, the donut now behind my back.

“Too bad, Liza. I didn’t get what I wanted either.” He was breathing hard. Good.

“Oh yeah? What’s that?” I ground out, also breathing hard.

“You . . .” he said, his voice a gruff whisper, his mesmerizing gaze darting between my eyes and mouth.

I sucked in a short, surprised breath, blinking furiously as pinpricks of heat pulsed just beneath my skin. But before I could connect too many fantasy-fulfillment imaginary dots, he leaned even closer.

I felt his breath on my lips as he finished the thought, “You . . . are not allowed to leave the house without me.”

“You were asleep.”

“You know the rules.”

“You can’t lock me up.”

He nudged my nose with his, the barest of touches, a gentle slide, whispering darkly, “But I can tie you up.”




I held perfectly still despite being out of breath, my eyes on his, my heart in my throat; the sensation of being launched into the air and falling all at once; my lower abdomen a swirling, twisting, universe of activity. Because I wanted it.

I wanted it.

I wanted it.

I want it. So. Bad.

His eyes held me transfixed, turning impossibly darker, hotter, half-lidded monsters, mirrors of my darkest desires, and they lowered slowly—so slowly—to my lips. He licked his bottom lip, also slowly. And he leaned. And I exhaled an incomplete, hitching breath of sweet anticipation. And I let my eyes flutter close. And—

“Hey! Why is the front door open?”

The sound of Gabby’s voice followed by the front door closing had the same effect as a gunshot.

We jumped apart. I scrambled around the kitchen island, placing it between us. He backed up to the kitchen table. Our eyes met—his dark and piercing, mine probably frantic and disoriented—and crashing cymbals sounded between my ears just as Gabby walked into the kitchen.

“Hey you . . . two.” She’d started her greeting with a smile, but ended it with a frown, glancing between us. “What’s wrong? What happened?”

Abram, the muscle at his jaw jumping, pushed his fingers into his hair, his eyes sliding to the side and giving the full weight of his glare to Gabby. “What are you doing here?”

Holy hadron collider, he sounded pissed.

She retreated a step, visibly alarmed. “I left a note. Yesterday? On the doorstep?” When he continued glaring at her without speaking, she lifted her palms. “Jeez, Abram. What the hell? You look like you want to murder me.”

Abram’s glare flickered to me for the briefest of instants, and then dropped to the floor. He lifted his hands to his hips, but he still held the partially eaten donut, a fact he didn’t seem to realize immediately. Giving his fingers a stern double take, he studied the donut for several seconds before taking a deep breath and placing it on the kitchen table behind him.

During this odd moment, Gabby sent me a wide-eyed look. I knew it was supposed to impart something to me, but I had no idea what. I wasn’t yet thinking clearly, still recovering from my franghorngry moment of madness.

Make no mistake, it was madness. Gabby had saved me—saved us both—from making a colossal and intractable error in judgment.

“Gabby,” I said, my voice breathless and quiet because my thoughts were too loud. I gestured to the bag on the island. “I picked up some, um, donuts, if you want any.”

“She’s not staying.” Abram said this firmly, his hands now fully on his hips, shifting his scowl from her frown to my face.

I stared at him, working hard to catch my breath and keep my eyeballs from broadcasting how badly I still wanted . . . I still wanted.

He stared back. He blinked. Aggravation dissipated, becoming something else entirely—conflict, concentration, fervor—and I experienced that bizarre tunnel vision again.

Eventually, Abram took a deep breath. He closed his eyes. He shook his head.

“Fine. She can stay for an hour, and that’s it. And she has to leave her cell phone on the kitchen table.” Eyes still closed, he rubbed his forehead like he had a headache.

Gabby’s mouth dropped open, and she seemed to be on the precipice of saying something—likely cheeky and inappropriate—so I shook my head furiously, making my eyes as large as I could, hoping to impart to her that saying anything at this moment would likely result in her being expelled from the premises.

She started, rolled her lips between her teeth, and shifted her eyes back and forth between Abram and me. Clearly a struggle for her to keep quiet, she appeared to be almost bursting with the need to speak her mind. Come to think of it, I’d never known her to hold her tongue. Ever.

It must’ve been a real character-building experience, not getting what she most wanted in that moment; even if it felt like a compulsion; even if it would have been a terrible, terrible mistake.

I know how she feels.

If someone had asked me for one word to describe myself prior to Lisa’s phone call earlier in the week, I would have replied, rational.

But no person is just one thing, one label, one facet of their personality or single characteristic or decision they’ve made. This was a fact that could sometimes be super inconvenient. Like now.