He was lying in my bed.
Without a shirt.
“What are you doing?” I asked him as my desire stole my breath and I forgot all about my headache and how exhausted I was. I’d never seen my bed look so good or so inviting.
“You said to make myself at home.”
I laughed and dumped my clothes on the floor. I’d deal with them later. “And you took that as an invite into my bed?”
His grin was slow. “I figured if you needed me, I should be close by.”
“Uh-huh,” I said, going around to climb into the opposite side. Thank goodness I had a queen-size or there would be no room for me. Not that it mattered. I would find a way to squeeze in beside him even if my bed were the size of a sardine can.
“Nice room you have here.”
The walls were painted a light cream color; the headboard was one of those DIY projects my old roommate helped me make and was padded with a chocolate-colored faux-suede material. All the bedding was white, and there were various throw pillows in assorted shades of blue. The dresser and vanity were both painted a robin’s egg blue and there was a large framed mirror propped against one of the walls. The only other decorations in here were curtains that were horizontally striped with alternating colors of cream and blue.
I settled against the pillows, thinking this was the first time I ever had a guy in my bed. He got up and walked toward the door. Somehow I thought when I finally did have a guy in my bed (whether or not he invited himself), he would have stayed a little longer.
He closed the door and then turned and looked at me. “I wouldn’t want to wake Roxie every time I wake you up.”
“I am not responsible for any bodily harm that comes to you if you actually try to wake me up.”
“You wouldn’t hurt me.”
“Tell me something, Harlow,” he said, moving back toward the bed. I barely heard him speak. I was way to entranced by the way his gym shorts hung low, exposing those parallel muscles that cut his hips and disappeared beneath the fabric. “Is this the first time you’ve had a man in your bed?”
“Yes.” If I had been thinking clearly, I would have come up with a less lame response.
“Can’t say I’m not happy about that.” He pulled the sheet up over us both.
“Thank you for tonight,” I said. “At the bar.”
“Were you nervous?”
I nodded. “I’m a terrible stripper.”
“You’re not so bad,” he said, sliding lower beneath the covers and turning on his side to face me. A lock of blond hair fell over his forehead and I so badly wanted to push it back. But I felt a little shy all of the sudden. “You just need to relax.”
“It’s hard to relax in a crowd of drunk, grabby strangers.”
“That guy was lucky he let go when he did,” he said, his voice turning dark.
“I was kind of relieved when Adam told me to work the floor.”
He grinned. “I told him you didn’t feel well.”
“You did?” I gasped.
He nodded. “You should have seen your face when we turned into the lot and there was nowhere to park.”
I groaned and he laughed. “Complete and utter panic.”
“I don’t know how you deal with all those people.”
“Hey, people are always nice to the guy with the beer.”
I giggled. He was a really good guy. Almost from the moment we met, he’d been looking out for me, even when I wasn’t paying attention (okay, I had a horrible attention span).
I reached out and brushed the hair off his forehead. His eyes closed. Feeling a little bolder, I ran my hand through his hair, flexing my fingers against his scalp.
After a few minutes, he pulled my hand away and pressed a kiss to my palm, then tucked it near his chest. “You should go to sleep. You’re exhausted.”
“I’m not tired anymore.”
His eyes flashed up to mine. Desire swirled in their depths. In response, the desire within me began to unfurl.
“You have a concussion.”
“If you keep me awake, you won’t have to wake me up in an hour.”
“If I kept you awake right now, I would be the biggest douche bag known to man.”
“Are you turning me down?” I asked, a little bit of hurt squishing the desire.
He laughed. “Hell no.”
“Why is it that women get offended when men try to do the right thing?”
“What?” His convoluted answer was making my headache return.
He hooked a hand around my hip and slid me across the mattress, closing the distance between us. Then he turned onto his back and guided my head so it was pillowed on his shoulder. His arm wrapped around me, holding me snuggly at his side.
With his free arm, he clicked off the bedside lamp. Darkness plunged around us.
“Baby, get the sleep now while I’m offering it to you because the minute you become mine, sleep won’t come as often.”
I slid my leg between his while he gently caressed the exposed skin of my waist and then I easily drifted off to sleep.
Every hour he woke me.
I never even tried to hit him.
When he would pull away, I would clutch him back for more.
Each hour upon hour, the kisses lasted just a little bit longer.
Every hour upon hour, seduction grew thicker, wrapping around the room like a heavy fog just after a twilight rain.
It was a delicious game of foreplay, kisses stretched into touches, and touches stretched into caresses. His hands began to linger on the inside of my thighs and the hollow between my breasts. Every time he touched me, my entire body quivered. It got harder and harder to fall asleep because I wanted the sweet torment to go on and on.
I don’t know what time it was when need began to overpower everything else. The curtains were drawn and the room was still dark. My hands grew bold as he lay back and tried to sleep.
I was tired of sleeping.
I started with his chest, grazing my fingers across his collarbone and down his defined chest. The pads of my fingers explored his nipples, which puckered tightly whenever I touched them too long. And then my hand dipped lower, trailing in a straight line past his belly button, and snagged on the waistband of his shorts.
There was a string there for adjusting the waist. I played with that string, occasionally brushing my knuckles across his belly. Every time I did, his muscles contracted.
Keeping my body still, lying against his side, I gently released the string and began to slip just a little bit lower.