Breathe Me Page 7

“Nah. You, a pain?” Shaking my head, I pulled her even closer, leading her around the dance area since we had a bit more room. I loved the feel of her curves hugging my body, her voluptuous br**sts pressing against my chest. Our hearts thudded to the beat, and sweat gleamed across our foreheads. I took a moment to glance around and saw that most of the couples were grinding against each other or engrossed in deep, passionate kissing. It was a lovebird nest fest out there.

“You couldn’t be a pain if you tried,” I said. “I was the pain in the ass. I only wish you’d forgotten about that already.”

Her face darkened slightly, making me desperate to change the subject and bring back the happiness which had just passed across it. Anything for a smile from her again.

The music blurred into another dance number, and I motioned her back to the edge of the dance floor. “How about another drink?” I asked, thinking that I needed to loosen up some more, too.

She nodded and followed close behind me, our fingers laced tightly together as we braved the crowd at the bar once more. There was nothing like alcohol to bring the barriers down, not just for her, but for myself, too. Fear of screwing up again ate at my heart; it was the last thing I wanted to do. We finally got our drinks and, clasping the cold glasses, we stared into each other’s eyes, the night ahead so full of possibilities.

Chapter Eight

Piper

“CLOSE YOUR EYES.”

I heard him tinker with something before it clicked together. A moment later, a trickle of classical music filled the air. I recognized it, and wanted to say so, but the title slipped my mind. My nervousness distracted me from thinking clearly. Where had I heard the song before?

“I want you to tell me what you like.” Sasha’s voice was soft, and hummed against the sensitive area under my ear where my jawline curved toward my neck. “Anything you want, I’ll give it to you, Piper. I meant it when I said I would do anything to win you back, and I intend to show you many times over.”

His kiss lingered on my flesh, burning like a distant memory. It excited me, and my heart literally skipped a beat as my breath caught in my throat. What could I say to that? It’d been so long since I’d been with someone, but my body was responding against my wishes. Throwing all thoughts of celibacy out the window, I realized that wanted him back, too, but it defeated everything I was working toward. Could I do this? Could I take what I needed and still keep my head on straight? I wasn’t sure, I wasn’t sure of anything anymore. Especially when this man was so close. His enticing scent was scrambling my senses into oblivion as his lips explored my body. I was pretty sure I was done for.

The lights were dim in his room, making me wonder how he got it to be so dark yet there was still just enough light to see what we were doing. Well, what he was doing, I should say. I was pretty much putty as his hands made their way seductively down my sides, lifted my tank and slipped under it as he pulled me closer. His body rocked slowly to the light music, making me dizzy as I pulled the air into my lungs, which were tightening dangerously.

Of all the places in the world, that was the most dangerous place to be. How could I’ve let him bring me there and still remain focused? As his body moved, hot and hypnotizing, I had to let go. Surrendering, I let him slip my clothes over my head. He allowed me to pull the buttons of his shirt apart, the color a dark blue in the dim lighting, like his eyes, like the ocean beach where we had spent so much time together. I wanted to remember that love, to feel it again coursing through me like lightning.

He led me to the bed, and I let him. Sitting down, he pulled down my jeans, kneeling down as my eyes followed his movements. His skin was searing mine as he traced my thighs on the way down, leaving a trail of tingling until he tossed them to the side. Pulling his shirt off, he stood up and unbuttoned his pants until only his boxers remained, hugging his slender h*ps and muscular stomach.

My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. On and on it fluttered like a hummingbird trapped inside my ribcage. I crawled back into the pillows and let him hover over me, his incredible body lean and hard, making it obvious that he worked out and took care of it. It flared up the air around me, making it hot and sticky. His body let me know what he thought of my body, and I relished what it was doing to him. I wanted him badly. There was no turning back now.

He bent forward, his eyes flashing as they reflected the soft light glowing around us. “Piper.” His breathy voice sent prickling gooseflesh down my neck and arms. Soft, flighty kisses sent me in overdrive, and I didn’t think I could stand to wait any longer.

I placed a finger on his lips and shook my head, finally feeling a bit more sober as I came up for air. “Don’t say a word.”

His eyes lingered on mine, and I knew he was trying to decipher if that was a good thing or not. But he let it go and closed the gap between us, pressing his lips on mine. My mouth opened slightly to let his tongue explore, reciprocating in deep, hungry kisses as though nothing could quench the thirst we had for each other. Nothing less than intense bursts of energy filled me, and I’d never felt so wanted, so cherished.

Sasha was the most dangerous man I’d ever met, and he had me under his power again.

Oh, dear sweet Lord.

I SAT UP, jarred and disorientated, seeing the blinding light of the morning sun streaming in through the slightly parted window curtains. I wasn’t sure where I was or how the hell I had gotten there. One too many cocktails from the night before were still swimming in my head, making it murky for several moments before I pushed it away and realized, with a growing dread, just where I was.

Shit!

I hopped out of bed and tried to gather my clothes off the dark maroon carpet. Who has maroon carpet? I collapsed back onto the bed, feeling my mind swimming while sparks shot across my vision. I had stood up too fast. Letting the blood return to my brain, I tried again, but much more slowly, before shimmying my clothing back on. Frantically, I searched for my purse, pulling apart the room to no avail. Finally, I pulled it out from under the bed and flipped open my phone to check the time.

6:45am. I groaned and pulled my travel brush out, heading toward the master bath next to the room to quickly freshen up before I hightailed it out of there. Even the smell of bacon, which was deliciously permeating the air, didn’t keep me from locking myself in the bathroom and leaning back on the door, letting out a deep, groaning sigh.

I had f**ked it up. Not even a week had gone by, and I’d let him in, just like that! Just dropped all my defenses and let the enemy waltz right in through the gate so he could gallop around and have his fun, steal my precious cargo and traipse right out of my life once more. Not that I hadn’t had an exhilarating time, for my body ached in all the right places, and it was begging for more. This, above all else, made me groan as I yanked my brush painfully through the knots of hair, tousled from the night rumpus we’d enjoyed.

I furiously rubbed the smeared makeup off, splashing it away. I also rinsed out my mouth before staring at myself in the mirror. Shaking my head, I licked my lips, still pink and puckered from being kissed. Kissed. By Sasha. I’d never thought I’d ever be doing that again. Even that delicious roll in the sack. It was disturbing how easy I’d let him in and how good it had been. I remembered making love to him in college, but it’d never been like that. Never so hot and sizzling. It felt as though my body would burn into ashes from the desire running through me.

He’d left me breathless, and I could still feel those plump lips trailing down my body, down my stomach, and sending a pulse of pleasures which had heated me up to the point of boiling until it sent a jolt shooting down my thighs. He’d been good before, but now he was an excellent lover. He was no longer the young man I’d known in another life. He was a different kind of poison. The slow, scorching, addictive kind. I had to get out of there. No, run out of there as fast as my feet could possibly take me before I couldn’t leave, and my willpower waltzed out the door once more.

Sneaking down the hall, the smell of bacon and coffee tempted me to forget my goal to slip out. A man who made breakfast was pretty out of the norm for me and caught me off guard. I’d dated my share of men after Sasha, but it had never gotten deeper than casual encounters and regular dates until I was bored out of my mind. Sasha had me scrambled to distraction, enough that I hadn’t noticed the steps echoing down from the kitchen until Sasha had turned the corner, plate and a glass of juice in hand. He came to a stop, and we eyed each other. I was pretty sure he knew just what I’d been up to.

“I made breakfast.” He held out a plate piled high with pancakes dripping with syrup, thick, crispy slices of bacon and perfectly browned toast with butter. My stomach growled ferociously, betraying me in an instant. I was pretty sure he’d heard its complaints, too.

“I hope you have some time to eat before you go.” He motioned toward the breakfast nook, sitting in the light of the bay window overlooking the city skyline. One of his eyebrows lifted, curiously, as he waited patiently for me to answer. I had been caught red-handed, trying to sneak out the morning after. I hadn’t had a good look at his house before heading to the bedroom last night. Now I had no time to.

Okay, maybe I did have a little time for breakfast.

“Wow, um. Yeah, of course! Smells amazing.” I plastered on a smile and nodded profusely. His face lit up as he turned and headed to the table. I sighed, dropping my stuff off by the door and joining him. Somehow I highly suspected he’d planned this all along, knowing how skittish I was. Why else would he be awake at such an ungodly hour?

“There’s more syrup if there isn’t enough on there for you. I remember how much you loved it smothered.” He winked and grabbed his plate from the center, pulling himself closer to the table as he joined me. Watching him, I felt an odd calm rushing around and tingling my scalp, shooting down my arms along with goosebumps as I watched him cut up his pancakes and shove in a mouthful. It was funny how the tiny details mesmerized me, freezing me in my chair. The way his jaw tensed as he chewed, his dark blonde eyelashes hovering hooded over his sea-blue eyes. His rough fingers grasped the fork and stabbed at the food. His messy locks were sticking out in every direction. It was charming, intoxicating and yet familiar all at the same time.

Following the line of his na**d arms up to the sharp indention of his collar bone, I found myself etching every notch, blemish and curve of his body into my memory. I caught his eyes as they found mine glued on him, and I quickly averted them to the plate in front of me and madly started cutting into my own meal.

“How is it?” He took a swig of orange juice and waited for me to answer. Managing a grunt with a mouthful of bacon, I nodded and squeezed out an unattractive smile as I chewed. Why do people do that? Ask questions when you’re clearly busy chomping on a meal? I chased the lump of food with some juice before I could answer him properly.

“Excellent, thank you.”

He leaned back and continued to watch me, focusing intently on me as he wiped his mouth. His goatee was smooth and well-trimmed, a few shades darker than the hair on his head. It made him look like one the male models in a Calvin Klein magazine, especially since all he had on was a pair of board shorts. It was quite difficult to not stare at his washboard abs as he moved to take his plate to the sink. Watching him walk away was no different. I practically had to rip my eyeballs away from him.

I had to get a grip and focus on my plan before he distracted me any further, and I got way in over my head. I gulped down another bite and averted my eyes to my half-eaten eggs and toast. Somehow it was easier to breathe if I avoided looking at him. How does anyone even function being around that? I remembered him being sexy, but hot damn if he hadn’t morphed into a freaking Adonis since then. This was going to be way harder than I had initially thought. How do you game someone who looks like that? I was going to have to take a step back and make sure I had every inch of the picture accounted for, or I was going to fall flat on my ass again. I definitely didn’t want that to happen, and it was going to take all I had to keep from messing it up.

“Listen, thanks for this amazing ‘morning after’ breakfast and all, but I got to go.” I moved to stand but spilled out of the chair as my ankle caught the leg of it. I lay sprawled across the floor feeling every bit of the bruise blossoming on my knee. I really needed to be more careful; I was probably still intoxicated, but I doubted it.

“Piper, you okay? Here.” Sasha plucked me up off the floor with the ease of a body builder, his lean, muscular arms securely around my waist. “You probably need some more coffee and water. Dehydration stiffens the muscles.” He led me gently to his couch, and I slipped down onto the soft cushions, madly rubbing my reddened knees. He was probably right, but I hated that he was.

He’d already returned from getting me a tall glass of water and pushed me to drink it all. I’d be rushing off to the bathroom in no time after this, but I’d prefer if it was back at my own place. Finishing it off, I stood up again—slowly this time—and made my way to his bathroom, brushing my hair down and frowning deeply at my less-than-flattering reflection.

“Hey.” Sasha was leaning against the wall as I exited the bathroom, making me extremely suspicious that he was going to attempt to make me stay.

“Hey, thanks for the food, I’ll see you later.” I turned and headed toward the door, where my flats were waiting. I slipped them on and managed to unlock the two bolts on his door before his hand slipped over my arm and down over my fingers.

“Did I do something? I don’t want you to go.” His voice was quiet, causing me to glance up and peer into his eyes. Bad idea. His eyebrows crinkled, concern stamped across his features as he studied my face.

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