But I love seeing the shirt on Fable. How it swallows her up, the hem hits her at about midthigh. I know exactly what she has going on under that too-big T-shirt, which makes it even sexier. She’s damn hot.
I want her. But I’m waiting, trying my best to be patient. We need to talk like two responsible adults about to embark on a serious relationship. And we need to eat, because I’m starving like a motherfucker since I’ve barely eaten all day.
The pizza arrives less than thirty minutes later and we eat our dinner sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of my coffee table, laughing as we watch a dumb comedy movie on TV. It’s a distraction we both need after the serious conversation we had in my truck. I hadn’t meant to take it there, it just sort of happened, not that I regret it.
I hope she believed me when I told her I think she’s amazing. I really do admire the way she handles herself in the face of adversity. She’s so f**king strong and I’ve felt mostly weak my entire life. Feeling sorry for myself and running from my problems has gotten me nowhere.
Being with Fable, even for just that short week, changed me forever. Made me realize I can be strong. I might relapse and fall back into old habits, but being with her again is the reminder I need to keep going.
Keep being strong.
We polish off the pizza and the movie ends, since we came into it more than halfway through. It’s like we both realize the only thing left to do is talk and she’s quiet, chipping off the bright red polish that covers her short nails. Her hair hangs in front of her face and I study it, realizing the shade is different.
“Your hair is darker,” I say out of nowhere.
She glances up at me with a small smile. “You finally noticed.”
“When did you change it?”
“A few days ago.” She focuses her attention on me instead of her chipped-up nails. “Promise you won’t get mad?”
Okay, that’s weird. “Promise.”
“My boss asked that I change it. He said my old color made me look cheap.”
Anger fills me. “He sounds like an a**hole.” My impression of him lessens with every thing I learn about the guy.
“He’s really not, because you know what? He was right. I’m a natural blonde but I started highlighting my hair in high school. I kept on bleaching it and damaged the hell out of it too. So Colin took me to a salon, had them cut off a few inches and darken the color. Now I’m like a new version of myself.”
“I liked the old version too,” I say stiffly. “You don’t wear as much makeup either.”
“I gave that up after I came back from Carmel. I was just hiding behind the eyeliner, you know.” She shakes her head. “Do you like the new me?”
“I like everything about you,” I say. “The old you, the new you. All of you.”
She smiles and scoots closer to me. “You say the sweetest things.”
“I mean every word.”
“I know.” She braces her hand on the edge of the coffee table and gets on her knees, coming in so close she brushes her knees against my thigh. “I love that about you. You never, ever hold back what you want to say when it comes to me.”
Turning my head, I meet her gaze. She used the word love so casually and it makes me wonder. Makes me remember what Dr. Harris said. How Fable should be worth the risk if I really am in love with her.
And I know without a doubt I’m in love with her. I can’t deny it.
“Tell me what happened today,” she whispers, her pretty green eyes sparkling in the dim light the lamp is throwing on us. “With your dad.”
I sigh, wishing we didn’t have to go there. Knowing it’s necessary to keep our relationship honest. “My dad came here a few days ago to visit me.”
She looks taken aback. “Really?”
“Yeah. He announced that he was divorcing Adele.”
Her eyes narrow at first mention of Adele’s name and I love that. Her immediate defense of me against the woman who irrevocably damaged me is mind-blowing. “That should be a good thing.”
“It is.” I blow out a harsh breath. “He called me this afternoon and said he was reconsidering his decision.”
“He says when he went home, they sort of…reconciled.” I don’t go into detail like my dad did. I figure Fable didn’t want to know all of that other bullshit I wish I could forget.
“Can I be honest?” she asks.
“Please do.” I need her opinion.
“Your dad is an idiot if he goes back to her.”
I laugh softly. “Trust me, I already know this.”
“Why would he even consider it?” She wrinkles her nose and it’s so cute, I lean in and kiss her there.
“Because she’s a master manipulator and she has my dad’s number.” Which must be sex and lots of promises that will most definitely be broken.
“So your dad got your hopes up in thinking she’ll forever be out of your life and then ruined it all by saying he’s getting back together with her.” Fable leans back on her haunches, resting her clenched hands in her lap. She looks ready to punch someone. “And you panicked and called your psychologist for an emergency session on a Sunday afternoon. She sounds like a miracle shrink if you ask me.”
Sort of like my miracle girlfriend, though I don’t say that. How’d I get so lucky to have not just one but two supportive women in my life? “You nailed it.”
“I’m so sorry, Drew.” Reaching out, she touches my cheek, her fingers gently stroking my skin. “Did it help, talking everything over with her?”
“Yeah.” I close my eyes because her fingers on my face feel so damn good and I want to savor her touch just a little longer. I sense her moving closer, feel the brush of her lips against mine, as light as a feather, and I remain perfectly still, afraid to move for fear of breaking the spell that’s suddenly come over us.
“Would it help talking to me?” She kisses me again, her lips capturing my bottom one only, giving it a little tug before she releases it.
Damn, that felt incredible. Last night and this morning with her had been amazing, but I rushed it in my need to be inside her. She deserves more than that. She deserves to be kissed for hours.
“It always helps, talking to you.” I reach out before she can pull away, my eyes still closed though I know exactly where she is. I curl my hand around her nape and haul her in, our lips perfectly aligned, her breath hot and sweet against my mouth. “Maybe we should talk more later, though. I’m sort of all talked out.”
She braces her hands on my chest, her fingers gripping the fabric of my shirt. “If you’re trying to avoid a serious conversation by using sex as a distraction, I might have to protest.”
I crack my eyes open to find her smiling at me. “Really?”
Slowly she shakes her hand, sneaking her fingers beneath the hem of my T-shirt so she can stroke my stomach. “Not really,” she murmurs before she leans in and captures my lips with hers once more.
We should talk. I know we should. There’s still so much to tell her. But I can hardly think when she’s in front of me, touching me, kissing me. I want to drown in her.
So I do. Just a little while. I touch my tongue to hers and she parts her lips easily, letting me in. My grip tightens in her hair, pulling a little so her head arches back, her pretty neck on display. She moans and I break the kiss, running my mouth down the length of her throat, licking and nibbling the fragrant flesh.
She whispers my name and the sound sends a zing straight to my dick. I’ve waited for this all day. Thought about doing this all damn day to her, with her. I’m a man obsessed.
“Maybe—” Her breath hitches when I bite her earlobe. “Maybe we should talk a little more before we do…this.”
“Do what?” I lift my head so I can study her beautiful face. Her cheeks are pink, her lips swollen, her eyes glazed. I’m teasing her and she knows it.
A little smile tickles the corner of her lips. “You know what.” She tunnels her hands up beneath my T-shirt, her fingernails grazing my skin and I shiver. “You’re being a bad boy, Drew. I didn’t think you had it in you.”
“You bring it out of me.” I pull her toward me and she falls into my lap, wrapping her legs around my hips. I think this is our favorite position. I know it’s my favorite position tonight, what with her only wearing those panties and my shirt. I can feel her heat even through my jeans and I groan when she rocks against me.
“Hmm, what else can I bring out?” She’s tugging at my shirt and I hold my arms up, let her tug it off of me. Her gaze runs greedily over my chest as she licks her lips and I stifle the groan that wants to escape.
She’s trying to kill me. I know it.
“I’ve missed you.” Her words surprise me and by the look in her eyes, I think she surprised herself. “Being with you. Seeing you. Touching you. It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that we’re sitting here together and it’s not a dream.”
“It’s definitely not a dream.” I touch her face. Gently trace her lips. She’s trembling, I can feel the subtle tremors vibrate beneath my fingers and I bring her lips to mine, connecting them, connecting us for a long, quiet moment.
No tongues, no passionate, out-of-control kissing. Just our mouths touching, we’re inhaling each other’s breaths as we absorb each other. I need this connection. I think she needs it too.
Maybe we need each other too much. But I can’t worry about that now. Not when I have the woman I love in my arms, wrapped all around me.
The best proof of love is trust. – Dr. Joyce Brothers
I enter my apartment humming. I never hum. But I’m so freaking happy I feel like I could break out in song at any given moment. Considering I sing like crap, I think it’s safer to hum a song I heard on the radio when Drew drove me home.
I can feel the smile on my lips and I brush my fingers over them, as if I can wipe it away. Doesn’t work. Touching them reminds me of the way he kissed me before I climbed out of his truck. The way he looked at me when he asked if he could see me tonight. I have the day off work but he has to go to school and he’d been ready to ditch class for me so we could spend the day together. I forced him to go, though.
Such a stern, bossy girlfriend I am.
The apartment is dark, all the curtains and blinds are closed despite it being a gorgeous day outside and I walk by every window, yanking open curtains, cracking open blinds. The kitchen sink is full of dirty dishes and I blame Owen, making a mental note to have him wash them all when he gets home from school.
When I start down the hall, I notice my bedroom door is open. An eerie sensation settles over me, making me uneasy. I never leave my door open. It’s always firmly closed. If I could lock it, I would. It’s not that I don’t trust Owen or Mom. It’s all those jerks my mom brings over, though lately it’s just one jerk.
And my brother’s friends aren’t real prizes either. I remember the boys I knew in junior high. Hell, the girls too. I was just as bad. We all stole like crazy, lifting makeup and candy from the local supermarket. Freaking stupid.