I sat on the couch, willing myself to relax. What was taking so damn long? I wanted to find her in the bedroom, interrupt her wardrobe change, and promptly undress her. Press her against the wall the way I’d pressed against her moments ago, skin to skin.
F**k all. No. I leaned forward, propping my elbows on my knees. I had to distract myself so I didn’t come at her like a wild f*****g animal. I couldn’t risk pushing her away. We had to take this slow. I repeated the mantra, desperate to convince myself. If we had any chance of achieving more in the long-term sense—whatever the hell that even meant in Maya’s new warped version of relationship statuses—we had to.
I grabbed the remote on the table in front of me and switched on the television, muting the volume. I dropped it back down. Next to it, a black spiral notebook sat. Several loose pages were stuffed in and beside it. The sheets peeking out were scrawled with handwriting I immediately recognized as Maya’s.
As I reached for them, Maya emerged. I lifted my gaze to her. She was dressed in yoga pants and a hoodie. Her eyes were wide with concern that hadn’t been there before. She walked to the table and quickly stuffed the errant papers into the notebook. Taking a few steps away, she held the book close to her chest.
Her lips parted. Her gaze was fixed on me. “Everything’s fine.” Her voice wavered. She set the notebook on the shelf behind her. Joining me on the other end of the couch, she pulled her legs under her and stared at the soundless television.
She shivered, tightening her hold around herself. Something had shifted between us over the course of the past few minutes. I had no idea why. All I knew was I wanted her in my arms again.
“Come here,” I whispered, holding my hand out to her.
Her gaze flickered, casting up at me from under her eyelashes. “Cam, we shouldn’t—”
Before she could talk me out of it, I reached for her, pulling her close so her legs fell over my thighs, the rest of her body cradled against me.
Without another word, her body relaxed, melting into me. The shivers stopped and there was only the sound of our breathing. Afraid to speak, to bring attention to whatever had suddenly come between us, I simply held her. I’d been without her for so long, I had no right to want more, to ask for more. This was enough. For now, this was enough.
MAYA. I stared blankly at the screen in front of me. The numbers and letters blurred. All I could think about was Cameron’s mouth on me, his body crushed against me. The attraction hummed between us. I’d pushed him away just in time. One more second against the wall and my already weak willpower would have snapped like a twig. If I hadn’t interrupted the moment, I had little doubt we would have spent the night in my bed instead of curled up on my couch watching bad television until we couldn’t keep our eyes open.
If Cameron had been anyone else, I would have slept with him without a second thought. When it came to men, I was impulsive, yet always carefully guarded. I’d been this way for years, never saying no to a vice or a pleasure that could bring me through a difficult moment right into the next. Cameron was turning into both a vice and a pleasure of the most dangerous variety.
I wanted him, and he wanted me, but as we climbed the stairs to the apartment, a little voice that knew better had reminded me that something more was at stake—my heart, the same one he’d destroyed when he left me the first time. The same destruction I’d written about and that I really hoped he hadn’t read. The thought of him looking through that window into the world of my words was exponentially worse than facing Eli’s inebriated opinions.
I closed my eyes, trying in vain to lessen the torrent of emotions. Being with Cameron now was like a slow dance, and every time we met, we came closer. We touched more, laughed more. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t fight the way he made me feel from one minute to the next, which varied from massive irritation to the potent desire pulsing through me at the moment. God, what I wouldn’t do to be in his arms now. One of these days I’d find myself pressed against him, begging him for more, drowning out that tiny voice of reason, and very likely barreling headfirst into inevitable heartbreak.
I groaned inwardly and crossed my legs, painfully aware of how badly I wanted him. My body remembered him, regardless of my mind’s better judgment. My skin heated with the memory of his touch. Unless one of us had the good sense to stop it, sleeping together wasn’t a matter of if, but when.
I jolted when the phone on my desk rang. I picked it up and my boss’s predictably curt voice came through the receiver.