Love Me Like That(8)

By: Marie James

She nods and follows me up the stairs to the guest bedroom. I open the door to one of the rooms I actually haven’t made it in yet since arriving. The interior designer did a great job in here as well. She kept with neutral colors on the walls and gave it a modern feel without detracting from the rugged aspect of the home as a whole. The large bed is against the exposed logs which serve as the accent wall. Every room in the home that is on an outside wall has the same.

“Your room?” she mutters.

“Hardly,” I say with a huff. “This is the guest bedroom. The bathroom is right through there.” I point to a door on the far wall. “Should be fully stocked. If not? Well, we’re in the middle of a fucking blizzard.” See, the asshole has arrived.

“I appreciate it,” she says and slides past me making sure she doesn’t touch me.

She doesn’t seem like the shy type but more uncomfortable with the situation she’s been tossed into with no control. She walks further into the room and the sinful shape of her luscious ass does not go unnoticed.

I clear my throat. “I’ll be downstairs.” Like she gives a shit. I pull the door close behind me and take the stairs down two at a time.

I scrub my face with my hands and then run them through my overly long hair. I know getting drunk with a stranger in the house is not the best game plan, but it’s going to happen none the less. I’m here with very strict instructions to ‘get over my bullshit and don’t come back until I do,’ and that’s my game-plan, well the first part at least... It starts with the whiskey.

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

I’m in this big ass house, in a room larger than most hotel suites. I’m more concerned about the man wearing flannel driving a beat up old clunker. I can’t keep my mind from wondering if he broke into this place and he plans to chop me into tiny pieces and burn me in the fire.

He’s been courteous and respectful if a little put out by my being here. I sit on the side of the enormous bed and look around the room. It’s like something out of a home décor or Crate and Barrel ad. The bed is made up of expensive covers and sheets, including a thick duvet I’d love nothing more than to snuggle up in.

Actually, that’s the best idea I’ve had for a while. I use alternating feet to kick my shoes off. A glance at the door confirms there is a lock, but it’s not engaged. I push myself off of the bed and walk to the door.

Just as my hand reaches the knob, a thunderous boom echoes into the house from outside and the lights go out, throwing the room into pitch black nothingness. I stand stock still, terrified as my other senses try to account for my loss of vision. Several minutes of standing in the pitch black of the room reveals nothing other than the sounds of the storm outside.

Shouldn’t a backup generator kick in? It never does. The chill in the air from the heat not rolling through the vents is immediate, like icy fingers of death licking at the skin on my legs which are covered by only a thin layer of fabric. If I stay in here, it’s going to be just as bad as sitting in the damn car.

I turn the door knob and do my best to make it to the stairs from memory, praying I don’t tumble down them and snap my neck. Nothing says thank you for rescuing me from the car in the ditch like a snapped neck at the base of a flight of stairs. Keeping my hand on the banister and taking subtle, focused steps I make it to the bottom unscathed.

I want to call out to the man in the house, but I realize we never even told each other our names. Why wouldn’t he ask? Hell, why didn’t I ask?

I follow the faint glow of the fire through the house. A noise to my right catches my attention, and I turn my gaze just in time to see him coming back in the house and stripping out of his cold-weather gear. He’s grumbling and cussing, no doubt from the severe weather outside.

He walks back toward the fire and stops short when he notices me standing in the shadows.

“The damn generator isn’t kicking in,” he says as he rubs his hands together near the hearth.

No shit Captain Obvious.

“Can I…I mean is it okay for me to stay down here? The room upstairs was already getting cold again.” I give a weak smile because it’s the most I can manage after the day I’ve had. I shiver and rub my hands up and down my arms.

“Of course. Shit, let me get you a blanket.” He walks down the hall, and I hear a door open. Less than a minute later he walks back in and hands me a thick fleece blanket.

I wrap it around my back and settle on the couch in the spot closest to the fire. I should probably let him have his pick of places to sit seeing as this is his place, but he’s got at least fifty pounds or more on me so I figure he won’t get as cold as easily as I will.