More Than Crave You(8)

By: Shayla Black

Nia rescues me. “Do you know how many socks are under your bed?”

I press my lips together and try to pry my thoughts off her body. When I attempt to focus on her question, the shock of my sudden attraction has my brain boomeranging away from the clutter and back to all the things I can suddenly picture doing with her. To her.

Somehow, I manage to shake my head. “No idea.”

That’s my honest answer. I have no idea what’s going on. Why this is happening. What I’m going to do next.

She scoffs. “You must have tossed them under here at some point. I’ve managed to find what I can. Once the washing is done, you’ll probably fall a few pairs short. Oh, and did you know there’s some painting canvases under the bed?”

“Yes.” I try not to flush.

“Were they Becca’s?”

They’re mine. Diana taught me to paint as a teenager. I used to find it soothing. When I couldn’t sleep or when I couldn’t solve a business problem, something about turning off the analytical half of my brain and focusing purely on the creative when no one was watching and there were no rules to follow would free up my subconscious enough to untangle my dilemma.

All that ended when Becca perished. A few brush strokes across the canvas weren’t going to change the fact that she was gone. My will to dig for what little creativity I possess dried up. I shoved everything under the bed and left it there for good.

I don’t lie to Nia. Instead, I simply shrug. “I’ll move them later and see if I find any socks underneath.”

“Okay.” She stands, a handful of mismatched socks in her grip. “I’ll toss these in the hamper. They can go in the next load.”

We make our way to the laundry room, her talking about water temperature and me trying not to fixate on the sway of her pretty ass.

A few minutes of torturous laundry talk later, she meanders back to the living room. I can’t take my eyes off her as I follow. When she stops, I do, too. And I realize I’m standing closer than I should. My breathing becomes harsh as I watch her turn in a slow circle and take in her handiwork.

“This looks better.” She nods, seemingly pleased.

“A lot. Thank you for everything.”

“Happy to help. Can I do anything else for you tonight?”

She can’t possibly mean that the way it sounds. I only hear suggestion because I suddenly have sex on the brain. Still, how do I answer?

“I, um…” Want to fuck you so bad.

Dear god, did I just think that?

“You what?” She looks somewhere between concerned and confused.

If I pushed her against the wall, laid my lips over her soft, pillowy ones, and kissed her hard until her frown melted away, what would she do?

The question makes me sweat.

“Nia, I—”

Before I can figure out what I’m going to say, the doorbell rings. I let out a long breath. Damn it. Since it’s nearly ten o’clock, that can only be Sebastian. I don’t know whether I’m cursing the fact he’s interrupting whatever might be developing between Nia and me or thanking god he’s come to save me from making a catastrophic mistake.

“Open up, loner.” Sebastian knocks on the solid wood between us. “I have a problem to discuss and a bottle with your name on it.”

Nia grabs her purse from the nearby chair. “Sounds like he does this a lot.”

“All the time.” I know he’s trying to make sure I don’t spend too much time alone. Usually, he’s a welcome distraction. Tonight, I wish he’d stayed home and watched the damn football game.

“Well, I’ll go and leave you to your guy time. If you think of anything else you need help with, let me know. I’m not busy tomorrow night.”

She doesn’t have a date on a Friday night? I’m both shocked and thrilled—and have no right to feel either. “I think I’ve got it now that you’ve helped me back on my feet.”

I have to say that because if I invite her over again, I’m worried I’ll tell her that I need help with my cock and she can best assist me by stripping and spreading her legs.

Yeah, that’s way past unprofessional, veering into lawsuit territory.

“Okay, then. See you in the morning.”

“Jesus,” Sebastian shouts. “Are you taking so long to come to the door because you’re shitting or masturbating?”

A laugh slips from Nia’s lips before she covers it with her hand. “I thought he was only impatient in the office.”

I shake my head and focus on replying now that Bas has totally killed the moment. “He’s far worse away from it.”

She winces. “Have fun with that. I’ll spend the rest of the evening doing something more fun than appeasing Bas. Tearing out my toenails comes to mind.”