Theodore clung to edge of the bed. His nips were frozen from the night air but his back was on fire. Alice was glued against him as tight as a starfish, her arm banded around his chest. It was nice—soft female flesh pressed against him.
He couldn’t say how she got naked in the middle of the night. Then again the woman jerked, tossed, yanked covers and generally thrashed about all night taking up most of the bed space. Her clothes may have fled in survival mode.
Another crackling snore sounded behind him followed by her throat giving off half a choking sound. He cocked his head, waited to see if she’d settle again. Apparently, the woman had a lot of tequila last night. “I hope you hold hair because this one is going to kiss the porcelain goddess soon,” Patty had declared when he’d arrived at that utterly fake rugby bar.
But Alice hadn’t shown any signs of throwing up. Probably because she was oddly pissed off at him. He would never understand women’s ability to flip an emotional switch at the speed of light.
First, she’d glared at him as he strode inside the dive and then promptly fainted when he’d gotten near her. The fainting thing she did was beginning to concern him.
He got her to his rental car where she came to—sort of. She refused to talk, instead stared out his window, cracked so she could have air and he could freeze his balls off. At her front door, she had said “you’re dismissed” with a wave of her hand as she floundered with her keys with the other. He finally grasped her hand and got the door open. She then fumbled her way to bed and passed out on top—fully clothed.
He spent a few minutes debating as to whether he should leave or not. In the end, given the way she drooled onto her comforter, staying was prudent.
Plus seeing her surrounded last night by all those wannabe rugby players assessing her called up a possessive feeling. He recognized the questions simmering in their eyes. Could they get her alone? Would she go home with them? One, in particular, had been inching closer just as he’d arrived, and Theodore nearly crawled out of his skin.
Now he was flush against her nude body and wanting nothing more than to bury himself in her. All week he’d been tortured. She’d barely given him a passing glance. If she’d wanted to grow his interest in her with reverse psychology, her tactic worked beautifully.
Another window-rattling snore rumbled against his chest, and she leaned more heavily against him. His hand reached down to touch the floor—more to keep himself in the bed. But then she shifted again. He struggled to gain more purchase on the mattress, pitching his hips backward to get her to just move back already.
A protest left her throat and then a gasp. He attempted to twist to face her when she shoved him–hard. His ass hung off the bed, and all balance was lost. Arms grasping at the sheets, he once more thunked down to the floor.
“Fyck me,” he cried as his bare skin hit the rough carpet. The floor covering had to be made of the same material they made boot brush mats.
Alice’s mascara-stained, red-rimmed eyes stared down at him “Wha–? Who’s there?” She ran a hand through her matted hair.
“It is I, the fool. Kicked out of bed again.” He sucked in a long breath and got to his feet. His trunks hung low, one leg scrunched up his thigh. Something else was hanging low, too. He adjusted himself.
“Why are you in your underwear?” She asked through gritted teeth, and then gasped again. “Why am I naked?”
“Hell if I know. You had clothes on when I put you in bed. And I’m not naked.” He snapped the waistband of his trunks. “Wasn’t going to ruin my suit.”
“How dare you. Why are you here at all?”
“Excuse me, Miss Snored All Night, for wanting to make sure you were okay waiting for you to kiss the goddess or whatever.” He leaned over to a chair where he’d abandoned his clothes last night and grabbed his shirt. Now that she was awake, it was time to get coffee going. He already knew tea was a lost cause in this flat.
“Kiss? What?” She looked around the room. “Oh. Kiss the porcelain…” She suddenly stilled. But then began kicking at sheets to free her legs. She ran around the bed made it as far as where he stood. She then leaned over and upchucked all over his shorts and his shirt that he held.
He tried to jut backward but was too late. He bit back a string of curses and reached for her. Her eyes grew wide as saucers, then she bolted for the bathroom.
At the sight of his shorts, his stomach lurched in protest but he managed to tamp it down. After abandoning them and his now-ruined shirt in her overflowing laundry basket—dear god, let her have laundry in this flat—he headed to Alice. Duty called. By the sounds coming out of her bathroom, she was making love to the toilet.
He grabbed a too-small towel from the rack just inside the bathroom door and wrapped it around himself. It barely clung to his torso as he knelt down to her. He grasped her hair and began to rub circles on her back as she emptied her stomach. After a few minutes, it stopped.
She pulled back, leaned against the tub. “I always wanted a man who held my hair. It’s not what it’s cracked up to be. It’s humiliating.”
“I’ve seen worse. Granted, usually outside a pub in Westminster, but…”
“Stop trying to make me feel better. I’m mad at you.”
“For being a natural redhead?” The towel didn’t stand a chance. His goods were now out in all their glory.
She frowned. “For leading me on.”
“I’ve done no such thing. Though…” he waved his hand over his crotch. “…I am hard to resist.” He sat down next to her, his towel coming loose. What the hell. Let it all hang out. It’s not like they hadn’t seen all of each other.
She slammed the toilet seat closed and flushed it. “Stop playing dumb, Theodore.”
A bubble of anger rose up in his chest. “What is going on with you?” No way in hell was he leaving until he learned why she was so miffed at him.
“You will not turn me into the office sweet butt.”
What the devil was she talking about? “The what?”
Again, her hand waved in the air. “It doesn’t matter. I can’t do this back and forth with you anymore. It’s not who I am. I’m finally getting a little ahead at work. I can’t have my mind…” she glanced down at his penis which was starting to wake up. “… elsewhere. So, towel please?”
He re-adjusted the towel so it semi-covered him. “Is that what all your messages were about last night? You think I’ve turned you in to the office… slut butt?” Rather rescued her from a horrific bar last night.
“Sweet butt, and yes. Sort of.” She rubbed her eyes and groaned. “I can’t do it. Suzy made me CFO. That’s all I should be thinking of. Not wondering who you’re with. Watching you flirt all week with everyone.” She batted her eyelashes. “Oh, Linda you look so nice today. Oh, Trisha let me help you into the elevator.”
A laugh burst from his throat. He’d never understand the opposite sex. They want someone friendly but when you actually be that? Suddenly you were about to nail everything with ovaries within five miles.
She smacked his arm in response. “I see how you are with all these women. Yet you say you want to have National Bae Day with me? You have a funny way of showing it.”
He rubbed his bicep. The woman had some muscle on her. “Hey, you were the one that wanted us to be professional.” Hurt crossed her eyes. Again, women and their ricochet thoughts and feelings. “Look, now is not the time to talk about this. You need coffee and breakfast.” He rose, the towel slipping completely to the floor. He grabbed it.
She peered up at his cock. “Changing the subject?”
“Yes, because I don’t even know what subject we’re really on. I’m on 2 hours of sleep so forgive me if I’m a little slow on the uptake.” He softened his voice. “Just tell me what you want to know.”
She sucked in a long breath. “Am I just an office affair?”
Of course this is what she was getting at. “To have an office affair we would actually have to be fucking.”
“We have been.”
“Oh really? Not nearly enough.” He pointed to his semi hard on. “This has been neglected, I’ll have you know. One more thought about what it’s like to be inside you and my penis is going to explode. You have no idea the effect you have on me.”
She pointed down at her own crotch and pursed her lips. “Mine, too, you know.” Then she crossed her arms in defiance.
He scrubbed his hair. His brain was beginning to throb in pain. “You know, most people in the world look for this kind of attraction. They don’t resist it.”
“Most people just weren’t promoted to CFO by Susie O’Flannery. Expectations on how I behave have risen.”
“Congratulations by the way.”
“But you can have a life, too. And I say we need to stop this.”
Her gaze sliced his way, her lips parting. More hurt grew in her eyes. Jesus, what did he keep saying?
“I agree,” she whispered.
“Good, then no more resisting it. We should be going at it like rabbits. I can’t keep thinking about you across those cubicles in your tight little skirts. Which I am convinced you wear to drive me crazy. I can barely work.” It had been hard. Every time he heard her voice or saw her sashay by his office, his whole body seemed desperate to get to her.
Even now with her face blotchy, her eyes red-rimmed and glassy, he’d bury himself in her in two minutes if she allowed it. Alice was hot, but more than that she was smart—a rare intelligence that kept his mind as active as his penis. The combination was lethal.
“Me, too. And I’m not happy about it,” she gritted out as if was the biggest burden in the world to want him.
There was only one thing to do. “Then it’s settled. Every time we feel like it, we need to do it.” Their attraction to one another couldn’t be contained. Why fight it at all? In fact, what on earth made either one of them think they could wait until June?
She arched an eyebrow. “Oh, really?’
“Yes. It’s unnatural to be carrying around this much lust.” Some days he felt like his insides were on fire. He was surprised the sprinklers in the ceiling hadn’t turned on.
“But only with each other, right?”
He’d been right. She was worried about fidelity. He held out his hand. “Deal. Exclusive lust sating.”
She tentatively grasped his handshake and he pulled her to standing. Her nude body immediately pressed against him. They stared at one another for a long minute, which only gave his semi hard-on time to go fully erect.
“You said something about coffee,” she finally said.
“I did.” Neither moved. His head began to dip to her mouth when she suddenly broke free. Yanked on the water and grabbed her toothbrush.
She vigorously brushed her teeth and stared at him in the mirror. He drew closer, his hard-on pressing against the small of her back. He may be sleep deprived and confused as hell as to what just happened but he’d go with it.
When she was done, she twisted to face him. He brushed hair from her face. “Hey. I declare it Take Care of Alice Day. And we’re done putting any parameters on things. We go with it.”
“But we keep it to ourselves. No running to Suzy and Samuel with it.”
“They’re not invited to what I want to do to you.”
Finally, he got a smile out of her—and she nodded in agreement. No more resistance.
They were going to be late as hell to work.