Lick, p.18
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       Lick, p.18
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         Part #1 of Stage Dive series by Kylie Scott
Page 18

  Author: Kylie Scott

  So, right. No sex. Bad.

  I had to stop looking at him. So I took a deep breath and studied my knees. My bare knees. I’d gone to sleep wearing jeans. Now I had only panties and my tank top on. My bra had also mysteriously disappeared. “What happened to the rest of my clothes?”

  “They left,” he said, face serious.

  “You took them?”

  He shrugged. “You wouldn’t have been comfortable sleeping in them. ”

  “How on earth did you manage to get my bra off without waking me?”

  He gave me a sly smile. “I didn’t do anything else. I swear. I just … removed it for safety reasons. Underwire is dangerous. ”

  “Riiiight. ”

  “I didn’t even look. ”

  I narrowed my eyes on him.

  “That’s a lie,” he admitted, rolling his shoulders. “I had to look. But we are still married, so looking is okay. ”

  “It is, huh?” It was pretty much impossible to be mad at him when he looked at me like that. My foolish girl parts got giddy.

  No. Sex.

  “What are you doing up that end of the bed? That’s not going to work,” he said, totally unaware of my wakening hormones and distress at same.

  Faster than I’d have thought possible given the amount of booze on his breath, he grabbed my feet and dragged me down the bed. My back hit the mattress and my head bounced off the pillow. David sprawled out on top of me before I could attempt any more evasive maneuvers. His weight pressed me into the mattress in the best possible way. Saying no under these conditions was a big ask.

  “I don’t think we should have sex now,” I blurted out.

  The side of his mouth kicked up. “Relax. There’s no way we’re fucking right now. ”

  “No?” Damn it, I actually whined. My patheticness knew no end.

  “No. When we do it the first time we’ll both be stone cold sober. Trust me on that. I’m not waking up in the morning again to find you’re freaking out because you don’t remember or you’ve changed your mind or something. I’m done being the asshole here. ”

  “I never thought you were an asshole, David. ” Or at least, not exactly. A jerk maybe, and definitely a bra thief, but not an asshole.

  “No?”

  “No. ”

  “Not even in Vegas when I started swearing at you and slamming doors?” His fingers slid into my hair, rubbing at my scalp. Impossible not to push into his touch like a happy kitty. He had magic hands. He even made mornings bearable. Though five a. m. was pushing it.

  “That wasn’t a good morning for either of us,” I said.

  “How about in LA with that girl hanging off me?”

  “You planned that?”

  He shut one eye and looked down at me. “Maybe I needed some armor against you. ”

  I didn’t know what to say. At first. “It’s none of my business who you have hanging off you. ”

  His smile was one of immense self-satisfaction. “You were jealous. ”

  “Do we have to do this right now?” I pushed against his hard body, getting nowhere. “David?”

  “Can’t own up to it, can you?”

  I didn’t reply.

  “Hey, I couldn’t bring myself to touch her. Not with you there. ”

  “You didn’t?” I calmed down a lot at that statement. My heart palpitations eased. “I wondered what happened. You came back so fast. ”

  He grunted, got closer. “Seeing you with Jimmy …”

  “Nothing was going on. I swear. ”

  “No, I know. I’m sorry about that. I was out of line. ”

  My pushing hands turned to petting. Funny that. They slid over his shoulders, around his neck to fiddle with his hair. I just wanted to feel the heat of his skin and keep him near. He made for an emotional landslide, turning me from sleep deprived and cranky to adoring in under eight seconds. “It’s great that you wrote some songs. ”

  “Mm. How about when I left you with Adrian and the lawyers? Were you mad at me then?”

  I huffed out a breath. “Fine. I might admit to being a bit upset about that. ”

  He nodded slowly, his eyes never leaving mine. “When I got back and they told me what had happened, that you’d taken off with Mal, I lost it. Trashed my favorite guitar, used it to take apart Mal’s kit. Still can’t believe I did that. I was just so fucking angry and jealous and mad at myself. ”

  I could feel my face scrunch up in disbelief. “You did?”

  “Yeah. ” His eyes were stark, wide. “I did. ”

  “Why are you telling me this now, David?”

  “I don’t want you hearing it from someone else. ” He swallowed, making the line of his throat move. “Listen, I’m not like that, Ev. It won’t happen again, I promise. I’m just not used to this. You get to me. This whole situation does. I dunno, I’m fucking rambling. Do you understand?”

  Later, he mightn’t even remember any of this. But right now, he looked so sincere. My heart hurt for him. I looked into his bloodshot eyes and smiled. “I think so. It definitely won’t happen again?”

  “No. I swear. ” The relief in his voice was palpable. “We’re okay?”

  “Yes. Are you going to play the songs for me later?” I asked. “I’d love to hear them. ”

  “They’re not done yet. When they’re done, I will. I want them perfect for you. ”

  “Okay,” I said. He’d written songs about me. How incredible, unless they were the uncomplimentary kind, in which case we needed to talk. “They’re not about how much I annoy you sometimes, are they?”

  He see-sawed his hand in the air. “A little. In a good way though. ”

  “What?” I cried.

  “Trust me. ”

  “Do you actually state what a pain in the ass I am in these songs?”

  “Not those words exactly. No. ” He chuckled, his good humor returned. “You don’t want me to lie and say everything’s always fucking unicorns and rainbows, do you?”

  “Maybe. Yes. People are going to know these are about me. I have a reputation as a constant delight to protect. ”

  He groaned. “Evelyn, look at me. ”

  I did so.

  “You are a constant fucking delight. I don’t think anyone could ever doubt that. ”

  “You’re awful pretty when you lie. ”

  “Am I now? They’re love songs, baby. Love isn’t always smooth or straightforward. It can be messy and painful,” he said. “Doesn’t mean it isn’t still the most incredible thing that can ever happen to you. Doesn’t mean I’m not crazy about you. ”

  “You are?” I asked, my voice tight with emotion.

  “Of course I am. ”

  “I’m crazy about you too. You’re beautiful, inside and out, David Ferris. ”

  He lay his forehead against mine, closing his eyes for a moment. “You’re so fucking sweet. But, you know, I like that you can bite too. Like you did in Vegas with those assholes. I like that you cared, standing up for that girl. I even kind of like it when you piss me off. Not all the time though. Shit. I’m rambling again …”

  “It’s okay,” I whispered. “I like you rambling. ”

  “So you’re not angry at me for losing my temper?”

  “No, David. I’m not angry at you. ”

  Without another word he crawled off me and lay at my side. He pulled me into his arms, arranging an arm beneath me and another over my hip. “Ev?”

  “Hmm?”

  “Take your shirt off. I wanna be skin to skin,” he said. “Please? Nothing more, I promise. ”

  “Okay. ” I sat up and pulled the tank top off over my head, then snuggled back down against him. Topless had a lot going for it. He tucked me in beneath his chin and the feel of his warm chest was perfect, thrilling and calming all at once. Every inch of my skin seemed alive with sensation. But being like this with him soothed the sava
ge storm within or something. It never occurred to me to worry about my belly or hips or any of that crap.

  Never mind the lingering scent of booze on his skin, I just wanted to be close to him.

  “I like sleeping with you,” he said, his hand stroking over my back. “Didn’t think I’d be able to sleep with someone else in the bed, but with you it’s okay. ”

  “You’ve never slept with anyone before?”

  “Not in a long time. I need my space. ” His fingers toyed with the band on my boyleg shorts, making me squirm.

  “Huh. ”

  “This with you is torture, but it’s good torture. ”

  Everything fell quiet for a few minutes and I thought he might have fallen asleep. But he hadn’t. “Talk to me, I like hearing your voice. ”

  “Alright. I had a nice time with Pam, she’s lovely. ”

  “Yeah, she is. ” His fingers trailed up and down along my spine. “They’re good people. ”

  “It was really kind of them to bring us dinner. ” I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t ready to confess I’d been thinking about what he’d said about my becoming an architect. That I’d started questioning the almighty plan. Saying I was scared I’d stuff up and somehow ruin things between us didn’t seem smart either. Maybe the fates would be listening and screw me over first chance they got. God, I hoped not. So instead I chose to talk trivial. “I love how you can hear the ocean here. ”

  “Mm,” he hummed his agreement. “Baby, I don’t want to sign those papers on Monday. ”

  I held perfectly still, my heart pounding. “You don’t?”

  “No. ” His hand crept up, fingers stroking below my breast, tracing the line of my rib cage. I had to remind myself to breathe. But he didn’t even seem to be aware he did it, like he was just doodling on my skin the same way you would on paper. His arms tightened around me. “There’s no reason it can’t wait. We could spend some time together, see how things went. ”
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